Reason Roundup

COVID-19 Was Killing Americans Earlier Than We Previously Thought

Plus: U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 45,000, Trump threatens Iran via Twitter, and more....

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New data contradict current wisdom about COVID-19 on the West Coast. Santa Clara County, in California's Bay Area, might be where the first known COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. took place.

This regrettable distinction formerly belonged to Kirkland, Washington, where someone died of the coronavirus on February 29. But autopsies have now revealed that COVID-19 was responsible for the February 6 and 17 deaths of two people in Santa Clara County. Another person in Santa Clara died of COVID-19 on March 6.

"These three individuals died at home during a time when very limited testing was available," said the county's statement, noting that at the time, "testing criteria set by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] at the time restricted testing to only individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms."

"As the Medical Examiner-Coroner continues to carefully investigate deaths throughout the county, we anticipate additional deaths from COVID-19 will be identified," it added.

Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith suggested that the news may mean COVID-19 was spreading around parts of the U.S. for "a lot longer than we first believed." Contradicting current wisdom on the matter, Smith said the virus most likely hit some U.S. communities "back in December."

Recent studies from Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties suggest there may have been more COVID-19 cases in California than was previously known. As Jacob Sullum noted here Monday, that would actually be a somewhat positive thing, making the death rate from COVID-19 much smaller than we had previously thought.

"In contrast with the current crude case fatality rate of about 4.5 percent," writes Sullum, "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."

Good news! Right?

Well, maybe. Some scientists are now calling those studies into question.

Yesterday, Will Fithian, a statistics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, laid out the issues in a long Twitter thread (start here).

"Before journalists publicize any more results from this group, they should know that the confidence intervals reported in both studies have no known statistical provenance as of now," Fithian tweeted. "The calculations are not questionable; they are either wrong or unknown."

More on potential problems with the Los Angeles and Santa Clara COVID-19 studies here.

Fithian has been in touch with the authors, and he notes that they have "demographic information they have not yet shared, so it's conceivable a more refined analysis" will come. But for now, it's best to be a bit skeptical about anything related to this study. Apparently, the authors have a history of making questionable assumptions in their research:

Overall, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has now surpassed 45,000.


FOLLOW-UP

The Trump administration said on Tuesday that an executive order temporarily closing all U.S. borders would be signed on Wednesday, though officials could still not offer details about what that would look like.

The move, as we noted yesterday, makes no sense outside pursuing the president's pre-coronavirus policy agenda and making his base feel all warm and fuzzy.

There's "no evidence we've seen that immigrants are associated with the spread of Covid-19 more than anyone else," the Wall Street Journal editorial board weighed in with a Tuesday evening op-ed. And "Trump's economic case is even weaker."


QUICK HITS

  • Trump's latest attempt to distract people from how badly his administration is handling the COVID-19 outbreak may get us into another Middle Eastern conflict (playing the hits never sounded so bad…):

  • The U.S. House of Representatives will vote today on whether to allow members to vote remotely. Meanwhile in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected a proposal (from Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul) to do the same.
  • Typical of reporting on the groups organizing anti-lockdown protests, The New York Times gets a bit breathless over the fact that these conservative groups aregaspusing "their social media accounts and text and email lists to spread the word about the protests."
  • "New York City's coronavirus cases aren't correlated with neighborhood density at all," notes Slate.
  • Reason's Brian Doherty on "what each side of the COVID-19 debate should understand about the other."

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  1. https://twitter.com/SteveScalise/status/1252571957977063424

    WATCH → Democrat Rep. Jayapal says she’s worried about “giving away leverage” by supporting more aid for small businesses to pay their employees.

    American workers are losing their jobs. Small businesses are closing permanently.

    This is about people’s livelihoods, not leverage.

    1. All politics is leverage. It’s the only way to get you clingers to comply with us woke betters demands. Better leverage is when clingers necks are on the ground and my boot is on them. All people should bow to us woke betters

    2. Hello.

      Well you geniuses can go and argue and figure it all out about COVID-WUHAN’s lethality. In the meantime, the lockdowns are useless and open it up and let people get their lives back.

      We can’t wait until they do.

    3. They feel free to do this because they are free to do this.
      This is what absolute protection against physical consequences gets you

    4. Learn to code? Isn’t that a little callous? You think all these people protesting because they lost their jobs due to changing demand can just go out and learn a new skill just like that?

      1. Are people losing their jobs because of changing demand or because the government shut down the economy?

        1. Both

          1. 90% of one, 10% of the other.

          2. What was unemployment before Wuhan again?

      2. Coal miners, truck drivers, drywallers going to learn to code. Work from home… all 21st century ‘n shit. All that ‘can’t work from home’ shit gonna be handled by Amazon drones and kiosks freeing us to blog, podcast and totally ‘gram the fuck out of everything.

        1. Dumbshits like CMW think the Jetsons was a future denied rather than a cartoon fantasy.

    5. Never let good leverage go to waste.

  2. New data contradict current wisdom about COVID-19 on the West Coast.

    I’m beginning to suspect we don’t know everything about the virus right now.

    1. Top Men are on the job at the New York Times and the consensus is that Trump is a fuckup and Cuomo is the man to lead the country.

      1. Cuomo’s performance has been so spectacular that he deserves a key position in the Biden Administration.

        1. Why would you want to punish him that way?

        2. Vice President?

          1. Consigliere Cuomo has a nice ring to it.

    2. What virus?

      Less snarkily: Whatever happened to “the flu”?

      1. Coincidentally… the flu stopped killing people in April.

      2. It’s German. Die, flu, die!

    3. I’ve been fairly sure for weeks that my entire company got a nice dose of Wuhan Flu back when we did our Sales Kick off in Vegas during mid-January, a week or two after coming back and everyone in the company got sick, some of them seriously. This doesn’t surprise me at all. We weren’t looking fully for COVID back then, and those that were still didn’t know exactly what they were looking for.

      1. I suspect I may have gotten it in early February after a ski trip to Colorado. Knocked me out for a week with a bad respiratory infection and fever; granted not bad enough to seek medical attention.

        1. Lesson learned? Colorado will make you sick. Stay home.

      2. I know several people who wondered about a sickness they’ve had including myself. we will never know and they will probably decide to not let us test ourselves to find out because that would ruin their purpose in life which is control

    4. I was told the Feds would provide, does that go under things we don’t know about the Virus? Please don’t pop my reality.

  3. Governors, let my people go!

    1. So let it be written, so let it be done.

      1. You maniacs, you blew [the economy] it all up!
        God damn you!
        God damn you all to hell!

  4. When I saw this headline, I thought it was the Bee, nope:

    Rich people doing chores for first time: ‘It’s been a complete shock’
    https://nypost.com/2020/04/21/rich-people-do-chores-for-the-first-time-a-complete-shock/

    “A lot of these high net worth individuals have in-person housekeepers, cleaning ladies and chefs still in their homes,” says an Upper East Sider who is hiding out in Amagansett. “If they let the housekeeper go home for the weekend, they could contract the virus and bring it back. So people who have live-in help are keeping them there. If staff do say, ‘Hey, we want to go back to our families,’ the answer is, ‘Fine, but you can’t come back until this is over.’ So people are having to make a decision: ‘Do I want to see my family, or do I want to continue to work and make money?’ It’s tough.”

    Others, like Mark, find themselves in the awkward position of doing chores for the first time ever.

    “You want to talk about the great equalizer?! People like us take things for granted,” says Seth MacFarlane on a recent episode of HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.” “We take our housekeepers for granted. Things like laundry and changing the cat box . . . Even figuring out how to do floors. My God, it’s a hell of a lot harder than making TV.”

    1. “My God, it’s a hell of a lot harder than making TV.”

      That’s why housekeepers pull down the big bucks.

    2. Will the sacrifices never end?

      1. I hear Seth had to actually wipe his own ass the other day!

        1. Rich fucker probably has TP.

    3. Too stupid to keep his mouth shut.

      1. I know….that Mahler quote was an ‘own goal’. The man tested positive for being a complete asshole.

    4. ha, I saw something similar on WSJ. “Rich people must decide between breaking quarantine with staff and doing chores themselves”

      We’re all in this together!

    5. Silicon Valley about to become obsessed with pushing housecleaning robots to a new level.

      1. Good point, Jeff. With all these bright minds stuck indoors, without the distractions of the new Uzbeki-bekistan vegan fusion restaurants, transgender innovation incubation mixers, and Tuesday night politically correct Cards Against Humanity game nights, we are bound to see all kinds of innovation out of these stuck-at-home-with-nothing-but-my-brain-and-my-computer lockdowns.

        1. About half of them will be working on cleaning and yard work robots. The other half are finding that their productivity is dropping because they are trying to work from home while suddenly becoming homeschooling parents with no nannies, ballet or taekwondo lessons to fall back on. (This isn’t speculation on my part. I’m hearing about this straight from the source.)

          And, by the way, Jeff is a different person from me.

          1. I know Jeff is a different person. It was a joke 🙂

              1. Look at sarcasmic and Jeff pretending to have a conversation … as other people …

          2. That hasn’t been scientifically proven.

  5. “…testing criteria set by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] at the time restricted testing to only individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms.”

    Yay CDC!

  6. Lockdowns Don’t Work
    https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2020/04/62572/?fbclid=IwAR2sOM2U7CEIbuOpcJ26nQm_nl55mX4JmAWSd4OonmwtBzcATjHxuvadNlY

    Lockdowns don’t work. These other policies—travel restrictions, large-assembly limits, centralized quarantine, mask requirements, and school cancellations—do work. Because COVID is an extremely severe disease that, if left unchecked, will kill hundreds of thousands of Americans, it is vitally important that policymakers focus their efforts on policies that do work (masks, central quarantines, travel restrictions, school cancellations, large-assembly limits), and avoid implementing draconian, unpopular policies that don’t work (lockdowns).

    The Best Evidence for Lockdowns

    At this point, the question I usually get is, “What’s your evidence that lockdowns don’t work?”

    It’s a strange question. Why should I have to prove that lockdowns don’t work? The burden of proof is to show that they do work! If you’re going to essentially cancel the civil liberties of the entire population for a few weeks, you should probably have evidence that the strategy will work. And there, lockdown advocates fail miserably, because they simply don’t have evidence.

    1. The best evidence that they don’t work is the exponential rise in deaths mentioned in the Tweet above. We shut down the economy and deaths from this stuff have tripled in two weeks. Just exactly how much worse would doing nothing be?

      1. Total extinction John

        1. Which is only a few weeks away anyway.
          Unless you live in Sweden

          1. Aren’t we all going to die anyway because of the tax cuts and ending net neutrality?

        2. No matter how bad it is, they will always claim “it would have been worse”.

          1. At least they’re not claiming to have saved or created millions of jobs.

            Yet.

            1. “Saved or created 130 million lives”

              1. A lot of extra sex happening with quarantine…that 130MM lives created might be so far off. we will see in a year. 🙂

            2. But the jobs that come back will be woke jobs.
              Green new deal jobs for all

              1. THe sky in LA is no longer smoggy. Isn’t that worst sending everyone back to the stone age?

              2. Making artisan masks. And organic TP.

                Ouch.

          2. If they scare people into any sort of reaction, then they weren’t wrong, we owe them our lives: C19.

            If they don’t scare people into a reaction, then they weren’t wrong, they are learning and improving their models: Climate change

            They are never accountable. Nobody who projected mass death will ever be fired no matter how many normies lose their jobs.

            1. Has anyone else noticed its just been a two week shutdown for over a month? It is always “just two weeks” from that day.

              Want to lose public trust? Lie. Its been “two weeks” for a month, and at the end of the two weeks the situation will be reevaluated. Do you know what that is? Indefinite lockdown.

              1. Permanence is a chain of temporary measures.

                1. Milton Friedman — ‘Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.’

              2. It’s like Bush’s “six more months” until we can leave Iraq.

                1. What until we get to “the surge.”

            2. Even being fired isn’t enough.
              This kind of thing will happen again and again if there aren’t real, brutal consequences for anyone involved

      2. Dr. Birx has this covered, John: Deaths lag infections.

        1. And infections are rising just as much. The infection rate hasn’t slowed either. Moreover, they have been taking these drastic measures for over a month now and yet, the death rate continues to rise. Birx is full of shit.

          1. She has this covered, too: We continue to look at the data.

            1. And we will start adjusting the data if they continue to not match the models.

              1. “I learned it from watching the economic forecasters!”

          2. In New York City the death rate is dropping, even as total deaths and cases climb. As predicted, it is a curve (nobody was really debating that point, as far as I understand).

            But, is there any method to reliably measure whether the curve has been flattened, even slightly? No, because we have no idea what the curve without any intervention would have been. If we started too late with the interventions (since deaths can trail infections by as much as a month, if not longer) then the curve we saw even as the lockdowns were in place is really a curve reflecting the reality of what would have happened had we done nothing.

            And, now data is emerging that this infection was already spreading, and taking names, long before anybody even bothered to look. I think in all likelihood, as data becomes available, we will learn that the curve we were attempting to flatten was like the light from a long gone star. It’s already dead, and there is nothing we can do.

            1. Quarantines only work early in an outbreak. Once an outbreak reaches a critical mass of cases there is no stopping its spread. Had China not lied and the country been able to act in say early January and shut off all international flights and maybe banned big public events and played sporting events to empty stadiums, they might have stopped this thing. But, it looks to me that by the time they acted it had already reached critical mass and it was too late to stop it no matter what we did.

              1. What is an appropriate response to China when this passes?

                1. Well, one move is start the process ‘deChinazing’. Stop depending on them for manufacturing. I’m actually of the opinion that this may be easier than one may think.

                  What’s so complicated about a company moving to another country, say, like Mexico or Indonesia? They move all the fricken time.

                  So spare me all this it’s ‘impossible’ crap. Star there. Throttle the demand.

                  Don’t depend on consumers to do the right thing since they’re rational economic actors who will always look for ‘bargain’ prices.

                  Wal-Mart, in a way, made consumers addicted to China.

                  We can slow this down.

              2. Even if china had reacted early would we had believed them and acted. Even after Trump reacted by stopping flights many didn’t believe including Dr FalseFauci. Also if China had reacted earlier the Kungflu would still have to spread to herd immunity world wide because you can’t stop all leaks when you don’t know where the wholes are. did we flatten the curve as GG and other say we may never know even with Sweden not shutting down there will be people who will claim Swedens success was due to other nations lock downs. But even nations that did massive lock downs early are now seeing a rise in infections but thats because lock downs don’t work any more than not locking down but they won’t listen to Common sense

                1. In other words there is no solution when mother nature screws with us

              3. Now you’re just trying to distract from the fact it’s all Trump’s fault.

              4. And it wasn’t just China.

                Fauci, Cuomo, DeBlasio, Pelosi, the whole gang of pedantic idiots relying on their army of experts, were assuring us everything was completely fine. “Go to China Town! Gather up! It’s safe! No need for precautions! Fuck the masks!”

                They were all saying this shit, until they weren’t.

                1. Stop sucking Trump’s cock with inconvenient facts you cultist!

                  1. Amazon said my memory hole won’t be delivered until June, at the earliest.

                    1. If your memory hole needs filling, silicone hole filler is considered an essential item and is available in 5 days.

          3. Infections are rising is coinciding with increased testing which is coinciding with a decreasing death rate. Logic 101.

      3. Everyone would be dead. It is known.

      4. WE’RE NOT REALLY LOCKED DOWN THO!!! Those selfish assholes in Wyoming are still going about their business; how do you expect us to make any progress when Laramie won’t do their part??

    2. If you’re going to essentially cancel the civil liberties of the entire population for a few weeks, you should probably have evidence that the strategy will work.

      “That’s why we’re canceling them for several months.”

    3. It’s a strange question. Why should I have to prove that lockdowns don’t work? The burden of proof is to show that they do work! If you’re going to essentially cancel the civil liberties of the entire population for a few weeks, you should probably have evidence that the strategy will work. And there, lockdown advocates fail miserably, because they simply don’t have evidence.

      *points at scary plot with two axes, no labels, and a scary pointy red curve above an arbitrary line and a not-scary flatter blue curve*

      The funniest part is, assuming there’s any statistical rigor to the above emographical bloviating, there’s no reason to assume the areas under the curve aren’t conserved. People dying in overcrowded hospitals is an avoid-at-all-costs catastrophe but the exact same number of people dying shut in their homes by mandate is… ‘better’.

  7. Can We Please ‘McKinsey-Proof’ America?
    https://amgreatness.com/2020/04/21/can-we-please-mckinsey-proof-america/

    Andrew Cuomo has a plan for a “Trump-proof” reopening of New York. Or actually, he has a plan to hire some people to develop a plan. According to CNBC, “Cuomo has hired high-powered consultants to develop a science-based plan for the safe economic reopening of the region.” Wow, a science-based plan from high-powered consultants!

    The report goes on to say that these consultants will be “producing models on testing, infections, and other key data points that will underpin decisions . . . .”

    Expert models have been pretty spot-on this year, so this sounds really amazing. Remember how last month, a model by an expert predicted 2.2 million Americans would die from COVID-19? Or how about the professionals (and nonprofessionals!) who just a few weeks ago were telling us that masks don’t work and that ordinary people lack the proper training and competence to wear one right anyway? Now, they’re mandatory.

    So who are these consultants who will advise America’s loudest governor? The answer, of course, is McKinsey & Company. Some people—not me, you understand—have been known to describe McKinsey’s business model thus: “You give them your watch so they can tell you what time it is.”

    The second reason America has a PPE shortage is that when demand spiked, we were unable to ramp up supply because we’ve spent the last 30 years offshoring lots of the manufacturing to Asia in general and China in particular. This includes N95 respirators, gloves, pharmaceuticals, reagents, and lots of other things required by healthcare professionals. That means we don’t have the domestic capacity to produce what we need.

    Guess which high-powered consulting firm has been advising their clients for decades to switch to just-in-time inventory and to offshore manufacturing? McKinsey. You might call them the super-spreader of an intellectual virus that has infected American business.

    1. How McKinsey Has Helped Raise the Stature of Authoritarian Governments

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/15/world/asia/mckinsey-china-russia.html

      This year’s McKinsey & Company retreat in China was one to remember.

      Hundreds of the company’s consultants frolicked in the desert, riding camels over sand dunes and mingling in tents linked by red carpets. Meetings took place in a cavernous banquet hall that resembled a sultan’s ornate court, with a sign overhead to capture the mood.

      “I can’t keep calm, I work at McKinsey & Company,” it said.

      Especially remarkable was the location: Kashgar, the ancient Silk Road city in China’s far west that is experiencing a major humanitarian crisis.

      About four miles from where the McKinsey consultants discussed their work, which includes advising some of China’s most important state-owned companies, a sprawling internment camp had sprung up to hold thousands of ethnic Uighurs — part of a vast archipelago of indoctrination camps where the Chinese government has locked up as many as one million people.

      One week before the McKinsey event, a United Nations committee had denounced the mass detentions and urged China to stop.

      1. One of McKinsey’s state-owned clients has even helped build China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea, a major point of military tension with the United States.

        It turns out that McKinsey’s role in China is just one example of its extensive — and sometimes contentious — work around the world, according to an investigation by The New York Times that included interviews with 40 current and former McKinsey employees, as well as dozens of their clients.

        At a time when democracies and their basic values are increasingly under attack, the iconic American company has helped raise the stature of authoritarian and corrupt governments across the globe, sometimes in ways that counter American interests.

    2. high-powered consultants

      Nice band name.

    3. Possibly a cheap shot…but McKinsey was Enron’s favorite consultants. Used them A LOT. Hell, Skilling was a former McKinsey partner. Maybe their ideas aren’t so sacrosanct.

    4. Regardless of whether or not we’re ever able to come up with an effective vaccine for COVID-19, the deady viruses of globalism and supply chain offshoring are going to start curing themselves in fairly short order.

    5. Anyone who doesn’t believe in JIT is a 19th century troglodyte who enjoys paying interest and tying up their cash in inventory, while also paying for the inevitable spoilation

  8. Some scientists are now calling those studies into question.

    In the case of Science vs. Science, I’m going with the Science that confirms my previous firmly-asserted-via-Twitter beliefs.

    1. Science is unsettling

    2. Mike Science v. Deborah Science. A heartwarming custody battle story for a transgendered cyclop. A family broken by white privilege finds redemption in smashing the patriarchy. But whatever becomes of poor Chico – the cyclop – who must choose between a world divided by social constructs championed by retards and the unsettled science of normalcy.

      1. What about Karen Science?

        1. Karen would probably be cast as a bureaucrat or nosy neighbour who sleeps around and drives around texting in her Land Rover.

          1. Same last name. So she’s Chico’s many cat owning aunt. In many episodes, she’s part of a side story line where her attempts to intervene in other people’s lives always backfire in hysterical ways. Unfortunately, the lessons she learns, are forgotten in future episodes.

            1. This is going somewhere.

              But instead we’re treated to lame-suck ass ‘Will & Grace’ reboots with their anti-Trump passive aggressive jokes.

              I’m guessing some in the Reason lunch room love it.

              1. If I wasn’t on lock down I’d be heading out right now to by some av equipment.

                And yes, some of the Reason writers definitely love Will and Grace. And think Samantha B is funny.

  9. The Democratic Party’s gradual embrace of Charles Koch’s immigration agenda continues exactly as I predicted. Elizabeth Warren explains.

    Immigrants are on the front lines of the coronavirus response, putting their lives at risk to make sure our communities are fed, healthy, and safe. The Trump administration needs to stop using this pandemic as cover to implement their xenophobic agenda.

    The progressive / libertarian alliance has a clear plan for fighting the #TrumpVirus: severely restrict movement of people already in the country, while permitting unlimited movement of people into the country.

    #LockDownTheInterior
    #OpenTheBorders

    1. LOL

    2. So immigrants bring our food over with them when they cross the border? Could we ask them to pick up some extra TP on their way?

      1. I heard Mexican tp still has trace amounts of cocaine in it.

        1. We could use a little numbing down there from the reaming we’ve been taking

    3. Thank you immigrants at the Smithfield SD plant for putting your lives at risk to make sure our communities are fed healthy and sa…………………………………………………………..

      Er, Never Mind.

  10. “The calculations are not questionable; they are either wrong or unknown.”

    “Not questionable”? If they are “wrong” they *have been* questioned; if they are “unknown” they are *being* questioned.

  11. We need Big Brother to beat this virus
    Don’t let the civil liberties lobby blind us to the fact that greater state surveillance, including ID cards, is required

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/we-need-big-brother-to-beat-this-virus-5b0njl68r

    1. We need some sort of marker you could wear to show you have been tested.
      I suggest a yellow star on your lapel, or perhaps a tattoo on your forearm.

      1. You should be forced to carry identity papers (to prove you’ve been vaccinated) that the police can demand at any time when you are heading TO the polling place, and it is immoral to ask for identification papers AT the polling place.

        1. or Bills Gates patented under the skin microchip that informs official of all your vaccinations, by the way the paten no. is 060606

          I have not confirmed this FB meme but since their fact checkers didn’t delete it, it must be true.

  12. “[President Trump’s executive order] makes no sense outside pursuing the president’s pre-coronavirus policy agenda and making his base feel all warm and fuzzy.”

    It’s called “democracy”, and the legitimate and effective libertarian response is not opprobrium. It’s persuasion. Rather than condemning the president and the swing voters in rust belt swing states he’s catering to, we should work on persuading them.

    Premise 1
    Premise 2
    Conclusion

    Don’t they still teach this stuff in journalism school?

    They don’t actually teach journalists to hate their readers, do they?

    1. You misspelled “Promise”, Ken.

      1. And writing checks. That’s the important part.

      2. Misspelled Promise – good band name

        1. I thought that was the nickname your parents gave you.

          1. No, there was never any promise there.
            Just a lifetime of shame

            1. “…a lifetime of shame.”

              Another great band name. Or at least an album’s.

  13. The Trump administration said on Tuesday that an executive order temporarily closing all U.S. borders would be signed on Wednesday…

    Sure, in the case of a pandemic the government has every right to close the border between my front door and the outside world, but closing the country’s borders? That’s the immoral way to wreck the economy!

  14. LA Times: The Real Victims Here Are The Bats
    https://www.dailywire.com/news/la-times-the-real-victims-here-are-the-bats

    Yup, while the coronavirus COVID-19 that has inflicted worldwide trauma is indelibly associated with bats, the Times took space to argue that the creatures are really the victims, titling the piece, “Bats get blamed for the coronavirus. But bats face their own virus risk — from humans.”

    The article begins with a rather bland paragraph, considering the voluminous evidence supporting it: “As forensic virologists search to uncover the origins of COVID-19, bats have been fingered as a likely source. Genetic analyses show the virus is very similar to one harbored by Chinese horseshoe bats, and researchers think it’s possible it jumped from those winged mammals to people.”

    But then, the Times swiftly reverses direction: “But some bat lovers and chiropterologists — scientists who study the flying mammals — are adamant there is no proof. Instead, they’re wringing their hands about the reverse: That people with COVID-19 could spread the disease to their furry, nocturnal housemates.”

    1. Bat-lickers?

      1. Bat-butt-lickers

    2. That’s what those damn bats get for eating human soup.

  15. Follow the science!
    Unless we don’t like the answers.

  16. https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1252596570308014080

    Scott Adams
    @ScottAdamsSays
    ·
    23h
    If #coronavirus only targeted young males, the economy would not have shut down. That would just look like every other war.
    Replies
    Pat
    @VIPatriarch
    ·
    23h
    Replying to
    @ScottAdamsSays
    Media would still publish articles on how it’s worse for women because they survive and have to live with the changes afterwards.
    Tony
    @OCcornpop
    ·
    23h
    Replying to
    @ScottAdamsSays
    Exactly. And the same Karen’s nagging everyone to stay in their homes in perpetuity would be shaming any man afraid to go to work and provide for their family.

    1. If #coronavirus only targeted young males, the economy would not have shut down. That would just look like every other war.

      Beautiful. 8-(

      1. Epidemiologists gathered in their masses
        Just like witches at black masses
        Evil minds that plot destruction
        Sorcerers of death’s construction

        1. That’s pretty good, Leo. And poignant. Like my penis.

          1. Even Ozzy wouldn’t bite the head off of a bat at these times.

            1. My favorite meme in this is the one of Gordon Ramsay yelling “This bat is raw! You are gonna kill someone!”

        2. Epidemiologists seldom make passes
          at witches at black masses.

    2. I thought Scott Adams was a big pro-lockdown doomer a couple weeks ago? Am I misremembering, or has he changed his tune?

      1. Most people were pro-lockdown a few weeks ago. When the only models you have show 2.2 million deaths and 3-10% fatality rate and when every other country that had an outbreak shut down hard, you go with what seems the safest path. Now that we are debating whether it is really 0.1% or closer to 0.3% attitudes have shifted.

        The way I know this is a lot less serious than was originally claimed? Politicians and media are right back in the knee-jerk partisanship games they like to play. The minute Pelosi scuttled the first stimulus package agreement I realized they knew something we didn’t and this whole thing was just one more way to push policies they can’t get through persuasion.

        1. Except the stimulus was *supposed* to address a very real crisis (that was created by addressing the fake crisis)

      2. He was pro-lockdown, like almost everyone, when it was supposed to be for only two weeks.

        1. OK. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with having differing opinions and adjusting them based on evidence; that’s what one would like to see obviously. I just thought I remembered him calling out Alex Berenson for his anti-lockdown stance, and being kind of disappointed.

  17. https://twitter.com/ComfortablySmug/status/1252664564321325058

    Comfortably Smug
    @ComfortablySmug
    I love how Dems think saying “immigrants are our servants” is a good message.

    Shut the fuck up Beto. Your family made money kicking poor people and Mexican Americans out of their houses.
    Quote Tweet

    Beto O’Rourke
    @BetoORourke
    · 21h
    Who the fuck do you think is working on the farms and feed lots, in the packing houses and processing plants at a time where we are struggling to feed ourselves? Who is in the kitchen? Who is picking, preparing, serving the food we eat and cleaning up afterwards?

    1. https://twitchy.com/brettt-3136/2020/04/21/beto-orourke-wants-to-know-whos-going-to-clean-up-after-our-meals-if-the-president-suspends-immigration/

      Your Conservative Friend
      @ConserviFriend
      Replying to @BetoORourke
      According to this tweet, Beto thinks an immigrant’s place is in…
      -the fields
      -manufacturing plants
      -doing house or custodial work
      -But most damning, not at home under quarantine.

      One would almost think he’s okay with immigrants risking their lives as long as its to serve him

      1. Zing

      2. No, they are all skilled doctors and engineers that run food trucks.

        1. And the ones that are not are valedictorians.

          1. Or coders

    2. Who is picking, preparing, serving the food we eat and cleaning up afterwards?

      Can’t rely on the natives at the Anthony Police department to clean p a fucking thing can you Beto?

  18. Lots of layoffs have been hitting digital media companies.

    We’re in this together.

    1. Perhaps Rep. Omar will propose legislation requiring *everyone* to be laid off.

      1. Perhaps Rep. Omar will propose legislation requiring *everyone* to be laid off.

        FTFY

        1. Only if they marry their brother.

          1. Adapted brother? If so, go on…

      2. Except socialist legislators, or course – – – – – – – –

        1. All the cabins in northern Michigan we’re not allowed to go to anymore will be converted to dachas.

    2. its not like they weren’t collapsing prior to the Kungflu

  19. The U.S. House of Representatives will vote today on whether to allow members to vote remotely. Meanwhile in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected a proposal (from Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul) to do the same.

    #NonEssential

    1. Goddammit. Now I can’t shake the mental image of Mitch McConnell logging on to the Senate GoToMeeting in his underwear.

      If you thought nobody was safe when Congress is in session before…

      1. What does turtle underwear even look like?

        1. I was picturing boxers with little elephants.

        2. They allow the head to protrude and quickly retract when frightened?

  20. OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says two planes sent to China to pick up shipments of sorely needed medical supplies were forced to return to Canada empty.

    Trudeau told reporters today that the cargo-less planes are an example of the complexities in China when it comes to securing personal protective equipment, which has become a valuable commodity in the global battle against Covid-19.

    “Unfortunately, the planes had to take off in this situation without receiving their cargo deliveries,” Trudeau said during his daily Covid-19 update. “We have been fighting in a very competitive international environment where everyone is looking for PPE.”

    He said the planes sent across the Pacific to pick up PPE — one on behalf of the federal government and the other for a province — returned to Canada on Monday. Trudeau declined to identify the province.

    The prime minister described “severe restrictions” on the ground in China in terms of how long an airplane can stay in airports before they are forced to leave — full or not.

    He said supply lines and truck shipments to China’s airports are “difficult and interrupted by checkpoints and quarantine measures.” Trudeau did not specify whether the recent introduction of tougher export controls in China have been contributing to the hold ups.

    1. There is no excuse for ever trading with China again after this. It is a criminal government that is unworthy of membership in the civilized world.

      1. “yeah you know all that gear you bought? We’re taking it back. Fuck off” – China

      2. Never let a crisis go to waste, John.

        1. Never let reality interfere with your ideology Leo.

      3. Individuals trade. Governments get in the way.

    2. The prime minister described “severe restrictions” on the ground in China in terms of how long an airplane can stay in airports before they are forced to leave — full or not.
      More bureaucratic wisdom. You just love to see it.

      1. But, but, but, the virus is over in Communist China. Everything is back to normal.

        Oh, wait. Checkpoints and contract canceling are the normal in Communist China.

    3. In a just world, Canadians make a citizens arrest of this degenerate coward.

      He’s making us look like limp fools before China.

      A fool is running Canada. A FUCKEN FOOL.

    4. And good old Gov Newsom just gave China 1/2 a billion cash upfront for PPEs that will probably never arrive. who the hell is he paying off, is this what he owes China for him turning California into a communist state. And why is anyone buying PPEs from China, they’ve already failed to deliver other deliveries, Australia had to turn back a bunch of bad products and many that have arrived have been tested and shown to be contaminated with the Kungflu. What is wrong with these people are they stupid or just want more people sick.

      1. “who the hell is he paying off”

        Good question

        1. Follow the Hunter.

  21. “New York City’s coronavirus cases aren’t correlated with neighborhood density at all,” notes Slate.

    They think we have enough information at this point to make a determination one way or the other.

  22. “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2020

    This is a distraction? Here’s what’s really going on . . .

    U.S. Navy officials said that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy made a series of “dangerous and harassing” moves near six American warships earlier this month, in the first such encounter since 2018.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-warns-iran-against-u-s-navy-harassment-11587560720?

    So, in short, President Trump has continued to ignore escalating provocations by Iran at least six times over the past three weeks–and finally is giving Iran a clear warning.

    I don’t know whether ENB is writing this despite really knowing what’s going on. Assuming she’s unaware of the facts and simply a TDS victim is probably giving her the benefit of the doubt. Regardless, people should be aware that it’s possible to walk away less knowledgeable after reading these posts than they would be if they’d read nothing.

    1. Correction!

      It looks like they may made at least one move at six warships rather than moves at ships on six different occassions.

      The point still stands.

      1. How stupid do you have to be to screw around with US warships?

        1. The Iranians completely understand our Media and who they will blame for any provocation.

          china is proudly replaying clips of the Media and Daily show each night in China.

          1. At least our media has become very consistent.

      2. Were you aware that Russia does this sort of thing to our guys regularly? Trump never says a word. Russia also interferes in our elections. Trump doesn’t care about that either because he only cares about things that align with him getting reelected. He’s sell Ken to Satan if it helped him win Wisconsin. Everything is sacrificed on that altar.

        1. That is just so unlike anyone else in office, I just have never heard of such a thing in my whole life. I’m literally shaking right now.

        2. Iran’s provocations have been monumental in the Persian Gulf since President Trump reimposed sanctions on them, and to pretend otherwise is to be willfully ignorant.

          They’ve seized the ships of our allies coming through the Persian Gulf and attacked oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia–and we did nothing. We only responded when the Iranians killed American contractors.

          President Trump has shown remarkable restraint in the face of Iranian provocations because Iran’s intent was to provoke the United States into attacking them and then using that as wedge between the U.S. and our European allies to make them drop out of the sanctions regime.

          I don’t think President Trump should do anything to endanger the world’s support for the sanctions regime until Iran comes back into compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but if President Trump should draw a red-line anywhere, attacking or threatening to attack Americans is probably exactly where that red line should be.

        3. Aren’t you a good little npc

        4. Your cites fell off asshole.

        5. Trump has in fact responded about the Russian actions, including during the original campaign.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/02/14/in-first-under-trump-russian-jets-buzzed-a-u-s-destroyer-at-close-range/

          Just because you’re ignorant of something doesn’t mean that thing didn’t occur.

        6. I mean, he even told the CBS reporter just 2 weeks ago that the Russian provacations weren’t good.

          https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-wont-give-response-russian-provocations-putin-2017-2

          Of course the media tried to spin the narrative a bit.

          But this is a bit different than never saying a word isn’t it.

      3. ENB is a birdbrain, and willfully distorts.

      4. I seem to remember Trump started WW3 like 3 months ago with the Ukraine or something. So on to WW4 I guess.

    2. Is this harassment a threat? Its like children throwing rocks at the cops. Responding with deadly force is absurd.

      1. More like children threatening to throw rocks.

        1. Oh. Iranians boarding a transport ship yesterday is just like fake rock throwing. Got it.

          1. 2016 called, Jesse. It wants its somewhat relevant story back.

            1. Chipper, do you hate being stupid? 5 seconds could have saved you from demonstrating your stupidity.

              https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gulf-iran-tanker/iran-detained-hong-kong-flagged-ship-before-letting-it-sail-sources-idUSKCN21X2GG

            2. Can I ask Chipper… do you ever get tired of apologizing to China or Iran?

              1. He seems to have run and hid from this embarrassing claim.

                Reminds me of that time Obama told Romney the 80’s wanted their foreign policy back.

                1. It was a remarkably stupid thing for him to say.

                  The videos of the harassment are amazing. It’s a bunch of overgrown fishing boats playing chicken at guided missile destroyers and oceangoing cutters that are trying to follow the rules of the road in one of the world’s most congested seaways. Especially when it was a boat about the size of one of those Vospers that put a gigantic hole in the side of USS Cole from a suicide bomb. The US has shown quite a lot of restraint up till now, which—in the way of idiotic bullies everywhere—has only served to embolden the IRGC’s provocations.

                  What’s especially spicy about doing it now, is that the main thing that stays a US lethal response to one of these dummies looking like they’re trying to ram, is that a return to the days of Operation Praying Mantis would cause oil prices to rise. Not that big a concern these days…

                  It’s true though, the US and Russian have swapped paint on a few occassions. They used to really hate the USN doing freedom of navigation in parts of the Black Sea; see, USS Caron. It’s generally a bit more civilized though, and the Russians haven’t been known to suicidally ram their ships into things. Unlike radical Shiites and Sunnis.

                  1. Clearly, there was an overreaction.

                    for most of the country (except for hotspots and areas within fifty miles along an interstate from a hot spot), most places could have been opened after the two-week lockdown with restrictions such as reduced seating for restaurants and masks for employees.

                    Massage parlors, barbershops, and hair salons could have stayed open with restrictions such as requiring a hand sanitizer station at the entrance, requiring employees to wear surgical masks and gloves, and changing gloves after each client.

                    There would not have been so much opposition to these lockdowns if lockdowns had been restricted to hot spots and places within fifty miles along an interstate from a hot spot

        2. A few relevant Niven’s Laws: “Don’t throw rocks at armed men. Don’t stand near someone throwing rocks at armed men.”

          At 82, I have to imagine we’ll be reading his obituary sooner than later, which’ll be a shame.

    3. Trump’s latest attempt to distract people from how badly his administration is handling the COVID-19 outbreak may get us into another Middle Eastern conflict.

      It should be pointed out that Iran’s actions in using gunboats to harass US naval vessels is merely an attempt by the Iranian government to distract people from how badly they’ve handled the coronavirus outbreak in their own country.

      1. And yet Trump’s racism, xenophobia, and anti-Islamist leanings are clearly on display here – notice he didn’t give orders for the Navy to fire at will at Canadian, British or Australian gunboats harassing their ships, obviously Trump doesn’t see white people who speak English as the same sort of threat that brown-skinned foreigner Muslims are.

        1. I can assure you that any Canadian, British, or Australian gunboats harassing the US Navy will be delt with using appropriate force.

          1. Moonings and middle fingers?

            1. Not allowing them to buy any more F-35s, more likely.

          2. What would Canadian harassment look like?

            Not saying please when requesting a course correction?

    4. Is this Trump’s 3rd world war or his 4th?

      Noticeably absent… Iranian ships dangerously approaching US vessels. Iranian ships boarding a Hong Kong flagged transport ship yesterday.

      Nope, this is bad because Trump did something.

      1. It’s been a few days since she’s embarrassed herself with TDS.

  23. Reason‘s Brian Doherty on “what each side of the COVID-19 debate should understand about the other.”

    They either want to pave the way for communism or they want everyone DEAD.

    1. Sorta the same end game.

    2. I was philosophically opposed to President Trump brokering a deal between Mexico and Saudi Arabia to curb oil production to address the glut–although it’s interesting to see OPEC being replaced by the United States and its allies. If the United States brokering production curbs between our allies, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, isn’t evidence of the U.S. and and its allies superseding OPEC, then what is?

      Seeing the price of oil go negative due to a lack of storage capacity in the United States was an amazing thing. Yeah, for a while, there, they would pay you take oil off their hands because they had nowhere to store it. That might make it appear that President Trump’s efforts in brokering that deal between Mexico and the Saudis was too little too late, but how much worse would it be if he hadn’t been able to strike that deal?

      Yesterday, we spent a lot of time discussing the potential for political instability as the unemployment rate surpasses 20% in some states and seems to be heading towards 25% or 30%–Great Depression levels of unemployment. How do you think they’re doing in Iran right about now with the price of oil so low. They were still managing to sell some of their oil at reduced prices through the black market, that source of income is presumably gone–once the price of oil drops below zero, there’s no point in asking the world to drop the sanctions that prevent them from selling it on the world market. The world market doesn’t want your oil for the time being.

      The demand for oil isn’t coming back the moment the economy Cuomo and Newsom lift the lock-downs either. The unemployed drive less than they did when they were employed, and when people are afraid of becoming unemployed, they cut back on unnecessary travel. Iran is in the middle of a war ravaged region, they’ve been devastated by COVID-19, the only thing they have to trade for currency on the world market isn’t in demand, and that demand isn’t about to come back like it was in the near future.

      The Democrats are or should be worried about a populist backlash against progressives and their lock-downs come November. Emperor Xi is probably more worried about controlling his people than he’s ever been before, but topping them all off, the likelihood of a general uprising in Iran may be up over 50%. Just when you thought their prospects could get any darker, they went darker than pitch black.

      1. Wasn’t supposed to be a reply.

        Where’s my caffeine?

      2. Nicely written, Ken.

        1. I get partial credit because it was a reply to me.

      3. I bought gas for my car exactly once in March, and once again the first week of April, and I still have about 3/4 of a tank.

        Normally, I would be filling up once a week.

      4. WTI was what went negative. Brent I believe, has been in the 20s-low 30s throughout this. Still really bad news for Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and every other oil-kleptocracy.

    3. means to the end?

  24. Police in Virginia arrest 30 for soliciting minors.
    Fairfax County Police called the sting Operation COVID Crackdown.
    Add that to your COVID victim counts.

  25. Turns out that there’s never enough shit when it’s handed out free:

    “‘Such a mess’: Bay Area businesses despair as government loans are exhausted”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Such-a-mess-Bay-Area-businesses-despair-as-15216872.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    It’s almost like this is predictable!

    1. What do you mean there isn’t enough free money?

      1. Turns out the money printing machines are also made in Communist China, and they need them all.,

  26. UPMC says feared coronavirus surge ‘simply hasn’t happened,’ will resume elective surgeries

    https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/04/upmc-says-coronavirus-surge-simply-hasnt-happened-will-resume-elective-surgeries.html

    Of 5,500 beds in the UPMC hospital system, only 2% are occupied by COVID-19 patients, as are 8% percent of intensive care beds, according to Yealy, who also said UPMC has strong supplies of protective equipment such as masks, shields and gowns.

    The 118 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at UPMC hospitals are “not a significant increase from last week,” he said.

    Yealy further said the rate of positive coronavirus tests done through UPMC hospitals has dropped to 6.6 percent, down from 12 percent earlier in the pandemic, another sign the coronavirus threat is declining in areas served by UPMC.

    Moreover, UPMC has been hearing from patients who delayed surgeries related to things such as heart conditions or cancer, and is “not comfortable with the disruption in care this has caused for people who don’t have COVID-19,” he said.

    Elective surgeries are a major source of profit for hospitals. Hospitals say the loss of revenue, combined with the cost of preparing for the coronavirus, is taking a devastating financial toll that could cause some to close.

    1. “Our efforts to keep hospitals open caused them to close”

    2. Because it is just fine if you die from delayed cancer treatment, as long as we don’t have to count you as a C19 death.

      1. They want to count you as a C19 death, and will if you so much as cough.

      2. Don’t you see? If you die from delayed cancer treatment that you couldn’t get because of the C19 “crisis,” you ARE a victim of the C19 pandemic! This just proves what the experts have been saying all along, non-C19 patients will die due to disruption in the healthcare system! Amazing how they are always right.

      3. Flattening for some curves, heightening for others.

  27. I posted this last night but it’s worth posting again

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/harvard-homeschool-article-dangerous-parents-risk

    Harvard law professor calls for a ban on homeschooling
    There’s a lot of craziness to sift through, but this quote is probably my favorite

    “I think that’s dangerous. I think it’s always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless, and to give the powerful ones total authority.”

    that kettle isn’t going to call itself black

    1. “I think that’s dangerous. I think it’s always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless, and to give the powerful ones total authority.”

      *THAT* takes a lack of self-awareness which is probably only available to those with doctorates.

      1. You just have to have the “right people”.

    2. That’s why a highly-desired Harvard education costs so much. You think professors with that 10th degree black belt ability in cognitive dissonance grow on trees?

    3. Someone is trying to make an early claim for a light post.

  28. Oh, and the TP shortage?
    Look at it this way: In every government-run hell-hole, what’s the first thing to go missing? T-f’ing-P!
    So all those folks hoovering it up the day the government took control of the economy and started us along the path to hell-hole were simply acting in a rational manner;

  29. Trump cutting off immigration makes sense, not sure why you say it doesn’t. The media said back in February that he was xenophobic for closing out china, then last month and this month they switched to “he didn’t do enough, he let in 40k people!”, without mentioning those were US citizens and green-card holders. He’s basically calling their bluff, and the media is falling into the trap, they’re already flipping stances again. Trump’s taking the initiative from the media while making them look nuts even to their own supporters, these fuckwits are changing stances every week back and forth, while Trump has remained pretty stationery on his stances.

    The fucking media is trying to claim that Trump is weak on China and that BIDEN of all people will be strong, never mind that you can find plenty of clips from Trump before he even ran hating on China for economic reasons, while Biden still has the whole thing with his loser son going on. I really want to see the two debate

    1. Biden will get crushed like a bug.

    2. “these fuckwits are changing stances every week back and forth”

      We’re up to daily in some cases. And if he wins re-election, I predict some will go to hourly.

  30. You would think a libertarian site would care… but Facebook is now openly deleting any protest related posts regarding reopening the country.

    1. Only the ones that “the government” doesn’t like.

      1. Reason: it’s not a 1A issue because it’s a private company acting on behalf of the government!

    2. Are they deleting pro illegal immigration posts? No? Then fuck of.

    3. The fucked up part was, they initially pledged to delete only the ones that violated social distancing guidance. Which, it wouldn’t be the first time Zuck confused his artificial construct with reality, Facebook knows people’s cohabitation status *and* location within 6 ft. and down to the minute, or both.

  31. https://tech.slashdot.org/story/20/04/21/2031257/whos-behind-the-reopen-domain-surge

    The Reddit discussion focused on a handful of new domains — including reopenmn.com, reopenpa.com, and reopenva.com — that appeared to be tied to various gun rights groups in those states. Their registrations have roughly coincided with contemporaneous demonstrations in Minnesota, California and Tennessee where people showed up to protest quarantine restrictions over the past few days. Suspecting that these were but a subset of a larger corpus of similar domains registered for every state in the union, KrebsOnSecurity ran a domain search report at DomainTools [an advertiser on this site], requesting any and all domains registered in the past month that begin with “reopen” and end in “.com.” That lookup returned approximately 150 domains; in addition to those named after the individual 50 states, some of the domains refer to large American cities or counties, and others to more general concepts, such as “reopeningchurch.com” or “reopenamericanbusiness.com.” Many of the domains are still dormant, leading to parked pages and registration records obscured behind privacy protection services. But a review of other details about these domains suggests a majority of them are tied to various gun rights groups, state Republican Party organizations, and conservative think tanks, religious and advocacy groups.

    1. Astroturfing! It’s pretty clear there’s some nefarious shit going on when web sites advocating for re-opening the economy are tied directly to groups of people who advocate for re-opening the economy.

      1. It’s a conspiracy!

      2. Astroturfing! It’s pretty clear there’s some nefarious shit going on when web sites advocating for re-opening the economy are tied directly to vaguely and loosely associated with groups of people who advocate for re-opening the economy.

        The majority of people interested in reopening the country are buying up domains based on multiple states and are themselves members of right-leaning groups or loosely affiliated with right-leaning groups!

        I can’t decide if it’s better or worse that they didn’t invoke the Russians.

    2. What a surprise. Those who value freedom want freedom.

    3. What a shock, those who already actively protest government action in other areas are the first to understand how to go about protesting government action in this situation.

  32. The irony of all this was that this completely illegal and irrational lockdown *supposed* to avoid ‘overwhelming the system’ yet as this goes on and on, the COVID itself isn’t doing that but we’re over working health workers by keeping the lockdown in place – to say nothing of put the lives of people who need other medical attention.

    Also, it was to ‘flatten the curve’. The second the jargon came up you knew this was going to be ‘two weeks’ in perpetuity.

    The longer the politicians listen to medical bureaucrats and don’t do their damn jobs and lead, the more dangerous, ironically, this becomes.

    People. This isn’t rocket science. Maybe to piece of shits like Patton Oswalt it is, but not to people of sound mind.

    1. Another irony is that by canceling pretty much all non life threatening medical care, in the US at least, medical practices and hospitals are going broke. In the middle of a pandemic, doctors and nurses are being laid off nearly as often as restaurant workers. In most of the country there are not that many Chinese Virus cases and most of the rest of the work has been prohibited. It is pure lunacy.

      1. I had to explain to a close friend (who earns way more money than me and is now an owner of a rental income property) the concept of wealth and how when you shut down an economy (which really has never been done before in the history of mankind – just to show you how incredibly soft and retarded we’ve become) wealth is permanently lost. He thought you ‘just start up again’ and go on.

        It boggles the mind how splendidly clueless people are.

        No, when you do shit like this you can’t make any of this back. It’s lost for good. And that WILL manifest itself in many mysterious ways (draws stick people). One mere example for any fuckhead paying close attention is putting people into debt for this. You just set them back for years just on that count ALONE.

        Now, if you’re degenerate illberal you just say ‘MMT’ but that will in fact just worsen it. Like putting Kirkland’s saliva on a wound.

        The other part people don’t get is small business operate on margins and volume in some cases. Cash flows take YEARS to build up. They seem to think this works like a switch. Ok, get back to work!

        The businesses that do survive – thanks to taking on the government heroin loans – will literally have to operate as if they’re starting up again. I reckon that will be my case. I have 11 employees. Not all 11 will be coming back. I think, maybe 3, to start.

        I can’t talk to people these days because I’m realizing they’re fucken Zombies. An intellectual desolate wasteland of morons.

        1. A good practical example is to look at any stock market decline, which is a short term hit, and compare to the subsequent recovery. Sometimes we describe them as V-shaped, but the slope on the down is ALWAYS much much steeper than the slope on the up.

          What took government weeks to destroy will take months or even years to recover from.

          1. This one will take, like, a loooong time if people remain scared and this prolongs.

            The reason is simple. Past downturns didn’t have to deal with the closure of the economy.

            People don’t understand that the hairdresser, electrolysis worker, baker, and all those micro-small businesses make up a large portion of an economy that keeps people afloat. You just put millions of them off work.

            To me? This is one of the great immoral acts of time.

            1. Yes, there is some level of business that remains pretty much consistent no matter how bad the economy gets (in a natural downturn). People always get their hair cut, etc., no matter what. A major loss of revenue simply doesn’t factor into those business models- until now.

              Speaking of “recession proof” businesses, I wonder if even funeral homes are going to be hurting? I mean, on the one hand, at least in a few places, there are as many or more dead people as ever. However, regular wakes/funerals are not going on in most places I’m sure. Even for people who don’t die from KungFlu, and would have died and had a funeral otherwise. Most obituaries I see are either putting off a “memorial service” until some unspecified future time, or just not doing anything formal at all. That has to hurt revenue from the big moneymakers- fancy caskets, getting the corpse prettied up for an open casket viewing, renting out the funeral parlor…

        2. The only ones who understand are those who have had to meet a payroll.

          1. ^^This^^

            The day you have to meet payroll is the day it ‘gets real’. It’s no longer about play money and game theory.

            It’s about lives.

            1. Which explains why our “leaders” are so fucking clueless.

        3. Down here workers don’t wanna come back.

          https://www.npr.org/2020/04/21/838879361/bitter-taste-for-coffee-shop-owner-as-new-600-jobless-benefit-closed-her-busines

          $600 per week.

          That’s what the federal government is now offering to people who’ve lost their jobs because of the coronavirus.

          For many workers and employers, that money is a godsend — a way to keep food on the table while also cutting payroll costs.

          But the extra money can create some awkward situations. Some businesses that want to keep their doors open say it’s hard to do so when employees can make more money by staying home.

          “We basically have this situation where it would be a logical choice for a lot of people to be unemployed,” said Sky Marietta, who opened a coffee shop along with her husband, Geoff, last year in Harlan, Ky.

      2. Elective and non emergency care is big business in the USA.

        A family member who works in a hospital had to put half her staff on vacation for 3 days becuse they have no COVId19 nor any elective surgery patients to make ends meet.

    2. lockdown *supposed* to avoid ‘overwhelming the system’

      Well, Rufus — you know only the *medical* system counts, so … SUCCESS!

  33. Anyone else have problems with not being able to post links using html tags? Whenever I try to post a comment with embedded links the entire comment gets eaten by the squirrels and never shows up. Weird.

    1. This site is so buggy. There was a period of several weeks that I could not post any links. Then it resolved on its own. Perhaps a small sacrificial offering to the squirrels will do the trick?

      1. It’s possible I fat fingered the html tags, but in the past when I’ve done that it didn’t 86 the entire comment. Oh well, I suppose a sacrificial offering wouldn’t hurt. I’ll have to see if I have any mixed nuts around here and go get to work on building a sacrificial altar.

        1. Remember that squirrels also eat baby birds.

          1. that can’t be true.

            1. Squirrels are opportunistic omnivores. If they find an unattended nest: ‘Winner, winner, chicken dinner!’

    2. Post too many links (for me usually two) and your comment goes to moderation purgatory.

  34. How is it possible that the Reason commentators “knew” this for the last two months, while officials never even once gave it a single thought?

    The horses were gone for months before we welded that door shut.

  35. Tedros gonna terror. Did you notice his recent presser about how the worst is yet to come with a ‘trust us?’

    ‘And the virus is gonna form into a big monster and it’s gonna make noise like this ‘Ryeeeearggh!’ and ‘Reeeeeeeee!’ and it’s going to then morph into a big blob drinking the blood of white kids and Israeli’s because of what they did to Palestine. And then it’s going to mutate and take human form….”

    CNN reporter (interjecting): Like in The Thing?

    Tedros (snaps finger): YES! Like in The Thing. And it’s gonna go around French kissing everyone so that its people will take over and this is why the WHO must take over all properties! WE’RE HERE TO SAVE EVERY SINGLE HODGY AND HICK!

    Stands up. Takes towel and clips it with clothesline clip.

    TA-DAH!

    World bows in fear.

  36. The move, as we noted yesterday, makes no sense outside pursuing the president’s pre-coronavirus policy agenda and making his base feel all warm and fuzzy.

    Ms. Brown, are you willfully stupid? Just where the fuck do you think KungFlu came from? Boise? No dummy, we imported them from China and Europe. So yeah, let’s stop to ingress of infected people.

  37. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/shut-up-the-experts-explained/

    Shut Up, the Experts Explained

    Best article title of the week so far.

  38. Gronk to Tampa Bay is bad news for Tampa Bay. They’re selling their future short for today, and they’re doing it despite the facdt that Belichick is selling both Brady and Gronk short–because he thinks he can build a better team without them and their contracts.

    What does Tampa Bay know about Brady and Gronk that Bill Belichick doesn’t know?

    I just hope this means the Redskins get a crack at a decent option at TE. If we can get a legitimate starter at TE, then all we’ll need is two more offensive linemen, two starting cornerbacks, another starting wide receiver, and a legitimate option at QB in case Haskings turns out to have been a flash in the pan. As things stand, I expect we’ll get a top three pick next year, too.

    But that’s okay because we’re gonna get an upgrade at DE?

    No. That’s not the way the football team thingy works.

    1. Gronk to Tampa Bay is bad news for Tampa Bay.

      Yeah, let’s trade a 4th round pick for a TE who’s been out of football for a year, lost a ton of weight (he looks more like a WR now) and was injury prone before he “retired.” After signing a 42 year old QB who was showing clear signs of decline last year (although admittedly with a sub-standard receiving corps). Sounds to me like Tampa Bay’s management is intent on going back to the early days of the franchise when they were a complete laughing stock in a couple of years if not sooner.

      1. Steve DeBerg was awesome.

      2. 4th round puck isn’t a big price.
        Brady’s salary isn’t a big price.
        You can doubt that the moves will go as well as hoped without going Ken’s insane take route.
        Bigger question is what the hell Tampa’s offense is going to look like, since Arians never really had a spot in the passing game tor TEs and they now have 3, and what they might get for OJ Howard in a trade.

        As for the Redskins… they should call up Detroit and see if they’ll swap picks. Ask for a 3rd and Jesse James

        1. Then take Isaiah Simmons

    2. The Eagles have two solid TEs.

      And the Bucs don’t know anything more. They just figure Ariens can work with sloppy seconds.

  39. New data contradict current wisdom about COVID-19 on the West Coast.

    I’m beginning to suspect we don’t know everything about the virus right now.

  40. “…U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 45,000,!!!!!!!!!!”

    OK:
    ” In total, the CDC estimates that up to 42.9 million people got sick during the 2018-2019 flu season, 647,000 people were hospitalized and 61,200 died. That’s fairly on par with a typical season, and well below the CDC’s 2017-2018 estimates of 48.8 million illnesses, 959,000 hospitalizations and 79,400 deaths.”
    https://time.com/5610878/2018-2019-flu-season/

    And we have vaccines for the seasonal variety.
    Now tell me why I’m imprisoned and can only venture out of doors wearing one of those I’M-A-FUCKING-SNOWFLAKE! masks.

    1. You are comparing estimated deaths for the flu with confirmed deaths for coronavirus.

      1. LOL We’ve been past “confirmed” covid deaths for almost a month. On March 24 the CDC decided that presumptive cases would also count.

        1. That’s still different from estimated cases.

          1. “That’s still different from estimated cases.”
            You.
            Are.
            Full.
            Of.
            Shit.
            The flue deaths are historical fact. This year may be an estimate, but that 61K is a FACT, you cowardly piece of shit.

            1. All those who care about the Reason commentariat and are tired of boorish behavior. Join me in writing to Reason management and asking for stronger moderation (all following email addresses @reason.org):
              – David Nott, President, Reason Foundation, davidnott
              – Jennifer Kambara, Director of Supporter Relations, jennifer.kambara
              – Nick Gillespie, nick
              – Katherine Mangu-Ward, kmward
              – Ronald Bailey, rbailey
              Let’s stop putting up with it.

    2. Because this pandemic has only just gotten started. Yeah, the fucktard government overreacted, but pretending this is just the common flu is bullshit. We just got started. We have barely reached the peak, and still don’t know if it’s a peak or a plateau. You’re trying to compare two months to an entire year of the flu.

      1. “We just got started, but we don’t know if it’s a peak or plateau “ means you don’t know anything.

      2. FWIW, statewide lockdowns are probably more of an overreaction relative to the danger of COVID-19 than downplaying the severity of COVID-19 relative to the flu is an underreaction.

      3. “We just got started.”

        Stuff your PANIC!!! flag up your ass, stick first, sit on it and spin, you cowardly piece of shit.

  41. It truly warns my heart that I’m seeing more and more opinions like this one being written, arguing about the imperative need for deglobalization in general, and decoupling from China in particular:

    https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3080741/world-waking-risks-relying-china-its-critical-medical-supplies

    Charles Koch won’t like it a bit, but I really don’t care what he thinks.

  42. > Overall, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has now surpassed 45,000.

    CDC estimates around 46,000 flu related deaths in the US for last season. That’s one whole year’s worth of flu related deaths. COVID-19 has now reached that number and we’re just barely hitting the peak.

    Still saying it’s nothing but the common flu? Shut the fuck up.

    1. You’re seriously still trying to create hysteria?

      Stay locked up in your house forever like the frightened like pussy that you are. Better yet, fuck off and die, turd.

    2. ” In total, the CDC estimates that up to 42.9 million people got sick during the 2018-2019 flu season, 647,000 people were hospitalized and 61,200 died.”

      That 61K is an historical average, you cowardly piece of shit.
      Go ask your mommy to save you from the boogy man.

    3. It’s nothing but the common flu. Now make me shut up you fucking bitch.

    4. End the hysteria.

      Influenza in 2017-18 killed 79,000 Americans and infected 45 million+.

      Heart disease kills 650,000 Americans per year. Add in all the other things that kill Americans and KungFlu is a fly fleck on the death certificate of America.

  43. Of course corona pandemic deaths started earlier. The NY Times told me it started in November 2016.

    1. So ENB will have this info in the roundup tomorrow?

  44. obviously ENB is not aware of the Iranian boats threatening American ships. of course little is reported in the news about anything other than the Kungflu. maybe now with trumps pronouncement the media will pay attention to other outside issues where countries are trying to take advantage of the Kunglu distraction

    1. “maybe now with trumps pronouncement the media will pay attention to other outside issues”

      And by paying attention you mean blaming Trump for them too.

  45. Trump threatens Iran via Twitter

    Does the Quds force know they can block his account?

    1. I thought the Supreme Court ruled they couldn’t do that?

  46. @ryanstruyk is morty!

  47. “New York City’s coronavirus cases aren’t correlated with neighborhood density at all,” notes Slate.

    So? It has to do with the shoulder-to-shoulder density of people in public places in NYC, not the density of residences.

  48. Reason doesn’t seem to understand common sense. Less people = less risk of spread.

    1. You don’t understand immigration. Trump is not closing borders, he is holding up people that were immigrating the right way. You know, the ones all the craven nativists point to as the example to follow? Yeah, them. Trump just screwed them too. So why shouldn’t people just fence hop now? What incentive is there for anyone to go through legal channels when the president can decide on a whim that you’re fucked anyway?

      1. are you hiring?

        1. I was earlier this year. I am not now. I’m trying to keep my payroll paid, but times are going to get tough.
          But what does that matter to someone who has been waiting on a marriage or student or any of the other reasons people get green cards?

          1. Nobody believes you have employees. You should stop lying.

      2. Haha you’re losing.

      3. DOL secretly wants a wall built.

  49. Considering that we are bankrupting the country with the level of handouts, it only makes sense to not provide handouts to non-citizens. While, I’m not a Trump fan he is not really as bad as Elizabeth Nolan Brown make him out to be. It astounds me that there are so many people who determine their position by being 180 degrees in opposition to Trump. Personally I find Trump to be a bit scattered and defensive, but considering the onslaught he has had to endure from the media including REASON it’s completely understandable. While I’m not a NEVER TRUMPER, I also will not be voting for Trump. Most likely I will be voting for the Libertarian candidate.

    1. this guy gets it

  50. Iran successfully launched its first military satellite today.

    “The satellite launched on Wednesday, named Nour, or “Light,” reached an orbit about 264 miles above the Earth’s surface, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said, the first time an Iranian satellite has surpassed 124 miles.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-says-it-launched-first-military-satellite-amid-tensions-with-u-s-11587570959?

    This isn’t the first time they’ve successfully launched satellites into orbit using multi-stage rockets, but it is the first time they’ve done so with a military satellite. Only the most willfully obtuse people in the room can’t see why this is major security threat to the United States. Yes, multistage rockets that can successfully achieve orbits of 264 miles in space can be adapted to deliver nuclear payloads, which can certainly already strike our allies and, eventually, will be adapted to hit the United States.

    Remember the old saying about how “almost” only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes? Add nuclear warheads to that list. You don’t need to be especially accurate to hit a target that’s 3 million square miles wide. You just need rockets powerful enough to land in our general direction.

    People who imagine that likelihood of war is best averted by rescinding the sanctions and allowing Iran to enrich their own uranium–in violation of the NPT–are fools. The only people dumber, in this context, are those who imagine that, despite what Iran has done in Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, maybe they’d leave us alone if we’d just left them alone. If and when Iran obtains nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, the result will almost certainly be war–initiated by the Iranians from behind the cover of their nuclear deterrent. The alternative to war is President Trump’s efforts to force them back into compliance with the NPT.

    1. if we blow it up in orbit it won’t even make a sound.

  51. Hmm? I was in Disney/Orlando at the end of January. In Epcot there was a nice FL rain /downpour at lunch time. The only place with empty seats was Chinese restaurant. 4 days later at home I had a fever of 99.5 slight sore throat and felt crappy for two days. Did I carry, spread Covid-19? I can’t get tested with no symptoms and I m not going out to try and get it again.

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  53. According to Spectator Swedish officials are estimating 25-40% of the population has already been infected… and again their deaths were low yesterday.

    Increasing informal evidence of much broader infection in the US as well from antibody testing (e.g. Daily Wire story on Roseland lab outside Chicago, a couple wastewater studies), but more data is needed. Perhaps there are some strains that spread mostly asymptomatically and therefore more quickly? Might explain why Daegu, NY, and Hubei suffered so much worse than everyone else in their respective countries — the more serious strains spread more slowly as the symptomatic self-quarantined, so the rest of the country mainly got the milder strains.

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  57. New data contradict current wisdom about COVID-19 on the West Coast.

    I’m beginning to suspect we don’t know everything about the virus right now.

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