Reason Roundup

Deaths Spike in New York City and Around the World

Plus: WHO tweet misleads about COVID-19 immunity, inside the #FreeTN movement, and more...

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Excess deaths seen in countries around the world. Everyone keeps arguing past each other when it comes to whether COVID-19 is "like the flu" in terms of death toll. Things look a lot different depending on whether we're estimating the percentage of people with the virus who will die from it or overall deaths within a population.

COVID-19 could kill people infected by it at a rate similar to that seen with the flu and lead to vastly more deaths than seen in a typical flu season, by virtue of infecting a whole lot more people. And the data are starting to bear this out.

Research on the percentage of infected people killed by the new coronavirus still shows conflicting results; that will continue until we have a reliable and widespread way of testing for virus antibodies in people who don't now and maybe never had symptoms. When it comes to how many people who get COVID-19 will die from it, the missing piece of the puzzle is how many people already had the disease but were asymptomatic or had symptoms assumed to be from something else.

But there are other ways of looking at COVID-19 mortality. What percentage of a given population, including both healthy and sick people, will be killed by it? How will COVID-19 affect all-cause mortality rates?

Financial Times compared the number of deaths (from all causes) in 14 countries for March and April 2020 with death numbers for these countries over the same period of time in 2015–2019. Regardless of whether the COVID-19 death rate is 0.1 percent or three times that high, the new coronavirus is drastically driving up deaths.

"Mortality statistics show 122,000 deaths in excess of normal levels across these locations," reports the Financial Times (a number "considerably higher than the 77,000 official Covid-19 deaths reported for the same places and time periods"). This increase "amounts to a 50 per cent rise in overall mortality relative to the historical average for the locations studied."

Individually, the countries studied saw between 100 and 27,600 excess deaths.

At the low end are Denmark and Austria, where overall death numbers are up 5 and 12 percent, respectively. Sweden, also on the lower end, has seen an 18 percent uptick in deaths.

In France, overall deaths are up 34 percent; in England and Wales, the figure is 37 percent. In Spain, deaths have more than doubled. Italy is seeing 90 percent more deaths than usual.

"Some of these deaths may be the result of causes other than Covid-19, as people avoid hospitals for other ailments," the newspaper notes. "But excess mortality has risen most steeply in places suffering the worst Covid-19 outbreaks, suggesting most of these deaths are directly related to the virus rather than simply side-effects of lockdowns."

COVID-19 is killing more people than does a typical flu season in part because it's infecting more people, though just how many more remains unclear.

Influenza, with its roughly 0.15 percent mortality rate, "is constrained by the fact that a high percentage of the population has already developed immunity to the disease, either through previous infections or via vaccination," notes Reason's Ron Bailey. But we don't have that advantage on COVID-19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 16 percent of American adults got the flu during the 2017–2018 sick season. With COVID-19, estimates say somewhere between 20 and 60 percent of American adults could get the virus.

"In a more optimistic scenario, only 20 percent of adult Americans are infected and the [infection fatality rate] is only 0.1 percent, thus implying that only 50,800 adult Americans would likely die of the disease," writes Bailey. However:

Considering that the current death toll from the epidemic as of April 21 is nearly 44,000, this optimistic scenario seems implausible.

Now let's go full pessimism: Assume 60 percent of adult Americans are infected and the IFR is 0.3 percent. In that case, the number of COVID-19 deaths among American adults would exceed 450,000.

The Financial Times looked at excess deaths in select cities around the world. It reports that so far, New York City has seen 299 percent more deaths than usual. That means some 12,700 more people died than historically have over the same time period.

New York City's numbers are higher than in Jakarta (where deaths are up 47 percent over historical averages), London (up 96 percent), Madrid (up 161 percent), Stockholm (up 75 percent), or the Île-de-France region (up 122 percent). Of the locales studied, only part of Italy was faring worse.

"The region surrounding the Italian city of Bergamo registered the worst increase internationally with a 464 per cent rise in deaths above normal levels," according to the Financial Times.


QUICK HITS

  • The World Health Organization tweeted this weekend that there "is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from #COVID19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection." Robby Soave reacts: "That's technically true: There's no evidence of immunity. But that's because COVID-19 is new and the matter hasn't been conclusively studied yet. Scientists have good reason to expect COVID-19 survivors to have some immunity to the virus, though they're unsure how strong it will be or how long it will last."
  • In Las Vegas, "where a full one-third of the local economy is in the leisure and hospitality industry, more than in any other major metropolitan area in the country," almost 350,000 people have already filed for unemployment.
  • The Chattanooga Times Free Press looks at "how the #FreeTN protest movement was formed in one week: a Zoom meeting, a Facebook page and a terrified mother with friends."
  • "People need to eat. Governments shouldn't make that harder than it has to be," suggests Baylen Linnekin.

NEXT: Tara Reade's Mother Allegedly Discussed Joe Biden's Abusive Office With Larry King in 1993

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  1. Excess deaths seen in countries around the world.

    Death limits are going unenforced.

    1. These excess deaths numbers will also be inconclusive until we can get through the year. Awhile back, heat waves killed thousands of elderly during the summer in Europe. And when flu season came around, there were fewer deaths, because the people who were going to die from the flu were already dead.

      I feel like this is all that scene from Groundhog Day where Bill Murray keeps trying to save the homeless guy, over and over again. No matter what he does, the guy does not make it past the day.

      1. That’s another level of understanding apparently beyond the grasp of most people. Two inconvenient truths: we will all die, but we will die only once.

        And in my clearly un-woke opinion, many of these COVID-19 deaths are just accelerations of mortality on the scale of months to perhaps a couple of years. I expect the “excess death rates” to fall below normal over the same time scale, but I do not expect the media to report that.

        1. It’s possible – but much closer to impossible – those excess deaths will revert to a below-normal trend in a year or two or three. More likely, if this virus becomes endemic (which will happen if for whatever reason no vaccine works), it will simply result in a lower over-65-life-expectancy in richer countries going forward. The virus will act like a predator on a herd – culling the weaker each year. The advances made since, roughly 1970, in extending the lifespans of the elderly will simply reverse.

          That is not remotely what will happen in the Third World. Where most people live – and where covid19 is almost unrecorded to date. And yet – in parts of Ecuador for example, the overall death rate is 600% higher than normal right now – and going up. That part of the world doesn’t have many over-65’s. The median age in most of those countries is under 30. In some cases, under 20. Because covid19 is undiagnosed there, no one technically is dying of it either. And they won’t be autopsied either. That’s where the real death toll for covid19 will occur but we will never know. And it will produce huge effects on those societies.

          1. Here is the cute thing your side is trying to do now…

            You get to count any death that happens, even due to lack of seeing a doctor over a non covid related issue, as a covid related death. You already said it in your post, you’re going to increase the death count as caused by covid no matter what.

            1. JFree wants be be in charge of the Death Panel.

            2. You’re the one who apparently thinks it is entirely reasonable/normal to spend roughly 50% of the total healthcare dollar in the last two years of life. But when covid19 renders that expenditure utterly futile by killing that group anyway – well then it’s important that we ignore covid19 and keep spending roughly 50% of our healthcare dollar on that increasingly futile endeavor.

              1. Lol what. Holy shit do you lie a ton. Please cite where I say end of life costs are sacrosanct dumbfuck. I am completely against the medicare explosion last year of life dipshit.

            3. And BTW – YOU are the one who is politicizing this issue when you yap about ‘your side’. You don’t even see that cuz you’re just so content living neckdeep in your DeRp sewer.

              1. And another. God you’re pathetic. Can you notice about what people believe?

      2. These excess deaths numbers will also be inconclusive until we can get through the year.

        You’re harshing the buzz, man.

    2. “Financial Times compared the number of deaths (from all causes) in 14 countries for March and April 2020 with death numbers for these countries over the same period of time in 2015–2019. ”

      Did they count the number of deaths or the percentage of population? Did they normalize for population growth?

    3. New York City’s deaths are higher because Cuomo and De Blasio completely fucked up their response to it. Even a city as population-dense as NYC shouldn’t make up such a disproportionate number of deaths in this country.

      We’ve known for WEEKS that nursing homes are the primary vector for this illness, yet Cuomo ordered these places to house C19 cases, which likely drove up the state’s death count all on its own.

      1. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus nursing home policy proves tragic: Goodwin
        https://nypost.com/2020/04/21/cuomo-coronavirus-nursing-home-policy-proves-tragic-goodwin/

        Mullin had another complaint, too — that the media never asked the governor about an order mandating that nursing homes admit and readmit patients who tested positive for the coronavirus, despite the extraordinary number of deaths among the elderly.

        1. By attempting to protect everyone, they failed to protect the people who actually needed protecting.

          1. Or was it what he planned all along…Get rid of the people, as Zeke Emanuel put it, who had lived long enough and as a bonus, Trump would get the blame…he didn’t plan that anyone would actually do the research and find out who ordered it. Explains why he is getting so shrill in interviews…nobody likes to get caught red handed.

            1. I think you’re attributing malice where incompetence is a far more likely explanation.

            2. If he planned it all along that would imply he knew what he was doing.

      2. It seems likely that something similar happened in Italy as well. Major outbreaks at nursing homes and hospitals because they failed to keep it out of those places account for the real hotspots.

        1. Yep. And that’s what we based our models on. Wonderful.

    4. Hello.

      Financial Times had Chrystia ‘Cringey’ Freeland as its editor.

      That’s all I’m gonna say.

    5. Why is no one asking the important questions here: How many of these countries put up “No excessive deaths” signs, and do the leaders that decided not to put up these signs have blood on their hands?

  2. Things look a lot different depending on whether we’re estimating the percentage of people with the virus who will die from it or overall deaths within a population.

    I’m going with the metric that backs what I’ve been screaming on Twitter up until now, thank you very much.

  3. Refers to a Bailey article.
    Lame.

  4. The World Health Organization tweeted this weekend that there “is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from #COVID19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”

    So continue to obey your faraway betters.

    1. Because science!

      1. To their credit, they at least posted screenshots of the thread after they took it down. IHME won’t even show the data from their previous fucked-up projections.

        1. IHME won’t even show the data from their previous fucked-up projections.

          Link?

          1. Just pull up their website, dude.

            1. *** pulls up website ***

              “IHME: Measuring what matters”

              Ah.

              1. I’m betting they measure it as 10 inches.

                1. They think that will impress the chicks.

    2. Just to be clear, was this the same WHO that said that said human to human transmission of Covid 19 was unlikely?

    1. It’s because everyone is dead now.

      1. https://twitter.com/ProfKarolSikora/status/1253003690816012289

        In a usual April, we would normally see around 30,000 people diagnosed with cancer. I would be surprised if that number reaches 5,000 this month.

        We are sleepwalking into a massive crisis and cancer patients will die unnecessarily if we don’t act now.

        1. It’s the lockdowns that are curing cancer!

        2. Hey now, those new Cancer deaths are technically covid related. Add them to the list.

        3. Cancer patient dies.

          Cause of death: C19.

          Wonder how many of these “excess deaths” are actually BatAIDS, and how many are from other medical ailments that weren’t able to be treated due to the hospitals locking down to handle BatAIDS.

          1. From the ER docs interview yesterday:

            “When someone dies in this country right now they’re not talking about the high blood pressure, the diabetes, the stroke. They say they died from COVID. We’ve been to hundreds of autopsies. You don’t talk about one thing, you talk about comorbidities. COVID was part of it, it is not the reason they died folks. When I’m writing up my death report I’m being pressured to add COVID. ”

        4. How do you tank the economy in order to usher in Biden’s election using cancer?

  5. Daily Show, Jon Stewart, Biden: The Audacity of Grope:

    https://twitter.com/RealTrevorReese/status/1250975624908472320

  6. How COVID-19 is forcing the craft spirits industry to adapt.

    How reactions to COVID-19 are forcing it, like everyone else on this side of enforcement, to react.

    1. One thing Gov. Northam did in Virginia was to allow in-state distilleries and wineries to ship directly to retail customers. I’ve already received two orders of four bottles each.

      1. I have yet to receive my invitation to your whiskey tasting party. It must have gotten lost in the mail. I

        1. That’s because he ordered rosé.

    2. I understand that the craft spirit industry can expect the necessary federal permits needed to give away hand sanitizer within 18 months. Then, they can start working on the state and local permits, and then, lastly, opportunities for public review.

  7. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2020/4/23/harvard-china-scrutiny/

    In February 2011, Teng and several other human rights advocates met in Beijing to discuss the arrest of another dissident, Chen Guangcheng. Teng “disappeared” three days later; the Chinese government released him in April after U.S. officials voiced concerns about Teng’s detention.

    In 2013, Teng secured a position at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. But as China began arresting members of the New Citizens’ Movement — an activist network which Teng helped create — Teng realized he was in physical danger and would be detained again if he returned to the mainland.

    That year, Human Rights Watch recommended Teng to the Scholars at Risk program, which provided him funding and an offer to be a visiting scholar at the Harvard Law School. He accepted, arriving in September.

    “I am grateful that Harvard [could] host me for a year,” Teng says. “It’s not easy, because I’m a dissident very, very critical of the Chinese Communist Party.”

    Early in 2015, Teng and Chen Guangcheng, who had by then been released from Chinese custody, had planned to cross paths again. Working with Harvard graduates, Teng had scheduled an event to be hosted at Harvard in late March or early April, during which he and Chen would speak about their experiences as dissidents.

    But on Feb. 11, the powerful person at Harvard gave Teng the first call.

    “He told me to cancel the talk,” Teng says. “He told me the time we were supposed to give our talk, that day was when the Harvard president would fly back from Beijing. And a few weeks before that, the Harvard president was meeting Xi Jinping.” The administrator told him hosting an event with two Chinese dissidents only days after a historic meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and then University President Drew G. Faust would “embarrass” Harvard, Teng recalls.

    1. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/chinas-long-tentacles-extend-deep-into-american-media/

      The companies that own the major news networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, all do significant business in China. On the print side, top U.S. newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times have been criticized for running paid China Daily inserts. What they were paid for these inserts is still unknown.

      By contrast, conservative news companies are much less involved in China. Conservative radio giant Salem, whose attempt to buy Tribune several years ago provoked an enormous freakout from media reporters over consolidation, is all-American. And Fox, after several troubled attempts to break into the Chinese market—including sending a News Corp team to help build People’s Daily a website—has mostly given up, after selling its Asia-Pacific operations to Disney over the last two years.

      Disney owns ABC and has a park in Shanghai. It also owns ESPN, which was criticized for its coverage of China’s retaliation against the NBA earlier this year over one team owner’s support of the Hong Kong protests. But other than ABC, Disney is relatively uninvolved in news.

      Comcast, on the other hand, has a much larger footprint in the U.S. media landscape, between NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC. The company’s role in fostering cultural exchange is truly historic: they’ve brought to millions of American homes a customer service experience akin to a utility provider in a communist country, and have invested billions to bring “Minion Land” and a Harry Potter village to Beijing, with the help of a state-owned investment vehicle.

      What might the Chinese government do if it were displeased with something that ran on MSNBC? Perhaps they’d have a tense conversation with their partners at 30 Rockefeller Plaza about the forthcoming slate of movie releases in China. Or it might be worse, given their decision to cut off all NBA games to retaliate against one team owner.

      But evidently China is pleased with their partnership so far, and no NBC journalists had their residency permits pulled earlier this month.

      1. Confucius say “When it comes time for the last American Capitalist to hang himself we will sell him the rope. Walmart aisle 10”.

    2. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/16/how-china-infiltrated-us-classrooms-216327

      Li, it now seems, was right to exult. More than a decade after they were created, Confucius Institutes have sprouted up at more than 500 college campuses worldwide, with more than 100 of them in the United States—including at The George Washington University, the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa. Overseen by a branch of the Chinese Ministry of Education known colloquially as Hanban, the institutes are part of a broader propaganda initiative that the Chinese government is pumping an estimated $10 billion into annually, and they have only been bolstered by growing interest in China among American college students.

      Yet along with their growth have come consistent questions about whether the institutes belong on campuses that profess to promote free inquiry. Confucius Institutes teach a very particular, Beijing-approved version of Chinese culture and history: one that ignores concerns over human rights, for example, and teaches that Taiwan and Tibet indisputably belong to Mainland China. Take it from the aforementioned Li, who also said in 2009 that Confucius Institutes are an “important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up.” Critics also charge that the centers have led to a climate of self-censorship on campuses that play host to them.

      1. I find it hilarious that Sweden has now become far more libertarian than us. They didn’t do the lockdowns and even booted out the Confucius institutes for spreading false propaganda.

        1. This has been the case for awhile now. The Scandinavian countries including Sweden have a lot of wealth distribution, but they do not demonize and regulate their private sector to get it. They get their funding from the middle class (and upper class).

          I am not a fan of massive wealth distribution, but if you are going to have it, Sweden’s is much more sustainable. Their private sector is more business friendly and their tax rate is far less progressive than the US.

          1. Sweden does then use those funds to invest in their companies, granted it is more akin to an index fund than picking winners or losers.

        2. There’s going to be a bloodbath at US colleges if they can’t get all their Chinese students back for the school year.

    3. University President Drew G. Faust

      Aptly named.

  8. Anyone else find it totally unsurprising the stark difference in coverage from the apocalypticly dumb GA gov reopening and condemning Georgians to mass graves and the reasoned responsible approach that went largely uncovered of Colorado’s opening on the exact same day? It’s quite interesting wonder what the difference there was.

    1. I guess we’ll never know.

    2. Let’s see if we can suss out the reason for the divergent coverage…

      Colorado Governor: Jared Polis (D)
      Georgia Governor: Brian Kemp (R)

      Oh well there you go. One is governed by the Party of Science and the other by Literally Hitler.

      1. The left-wing “we’re all going to die from the coof” doomers in Colorado have been crying that opening things up won’t do any good because no one is going to go out anyway, and praising the central Denver metro county commissioners for keeping things shut down.

        These people are absolutely getting their rocks off on being dominated by government officials.

      2. Well, this is the Hitler Virus (TM). It kills only the feeble, elderly, and brown. And lots of “those people” in NYC.

        1. I thought it only killed Deplorables.

      3. Can’t be that would point to another example of media hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance. Feels like we’ve reached our quota already in 2020.

    3. Homophobe!

  9. “In Las Vegas, ‘where a full one-third of the local economy is in the leisure and hospitality industry, more than in any other major metropolitan area in the country,’ almost 350,000 people have already filed for unemployment.”

    That’s terrible.

    But any competent Koch-funded economist can explain how to fix this problem: Las Vegas needs unlimited, unrestricted immigration.

    #LockDownTheInterior
    #OpenTheBorders

    1. So I’ve been seeing a bunch of lefties gloating about Vegas having to keep its casinos closed–“Too bad, guys, guess you shouldn’t have your economy based around gambling lolololol.”

      I’m actually hoping the gambling industry collapses there, because it will ensure that Nevada becomes a red state for at least the next generation, after all the Democrat-voting culinary and hotel worker union members fuck off out of there.

      So yes, Democrats, please continue cheerleading the collapse of gambling in a state where the only other industry of note is dominated by Republican-voting ranchers.

    2. You might be right. The hordes who dragged their families overland from Guatemala to the US seem like natural gamblers. They could take their new US resident benefits in chips.

    3. What Happens in Vegas Gets Shut Down in Vegas.

  10. In Las Vegas, “where a full one-third of the local economy is in the leisure and hospitality industry, more than in any other major metropolitan area in the country,” almost 350,000 people have already filed for unemployment.

    Like the 2008 crisis, government knows you don’t need to go to Vegas on your private jets or whatever.

    1. Nobody needs 27 different casinos.

  11. when it comes to whether COVID-19 is “like the flu”

    Well, damn, woman; COVID-19 IS a flu. Get over it.

    1. Coronavirus is not influenza. They’re two different things that happen to have similar effects on people.

      1. In the sense that vodka and gin are different, but do the same things.

  12. https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1253808425143762944

    In a normal investigative reporting world the biggest question being chased right now might be how the guy who predicted “mad sheep” and nine-figure bird flu deaths and whose model depends on 13-year-old code he hasn’t released somehow has the ear of the world’s governments.

    1. https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1254521929437978624

      1/ So we all know
      @neil_ferguson
      is not a medical doctor, right? Turns out his PhD is in theoretical physics, which has about as much to do with treating living patients (or public health in general) as a PhD in comp lit would. Maybe Professor Panic, not Dr. Doom?

      1. https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1253736138625466369

        If
        @realdonaldtrump
        had predicted a five-figure death toll from “mad sheep disease” or said bird flu might kill 200 million people, does anyone believe that the media would ever- ever! – report on his comments about #COVID without prominently mentioning those little bitty goofs?

        1. https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1254737498678464517

          1/ Fascinating chart out of Britain showing weekly (and overall) #COVID deaths remain lower than the bad flu epidemics of 1998/99 and 1999/2000. Going back further the peaks are even higher…

      2. The consistent things I’ve learned from Theoretical Physicists I’ve worked with are:

        a) They think they are right even in the presence of unknown data
        b) They don’t understand statistics
        c) They resort to very basic models 90% of the time but refuse to list their assumptions to reduce complexity up front
        d) Their models always prove their initial assumption (Even when presented with why their models don’t work they refuse to acknowledge a mistake).

        And yes, I work with quite a few theoretical physicists.

        1. It could be that you just attract that type of theoretical physicist…

          Much like a guy who complains about always ending up with high-maintenance women who end up cheating on him.

          1. It’s been pretty consistent over almost 2 decades. It’s the same reason we tend to shy away from theoretical math as well. Application is what my company is interested in. PhD’s especially tend to want us to pay them to set up their own research laboratory. My company’s primary income is through application, not theory.

        2. It’s not just the theoretical physicists, though they might be worse than the rest. Physicist: “OK, so let’s start by modelling a perfectly spherical coronavirus in a gravitationally neutral vacuum…”

      3. Epidemiology and medicine are different things. You don’t need to know how to treat living patients to understand how epidemics work. A big mistake people are making here is to assume that doctors, whose job it is to save their patients lives if at all possible, are somehow experts on how a whole society should deal with a disease outbreak. Doctors have too narrow a focus. Which is as it should be. I want my doctor to be focused on helping me. But they aren’t experts on things outside of their usually fairly narrow field of practice.
        That’s not to defend Ferguson. He seems to be neither a physician nor a good epidemiologist.

  13. “…how the #FreeTN protest movement was formed in one week: a Zoom meeting, a Facebook page and a terrified mother with friends.”

    All the ingredients to grow AstroTurf.

    1. On a more serious note, TN has had ~200 people die from the china virus. Last week more people died from suicide than from the china virus in TN. It’s not unreasonable to think there’s little value in continuing a lockdown over something that has so little impact in TN. Wash hands, wear a mask, you’re probably fine.

  14. People need to eat. Governments shouldn’t make that harder than it has to be…

    Linnekin hasn’t met government.

  15. On reports of poison control calls spiking.

    A narrative too good to check.

  16. https://twitter.com/kr3at/status/1254334366186123266

    Here’s the hero NY Times reporter that got YouTube to censor a legitimate potentially life-saving #CoronaVirus treatment using UV lights inside intubated patients lungs to fight #COVID19.

    Likely has a hand in the suspension of the
    @bioscienceaytu
    Twitter account suspension too.

    1. Atlantic Magazine: Hurrah for Pandemic Censorship!
      https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/pj-gladnick/2020/04/26/atlantic-magazine-hurrah-pandemic-censorship

      In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong. Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.

      1. … governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values what is best for government.

    2. Reporters are experts on everything and can judge for all of us what the truth is.

      Even though we know when reading a news story on a subject one has personal expertise on how terribly wrong reporters get simple facts.

  17. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch current net worth: $52.5 billion

    Every day without open borders is another day Reason.com’s benefactor cannot hire his preferred labor force. Which means his heartbreaking 2020 — in which he’s already lost almost $10 billion — will only get worse.

    #HowLongMustCharlesKochSuffer?

  18. New Yorker staffer and former Carter speechwriter: ‘Time for a military coup?’
    https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2020/04/26/new-yorker-staffer-and-former-carter-speechwriter-time-for-a-military-coup/

    1. No. It’s never time for that.

    2. Using whose military?

      I doubt that the DNC would trust the US’s. Maybe the Obama era Pentagon officers but definitely not the rank and file. And as far as the party militia goes, Antifa isn’t near as capable as its KKK predecessor.
      Maybe China’s?

      1. Bernie can talk to Castro.

      2. LOL at thinking that most of the combat arms guys would go along with that.

        At least Twitter gives them plenty of rope to prove just how stupid a lot of our intellectual class actually is.

  19. A good discussion on why the Covid Models were terrible:

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/27/why-no-covid-19-models-have-been-accurate-and-how-to-fix-that/

    “The fact is, when a model has a confidence interval as wide as those reported, the primary conclusion is that the model is imprecise and unreliable. Likewise, if these wide ranges are coming from estimated means of several different models, it clearly indicates a lack of repeatability (i.e., again, a lack of precision and reliability).”

    1. Why do you deny science?

      1. I loathe the fact that we have convinced people that models are more accurate than the data we have.

        1. Sorry, but I prefer tall Nordic women over data any day of the week.

          1. Swedish models. Might talk some sense into people.

  20. https://nypost.com/2020/04/26/wait-how-long-are-we-supposed-to-stay-in-lockdown/

    In February and March, expert and elite opinion seemed to understand that ­patience with lockdowns would at some point wear thin. But not anymore. Last week, Cuomo used a graphic in his daily presentation that listed the lengths of various wars and previous pandemics. The 1910 cholera outbreak lasted a year. World War II lasted six years. And so on.

    The message: We haven’t been living through this that long, and our ancestors had it far worse. But if we are looking at years of lockdown, we need to be informed of it, we need a debate — and we need a plan.

    Otherwise, it isn’t relevant that the Vietnam War lasted eight years, and the governor has to stop shaming us for looking for a light at the end of this hell-tunnel.

    It’s also becoming apparent that staying closed is some weird poke in the eye to President Trump. Hyper-polarization means that if the president wants to awaken the nation from its devastating economic coma, it must mean that he and his cornpone followers are wrong. Smart people — who tend to have lockdown-immune jobs in academe, government and media — must know better, and they have a license to mock and demean.

      1. One of Glenn Reynolds’s better pieces.

    1. The upside is nobody in Hollywood is getting paid.

      1. “The upside is nobody in Hollywood is getting paid.”

        Perhaps you don’t understand how the royalty system works?

    2. “Smart people — who tend to have lockdown-immune jobs in academe, government and media”

      Yep.
      The pain must be brought to them, one way or another…

  21. IN case you didn’t notice… not only is YouTube removing videos of 1993 Larry King… they have also begun removing scientific videos from a lab testing UV light in incubation tubes to fight viruses in the lungs:

    https://spectator.org/disinfecting-the-left-wing-media/

    Why would they do this… hmm…

    1. We’re up against a religious cult.

      1. Hey, political ideology has always been a religious cult.

  22. Doctors/nurses continue to be furloughed since nobody is going to the hospitals anymore.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/27/in-california-more-cuts-to-doctors-and-nurses-pay-due-to-coronavirus-shutdowns/

  23. FBI finally released exculpatory evidence to Gen. Flynn’s defense team. In it it shows the FBI making secret deals with Flynn’s old lawyers so the old lawyers could avoid being charge. Yes, the FBI/DoJ was pressuring Flynn’s own lawyers to force his guilty plea or they would be charged as well. This was all done in secret. This is KGB type of crap.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/24/newly-filed-court-documents-include-exculpatory-evidence-for-michael-flynn/

    1. They wouldn’t have released that info unless they were sure no one was getting charged for it.

      It’s pretty obvious now that Flynn was railroaded on nothing; if Trump does nothing else during the rest of his time in office, pardoning Flynn should be mandatory if the FBI won’t drop the charges.

      1. I do not believe the FBI has the authority to “drop the charges”. I would be curious to know what the prosecuting jurisdiction is. If it falls under DOJ, Barr could end this with a pen and phone.

        1. I don’t think it matters, he’s got a damn strong case now of improper procedure, and since the same people breaking procedure were also collecting all the evidence, then he can make a pretty good claim that any testimony against him might similarly be tainted, and any physical evidence could be falsified. If I remember correctly, one of the claims his new lawyer is making is that these documents also prove his innocence, and well as proving that the FBI was aware of this and continued forward anyway.

      2. But pardoning Flynn would be a declaration that he is guilty.

        How is a pardon supposed to help?

        1. From time to time we get pardons based on innocence. Though IIRC the last instance (in the federal system) was in the 1960s.

  24. You forgot to mention that Pennsylvania has put up their own online snitching form, a la NY.

    1. https://expressforms.pa.gov/apps/pa/doh/COVID-19-Complaint

      You shouldn’t go to the link above, and you definitely shouldn’t send in a report that the capital building at 501 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17120 is engaged in dangerous behavior.

      1. Great, now Fist has yet another avenue to send his dick pics.

        1. If Fist were to do such a thing, which I would in NO way support, I would note that the people receiving them should have realized what would happen after NY tried the same thing.

  25. Kim Jong-un is ill.

    For a while, we thought he might be dead, but speculation now has it that the fat kid finally developed a heart condition and had surgery.

    There’s no inner cabinet or anything like that in North Korea, and succession speculation is focusing on his sister as maybe replacing him if and when he goes.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/kim-jong-un-e2-80-99s-sister-is-in-the-spotlight-but-could-a-woman-ever-lead-north-korea/ar-BB13gNmq

    That speculation may not be good for her health if and when he comes back.

    Meanwhile, feminist theory on international relations has long had it that if there were more women in leadership roles, there would be less in the way of international conflict and war.

    So feminists everywhere rejoice! Thatcher was supposedly the exception that proves the rule.

    1. God, I really hope his sister doesn’t end up in charge. I’d really rather not see a bunch of yellow-fever-addled nerds making dictator waifu hentai of her for the next 20 years.

      1. I suspect the press in the west would fawn over her–like they have in the past.

        “(CNN) If “diplomatic dance” were an event at the Winter Olympics, Kim Jong Un’s younger sister would be favored to win gold.

        With a smile, a handshake and a warm message in South Korea’s presidential guest book, Kim Yo Jong has struck a chord with the public just one day into the PyeongChang Games.

        —-CNN, February 10, 2018

        “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics”

        https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/10/asia/kim-sister-olympics/

        It’s a fuckin’ puff piece!

        1. Incidentally, that’s probably about TDS.

          AIR, President Trump was taking Kim Jong-un to task at the time and playing hardball. TDS makes the press cover North Korea favorablly under those circumstances, and in this case, that meant fawning coverage of the sister.

          TDS means you can make the press do just about anything. If President Trump went to lay a wreath at Auschwitz, I wouldn’t put it past the press to cover holocaust deniers favorably in response.

          1. We went from Trump is going to start a nuclear war with North Korea to Trump and Kim are getting too lovey dovey neck breakingly fast at that time.

        2. Well, CNN are communists.

      2. well thank you for that mental image, excuse me while I go find the mind bleach.

    2. “There’s no inner cabinet or anything like that in North Korea, and succession speculation is focusing on his sister as maybe replacing him if and when he goes.”

      Yes, there is, and I’m going to have to track down the book.
      Kim I s (as do most dictators) surrounded himself with a ‘court’ both for protection and to aid the enforcement of his dictates. Like the Kims, it has become a hereditary body (again, like a court).
      Exactly how much power they have is open to debate and probably changes over time, buy Kim J u was the beneficiary of their decisions at the time.

      1. Found it:
        “North Korea Confidential” (ugh), Tudor & Pearson. chapter 3.
        In English, the Organization and Guidance Department.

    3. dude on FBN says he got blown up in a rocket mishap

  26. Let’s play “Which right-wing extremist wrote this nonsense?” Here’s the quote:

    Tara Reade isn’t going away no matter how many times partisan opportunistic hacks like Amanda Marcotte and Joan Walsh are sent out to try to smear, demean & discredit her. Nobody is going to let the Democratic Party play games with weaponizing sexual assault allegations. Sorry.

    Was it Tucker Carlson? Ann Coulter? Possibly someone at Breitbart?

    Nope! It’s actually discredited #TrumpRussia denialist Glenn Greenwald. Imagine the total lack of self-awareness required to get that story wrong, then dare to call the great Amanda Marcotte a hack.

    1. Amanda Marcotte is a twat and a khunt!

  27. Remember that dumb Politico article DoL was ranting about which proved Trump was in the pocket of Chinese banks? Well.. turns out China sold that bonds (as happens in a ton of refinance deals) into an equity and had stake in the loan for less than a month.

    “Back in 2012, the building was refinanced with a $950 million loan from a consortium of banks that included the Bank of China, which had already become one of the largest lenders to commercial real estate in the U.S. The other lenders at the time were the commercial real estate financing units of Deutsche Bank, UBS, and Goldman Sachs.

    But those loans were then packaged into bonds, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and sold to investors. Wells Fargo serves as the master servicer, meaning any payments on the loans would go to Wells rather than the Bank of China. The bonds are owned by a wide range of investors, including mutual funds managed by Vanguard, J.P. Morgan Chase and T.D. Ameritrade.

    The securitization happened within days of the closing of the original loan and ended the Bank of China’s role in the loan. As a result, the Bank of China is no longer a direct lender to the building’s partnership—and Trump certainly does not owe tens of millions of dollars to the Chinese lender.”

    Politico already had to update their article:

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/trump-biden-china-debt-205475

    Of course, anybody who understands what happens during commercial refinancing, already guessed this is what happened.

    1. The MSM are lying, traitorous sacks of shit that are currently covering up Tara Reade’s sexual assault? Who would have guessed?!

    2. So Putin bought the bond for his personal portfolio?

    3. The claim itself was bullshit, and should have been known to be so by anyone who actually has investments (as DoL claimed to have and sold the majority of his equities right before the manufactured crash this year – right…)
      Anyhow, check your quarterly report. See that ‘cash or cash equivalents’? Wanna guess the country of origin for this or that fund where your broker parked some funds for a while?

    4. Really, DOL should wait 48 hours before posting his gotchas as they invariably turn out to be contrived hoaxes.

      Even Izvestia was never as overt as Politico in its role as a party organ.

    5. So now we get to guess Lying Jeffy’s response. There’s three options:
      1. He will ignore this information completely and pretend it never happened, even if you bring it up to him in other threads (ala when he posted an article by a liberal author and presented it as conservative last week)

      2. He will ignore this information, but then present the original claim again in a couple days in a completely unrelated thread.

      3. He will lie about what he was actually saying originally and start a circular argument about what the meaning of “debt” or something is.

      I’m guessing 2 on this one, but you never know for sure when dealing with a sociopath.

  28. New York City’s numbers are higher than in Jakarta (where deaths are up 47 percent over historical averages), London (up 96 percent), Madrid (up 161 percent), Stockholm (up 75 percent), or the Île-de-France region (up 122 percent). Of the locales studied, only part of Italy was faring worse.

    And? How is any of that news? The virus is high infectious. There is no herd immunity. Certain populations are particularly susceptible. Large community spread situations will have higher fatality numbers.

    SO FUCKING WHAT? This has all been known for months. All those numbers indicate is that things are playing out almost exactly as one would predict…in best/good case situations. Not in “OMG the world is going to end and everyone is going to die” situations. There’s nothing here that indicates that the trade-offs of the mass lockdown are remotely worth it.

  29. On those Covid numbers we are seeing…

    “When someone dies in this country right now they’re not talking about the high blood pressure, the diabetes, the stroke. They say they died from COVID. We’ve been to hundreds of autopsies. You don’t talk about one thing, you talk about comorbidities. COVID was part of it, it is not the reason they died folks. When I’m writing up my death report I’m being pressured to add COVID. ”

    Interview from some ER doctors yesterday.

    https://www.aier.org/article/open-up-society-now-say-dr-dan-erickson-and-dr-artin-massihi/

    1. There have been quite a few articles lately that highlight a younger person that died from this, to imply that C19 will kill anyone regardless of your age or whatever.

      These articles often claim that they had “no underlying conditions,” but the ones who show a photo of the person usually reveals that they were actually a fatass. Interestingly, obesity is one of the underlying conditions listed on the NYC C19 daily data summary.

    2. My family knows those guys. SoCal is well aware of the covid scam.

  30. Gee, what possible results could there be from shutting down 3/4 of the commerce in a state?

    “California could become first state to borrow to pay unemployment benefits during coronavirus crisis”
    […]
    “Within the next couple of weeks, California’s unemployment insurance fund — which was the most-insolvent state fund coming into the coronavirus crisis — will run out of money…”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/California-will-soon-have-to-borrow-to-pay-15225426.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    Note that in a state which had an functional unemployment rate of close to zero, it was already the least-solvent UE fund.
    Which lefty ignoramus was telling us how moonbeam ‘balanced the CA budget’?

  31. SF has decided that the bum who were living in tents on sidewalks must be moved into hotels for, well, nobody knows how long:

    “Life can be pleasant for those isolated with coronavirus in SF homeless hotels”
    […]
    “Being essentially locked up in a 12-by-20-foot box for weeks at a time turns out to be pretty darn nice, to hear Richard Steenson tell it. He gets three good meals a day, all the television he wants to watch, and more peace and quiet than he’s had in a solid year.
    It helps that the box is a room at an upscale boutique South of Market hotel and it’s paid for by the city of San Francisco…”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Life-can-be-pleasant-for-those-isolated-in-15226441.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    Check out the photo of the breakfast which is delivered courtesy of the SF taxpayers.

  32. Hasn’t Tara Reade ever watched those classic old movies where the woman slapped the face of any man who got “fresh” with her?
    Or did feminism come along and teach women to cower in place when a guy got handsy and take one for the team? Slug the guy, knee him in the balls, scream, report it immediately…..or if your job is so precious to you, then allow the “patriarchy” to get away with it.

    1. I would have figured she was smart enough to realize that raising awareness on this will mean the Clinton suicide assistance squads will be coming for her. Looks like it’s time for her to do a Philip Haney.

      1. Why would Clinton care what happens to Biden? Wouldn’t she prefer Biden to lose in a landslide?

        1. I have a feeling that there’s a bunch of connected stuff behind the scenes. You pull one thread and the whole web unravels.

    2. The shock of being suddenly pinned down and finger-banged by your boss, might impair your ability to respond appropriately.

      1. ^This. People react differently to extreme situations

  33. This increase “amounts to a 50 per cent rise in overall mortality relative to the historical average for the locations studied.”

    This kind of claim is complicated by the fact that the deaths are largely among old people in poor health. Many of those people might have died later this year anyway. We don’t know how many.

  34. When I see journalists going back and forth about the extent of infections and the mortality rate associated with COVID-19, it always makes me think of a scientist I heard on This American Life, once, who has written an authoritative study on and was talking about the plight of the polar bears to an average climate change skeptic they pulled off the street.

    The scientist kept talking about all the scientific facts and statistics, which were entirely authoritative and highly persuasive. The average person they pulled in off the street was basically defenseless against the scientist–but she shouldn’t have been so defenseless. The scientist’s bias was clear, it’s just that the average person off the street couldn’t articulate that bias clearly.

    The scientist could have been easily undone with a question like, “How much will we need to sacrifice, in terms of GDP per capita, before the very first polar bear is saved because of our sacrifices–and for how long will we need to keep sacrificing our standard of living in order to save that very first polar bear? How can someone argue for forced sacrifice–without any quantification of that sacrifice–and claim not be biased? It doesn’t matter how much of their standard of living average people will be forced to sacrifice for the benefit of saving that very first polar bear, that sacrifice needs to be made at a bare minimum anyway–and I’m not biased against your standard of living and in favor of polar bears?!

    If all you pay attention to is the COVID-19 statistics without any effort to engage, quantify, or speak to the negative impact on people’s financial well-being, employment opportunities, and standard of living, then you are horribly biased–regardless of whether your statistics are accurate. Dressing up your qualitative preference for safety in authoritative statistics does nothing to change the fact that your qualitative preference for safety is just a qualitative preference–and other people’s qualitative preference for their financial well-being is just as valid as your qualitative preference for safety.

    If people were freer to make choices for themselves and pursue their own qualitative preferences on an individual basis, the outcome for society generally would be qualitatively superior to the government inflicting the qualitative preference of experts for safety on those of us who do not share it. If those who wish to isolate themselves were free to do so and those who prefer not to isolate themselves were also free to do so, then no one would be forced to sacrifice their qualitative preferences. That is the path to the qualitative max for society.

    Everyone who tries to persuade others to willingly share their qualitative preference for safety (or freedom) using facts, science, and logic is perfectly alright, but anyone who imagines that the government should inflict their qualitative preference for safety on others because their qualitative preferences are informed by facts, science, and logic is necessarily wrong. They’re morally wrong to violate other people’s right to make choices for themselves, and they’re irrational if they imagine that the world would be a qualitatively better place if only some people’s qualitative preferences were overruled. That doesn’t make sense!

    1. This is like those people who say: “We need to listen to the doctors.” Yes, to a degree, but we also need to remember that since they were around 22 years old, their professional lives have been centered around maximizing health at all costs. So we also need to listen to economists, psychologists, sociologists, evil bankers, supply chain specialists, farmers, and any number of other professionals who can better affix costs to the doctors’ preferred courses of action.

    2. Ken, that is an outstanding post.

    3. Except the polar bears aren’t in any plight. The average person is defenseless because they trust that the credentials were fairly awarded and that the “expert” is telling simple facts. The reality is that neither of those are typically true. The amount of intentional deception is the only real variable, and mens rea only takes you so far.

  35. Seriously though, what the hell ever happened to global warming? It’s almost May and it’s still fucking freezing day and night.

    I guess it just disappeared, kind of like Ron Bailey’s old “monthly global temperature updates”.

    1. They have a new panic with which to justify pushing authoritarian measures now.

    2. With out all the Chem-Trails we’re getting global cooling, and rapidly.

      If you all don’t start taking flights soon we’ll have a new Ice Age.

      1. Do you even Solar Minimum, bro?

        It’s especially ironic considering CO2 levels are up, year vs year, compared to last year. Despite using so little oil this year, it caused the WTI futures delivery price to be negative.

    3. Give them a chance to change their pants and the Progressives will be right back out there telling us that global warming caused COVID by changing bat migratory patterns.

  36. Robby Soave reacts:

    Now I feel better.

  37. “Things look a lot different depending on whether we’re estimating the percentage of people with the virus who will die from it or overall deaths within a population.”

    ENB could have learned this from the comments WEEKS ago.

    1. We’re here to learn, Bubba.

  38. “People need to eat. Governments shouldn’t make that harder than it has to be,” suggests Baylen Linnekin.

    The solution is to nationalize the farm system and throw kulaks and wreckers out of their homes.

    1. Didn’t South Africa try that? How’s that working for them?

      *food riots intensify*

      oh. OH.

    2. You jest, but the foremost rationale for basing the ACA mandate on the interstate commerce clause was that people don’t have the option to not participate in the healthcare system. We could argue the extent to which that is or is not true, but that’s how it was presented.

      So, what other market do people have no real option to avoid? Well, even the deplorables gotta eat. Now imagine taking it a step further like some of the democratic primary candidates did with promises to eliminate private healthcare options…hope everyone likes government cheese…

      Of course, before anyone of the left would have the guts to suggest an “Affordable Food Act”, there would have to have been some event which would allow that extreme proposal to avoid an immediately negative reception, something very unlikely such as a truly major economic downturn…wait…

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  40. I can’t believe none of these articles talk about the effect that locking people up and then pumping fear through the TV at 100000% will do.

    People aren’t having heart attacks at home because they are scared to go to the hospital, they are having heart attacks at home because the media is literally scaring them to death.

  41. Partial stats don’t give me any confidence in this article. Demographics, existing medical conditions, etc. and maybe. . . .

  42. a lot of rules should have been thrown out as soon as it was clear deaths would exceed 100K globally… tens of millions of people around the global would probably volunteer inject themselves with the Moderna mRNA vaccine the minute Phase 1 trials are done, given that it’s unlikely to do any harm

  43. ENB does like to cherry pick statistics to make her shrieking point.

  44. Article lacks perspective while employing useful estimates in a way not generally pursued. I have been wanting to see credible excess mortality numbers and this is a fair start. Now to at least partially address the perspective complaint – using the “full pessimistic” case of 450,000 people dying from covid – add that number to the 2,800,000 people who routinely die per year in the US and you get 3,250,000. This would estimate a “pessimistic” 16% increase in the annual death rate in the US for 2020. I personally think that a significant percentage of the people dying “from” covid would have succumbed to one of the other top 10 causes of death later this year anyway. Regardless, I wish no sickness upon anyone and hope we can all contribute in some way to lessen the abundant misery our species routinely endures

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