Coronavirus

L.A. County Antibody Tests Suggest the Fatality Rate for COVID-19 Is Much Lower Than People Feared

The tests indicate that the number of infections in the county is around 40 times as high as the number of confirmed cases.

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Preliminary results from antibody tests in Los Angeles County indicate that the true number of COVID-19 infections is much higher than the number of confirmed cases there, which implies that the fatality rate is much lower than the official tallies suggest. "The mortality rate now has dropped a lot," Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said at a press briefing today. In contrast with the current crude case fatality rate of about 4.5 percent, she said, the study suggests that 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of people infected by the virus will die, which would make COVID-19 only somewhat more deadly than the seasonal flu.

Based on a representative sample of 863 adults tested early this month, researchers at the University of Southern California (USC), working in collaboration with the public health department, found that "approximately 4.1% of the county's adult population has antibody to the virus." Taking into account the statistical margin of error, the results indicate that "2.8% to 5.6% of the county's adult population has antibody to the virus—which translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who have had the infection." That is 28 to 55 times higher than the tally of confirmed cases at the time of the study.

As of noon today, Los Angeles County had reported 617 deaths out of 13,816 confirmed cases, which implies a fatality rate of 4.5 percent. Based on that death toll, the new study suggests the true fatality rate among everyone infected by the virus is somewhere between 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent (without taking into account people infected since the study was conducted). The lower end of that range is about the same as the estimated fatality rate for the seasonal flu.

"These results indicate that many persons may have been unknowingly infected and at risk of transmitting the virus to others," Ferrer said in a press release. "These findings underscore the importance of expanded polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to diagnose those with infection so they can be isolated and quarantined, while also maintaining the broad social distancing interventions."

Since the number of infections in Los Angeles County is much higher than the official numbers indicate, Ferrer said at the press briefing, the risk of infection is correspondingly higher, which reinforces the case for social distancing measures. At the same time, she said, the fact that 95 percent or so of the county's adult population remains uninfected shows those measures, including the statewide lockdown, are working. She also acknowledged that the revised estimate of the fatality rate, which is dramatically lower than many people feared, is good news for residents who are infected despite those precautions.

"The fatality rate is lower than we thought it would be," said Neeraj Sood, the USC public policy professor who oversaw the study. But he also emphasized that "we are very early in the epidemic," meaning the number of infections and the death toll are bound to rise.

Sood addressed two of the methodological concerns that were raised by a recent study of Santa Clara County residents, which likewise estimated that the COVID-19 fatality rate is not far from the rate for the flu. Critics of that study suggested it may have been undermined by biased sampling and false-positive antibody test results.

The sample for the Los Angeles County study, Sood said, was randomly drawn from a database maintained by the LRW Group, a market research firm. The researchers capped subjects representing specific demographic groups so the sample would reflect the county's adult population.

As for the accuracy of the antibody tests, Sood said validation by the distributor of the test kits, Premier Biotech, found a false positive rate of 0.5 percent in 371 samples. In subsequent tests by a Stanford laboratory, there were no false positives. "We think that the false positive rate of the tests is really low," Sood said.

While Ferrer portrayed the study as proof of the need for aggressive control measures, a fatality rate as low as the Los Angeles County and Santa Clara County tests suggest also changes the calculus of those policies' costs and benefits. If COVID-19 really is only a bit more lethal than the seasonal flu, the benefits that can be expected from continued lockdowns, in terms of deaths prevented, are much lower than most projections assumed. If these results are confirmed, they should play an important role in discussions about when and how to reopen the economy.

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  1. Who is this people? You an call them scared children Sullum.

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    3. Poor media. Another attempted coup to destroy America failed.

      Georgians have been doing almost normal routines for weeks now.

      6 weeks of KungFlu in the USA. 42,000 American deaths as of today. 1,000 per day. Less daily deaths than heart disease and falling fast.

      The 2017-18 Influenza killed 79,000 Americans in a season with 45 million Americans confirmed infected and millions more unconfirmed infected.

      1. “Georgians have been doing almost normal routines for weeks now. ”

        Something like 10% of the entire state has applied for unemployment benefits.

        1. So, normal?

  2. Well, though the fatality rate may be alarmingly low, we have to remember that 125% of the population is going to get infected which would mean that the seemingly insignificant .1% fatality rate translates to literally MILLIONS of people dying. Like tomorrow.

    1. Don’t forget the tens of millions in wave 2.

      1. wave 2 is coming folks! back in your cages I mean houses.

        1. Lockdown in style with Wave 2.0

          1. hey man as long as I get more free Showtime. I think they’re going to screw me 1 week shy of finishing season 8 of Homeland

        2. Surfers will rock wave 2.

    2. Not if 40% of those infected never show any symptoms, which is what the Stanford study suggested and this one supports. The problem is that we don’t know what the denominator is so we cannot compute an Infected Death Rate.

    3. No reason to keep us in lockdown. Always going to be something killing lots of people. Are we suppose to go on house arrest every year?

  3. Man, it’s a good thing we crashed the economy. Imagine how bad it would have been otherwise.

    1. I deserve a death free life!

      1. And all kinds of other free shit.

      2. Yep, and we crashed it over something that will be a lot less deadly once most healthcare workers have antibodies. The current mortality rate is what happens when the staff in nursing homes and cancer wards have no immunity and very little warning.

        1. Put together a few of the bits that are available. 1/3 of deaths in France = nursing homes. 1/4 deaths New York = nursing homes. Washington State outbreak swept through = nursing homes. You might be right. If the help doesn’t have antibodies the residents are dead.

          1. Doesn’t it seem rather odd too? There is no way the virus is seeking out those elderly and infirm people like some sort of guided missile – bypassing everyone else on it’s way to a population that is pretty darn isolated from the larger world.

            No, the prevalence of the virus is substantially higher, and it is only in those at-risk persons that it actually presents as illness.

            1. So, what you’re saying is, we’re not ALL GOING TO DIE?

              1. I’m pretty sure you’ve been dead at least 4 times in the last 4 years. You really need to pay more attention to the news.

  4. This only means we need more restrictions! I read the NYT, its my bible.

    1. Funny but true. Progressivism is the new religion for secular socialists. They have a complete ideology with some ridiculous beliefs, and those that question or challenge their dogma must be silenced and banished. They have abandoned any pretense of true liberal thinking–as in all devout believers.

  5. OMG, we are all going to die!

    Eventually.

    1. Please don’t tell the millennials. Their coddled upbringing did not allow for this discouraging truth.

      1. It’s not the millennials who are imposing the stay in place orders.

        1. No. They’re just cheerleading from the sidelines. As a millennial myself (admittedly, in NYC, so my perspective is likely skewed), it seems like millennials are overwhelmingly on board with the lockdowns.

          Just this morning I had an argument with a friend that insisted that the virus actually **kills** people “exponentially,” and that without social distancing, eventually, it would kill everyone. “One person can literally cause millions of deaths.” I couldn’t even fathom that degree of scientific illiteracy, or that a ton of other people I know came out in support of the notion, armed with righteous indignation at the fact that I would question such settled science.

          Millennials are dumb as shit, overall. The stay in place orders are so successful because the orders are being given to idiots.

          1. And also cuz most of them just stay in and watch Netflix all day, anyway.

          2. They’re largely a generation of pussies. So it’s easy to order them around.

      2. Hey, leave the millennials out of this!

  6. Even as reality intrudes upon the sacred territory of irrational hysterics, the fearmongering intensifies, the overreach expands, and our civil liberties continue to erode.

    The less deadly it becomes, the more intensely will we find ourselves scrutinized and controlled. Without the ability to sufficiently justify their prior excesses, our state and local governments will continue to expand the scope of their executive powers until the catastrophe at hand is perceived to be of such an astounding magnitude that relinquishing complete control will appear to be a non-starter.

    They will turn the very concept of freedom itself into an unfathomable absurdity.

    1. The liberal scum figured out immediately that there was no way in hell that worthless senile old asshole Joe Biden could possibly beat Trump under the status quo we had going. General American satisfaction was the highest it had been in years, and was rising.

      So they had to gamble on a massive hail mary play: wreck the world and hope like hell that people would blame Trump for what they did. It was the only chance they ever had, so it’s not surprising they would do it, being the shamleless cretins that they are.

      1. Fuck man… I’m busted. I told the Chinese that impeachment wasn’t going to work and we needed a Plan B. It looks like my plot has worked. Yay!

        1. No bro, he’s talking about your leaders not you nobodies.

        2. You’re nothing. Can’t even pay your mortgage.

    2. And the goal posts will shift. On ABC News tonight the study was mentioned, but mentioned nowhere was the implication for the death rate. I’m betting the average viewer will interpret the news as “OMG, a ton of people are sick!” and that may have been the intention. Instead, the piece focused on the fact that there’s no evidence that these infected people are now immune. When did anyone say that our goal is to get everyone immune? There is never any goods news for these people and nothing that would suggest we should reopen.

      1. Absolutely correct.

        The jury is still out on the details of SARS-CoV-2 immunity, but it seems likely that, as is the case with several other viruses in seasonal circulation, immunity will vary, sometimes dramatically, from person to person. Immunity is never going to supply a one-size-fits-all solution and, therefore, is as unreliable a metric for reopening the economy as the ambiguous curve we have been trying to flatten.

        If immunity was truly the goal, then attempting to minimize exposure to the virus was counterproductive. The lockdowns prove that obtaining largescale immunity is not now, and never has been the goal. Relying on immunity as a threshold for when we can return to work is a complete sleight of hand; a reason to extend the lockdowns indefinitely.

      2. The Pants-Shitting Brigade is desperately trying to suppress and deflect from it, but as more and more reports keep coming out about this and places like the homeless shelter in Chelsea, a lot of people will eventually just say, “fuck it, this isn’t any different than any other bad strain of common cold, and as long as I’m not a fat piece of shit, I should be okay.”

        1. I don’t know, man. It seems like every female I talk to about the subject is reflexively on board with the lockdowns; and not just the moms, either. The single and divorced chicks are even more Gung-ho than even the women with children (whose desire to protect their children is at least understandable, even if ultimately unsound).

          “Social distancing” is really taking off among the younger club sluts and divorcees like its the new abortion. They are militant about this shit to the point of absurdity. I had a chick blame me today for “literally” killing her father because I posted a question concerning scientific basis for the lockdowns.

          “Was there a basis for such restrictive government action?”

          ….was met with….

          “You literally killed my fucking dad! I couldn’t even bury him because of you and your stupid attitude. Stay the fuck inside!”

          Dudes, on the other hand, seem to split one way or the other; but I haven’t spoken to a single woman as of yet that has expressed an opinion against the lockdowns.

          Call me crazy but you have moms, club sluts, cat ladies, and divorcees united on this shit, a few angry guys aren’t going to shift the balance. I think we’re staying locked down for a good long while.

          1. I am living with one. She was over this bullshit weeks ago.

            1. She is also a registered libertarian, so………basically a unicorn :p

              1. Amen!

          2. You’ll like my Twitter feed! Singlish female against lockdown. The collateral damage is cruel and wasn’t necessary.

            1. Reply to Kaatje – what does singlish mean? Intriguing.

          3. Thankfully, my wife has been innoculated against this since the beginning. I finally got my healthcare worker sister-in-law to come around once I showed her the stats on the nursing home residents and the underlying conditions.

            But I get where you’re coming from. There’s a high percentage of women with two last names and women living off of their husband’s paycheck (the Venn diagram intersects some here) that are driving most of this panic. Another interesting panic demo has been retired men.

          4. There’s multiple women here against it.
            lap83 and (i assume) AprilJ.

            1. Yes, open up ASAP. With the warm weather starting we can probably avoid a bad rebound of the epidemic. I’m not someone who thinks it’s “just like a bad flu” but at some point, more lives will be ruined by the economic collapse than by the virus doing the rounds.

          5. Count me as one against.

            I’ll be one of the “virtue signalers” wearing a mask at the grocery store and I have masks for the whole family, but I’m over this.

            I don’t mind schools being out, but I’m ready to take my kids out of the f-ing house and see friends, eat out, go to the zoo, and the beach.

            And I want Joanne’s to let me into the damn store so I don’t need to rely on their crappy online inventory system to buy fabric for my hobbies.

            1. //fabric for my hobbies.//

              Like making homemade masks? 🙂

          6. Find some recent suicides or ODs in people who recently lost their jobs. Tell that bitch that she killed them.

          7. Oh my god, wow, you are totally right. Hot damn. Didn’t realize it until I read this.

          8. I’m a 67-year-old woman with a 70-year-old husband with heart disease. I am totally on board with the shelter-in-place orders for US!!!! We have elderly relatives who are even more at risk. They stay home and we help them do that without being miserable. HOWEVER . . . the vast majority of healthy people under the age of about 60 are going to be fine, and the sooner they gain immunity, the sooner we can all open up. This never-ending lockdown shit is pure theater, like a pat down by the TSA. No one wants to be the politician that “has blood on his hands,” so we are treated to endless recitations of worst-case scenarios and scary graphics.

      3. Yep yep! (NICE NAME BTW)

        First it was about flattening the curve, now its NO DEATHS.

        1. I won’t be happy till we get full resurrection

          1. Hell yea! I want everlasting life. I damn well DESERVE IT!

  7. Having predicted the actual situation correctly in no way cushions the blow of being ignored and ridiculed for months. The fact that there will be negligible repercussions for those who were so very, very wrong (2.2 million, 10% kill rates) will only encourage this same pants-shitting behavior in the future. After all, we could have been party to the deliberate and callous murder of Cuomo’s mom.

    For the next act, we can save her from global warming by adopting a completely unreliable power grid.

    1. “The fact that there will be negligible repercussions for those who were so very, very wrong (2.2 million, 10% kill rates)”
      The repercussions will be that they will continue to be treated as heroes. The conventional wisdom is being written as we speak. If not for Cuomo, Whitmer and the rest of these tyrants we’d be facing extinction. All else is conspiracy theory.

      1. And Nazis.

    2. Vote the bums out of office.

  8. Like seriously, I don’t know what to say anymore. Any news, no matter what (including/especially data showing that statistically, essentially no one dies from this) just further “reinforces the need for aggressive social distancing measures.” If tomorrow the studies showed that it was minimally contagious but more deadly, the takeaway would be the same. What the hell kind of world are we living in?

    1. I think it’s called dystopian.

  9. My neighbor lost his job. Doesn’t know how he’s gonna pay for little Timmy’s hysterectomy. He was really venting to me about his situation. Bearing his soulpain.

    But I said to him, “But look at how good the air quality is now.” And he felt ashamed for complaining.

    1. This is the kind of top-notch commentary for which I keep lurking in these here parts. Bravo.

      1. Yes 🙂

    2. The dolphins are returning to Venice!

      1. The Dolphins played in Venice before Miami?

    3. As long as Timmy has access to safe taxpayer paid abortion the hysterectomy can wait.

  10. While our left wing fearmongering scumbags like JSlave, Brandybuck, and sarcasmic have been busy trying to scare the shit out of us, some of us (like me) have been saying this from the earliest days of the martial law: that WAY more people were going to catch this highly contagious but harmless to most people virus.

    I’ve been right about pretty much everything I’ve said about this stupidity from day one.

    1. My surprised face.

    2. What I find funny is how the liberals are praising Cuomo. This is the guy that shutdown the Moreland Commission that was investigating corruption in NYS government because it caught his right hand man. A commission which he started, then abruptly shutdown.

  11. If this is indeed true then not only were the lockdowns an unnecessary infringement on our liberty but they were actually counterproductive. If we allow the virus to run its course then we will more sooner developed herd immunity. The lockdown has only delayed the process. Yes we should protect the vulnerable populations but the rest of us will more than likely be OK

    1. Clearly you are not an expert. Cause it says right in the article that genuine experts agree this just shows that we need to lock down harder.

      1. So I guess we will be going into lockdown every year during flu season

        1. Don’t give the maniacs any more ideas.

        2. Every Republican incumbent election flu season.

  12. Boy, all these old Trump supporters showing up at quarantine protests sure are going to enjoy a stay in the ICU. I’m staying home, drawing my fat paycheck and catching up on WestWorld. Damn! I’d sure like to violate that Dolores robot. I’m planning on jerking off a lot to that fantasy— not struggling to breathe n a ventilator because Dear Leader told me it was ok.

    1. Translation you’re going to jerk off to a picture of Nancy Pelosi wearing a Birx scarf.

      1. Wait… that’s not hot?

      2. And his ‘fat check’ is the unemployment he’s getting as a benefits cheat.

        He doesn’t even lay his mortgage.

    2. Right but you can’t even pay your mortgage.

      1. That’s OK, he’s on a rent strike.

    3. Boy, all these old Trump supporters showing up at quarantine protests sure are going to enjoy a stay in the ICU.

      Funny, I keep hearing that, and yet I’ve not developed BatCoof despite breaking my government-imposed house arrest every day and visiting the local grocery stores and gas stations.

      Too bad about your genetically inferior immune system that you can’t enjoy the company of society.

      1. His compromised immune system is probably from Diabetes. Probably scarfed down a box of ‘Ding Dongs’ whilst he binge the entire season of WestWorld.

    4. Ok. Let’s talk about the massive surge of death following the April 7 in-person voting in Wisconson. Or the skyrocketing death rates in Florida following spring break. How about the lethal outbreaks in Idaho where Bundy and his merry men gathered for Easter? Get back to me with those blood curdling stats and we’ll talk. In the meantime, I suggest you crawl back under your bed and make sure your government cheese hasn’t gone bad.

  13. Maybe if we had done testing like south korea we would have known this long ago. But Trump is an incompetent fool who couldn’t manage it. If indeed the death rate is lower, it isn’t the epidemiologists fault, who can only work with the available data. The tanking of the economy due to Trump’s failure to be the president he was elected to be is solely on his shoulders. The stable genius does have ultimate authority, doncha know?

    1. Right right atick woth the same old debunked shit, you made your play and it failed.

      No one needed to be tested. You and your ilk just needed to grow a pair and live in the world.

      1. amazing counter argument! bravo,

      2. It’s literally their only line.
        You’d think they’d have come up with at least one other thing for some variety by now

    2. “The tanking of the economy due to Trump’s failure ”

      You’re a coward because Trump failed?

      1. eurudite as always!

    3. “Maybe if we had done testing like south korea we would have known this long ago.”

      Lock your self in a room and fuck off, you cowardly piece of lefty shit.

      1. clever!

      2. *We* knew long ago that this wasn’t a big deal, based on the South Korean testing. People have been saying so on this board for a long time. It’s a bit rich of you to come out now and say that it’s our fault you interpreted the data incorrectly.

    4. It is the fault of those politicians who believed models based on data that was inadequate to make sound predictions. It is the fault of people who acted like tyrants the moment they perceived a hint of danger.

      And if South Korea did all the testing necessary, why couldn’t we use their data to conclude things? Did South Korean testing conclude that the rate was no worse than the flu? If it did, what was tanking the economy for exactly? All the politicians who are responsible for it had access to the data of South Korea. Why was it ignored in favor of the dire predictions of models based on flawed assumptions?

      If I recall, Trump once said that he thought Covid-19 was similar to the flu. Was he right? It wasn’t Trump who shut down the economy, it was governors and mayors.

      1. “” It wasn’t Trump who shut down the economy, it was governors and mayors””

        And they should be on the hook for the cost. Meanwhile, I hear Cuomo saying he expects the feds to make the state whole. He’s like a child tearing up his room, expecting the adults to pay for it.

        If you make the decisions, you should be on the hook for the costs.

        1. I set fire to my house because of a mouse problem. When are you going to pay me?

    5. And the walls are closing in!

    6. //If indeed the death rate is lower, it isn’t the epidemiologists fault, who can only work with the available data.//

      Of course. Nothing is the epidemiologists’ fault. Not one thing. They are just neutral observers of neutral and incontrovertible facts and they never make mistakes, draw speculative conclusions, or exhibit patterns of biased thinking.

      A bad model is just the result of bad facts. A good model is the result of good facts. The intermediary responsible for data entry and analysis is obviously irrelevant; a perfect, unerring conduit for truth.

    7. Absolutely, because god knows you would have stood up and cheered Trump if he had barged into CDC headquarters and ordered them to manufacture tests on the spot while bypassing every standing protocol effective January 1. Why stop there? Goddamit! Why doesn’t the Bad Orange Man just ORDER THEM TO MAKE THE VACCINES NOW! STAT!

  14. From day one the left has been wrong about everything, created fear when none was needed. And now they are realizing they’re going to pay the price in the 2020 election. What I know is that Trump wins reelection, keeps the Senate, and we hopefully get two more conservatives on the court. Fuck the left.

  15. “These findings underscore the importance of expanded polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to diagnose those with infection so they can be isolated and quarantined, while also maintaining the broad social distancing interventions.”
    No. These findings underscore the pure insanity of destroying the economy and suspending the constitutional rights of a couple hundred million Americans over a bad flu season.

    1. Ron Bailey has accordingly lowered his prediction, as data has come in, to just 250,000+ dead.
      He is the science-y guy after all

      1. Now, now. It wasn’t a prediction. It was merely a “for instance” random calculation based on numbers Bailey pulled out of his ass, so – technically – it doesn’t qualify as scaremongering, or misleading.

  16. 0.17% of the population of NYC has already died. I think that marks a lower bound.

    1. If the deaths had been confined to NYC politicians, police, and activists, it might be seen more positively.

    2. Over 98% of them were in pretty shitty health to begin with, so a bug like BatCoof was going to jackhammer them anyway.

    3. It means that they did a lousy job of keeping it from spreading in hospitals and nursing homes. I don’t think it sets a lower bound for the country as a whole. New York is different from the rest of the country in lots of ways that could affect mortality.

      1. So what DOES NY do with all that tax revenue from their massive tax structures? They sure are shit in this ‘crisis’.

  17. So if 3% has been infected and we need 60% for herd immunity then we should brace ourselves for a 20x increase in deaths?

    This is JUST LIKE THE FLU.

    1. No. It’s worse than the flu, but it is out there–in the population–and hiding for years on end while we wait for an bulletproof vaccine or treatment just isn’t possible.

  18. “The mortality rate now has dropped a lot,” Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said at a press briefing today.

    “And to make it drop still further, I am directing everyone residing in Los Angeles County to spread the virus as best they can.”

    1. What a world that would be. Politicians with some balls and common sense.

  19. So it turns out that up to 99.9% of those exposed will survive this virus and the vast majority won’t even know they had it. As a percentage of the total population the actual death rate amounts to a rounding error. Does this even qualify as an epidemic?

    1. It qualifies as an excuse to test totalitarian power, and it passed with flying colors.

    2. “Novelty” is the fresh, newly minted panic button for the next generation. The data and statistics concerning the actual lethality and infection for COVID-19 do not really matter. Every conceivable government intrusion is inherently justified because, at the end of the day, “we just don’t know what we’re dealing with.”

      1. Oh look. It’s the piece of shit who accused me of incest.

        Die in a fire you rotten piece of pond scum.

      2. At least with JesseAZ I acknowledged my mistake and apologized. Though he’s too much of a bitch to admit it.

        But you?

        You have no excuse.

        1. You forgot to log into your newly patented sock accounts before crying.

          1. Again.

        2. But you? You’ve become the biggest whiny bitch on these boards.

          1. It’s sad to see him break down so much

    3. Sure it’s an epidemic. The flu is an epidemic every year. Lots of things are epidemics. And up until now we have managed to deal with them without freaking the fuck out and doing stupid shit.

  20. You can either man up and get Coronavirus like a boss or you can sit home and jerk off like a fucking pussy.

    1. Fortunately, I suspect I already got it back in February. I’m looking forward to finding out as soon as I can so I can show my papers to the cops when Im walking alone on the beach.

      1. I was sicker than shit for the first two months of the year. I suspect I may have gotten it but I don’t know how. Other than family and random women I meet online to have sex with its not like I… oh. Maybe I got it from some floozy.

        1. Don’t call your mom names.

        2. Could be imaginary syphilis

        3. AmSoc in a wig and a dress is NOT a woman. No matter how hard you wish.

    2. Here, pussy pussy pussy.

    3. Finally, you’re talking some sense.

  21. this study proves the point. Trump shouldn’t have run off his Pandemic office at NSA. They could have advised him and he could have counseled the nation, and perhaps he then instructed his Executive Branch to swarm resources to acute places like NYC. all the while re-assuring us that we have to surge to some cities, but the rest of you all we be fine.

    i don’t seem to recall that’s how it unfolded.

    1. Guess he should have gotten better advice from someone other than Dr. Panic.

  22. “The new study suggests the true fatality rate among everyone infected by the virus is somewhere between 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent . . . The lower end of that range is about the same as the estimated fatality rate for the seasonal flu.

    . . . .

    “These findings underscore the importance of expanded polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to diagnose those with infection so they can be isolated and quarantined, while also maintaining the broad social distancing interventions.

    I don’t understand how or why those premises lead to that conclusion (in bold). If the fatality rate were much higher than expected, wouldn’t that also have meant we need to maintain “broad social distancing interventions”?

    Heads I win. Tails you lose?

    If the fatality rate more or less matching the seasonal flu doesn’t mean that “broad social distancing interventions” are unnecessary, then what test results do mean that forced social distancing and government inflicted lock-downs are unnecessary?

    Somehow it seems like they’ve decided that forced social distancing and lock-downs are necessary no matter what–and the rest of it is just fluff. Well here’s a news flash for the experts: making it against the law for people to reopen their businesses or go to work is an absurd and authoritarian imposition of the qualitative preferences of experts for safety–inflicted on those who do not share their qualitative preferences. And the qualitative preferences of experts are no more authoritative than the qualitative preferences of idiots.

    If the experts’ qualitative preference is for public safety over the public’s financial well-being and that qualitative preference is informed by statistics and facts, those statistics and facts don’t make the experts’ qualitative preferences any more authoritative than the qualitative preferences of people with room temperature IQs.

    If an expert prefers strawberry ice cream to vanilla because consuming locally sourced strawberries accurately decreases her carbon footprint by a factor of 0.4362 relative to vanilla, that doesn’t make her qualitative preference for strawberry any more authoritative than a down syndrome patient who prefers vanilla to strawberry because “it tastes good”.

    Qualitative preferences simply do not become scientific facts because they’re informed by science or facts, and the experts’ qualitative preference for our safety over our financial well-being has no authoritative basis.

    1. You quoted the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

      A real expert, Knut Wittkowski, says:

      “We are experiencing all sorts of counterproductive consequences of not well-thought-through policy …

      Well, we will see maybe a total of fewer cases—that is possible. However, we will see more cases among the elderly, because we have prevented the school children from creating herd immunity. And so, in the end, we will see more death because the school children don’t die, it’s the elderly people who die, we will see more death because of this social distancing …”

      aier .org/article/stand-up-for-your-rights-says-bio-statistican-knut-m-wittkowski/

      Like in economics, in public health the people paid by government advocate government solutions. In contrast, Dr. Wittkowski is currently CEO of a company.

      1. Sorry, the people paid by government advocate government actions. Not government solutions.

    2. Very well said, Ken.

    3. Ken Shultz, three points:

      1. You offer no measure of financial well-being associated with any available choice, but seem to assume that whatever measure could be offered would bolster your argument anyway.

      2. You apparently exclude from your reckoning that financial effects will vary among persons, with some affected slightly or not at all, and others—the ones you plan for your preferred policy to kill—affected totally. Is it your view that a utilitarian analysis can morally aggregate smaller positive effects for the many, to decree death for the few?

      3. Your apparently arbitrary construct, “qualitative effects,” seems not to distinguish any qualitative difference between life and death. Do you intend to set that distinction at zero?

      1. 1. You offer no measure of financial well-being associated with any available choice, but seem to assume that whatever measure could be offered would bolster your argument anyway.

        2. You apparently exclude from your reckoning that financial effects will vary among persons, with some affected slightly or not at all, and others—the ones you plan for your preferred policy to kill—affected totally. Is it your view that a utilitarian analysis can morally aggregate smaller positive effects for the many, to decree death for the few?

        You seem to be locked into looking at this from the perspective of politicians and bureaucrats who need to make tough choices for us all. I fundamentally reject the appropriateness of that perspective. Why should politicians or bureaucrats be making these choices for us when individuals are perfectly capable of making choices for themselves from their own individual perspectives? Does the idea that different individuals should make different, even conflicting, choices for themselves given their own individual concerns and individual qualitative preferences?

        The idea that different individuals in different financial circumstances and different risk profiles and with different qualitative preferences should all be forced to live by the same decision is fundamentally irrational.

        If you think you can make better choices for other people than they can for themselves then you are wrong. If you think other people should all make the same choice regardless of their individual circumstances and qualitative preferences, then you are wrong twice over.

        1. If you think you can make better choices for other people than they can for themselves

          Everything I have ever seen this shitstain, Lathrop, post indicates that is exactly what he thinks.

        2. //The idea that different individuals in different financial circumstances and different risk profiles and with different qualitative preferences should all be forced to live by the same decision is fundamentally irrational.

          If you think you can make better choices for other people than they can for themselves then you are wrong. If you think other people should all make the same choice regardless of their individual circumstances and qualitative preferences, then you are wrong twice over.//

          Well said, Ken.

          I keep trying to hammer this point home but am inevitably met with “Yea, well, you’re not an expert,” as if making decisions about my own life requires me to be an expert.

          Pure authoritarians. All of them.

          1. We all have a PhD in our own qualitative preferences, and because no one can hope to approximate our qualitative preferences better than we can for ourselves is perhaps the best reason why markets perform better than experts. Market forces are people making choices, and within the context of markets, individuals and free to make choices for themselves and represent their own qualitative preferences. And that doesn’t just come into play when we’re talking about consumers goods or things like risks and rewards . . .

            If I break my hip when I’m elderly, there will be some tough choices to make about my quality of life vs. the cost of hip replacement surgery. Wanting to make those kinds of choices for ourselves rather than have them made for us by some expert is an excellent reason to oppose Medicare for All. Utilitarians have always had a problem accounting for the qualitative preferences of individuals–because they can’t do so better than individuals can for themselves.

            1. //We all have a PhD in our own qualitative preferences//

              Excellent.

          2. Geraje, I suggest your emphasis on the power to choose is misplaced. The more-salient issue is that policy makers empowered to act collectively have available choices which individuals are powerless either to choose or to carry out. Those collective-action choices may not be to the taste of individualist ideologues, but that does not seem a politically cogent reason to rule those choices out. Many suppose collective-action choices can sometimes deliver results superior to what individual power can accomplish.

            Your opinion to the contrary is of course your right, and deserves respect and consideration. Undoubtedly, there will be circumstances for which your inclination would work better. For the present circumstances, I judge that the nation will be better served by collective action than by individual initiative. I am pretty confident that with regard to policy chosen to manage a pandemic, my opinion numbers me among a large majority.

            As for your animus about expertise, that goes back to your first mistake. Collective action may not always be better chosen after consulting experts, but customary reliance on expertise at least bypasses the unsupportable dilemma of choosing which among millions of individual opinions to rely upon to govern policy. I am surprised I would have to mention that on a forum titled, “Reason.”

            1. //The more-salient issue is that policy makers empowered to act collectively have available choices which individuals are powerless either to choose or to carry out. //

              This is absurd, and false. Policy makers can enact laws and, as we sadly learned, enact any manner of unconstitutional, ultra vires diktats, but they cannot magically create compliance. You seem to be assuming that government can simply snap its fingers, and it will be so.

              //Those collective-action choices may not be to the taste of individualist ideologues, but that does not seem a politically cogent reason to rule those choices out. //

              //As for your animus about expertise, that goes back to your first mistake. Collective action may not always be better chosen after consulting experts, but customary reliance on expertise at least bypasses the unsupportable dilemma of choosing which among millions of individual opinions to rely upon to govern policy. //

              An unabashed appeal to authority.

              I understand. You are an authoritarian.

              Politely, go fuck yourself.
              That is the exact reason to rule those choices out. Because when it comes to their life, and person decisions that impact their life, everyone is an “individualist ideologue.”

      2. 3. Your apparently arbitrary construct, “qualitative effects,” seems not to distinguish any qualitative difference between life and death. Do you intend to set that distinction at zero?”

        There are clinical terms for people who value their qualitative preference for safety above all other considerations. They’re typically diagnosed as “paranoid” or “agoraphobic”. The rest of us of compromise our safety for various reasons every time we leave the house. If the ideas of risk analysis or actuarial science are new to you, I suggest you read up on it, but analyzing our own risks relative to the rewards doesn’t require the opinions of experts. Individuals don’t need experts to tell them to exit a burning building and those at risk didn’t need experts to tell them to start isolating themselves in response to this pandemic either.

        Regardless, the idea that no one should be allowed to do things that might result in harm to themselves or others is also irrational and absurd. Everything we do (or don’t do) is potentially harmful to someone else in some way. Individuals should be free to do as they please so long as they don’t violate anyone’s rights anyway. Those who choose to harm the economy by isolating themselves should be free to do so. Those who wish to increase their risk of infection by interacting with others should also be free to do so. This isn’t rocket science.

        1. Ken Shultz, and as for those who wish by interacting freely with others—when that will increase the risk of harm to others—and when it will also increase the risk of harm to the economy—what do you say?

          1. //when that will increase the risk of harm to others//

            Those people can choose to avoid the risk. You’re really not getting this, are you? People are free to choose; risks isn’t just forced upon others like a sock down their throat.

            “Others” are people, and make their own choices.

          2. Yeah, people should be free to isolate themselves despite the fact that doing so is harming the economy. Didn’t I already write that?

            Because other people should be free to put themselves at risk–if that’s what they want to do–doesn’t mean other individuals wouldn’t or shouldn’t be free to isolate themselves–if that’s what they want to do.

            Again, you seem to have a problem comprehending the idea that different individuals should be free to put themselves at risk (or not) without interference from experts or government. And the idea that we should’t be free to do anything that might potentially harm others is absurd–because pretty much everything we do (or don’t do) has the potential to harm others in some way.

            Eating cows is apparently harmful to other people by way of the environment.

            Refusing to eat cows because they’re harmful to the environment is harmful to ranchers.

            Eating cows is harmful to some people. Not eating cows is harmful to other people. Should it, therefore, be illegal to eat cows and to not eat cows?

            Eating cows at McDonalds is harmful to Taco Bell. Eating cows at any restaurant is harmful to your grocer. Eating cows at home is harmful to restaurants everywhere. There isn’t any aspect of any part of the question of eating cows or not eating cows that isn’t harmful to someone in some way. So the question of whether you should be free to do (or not do) something isn’t answered by determining whether acting on your qualitative preference might be harmful to other people in some way. The question is whether your actions violate someone else’s rights.

            Rights are the obligation to respect other people’s freedom of choice. Rape is wrong because it ignores the obligation to respect the victim’s right to say no. Theft is wrong for the same reason. Using the coercive power of government to inflict your qualitative preference for safety on other people who don’t share your qualitative preference–over their objections and against their will–is also wrong for the same reason. You have an obligation to respect the right of other people to make choices for themselves.

            . . . and the fact that their preferred choice may be harmful to someone else in some way is a red herring–so long as they aren’t violating someone’s rights.

            No, you do not have a right to force other people to stay in their homes against their will. Actually, they have a right to leave their homes when they want and put themselves at risk if they wish to do so.

            And your qualitative preference for public safety over other people’s qualitative preference for the public’s financial well-being has no authoritative basis–because it can’t have an authoritative basis.

            1. Ken Schultz, your answer truncated my question. I understand that you posit a radical individual freedom sufficiently unconstrained to rule out even the notion of public health. That much is clear from your answer. But you begged the question by not considering its second half along with the first. I will put it to you again:

              And as for those who wish by interacting freely with others—when that will increase the risk of harm to others—and when it will also increase the risk of harm to the economy—what do you say?

              1. “I understand that you posit a radical individual freedom sufficiently unconstrained to rule out even the notion of public health.”

                There’s this thing called a false dichotomy fallacy, and you just perpetrated it–as well as a straw man fallacy.

                Your arguments are irrational and so are you responses.

                Is the reason you’re so enthusiastic about deferring to false claims of authority because you can’t use facts and reason?

                1. Ken Shultz, here is the question again, for your third try:

                  And as for those who wish by interacting freely with others—when that will increase the risk of harm to others—and when it will also increase the risk of harm to the economy—what do you say?

                  1. The harm to others is objectively nowhere near as bad as the doomers claimed it was going to be. The harm to the economy is empirical, and keeps growing.

                    There are far more people out of work now than have even been infected by BatCoof. That alone shows you failed the Precautionary Principle.

                    1. “Others” for Lathrop are just hypothetical beings with no agency. We need to protect these hypothetical peons and the price for protecting them is surrendering the agency and freedom of other identifiable people.

                      “Others”

                      What a joke.

              2. Who do you think “others” are? People that are being marched out into the public square against their will, at the point of a gun?

                “Others” are free people making choices and you are completely erasing their agency.

                So, you’re a dense, unapologetic totalitarian.

                Good to know.

    4. “what test results do mean that forced social distancing and government inflicted lock-downs are unnecessary?”

      Successful testing of a vaccine. Until then it seems that quarantine is the best way to avoid avoidable deaths.

      1. So, shifting the goalposts to “avoidable deaths” rather than excess deaths resulting from an overwhelmed hospital system …. and cheerleading for a pointless quarantine where everyone is still free to congregate in grocery and liquor stores.

        Dishonest and irrational.

        1. “So, shifting the goalposts to “avoidable deaths””

          Avoidable deaths was the goal posts all along. No politician who values his/her career wants to be saddled with deaths that appropriate action could have avoided.

          You may find these calculations dishonest and irrational, but politics is like that. Don’t blame the messenger.

          1. Avoidable deaths is not the same as excess deaths. And, if you weren’t endorsing the statements, I apologize. If you were, the point stands. Dishonesty and irrationality should not be guiding our political or scientific discourse.

            1. I’m not endorsing or cheeleading any statements. I’m trying you tell you what motivates our politicians. And I was trying to tell Ken Schultz that a quarantine seems to be the most sensible response until a vaccine is made.

              1. If that is your position, I disagree. And, we don’t actually have a real quarantine in place anywhere, as we still permit large segments of society to move around freely (grocers, healthcare workers, deliveries, etc.).

                The notion that we are stopping the spread while keeping large swaths of the economy open is nonsense. This is not, and never has been, a quarantine. What it has been is a government sanctioned “fuck you” to everyone not deemed “essential.”

                It’s been bullshit since day one.

                1. “If that is your position, I disagree. ”

                  You don’t think politicians are concerned over the prospect of people dying needlessly because of their inaction? I think you should try to put yourself in their position and ask yourself what you would do. Politicians are only human, not the bravest, most righteous people in the world, not unlike ourselves.

                  Quarantine has long been the response to contagious diseases. Recently there are vaccines. Maybe more businesses should be shut down, and the quarantine should be more strictly applied as you seem to be arguing. Maybe next time it will. Look at this pandemic as a practice run for the next one which will inevitably come. But this covid-19 took us by surprise and unprepared.

              2. Until a vaccine is made? For a year? Two years? What if it takes five years? And it might.

                1. If not a vaccine or quarantine, how do you propose to respond to the virus? Try to answer with the knowledge that our political leadership prioritizes avoiding avoidable deaths.

      2. So the “flattening the curve” rationale was bullshit all along? Thanks for the confirmation, but most of us already knew that.

    5. Yeah, the only reasonable conclusion from these results is that the lockdowns are not at all worth the cost.

  23. I’d like to apologize. Not for being right about insisting this was no big deal, but for my worst reasonable case scenario still being unreasonably bad. I didn’t think this was going to get down to the level of seasonal flu. If the 0.1% IFR holds up, I was wrong, and I admit it.

    (0.2 or 0.3 was still in the range i considered reasonable).

    Even so, I never thought this was worth panicking over, so I’m happy to be wrong in the way I was.

    Now, I’d like to hear apologies from the fear-mongers who thought we should being pants soiling.

    Also, even the worst 0.3% IFR estimate here means 95% of people can stop social distancing and we can end the lockdowns. Only the elderly need to social distance at that point. Sullum’s call to maintain social distancing is nonsense.

    1. *begin pants soiling, thanks autocorrect

    2. those ER’s in NYC sure don’ t look like seasonal flue.

      those portable reefer trucks parked outside hospital’s don’t look like seasonal flue.

      nursed wearing same PPE over and over don’t look like seasonal flue.

      1. Maybe if NYC had locked off the nursing homes early on, they could have limited the damage. Oh well, lesson learned.

        Considering they never even needed the number of vents they were screeching for, your hysterics seem pretty outdated right now.

        1. All the nursing homes in Spokane took those measures early on. And we’ve only had 17 deaths county wide to date. Out of a population of roughly 530,000.

      2. Flu, you dummy, not flue.

      3. Please do a comparison between NYC hospital utilization in April over say 5 years.

        Also, place your bet on what the statistically excess deaths caused by covid-19 will be for NYC. I’m serious, I want a specific range so we can check in 8 months and see if you’re right or wrong.

  24. ” At the same time, she said, the fact that 95 percent or so of the county’s adult population remains uninfected shows those measures, ”

    LA Covid death so far: 600

    so 600 of 5%, means 11,400 for the other 95%. of course all depend on whether those die over a month or a year.

    1. Ferguson already admitted that most of the people who died from this were likely to do so anyway within the next year or two anyway, you moron.

    2. No infection ever goes to 100% coverage

      1. But what about EXPONENTIAL growth?!

        One thing I’ve learned about people that discovered the word “exponential” for the first time over past few weeks is that think it means INFINITE.

        INFINITE growth!! = Infinite DEATH!! = Cede your entire existence to the government.

  25. US source: North Korean leader in grave danger after surgery

    Time to get a gun— for myself. I don’t want to live in a world where there’s only one Dear Leader instead of 2. That’d be devastating.

    1. Just remember to point the barrel up at your empty brain pan when you pull the trigger, not towards the back of your head.

      1. On the other hand… I’m sitting at home drawing a fat paycheck for working while some rich assholes are complaining about their ability to make 100,000/yr rent payments during the quarantine. Maybe I’ll stick around to see how that ends up. After all, I’ll still have Brother #1 to look to at his daily press briefings.

        1. I’m sitting at home drawing a fat paycheck

          With crayon, or markers?

          1. With his Coronabux he can afford sparkle glue and macaroni now.

        2. It’s easy to get by on welfare when you don’t pay your mortgage, isn’t it?

          Fucking deadbeat. Better you simply be dead.

  26. I was told by many on this board that if one didn’t have their financial affairs in order enough to survive for 6 months than we shouldn’t really worry about people who are so mal-equipped to deal with reality. There’s so much bitching about the plight of the poors on this board that I’m beginning to wonder if the commenters here are secret SJWs who work with the homeless. I thought I was dealing with the vanguard of the hard-nosed preppers not the vanguard of whiny bitches. Sad.

    1. Grasshoppers need to work if they aspire to attain ant-hood.

    2. ” I thought I was dealing with the vanguard of the hard-nosed preppers not the vanguard of whiny bitches. ”

      Maybe you should learn to read, not code. The whine here is up for analysis as perpetual motion.

    3. Yeah, there are so many corporations that should be dying off because they weren’t able to keep those emergency funds on hand, and needed to go begging to the government instead. Maybe next time don’t spend your whole paycheck on avocado toast?

  27. Fuckin’ hoax. We should throw a bunch of public health bureaucrats, Harvard faculty and maybe Ron Bailey into a volcano to appease and thank the Goddess of Pestilence.

    1. Don’t mention Ron’s name too much, or else he’ll be summoned to respond, like Beetlejuice, to entertain us with dreams of the apocalypse.

  28. Once I was seven years old my momma slot joker123 told me Go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely and i so sad

    1. Did you have a stroke?

  29. A lot of self-satisfied motivated reasoning on this thread. Not much considered here: widespread complaints about extreme unreliability of available antibody testing; the likelihood that the data are the result of an uncontrolled aggregation of results delivered by various testing methods; and, the fact that with this kind of testing—even with tests considered usefully reliable in principle—small sample sizes are associated with highly unreliable data, with false positives and false negatives notably outnumbering the others.

    Also, it is not wise to trust unquestioningly a purely rationalistic analysis when it flies in the teeth of the facts. The facts can be summarized as briefly as 4 words: “New York,” and “THERMO KING.”

    The experience of the nation—ameliorated as it has been by social controls—cannot be taken as the measure of the virus. The measure of the virus must be taken by the evidence of what the virus has done where it has been less controlled. New York’s experience shows incontrovertibly that this virus is both more virulent, and that it produces disease more lethal, than any since the 1918 pandemic. What has yet to be seen is whether the present pandemic exceeds even that benchmark disaster.

    Take New York’s experience as it exists now, apply it across the population of the nation as a whole, cut that result in half for conservatism, and you still reckon more than 200,000 dead nationally. And remember, New York’s experience has been tempered by stringent social controls, and also that the death toll there continues to mount. Even without positing succeeding virus surges come autumn, if the virus goes unchecked henceforward—and nature does not deliver warm-weather mitigation (pray that it does)—the experience of New York to date implies a national potential mortality greater than the nation experienced during World War II. My computations are based on a New York Metropolitan Area population figure of 20.1 million, and a rough summation of the Johns Hopkins mortality database totaling ~ 23,000 deaths currently in that area.

    Opponents of policies to mitigate disease during this pandemic would do better to stay forthright about their motivations—putting motivations front and center—and to lay off minimizing the disease. Bystanders aware of consequences and evidence will not be impressed by rationalistic arguments predicated on counter-factual minimization.

    Among a group as infatuated with rationalism as the ones commenting here, it will probably prove difficult to find many forthright enough—or introspective enough—to confess their motivations have more to do with vindicating ideology than with analyzing evidence and reckoning consequences. That leaves it understood that Reason delivers an audience that cares little for moral implications, unless those be measured in the suspect scales of utilitarianism—or perhaps, more simply, an audience that too much accounts property as the sum of morality.

    1. That’s a lot of words to admit “Our social control experiment is coming to an end.”

    2. Take New York’s experience as it exists now, apply it across the population of the nation as a whole

      This is the biggest fallacy of Stephen’s arguments, and it’s unfortunately a feature of too many control freaks itching to keep the nation on house arrest for the next two years–that we need to take his autistic obsession with New York City and use it as the benchmark for the entire nation.

      NYC is not the United States. Hell, it’s not even all of New York state. Even NYC isn’t NYC, with a mere 0.5% of all deaths having no underlying conditions that are mostly associated with being a junk food-hoovering fatass, and cases/deaths/hospitalizations all dropping since the first week of April, and at least 25% of those being nursing home residents. Meanwhile, states with varying social control measures have seen virtually the same infection curve, with nursing home residents making up a plurality of the deaths in nearly every instance where that data has been documented. And so Stephen has to claim that NYC is experiencing a “Gettysburg every week” in a desperate effort at hyperbole, despite the fact that the very city he’s so obsessed with publishes a daily data summary to show that hasn’t been the case.

      They’ve appealed to science while blatantly ignoring how natural selection actually works, rationalizing the failure of their predictive models with post hoc sophistry that would make a cult leader blush, and employing hyperbole and manipulative accusations when the facts end up not supporting their positions. They promoted the wisdom of governors and law enforcement officials who implemented arbitrary, inconsistent social controls that had no empirical effect on infection rates compared to those who made such measures voluntary, and treated even those who made an effort to comply with “social distancing” as criminals. Yet they insist that, in spite of their failures, these people should not only be allowed to maintain their power, but be given even more next time this happens.

      One would think the most appropriate response to this should be “Fuck off, slaver,” not, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”

      1. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the most overcrowded place in the country got hit the hardest. A lot of New Yorkers don’t even own a car and depend on the buses and subways for their livelihood. Just imagine how filthy and disgusting the average New York City bus and subway car already was even before this virus arrived. Additionally, 20 to 25 percent of the New York resident population are third world immigrants who arrived in the country fairly recently and are still learning about modern amenities like the shower and the flush toilet.

        1. As an NYC resident, I confirm all of the above.

    3. What possible reason do you have to think that the NYC experience would be the rule across the nation, rather than the exception? The living conditions there are so drastically different than those anywhere else except for a handful of other urban centers as to be utterly incomparable. The big risk factors seem to be urban areas with significant poor and minority populations. Queens, the Bronx, Detroit, NOLA… This is not an equal opportunity virus. Certain demographics in certain areas are at some level of risk that approaches statistical significance, while almost everyone else has nothing to worry about. Some of the reasons for that are obvious (old people, seriously sick people), others not quite so much yet. But we can look at the numbers and see plain as day that at least based on population density and living conditions, there is no need for everyone to suffer equally.

      People living in big cities get a lot of perks- tons of great food options, entertainment, shopping, culture, etc., all within walking distance (or public transport) of where they live. There are tradeoffs, though, and the susceptibility to disease outbreaks due to the very thing that allows them to have all those advantages (density and diversity of the population) is one of them. Conversely, I choose to live where I have a lot less options for lots of things (including work), but numerous advantages in my opinion. One of which SHOULD BE not having to deal with the risk of my world getting turned upside down because of an infection outbreak in some filthy city(s).

      1. NYC is a disgusting place.

      2. Well said. A point worth repeating.

    4. Acting like NYC is representative of the entire nation’s population density… get your head out of your ass.

    5. 200,000 dead is not worth what we’re losing. Sorry, it just isn’t. More than that died in pandemic flu in 1958 and 1968 and somehow we made it through without totally fucking over the whole country and panicking like a bunch of idiots.

      1. It’s not even about science anymore. It was like when everyone said we were going to be like Italy. Well if it happened there it will happen here, its just all speculation and bullshit.

    6. How not bad does it have to be to prove your panic-mongering wrong. I want specific numbers, so you can apologize when you’re wrong.

  30. Every new study shows all the studies are wrong.

    1. EconomicsEpidemiology is the science of explaining why your predictions were wrong.”

  31. No shit, you morons. If we’ve learned anything during the first few months of 2020, it’s that the current iteration of “journalism” is truly one of the greatest evils we’ve ever faced as a nation.

    1. You got that right!

      Journalists exaggerated the threat of the pandemic!

  32. As with the Santa Clara preprint, we are seeing libertarians rush to embrace this non-peer-reviewed finding–in this case, there isn’t even a preprint article, just a press release–because it confirms their biases. Never mind the flaws in the study.

      1. Doesn’t support fascism – – – –

      2. Here is a critique of the Santa Clara study by Andrew Gelman, raising a number of serious and specific issues:

        https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2020/04/19/fatal-flaws-in-stanford-study-of-coronavirus-prevalence/

        Unlike the Santa Clara study, the authors of the LA County study have not even put out a “preprint” of a proposed journal article. Therefore, potential critics can’t really dig into the details of this one. But it apparently shares some of the same problems–non-random sample selection, issues with how they handle false positives, etc.

        1. It’s also important to note that the lead author of this study, Neeraj Sood, is listed on the Santa Clara study.

  33. The media doesn’t want to publish any good news about this pandemic. Scare headlines like ‘Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 9/11’ are the order of the day.

    1. The fact that you can find all kinds of news outlets reporting the LA and Santa Clara County studies–despite their flaws–is evidence that your opinion may be incorrect.

      1. What are the flaws?

        1. See my response above to Michael Ejercito for a link to a detailed critique of the Santa Clara study.

        2. “Feud over Stanford coronavirus study: ‘The authors owe us all an apology’”

          https://www.ocregister.com/2020/04/20/feud-over-stanford-coronavirus-study-the-authors-owe-us-all-an-apology/

          This study shares an author with that study and uses the same test. Additonally, not even a preprint has been released, only press releases (from my understanding, making press releases before releasing a detailed description of your methods is viewed very negatively in the scientific community).

          The two root criticisms of the Santa Clara study were that it experienced selection bias and that the statistical methods used were just plain wrong. Without a writeup, we can’t conclude that this study doesn’t suffer from the same issues.

  34. This would imply that L.A. County has already passed the peak, and can reopen safely without overwhelming the hospitals.

  35. Brought to you by The Walls Are Closing In conglomerate.

  36. “As for the accuracy of the antibody tests, Sood said validation by the manufacturer of the test kits, Premier Biotech, found a false positive rate of 0.5 percent in 371 samples. In subsequent tests by a Stanford laboratory, there were no false positives. “We think that the false positive rate of the tests is really low,” Sood said.”

    First article I’ve seen addressing the false positive rate.

    Good article.

  37. “As for the accuracy of the antibody tests, Sood said validation by the manufacturer of the test kits, Premier Biotech, found a false positive rate of 0.5 percent in 371 samples. In subsequent tests by a Stanford laboratory, there were no false positives. “We think that the false positive rate of the tests is really low,” Sood said.”

    Umm, you’re still not providing an accurate picture to assess these reports. Those follow up tests used a total of 118 negative samples. That they had no false positives is no surprise. At 0.5% false positive rate, you’d expect less than 1 false positive in 118 samples.

    Furthermore, it appears that they adjusted their estimates upward, presumably by somewhere in the range of by 25-50% based on 37 or 67 total positive samples used to assess the tests accuracy.

    So we have a test with a nominal 0.5% false positive rate (which might actually be as high as 1.8%, based on the small sample size). They measured what appears to have been a raw result in the range of 2.1 – 3.2%, and then scaled that up to 4.1%.

    About all these tests are showing us, at this point, is that infections are still too rare at this point for these tests to be reliable indicators for extrapolation.

    1. Premier biotech distributes the test manufactured by Hangzhou Biotest Biotech, Co., Ltd.

      It is a rapid qualitative, not quantitative test.

  38. It’s a mistake to over-generalize from these two studies. This obsession with the fatality rate from seasonal flu vs. COVID-19 ignores the clear facts: Uncontrolled rapid spread (far faster than seasonal flu spreads) can yield not only higher fatality rates as hospitals buckle under the case loads, but excess deaths for people with other serious conditions as health care resources are stretched to and beyond their limits.
    Aside from the unproven accuracy of the antibody tests (how many false negatives? How many false positives?) which have all been authorized on an emergency basis, there is the certainty that the confirmed official death toll from COVID-19 is ALSO an undercount, possibly a dramatic undercount. Santa Clara County is going back and testing suspicious deaths for the virus. They already found 3 (from before the virus was confirmed to be in California). There are likely to be many, many more. So neither of the numerator nor the denominator of an accurate case fatality rate is known, yet, far from it.
    There are signs that COVID-19 might linger in a reservoir hidden from the immune system to potentially re-emerge later — completely unlike influenza. It represents a different threat. The idea that simply encouraging people to decide for themselves what to do would safeguard the economy (the unspoken assumption of most of those loudly asserting that all government measures are an “overreaction” without basis) is itself very doubtful. Tourism, hospitality and entertainment, restaurants and clubs get hammered in an epidemic, even if they aren’t closed down.
    A good look at the start of calculating true COVID-19 mortality in “hot spots” of uncontrolled spread with actual data is to be accessed at The Economist:
    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/04/16/tracking-covid-19-excess-deaths-across-countries

  39. It’s just the flu

    Idjits
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/10/upshot/coronavirus-deaths-new-york-city.html

    New York City, 2700 more deaths last month than in September of 2001

    liberal conspiracy indeed

  40. Oh, and let us base national policy on 50, that’s right 50 positive tests in a selection biased study

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