Coronavirus

How the CDC and the FDA Wrecked the Economy

The failure to conduct early and wide testing left politicians ignorant of basic facts about the COVID-19 epidemic.

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Public officials across the United States are flying blind against the COVID-19 epidemic. Because of a government-engineered testing fiasco, they do not know how fast the virus is spreading, how many people have been infected by it, how many will die as a result, or how many have developed immunity to it.

The failure to implement early and wide testing, which was caused by a combination of short-sightedness, ineptitude, and bureaucratic intransigence, left politicians scrambling to avoid a hospital crisis by imposing broad business closure and stay-at-home orders. It foreclosed the possibility of a more proactive and targeted approach, focused on identifying carriers, tracing their contacts, and protecting the public through isolation and quarantines.

The initial outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, was reported at the end of December. The first confirmed case in the United States was reported on January 20, by which time it seems likely that many other Americans were already infected.

At first, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monopolized COVID-19 tests. When the CDC began shipping test kits to state laboratories in early February, they turned out to be defective.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration initially blocked efforts by universities and businesses to develop and conduct tests before relaxing the restrictions that made it impossible to assess the progress of the epidemic. Making a false virtue of necessity, the CDC set irrationally narrow criteria for testing, which meant that carriers without severe symptoms or obvious risk factors escaped detection.

The CDC still insists that "not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19." But without testing everyone—or at least representative samples—for both the virus itself and the antibodies to it, we can do little better than guess its prevalence, its lethality, and the extent of immunity among the general public.

Even now, months after the Wuhan outbreak and the first reported case in the U.S., we have managed to test less than 1 percent of the population, and those tests have been limited mainly to people with symptoms severe enough for them to seek treatment. Since people infected by COVID-19 typically experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, that's a real problem.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimates that "somewhere between 25 percent and 50 percent" of COVID-19 carriers are asymptomatic. But he cautions that "right now we are just guessing," saying the issue would be clarified by wide antibody testing, which would identify people who had the virus and recovered, many of whom may never have realized they were infected.

Iceland—which has tested more than 8 percent of its population for the virus, 14 times the U.S. rate—has been screening the general public as well as people who think they might have COVID-19. About 1 percent of those volunteers have tested positive, and half of them reported no symptoms.

Iceland's response to COVID-19, which features aggressive testing, contact tracing, and quarantines of infected people but no general lockdown, seems to be working. Its crude case fatality rate (CFR)—known deaths as a share of confirmed cases—is much lower than the rates in other developed countries, including places where the disease emerged around the same time.

Other countries that are doing mass testing, including South Korea, Singapore, Austria, and Germany, also seem to have a better handle on their epidemics, whether measured by their crude CFRs or by the number of new cases. Because of the ongoing test shortage, the United States has been unable to mount a similar response.

Our ignorance about COVID-19 will have profound consequences, potentially leading to an overreaction that wrecks the economy while saving relatively few lives or (less likely, given the current political climate) an underreaction that costs many lives and allows hospitals to be overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases. You can thank the same agencies on which we are relying to guide us through this crisis.

© Copyright 2020 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. They were too busy yelling about flattening the curve to actually determine where on the curve we were. Now the longer they put off mass antibody testing, the more credit they can take for keeping us all safe, and the less certain we will be when the virus actually arrived.

    I heard the governor of AZ say something like “In the face of uncertain data, you must prepare for the worst case.” No, you idiot, in the face of uncertain data, YOU GET MORE DATA BEFORE YOU MAKE DUMB DECISIONS.

    This entire debacle should be enough to put anybody off socialism for decades.

    1. “This entire debacle should be enough to put anybody off socialism for decades.”

      Though that *ought* to be the reaction, I think the message many people will take away from this is that the government ought to be more strongerer.

      In case of a true disaster – “if only the government had done more!”

      In case there isn’t a disaster – “thank God we had a government to protect us!”

      1. If the disease-mitigation measures wreck the economy: “Where’s your precious free market now?”

        1. MARKET FAILURE!

          1. Krugman predict that in 2016.

        2. “If the disease-mitigation measures wreck the economy::”

          IF? It’s already done. Now there’s talk of the lock-down lasting 18 months.

        3. I can wreck any economy if I’m free to force measures on it. Failed attempt.

      2. ★Makes $140 to $180 dependably online work and I got $16894 in one month electronic acting from home.I am an a tiny bit at a time understudy and work fundamentally one to a couple of hours in my additional time..Everybody will complete that responsibility and monline akes extra cash by simply open this link……More here

      3. Taiwan has .02 covid19 deaths per million people, Australia 2, S. Korea 4, Israel 8, Canada 11. We have 44 today and by tomorrow more than 45. We may have more than 100 deaths per million by June 1. What do all the countries that are doing much better than we are have in common? Their government agencies were competent and organized effective responses. Our government failed us. If you can find some country that has effectively fought this virus without the government leading the fight, please share. Otherwise, the real complaint is that the Trump administration has screwed this up when other governments around the world did not. (And if you want to tell us about Spain, Italy and France, save it. If we are really great, we will compare ourselves to best countries, not the worst.)

        1. Dr. Fauci got this wrong from the very beginning. In December, he was asked if we, in the US, should worry about the virus. He said no. When it showed up here, he was asked again, if the rest of the country should worry. Again, he said no. Then he completely changed his tune and projected that millions would become infected and that hundreds of thousands would die. It doesn’t look nearly as bad as all that. So, apparently, the administration has been listening to the wrong guy all along. No wonder they look incompetent.

        2. It’s the bureaucracy – CDC and FDA – that failed us. They are apparatchiks in the Deep State, not necessarily political, just incompetent.

          1. No, I don’t think that is quite the case: the CDC, FDA and Dr. Fauci failing us. Truly, I don’t. BigT (and Lisa)…I think it is more likely the case that no one</b? could have foreseen the extreme contagion of the Wuhan coronavirus. In less than 90 days, the Wuhan coronavirus has circled the globe. That is unbelievable.

            Where I do fault our government: Testing! The rollout is terrible. We have 7-10 day delays in getting test results in NJ because Quest Diagnostics just sucks ass. That company CEO and their lab directors all need a serious ass-whupping.

            Add to that, we don’t have enough fucking tests. We have a lot of sick people walking around the People’s Republic of NJ because our incompetent governor, Phailing Phil Murphy, can’t manage jack-shit. They cannot get tests, they are slow to administer tests. Our drive through test centers are limited to 500 tests/day. Are you fucking kidding me?

            Get the phuck moving, phailing Phil!

        3. Trump listened to the scientists early. The scientists were wrong.

          Trump doesn’t listen to the scientists about treatments he wants made widely available.
          The scientists are right.

          What changed between these 2 scenarios?

        4. rltybites, The government response, esp. testing, has something to do with the difference in the mortality rate. But it’s little difficult to be to compare countries, especially ones that are so different. Did these countries, for example, have thousands of people flying in from China and Europe every day? How they determine whether a death is caused by the corona virus is also an issue.

          1. So you tested negative last week, will you visit your mom today?

    2. Fauci was on yesterday defending the models dropping from 2 million, to 200k, to 80k, and now down to 50k. He is taking all the credit for the lockdown… god forbid he admits their models were shit and over estimated death rates.

      1. The state governments and the MSM temporarily wrecked the economy.

        You know we have them dead to rights, when the MSM tries to weasel out of it and blame everyone else.

        We have the Diamond Princess as a perfect example of how dangerous this virus would be and the media purposely ran with the “sky is falling” Narrative. Out of 3700 passengers and crew, only 700 got infected. Everyone was tested. Only 12 died.

        That “test group” exposed that this virus is no more dangerous than the seasonal Flu/Cold, that most people exposed would not necessarily get infected, and it would only kill very few infected.

        1. Notice how we’ve heard almost nothing about that in the MSM? An N=3700 makes it clearly statistically significant. And to the degree the sample isn’t random, if anything it skews the results on the side of overstating infections and deaths. Cruise ship populations are older. Close quarters and eating at buffets. Drinking a lot (OK well that’s just me).

        2. 12/3700 is a death rate of 0.32%. The usual death rate for seasonal flu is 0.1%. So COVID-19 is over three times as deadly as the flu. Actually, it’s far worse than that. It’s 12/700 among infected persons. That’s a death rate of 1.7%. COVID-19 is 17 times as deadly as flu. Treat it — and numbers — with respect.

          1. Pardon me, but you have to take into account the demographics of the population on that ship. I’m assuming the average age onboard was over 60. You can’t just ignore that.

          2. The “usual death rate for seasonal flu” is an ESTIMATE, since they don’t know how many have been infected, only the number that die.
            Current seasonal flu confirmed cases, versus seasonal flu deaths is around 10%. Far higher than your 1.7% for the Kung-flu.

          3. 12/700 = 0.01714

          4. 12/700 = 0.01714
            12/3700 = 0.00324

        3. This Wuhan Flu is just that and only the AMA and Big Pharma are continue to upgrade it through their minions in the FDA and CDC.

      2. Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals 101. Always take full advantage of a crisis, and if there is no crisis manufacture one and then take credit for “solving” it.

      3. Fauci was on yesterday defending the models dropping from 2 million, to 200k, to 80k, and now down to 50k.

        Jesse, could you provide a source for that? Not disputing your claim; I’d love to have that reference handy.

        1. It was covered on the news. I admit I paraphrased but he credited the distancing as the reason for model numbers, not updates to the model. It was I believe from the previous covid update from the rose garden.

        2. The Gateway Pundit covers well the history over the past six days of the lowering of the death projections:

          https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/stunning-ihme-reduces-model-predictions-now-say-peak-easter-60000-deaths-like-typical-flu/

      4. Eisenhower warned about the Military-Industrial Complex, but the current Medical-Big Pharma- Industrial Complex blows it away a million times over!!….All these WHO/CDC higher ups & scum like Bill Gates (pushing hard for a global mandatory vaccine he has a patent to) are DEVILS, as are our most of our state & federal leaders!!!..America does not have a HealthCare System, we have a DeathCare System & profits rule all moves & decisions!…After this fiasco, NOTHING will ever be the same in our lives: Think things like having to prove immunity to go outside, forced drugs & vaccines, etc…

      5. The model of 1 million deaths was just to provide cover for Trump’s failings. If we only have 50,000 deaths then he will go around bragging about what a great job he did. Never mind that the countries that did a great job have a death rate that is just a fraction of ours.

        1. Americans immune systems are crap from all the pharmaceutical poisons, terrible processed food & lack of exercise! That is why we have higher death rates!

          1. Well that certainly is one reason but another is that they are inflating the numbers by counting ALL DEATHS where a person tested positive (but may not necessary have died FROM Covid19.) They do this with opioid RELATED deaths as well.

      6. Of course, the 200,000 death guesstimate was based on people sheltering in place and isolating, so when they lower the guesstimate to 50,000, they can’t attribute it to sheltering in place and isolating.

    3. The point is to ensure you are forcibly vaccinated. We won’t be antibody testingG the masses before administering the next big vaccine. I’m an RN- if you had any idea what a fight you have to put up just to be antibody rested for other very well-known diseases to decline these mandates, you’d understand this. You aren’t allowed to say no.
      This entire debacle could not BE prevented. It could have been mitigated through the voluntary quarantining of those at risk and by quarantining those who were ill. No you cannot quarantine the well with or without “silent” symptoms since all viruses work this way and we’ll be under martial law the rest of our lives.
      I keep calling foul on this entire narrative because PEOPLE DIE and safety from all risk
      is the not the government’s priority.

      1. BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4. Yep, a right wing governments failure to protect the health and well being of the citizens of the country while fighting to prevent those same people from having better access to healthcare, education, and the ability to vote should put everyone off of socialism. Totally makes sense. Nothing wrong with that statement at all.

      1. SchmieJoe, congrats! You win Stupidest Post of the Day!

    5. Which kind? There was the christian socialism of TR and Woody Wilson which saddled Harding with a collapsing economy and rapid growth of looter communism. Nullification solved that until Herb Hoover was saddled with the Increased Penalties Act. The resulting crash and Depression increased communist party membership steeply so that when FDR took office fanatical looters were everywhere. So of course the income tax amendment was retained and Depression worsened. Christian national or soviet international socialism–any way you look at it you lose!

    6. The article is accurate but leaves out the part about Trump gathering up the resources of private enterprise which is saving the day. Abbot labs 5 minute test and other labs doing test results would not have been possible if we relied on the bureaucracy’s CDC.

  2. I have read this post, this is really informative.

    1. You’re Nigerian link fell off.

        1. I thought the semicolon got lost.

    2. Could I get contact information for the FleekYou Salon? My governor says I’m not allowed to get a haircut, so perhaps a trip to Paschim Vihar is in order. Thank you.

      1. Seriously I am close to man tail territory now.

  3. Certainly, there have been massive fuckups, but politicians and the media have not reacted rationally either. They’re idea seemed to be, “When we don’t know anything, we must do something!”.

    Media overreacts to sell their stories, politicians overreact to become blameless.

    1. Media also freaks out because national media reporters are centered in cities which are currently in panic mode (many cases rightfully so). Politicians also overreact because they live and work in urban areas as well. Most of the country, while also affected, is not overwhelmed.

      1. ” in cities which are currently in panic mode (many cases rightfully so).”

        There is never a right time to panic. Panic based responses to anything, even genuine emergencies will be counter productive more often than they will be helpful.

      2. Agreed.

        “Everyone I know voted for…” “Every hospital I know is overwhelmed…”

    2. “Certainly, there have been massive fuckups, but politicians and the media have not reacted rationally either.”

      Private business, too. The airlines required government intervention to stop them from flying passengers in from infected areas like China.

      1. “Private business, too. The airlines required government intervention to stop them from flying passengers in from infected areas like China.”

        Pick them cherries, you pathetic piece of shit.

        1. You have such an unfriendly way of agreeing with me.

      2. That’s one way to look at it. Of course, Fauci was saying this wasn’t going to be a major problem for the U.S. and the media were revving up the racist and xenophobe story lines, so restricting travel from China would have been a bad look for the airlines. Imagine the flak they would have caught for halting travel before the government order.

        1. ” so restricting travel from China would have been a bad look for the airlines.”

          You think that’s why the airlines chose to continue to fly passengers in and out of infected areas? I think the impulse to continue ‘business as usual’ was much stronger.

          1. If by business as usual you mean…”trying to make decisions that would balance public safety while maintaining a break even revenue stream to cover costs”

            Then yeah, I agree. Businesses are actual functioning entities, and they require intake and output to remain functioning. And their survival is vital to the survival of all their employees and corollaries.

            But i guess we should have closed all airlines, public transit, border crossings into high-infection states, deliveries, private transit, gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery stores in your country…because they all remain open to keep us as near to “business as usual” as possible. How EVIL of them. Literally deadlier than “orange hitler” is “business as usual”.

            1. “Then yeah, I agree.”

              I’m glad you agree and have the courage to admit it. The idea that airlines continued to fly people in and out of infected areas because they were afraid of government reprisals or leftist approbation is ridiculous.

              “But i guess we should have closed all airlines”

              We didn’t do this, the government did, as I pointed out in my original comment. The airlines continued to fly passengers in and out of infected areas until the government ordered them to put a stop to it.

      3. If the airlines had stopped flights on their own the screams of outrage would have been on every broadcast forever and a day from the media and the left and probably everyone else.

        1. “If the airlines had stopped flights on their own the screams of outrage would have been on every broadcast ”

          You think that’s why the airlines chose to continue to fly passengers in and out of infected areas? I think the impulse to continue ‘business as usual’ was much stronger.

          1. There are other factors at play as well. One of the things that the feds did when they started restricting air travel was to lift the quota of routes that airlines had to fulfill in order to keep those routes. They had to fulfill something like 80% of their total amount, or they lose the route to a competitor. Those didn’t get lifted until after the travel ban. I don’t know the specifics of regs involving routes to China, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was similar.

            So in some areas it was a government regulation that was driving people’s actions, not just simple greed.

            1. It was undoubtedly a mixture of greed and corporate inertia. I really don’t think that placating a handful of America’s leftists was high among their priorities. Instead of taking a leading role, they waited for government direction.

              “They had to fulfill something like 80% of their total amount, or they lose the route to a competitor.”

              I don’t think any airlines lost routes for this reason and I don’t think governments threatened to take away routes for this reason.

              1. They didn’t in the States because the FAA pulled the regulations covering it shortly after the travel bans were implemented. I’m trying to find the article, but can’t because I don’t remember where I read it and there’s so much coronavirus content.

                1. The airlines are also to be major beneficiaries of the bailout as I undersstand. I’m sure fear of losing routes or other reprisals over regulatory problems are the least of their concerns given their cozy relationship with government.

          2. If your going to copy paste replies so am i.

            If by business as usual you mean…”trying to make decisions that would balance public safety while maintaining a break even revenue stream to cover costs”
            Then yeah, I agree. Businesses are actual functioning entities, and they require intake and output to remain functioning. And their survival is vital to the survival of all their employees and corollaries.
            But i guess we should have closed all airlines, public transit, border crossings into high-infection states, deliveries, private transit, gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery stores in your country…because they all remain open to keep us as near to “business as usual” as possible. How EVIL of them. Literally deadlier than “orange hitler” is “business as usual”.

        2. Plus, probably a few discrimination lawsuits.

          1. I don’t think that the airlines continued to fly passengers in and out of infected areas because they were afraid of lawsuits, do you? Who do you imagine suing them, anyway?

            1. It doesn’t require lawsuits to kill your revenue. It only takes a few of your favorite news networks saying “look x named airline is xenophobic and bigoted just like our president! We better get joe Biden to comment on it!”

              You effing tardbucket.

              1. You don’t really believe that airlines continued to fly people in and out of infected areas because they were afraid of negative press coverage, do you? The relationship between the airlines and government is cozy as I mentioned before. The relationship between the airlines and the corporate media is just as cozy. You shouldn’t need me to tell you this.

  4. “Iceland—which has tested more than 8 percent of its population for the virus, 14 times the U.S. rate”

    We are still going with this? The one time Reason normalizes data and it is between two populations vastly different in size and makeup? Going to ignore the shortage of chemicals needed to make tests?

    Look. Population testing should be random sample at most, not 100% testing. New viruses will always appear, are we going to do widespread testing for each and every one? We dont do it for the flu, we didnt do it for SARS, we didnt do it for ebola… so what prescient site were you using in january to deem this the virus to test everyone?

    We would be better off realizing that humans and animals have been in a fight with disease since inception. It is the Red Queen version of evolutionary biology. Instead of saving every damn life no matter the cost, realize humanity isnt fragile. A death if 0.05% of the population is statistical noise. This is especially true when the pandemic overly targets those near death anyways. This response is worse than the pandemic. Stop advocating for making this response the norm.

  5. You know what Sollum? Fuck You.

    YOU helped wreck this economy, you asshole. Every journalist like you who wanted to portray EVERY government action as a clusterfuck from the beginning. I worked for 10 years in Incident Management, and the people like you are worse than the most incompetent engineer. An incident is going and looki-loos pop onto the call, and bitch and moan while doing exactly nothing to help. They indict a process of trial and error because it happens- by necessity- to have error in it. Eventually the actual incident responders are afraid to do anything other than shut down the entire system because they think anything else will get them fired.

    The US response to this GLOBAL pandemic has been middling at best, and there is much to consider for the future. But compared to the rest of the world, we are also middling. Our deaths per 1 Million people sits at 39- better than pretty much all of Europe. Compare that to the deaths of Flu season- 101 deaths per million. If the CDC is so uniquely responsible for this shit show,

    Testing? Give me a fucking break. Yeah, a couple countries- with recent SARS experience- managed to use testing effectively to backtrace and isolate the virus. Alternatively, the scale we’d have had to operate at was just too big. 2/3rds of South Korea’s population lives in just 3 cities, and the country has 2 International airports. Meanwhile the US has near 140 International Airports. This virus cannot be traced to one or two people coming into the country, because it was coming in by the hundreds or thousands.

    Scale this bullshit up. Even with their abilities to mass manufacture, it took 4 weeks to scale up Korea to “thousands per day” testing abilities. By 7 weeks, they were up to 300,000 tests administered. We have 6x the population of South Korea, but our country is spread waaaay out. In order for the US to achieve the same test distribution, we’d have had to be testing thousands BEFORE Korea was even testing hundreds. Their first “drive through” testing station came on line 1 month after the first cases, and they eventually had around 500 testing centers. The US would have needed 10x that. I am sure it is possible, but the idea of getting 6x the number of tests to 5,000 testing centers created out of whole cloth in a month seems unrealistic.

    So here we are- the US doing moderately better than most of Europe- but not as good as a couple small nation-states. If the US government is at fauly for not being South Korea, should they get credit for not being Italy?

    1. ^^ If the CDC is so uniquely responsible for this shit show, then explain how it impacted Europe.

      1. Because the Euros have an even WORSE case of government intervention, you idiot.
        You claim to have had a job?

        1. Whoa there, Sevo…I often agree with you, but no idea what the fuck you’re talking about here. Overt made an anti-intervention case. He was just expanding the blame to idiot journalists for whipping bureaucrats into a panic and pushing them to overreact out of fear of being blamed.

          I think you misread his piece.

          1. Hoot’s right. The media jumped on this and over hyped it. If this wasn’t a Presidential election year, odds are that things would have been done differently. There’s enough blame here for both sides, but, the media needs to be held accountable as well. Even now they are reporting the number of total infected. Since they are NOT reporting the number sent home to recover and the number that have recovered it is misleading.

            As far as the CDC and FDA goes, well if they were doing their job, instead of allowing mission creep to take over things could have been better. The FDA was too busy aiding trial lawyers in their bullshit lawsuits against vaping companies to do it’s job. While the CDC was too busy supporting the anti-gun and “anti-bullying” agendas to do the job it was created for.

            In all fairness both organizations were chasing funding. The trial lawyers, and other organizations were using them as mouthpieces and paying them for it.
            When this first started all these organizations could see were dollar signs.

    2. “…Every journalist like you who wanted to portray EVERY government action as a clusterfuck from the beginning. I worked for 10 years in Incident Management, and the people like you are worse than the most incompetent engineer…”

      Fuck you with a running chain saw.
      Every statist asshole like you is to blame for this, you pathetic piece of shit.

      1. What did I say that was AT ALL statist?

        For the record, I have been saying this lockdown is bullshit for the past 3 weeks. But the reason for this lockdown isn’t that the FDA and CDC kept us from getting hundreds of thousands of tests in a couple weeks. The reason is that an unforgiving press has taken dire and inaccurate projections and used them to crucify any politician that doesn’t look like they are taking things seriously enough.

        1. Completely agree.

          After watching many of the President’s daily briefings, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best thing the press could do to help this country is literally set themselves on fire and burn themselves to death. They drove a lot of this overreaction because of their “Orange Man Bad” bullshit.

          And Sullum is squarely in that camp of shitbags.

      2. Wow, that escalated quickly.

      3. I think the phrase you’re looking for is some variant of “sodomize with a chain saw”. You’re welcome.

    3. There are two key differences between private businesses and government:

      Businesses can go bankrupt, and it is their owners who pay the consequences, so they do a much better job at keeping their businesses under control.

      Government has an unblemished record of fucking up. Everything government does is incompetent. Even those few tasks which sort of barely end up doing what they were supposed to do (Apollo) end up costing way more than anticipated, and quickly morph into the usual incompetent staff-building exercise (Space Shuttle, ISS). Even the one core definition of government, Violence In Support of Survival, is better handled by, say, the Mafia.

      Fuck off, slaver. Go apologize somewhere else.

      1. You clearly don’t understand what I was saying.

        Sollum is the one who expects governments to be perfect. He is the one that is postulating that if our government had the right Top Men, we could have followed the Korean model and somehow had testing at 140 international airports backtracing every person who had the virus flying into our country. I am skeptical, but I admit it is possible.

        I personally DON’T think the government can ever be omniscient and infallible. I assume they are going to be inefficient and make mistakes.

        The reason our economy was pitched off a cliff isn’t because we don’t have testing in place. Norway has testing in place, and their fucking economy is shut down. Germany has testing in place, and their fucking economy is shut down. Italy did not have good testing in place and their economy is shut down. Sweden doesn’t have good testing, and their economy is still running.

        Economies are shut down because the world has lost its fucking mind not because of the prevalence of testing. And that is largely because people like Sollum are out there pushing this narrative that Government SHOULD be doing something that can prevent this disease. And so Politicians, afraid of being accused of doing nothing, are reaching for the gun and shutting down this country.

        1. I’m amazed at the strident blow-back that you are receiving. I thought you analysis was fairly spot on. Seems in the time of Corona, people are at fever pitch of irrational anger and hyper criticism.

          1. Agreed. I think also in this forum, some of us get in the habit of skimming what others write, since many of us don’t even bother to read the dreck the Reason propagandists crap out before commenting.

            I often agree with Sevo and feel I’ve gotten fairly familiar with his line of thinking, and what Overt said is generally compatible with that. I think Sevo misinterpreted Overt’s argument…it was definitely not statist.

          2. Agreed as well.

    4. Auditioning for Angry Sockpuppets, the movie!

  6. thanks for sharing this useful information

  7. “ those tests have been limited mainly to people with symptoms severe enough for them to seek treatment. Since people infected by COVID-19 typically experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, that’s a real problem.”

    In Ohio, with those same limitations on testing (plus testing healthcare workers), they are returning fewer than 10% positive results. It would seem that the population being tested is more likely to be positive, yet the results don’t reflect that. Neither our governor, nor our doctor has explained why, they just continue to pat themselves on the back for the great job they’re doing (over a quarter of a million people have been forced out of work).

    1. Yep. In WI, we are running an overall positive rate of 8%. But it’s even more interesting when you consider that Milwaukee County has an 18.4% positive rate, and has administered over 23% of all tests in the state. That leaves a 5% positive rate for anywhere in the state that is not Milwaukee County. If you removed the adjacent counties, it would probably be 4% or less for anywhere that is not part of the Milwaukee metro. So why can’t I go to a bar or restaurant in my rural county? Why does the shop owner need to go bankrupt? It’s ridiculous.

      1. “Why does the shop owner need to go bankrupt? It’s ridiculous.”

        Is it not also ridiculous that Milwaukee business owners need to go bankrupt?

        1. The guy responding to a post where the poster is using “case by case” logic…fails to comprehend what “case by case” means.

          +1 for your ignorance

          1. I understand what case by case means. I’m pointing out that the commenter has no problem with the case of urban businesses go bust. It is apparently unridiculous. Bankruptcy only becomes ridiculous when rural businesses go bankrupt. Personally, I think businesses going bankrupt in urban areas is also ridiculous given the huge bailout the government is doling out. It only seems fair that some of the funds should go to troubled urban and rural businesses.

  8. But if not for ignorance, what would most politicians have to offer?

  9. “Since people infected by COVID-19 typically experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, that’s a real problem.”

    Do you even read what your hand is writing? If almost no one experiences the virus as other than mild or no symptoms, there’s No. Fucking. Problem. None of this shit was necessary. None. Fuck you and fuck your testing.

    1. This double talk by the panic brigade is infuriating. In one breath we need to be super scared because it’s a super deadly virus that kills 10+% of everyone it infects and makes the rest wish they were dead; in the next, for every person who exhibits symptoms and goes to the hospital, there are 10 who don’t show symptoms and are infecting everyone, so we need to be super scared because everyone is getting it. Umm, if the second statement is true, the only way the first can also be true is if the asymptomatic spread only occurs during an incubation period, in which case eventually they will all turn symptomatic and be subjected to the super high hospitalization/fatality rate. But if BOTH OF THOSE are true, then at a minimum, we should see packed hospitals and bodies everywhere after one incubation period. Which the panic brigade likes to say is 14 days at least, but reality shows is at most 5 days on average, with 14 days being a very, very far extreme. But even if we use 14 days (or 21), we are entering a month of full on crisis mode where everyone should be infected. Certainly everyone in the rube states where they aren’t smart enough to lock themselves in their basements should be. But we aren’t. No bodies, no overflowing hospitals unless you live in Queens or the Bronx or Detroit or NOLA or other similar urban areas.

      1. The “overflowing morgues” news stories are a joke as well. I have a friend who works in a morgue and they are always overflowing, particularly in large cities. There is nothing unusual about an overflowing morgue. In fact the “close everything” crisis is actually contributing to the overflowing morgue problem because less people are holding funeral services meaning less bodies leave the morgue while, obviously, the same number of bodies are flowing in.

        But now you can report that the local morgue is “at capacity” and just leave it to the readers to assume that it must be because of coronavirus. You can’t call it “fake news” because it’s technically true that the morgues are full, but breathlessly reporting on it now of all times is simply stirring the pot for clicks.

  10. Since the primary reason for testing is to inform government, then government is the one to choose whether tests are up to the task. And the simple fact is that early on, the tests were not validated enough for widespread testing to be useful for that purpose.

  11. Yes but it’s all Trump’s fault and if Hillary Clinton had been president the FDA and CDC would have performed perfectly!

    Right?

  12. leave it to the libertarians to care more about the economy than sick people. Q.E.D.

    1. There’s a balance to be found, and the folks here are pointing out that the government response has been extreme, when it should have been measured.

      The virus is not just the flu, but it’s also not the plague. The response should be intermediate. The lack of reliable data, and the desire of news media and politicians to fan the flames of any crisis (to justify their worth), drove the narrative that we are all about to die.

      The whole aim of practical politics [and journalism] is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. H L Mencken

      But you can be sure the lesson won’t be learned.

  13. Why aren’t we adopting an approach that targets the two high-risk groups? It has been obvious for at least three weeks that the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths are occurring among people aged 65 and above and among the medically ill.

    According to the CDC’s provisional death numbers, as of two days ago in the U.S., 79.1% of U.S. COVID-19 deaths have occurred among people aged 65 and above. Conversely, far below 1% of our COVID-19 deaths have occurred among people aged 24 and below. How far below 1%? 0.09%, or 11 times lower than 1%, or 11 times lower than 1 out of 100.

    Fewer than 1% of our COVID-19 deaths have occurred among people aged 34 and below. Fewer than 4% of our COVID-19 deaths have occurred among people aged 44 and below. Fewer than 9% of our COVID-19 deaths have occurred among people aged 54 and below.

    Why can’t we impose stay-at-home orders on ages 65+ and the medically ill and ban them from social gatherings of any size, and let everyone else go back to normal life? This would enable us to reopen our schools and businesses. This would also protect the most vulnerable, keep the death numbers to a tolerable minimum, and allow us to achieve herd immunity.

    1. This would have been a measured approach. Others might include persons with compromised immune systems. Providing assistance to the impacted groups – waving co-pays, free deliveries, relaxed tax deadlines, etc – would allow them to accept the restrictions better.

      Instead we got a one size fits all approach.

    2. The problem with that is that some healthy young people also become so ill as to require intensive care; most of these recover, but only by heavy use of scarce medical personnel and equipment for several weeks. The rate of such complications is unknown, but it’s not likely to be lower than 0.1%. If 100 million get infected at about the same time (within a few weeks), that’s at least 100,000 needed ICU’s, _besides_ the usual rate of ICU cases and whatever old and ill people become infected despite precautions and need ICU’s. We don’t have anywhere near that much spare capacity. Once the capacity is exceeded, either doctors or government bureaucrats will be deciding who gets into the ICU and who is left to die – and no matter how those decisions are made, the death rate would soar. But if we can spread those cases out over the spring and summer, we’ll be fine – and that requires that even healthy young people try to avoid contacts for a while.

      Auto companies making ventilators won’t help much, even if they miraculously maintain quality while bypassing all the normal paperwork and the 3-year long new product introduction process that ensures that quality. There aren’t enough trained ICU nurses for much of an expansion, and that training takes time.

  14. I’m waiting for Reason to come out with “free people make their own decisions” point of view , you know actually libertarian.

    We’re at that point. The HC system is nowhere near overload. So the decision to go outside and “risk it” should be an individuate choice.

    If you’re vulnerable or just felling vulnerable stay in and isolate. If you do that those going outside and infect you.

    1. That is those going outside will NOT infect you

      1. Make up your mind!

  15. A few weeks ago all I saw in Reason was accolades to Sweden’s ‘non-regulated’ approach and complaints about government spending. Reason didn’t show any leadership or provide any useful insight. The perspective in this article is old news to anyone paying attention. Now the libertarian perspective is to say CDC didn’t do enough or spend enough.

    Reason is an idiotic publication that just spits up whatever Trump is saying. When Trump was calling this a ‘hoax’ you did everything wrong, except call this ‘COVID-19 derangement syndrome.’

    No wonder the biggest Libertarian candidate in recent history was Joe Exotic.

    1. Iceland has 0.1% of the population of the US. Much easier to test a large segment of the populace there.

    2. Sorry, didn’t mean to reply to this comment.

  16. Reason.com 2020: Government wasn’t big enough and intervention wasn’t strong enough! Omnomnom, tasty boot!

  17. I live in Canada and the response has been no less inept than the U.S. Delays in testing, inability to make test kits to allow more widespread testing, earlier denunciations of any suggestion of travel bans as RAAACISSST, etc.

    Now businesses are shuttered (and many won’t ever reopen), our Boy King is in his 5th week and counting of social isolation and during the few minutes a day he emerges from his rabbit hole looks like a deer caught in the headlights. People are being cited and fined for…walking their dog in an empty park when no one else is around;
    We’ve destroyed the house to kill a fly and I don’t expect any honesty or soul-searching from our public officials if and when the dust from this ever settles

    1. The only way you’ll get soul-searching from them is to kick them out of office. That’s the only consequence they care about…losing their jobs.

  18. Another fake piece of news…the flattening the curve graph. When you have a socialist media, CDC, FDA, WHO and DC government, are going to get a tidal wave of false info designed to scare us to death. It is all big time BS. Millions of people die from all kinds of causes around the world every year and no economy shuts down in mourning or to save a few lives, many of which are people sick and ill already. We must fight back or Communists like Bill Gates will shut the world down for the next 18 months.

    1. I like your point on Communism and I state it’s uner reported and insidious infiltration into the United States in every category… higher education, media, economy, corporations.

      Here is a decent compilation of timeline from EPOCH TIMES (NTD) on what was coming out of China and what the WHO was parroting to the globe in Dec-March. One might be served to look here when postulating the USA failure to act with clarity is solely on the backs of US politicians and the incumbent bureaucracies. That said watch…

      https://youtu.be/Le_rfTdayLs

  19. How Voting For Someone to Rule Over You Wrecked the Economy

  20. How can you compare Iceland with the US. Seriously…Iceland has a population of 364k…US 340 million…think about that one. Do we even have a state with such a small population to compare it to? I dont think so.

    1. Wyoming and Vermont have populations more than Iceland, but less than twice as much. But if Iceland has COVID-19 under control, I suspect it’s because it has the lowest population density in Europe. Wyoming has an even lower population density, and I’d be surprised if there are many cases outside of the biggest cities. Vermont has a much higher population density. I’ll bet Vermont has a much higher infection rate than Iceland or Wyoming…

  21. The fiasco is one hundred percent the result of Donald Trump making it clear he would not allow anyone to take the threat seriously or their heads would roll. It is “government engineered” true, but Trump was 100 percent of the engineering.

    1. He had 0% power to stop governors from shutting states down you fucking moron.

  22. CDC and FDA did nothing to the economy. They scared the politicians into killing the economy. And they scared the public into thinking that was necessary. Fauci the panic-spreading soothsayer must be on the emotional high of his 50+ year bureaucratic career. The models were all wrong because models of complex systems are always wrong, and they are always wrong because they attempt to oversimplify reality. When human behavior is involved in the models, the models are invariably designed to underestimate the intelligence, resourcefulness, and creativity of individuals. Epidemiological models tend to be wildly biased on the side of maximum disaster (much like climate change models) because they incorporate too many worst case assumptions. Models are a fraud intended to create an aura of expertise surrounding the opinions of would-be rulers. Politicians need “experts” to rely on to justify suppression of liberty and dispossession of property.

    1. Yes – could not have stated your assay on models and related human behavior better.

      1. All models are wrong. Some are useful.

  23. We should learn from the failure of climate models that all models have high failure rates and using them to make public policy is wrong and a folly.

    1. YES! Models are misconceived by the general public. The public is lead to believe that models are somehow facts. See a prediction and walk away that it is established fact…

    2. I hope people learn. But it has been a quick shift to: listen to “experts, data and science” from “the bat-shit crazy 16-year old professional scold.”

  24. Iceland also has a population 0.1% as large as the US.

    1. And a population density lower than 47 states, all but Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming. I’d be surprised if those three states, with higher populations than Iceland but much more land, have more cases per capita. I also expect that for these states as well as Iceland, nearly all of the cases are in cities and suburbs – and it’s the same even in the much higher population of Michigan, with over 90% of the known cases, over 90% of the deaths, and about half the population within about 60 miles of Detroit.

  25. If you have the patience to watch, this is a very instructive, scientific look at things. Late March..

    https://youtu.be/d6MZy-2fcBw

  26. Here is a decent compilation of timeline from EPOCH TIMES (NTD) on what was coming out of China and what the WHO was parroting to the globe in Dec-March. One might be served to look here when postulating the USA failure to act with clarity is solely on the backs of US politicians and the incumbent bureaucracies. That said watch…

    https://youtu.be/Le_rfTdayLs

  27. In 2009, the the first case of of H1N1 was detected on April 15. 9 days later the CDC published the genome for the new virus allowing labs around the world to create tests. On May 1, the CDC (less than 3 weeks after first case detected) began shipping tests to states. By May 18, 40 states had testing abilities with several states using multiple sites. We also, over time, sent test kits to 250 foreign labs. By contrast, with the coronavirus, we didn’t have working tests in labs outside of the CDC for weeks and weeks. Our first covid19 case was found on Jan. 20th, (same day Germany created its test) It took us until March 5, two months after China notified WHO of the new virus to test a total of 1,000 people. How did the Trump administration screw up a process that worked so well in 2009 and helped us avoid catastrophes when the Zika and Ebola viruses threatened us? In 2009, the CDC was the wonder of the world in its response. Now, we all wonder what the hell went wrong.

  28. Media freaks out to keep you from realizing that the FATF president is a communist Chinese infiltrator making prohibitionist asset forfeiture, fines, imprisonment and Room 101 decisions for the fractional reserve banking system. That entity crashed the market 19FEB2020 in Paris. Only then was CNN given the green light to shriek about the commievirus epidemic that could no longer be covered up anyway. It’s like the doc telling the patient “you have AIDS… and Alzheimer’s”

  29. If you really want to know how bad the US Govt and CDC have been then consider this. In the 2018-2019 winter, a year ago, the US had a record number of “influenza-like” deaths. The normal level of about 45000 per annum jumped to 80,000.

    This could actually be the second year with this virus.

    1. Mr Sullum,
      It is public knowledge that the current administration dismantled the CDC pandemic response team – as early as mid 2018 when Dr. Linda Quick’s position as training epidemiologist- on the ground IN China, incidentally- was eliminated. It is also public knowledge- information you most certainly should know, and have access to, that the current administration has regularly and systematically chosen to disregard pandemic response discourse and modeling activities by reducing budgets and/or contributions to WHO, CDC, and gutting the staffs of departments/agencies that monitor, train, collect data, and recommend strategies to react to various health-related events. Your accidental or intentional failure to address this aspect of the situation, by calling out CDC and FDA specifically, is not only a grave violation of your role as a journalist; it is an affront to any thinking person who has done any reading or research on the causes and effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

  30. So now it is clear. Uncritically pushing fake models has been about causing mass unemployment and institutionalizing election fraud.

  31. My burning question on this is: Was this delay in developing tests deep state foot dragging intended to hurt the nation and by extension Trump’s re-election chances, or was it a result of Trump’s decisions?
    I don’t know, but think the answer will influence our country for decades.

    1. Garden variety bureaucratic incompetence.

  32. President Truman had a sign on his desk that read “The buck stops here.”

    By contrast, President Trump and his apologists just keeps trying to pass the buck.

    A reminder – the FDA & CDC are both part of President Trump’s executive branch. This article ignores that fact.

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