Coronavirus

CDC Antibody Studies Confirm Huge Gap Between COVID-19 Infections and Known Cases

The difference implies that the virus is much less deadly than it looks, but it also makes contact tracing a daunting challenge.

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Newly published antibody test results from half a dozen parts of the country confirm that COVID-19 infections in the United States far outnumber confirmed cases. The ratio of estimated infections to known cases in these studies, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Friday, range from 6 to 1 in Connecticut as of early May to 24 to 1 in Missouri as of late April.

These results confirm something we already knew: The COVID-19 infection fatality rate—deaths as a share of all infections—is much lower than the crude case fatality rate—deaths as a share of known cases. That is bound to be true when testing is limited and a virus typically produces mild or no symptoms. At the same time, the CDC's antibody studies imply that efforts to control the epidemic through testing, isolation, quarantine, and contact tracing will not be very effective, since they reach only a small percentage of virus carriers.

The CDC analyzed blood samples drawn for routine tests unrelated to COVID-19 from patients in New York City, Connecticut, South Florida, Missouri, Utah, and western Washington state. Although these samples may not be representative of the general population, they provide a clearer picture of virus prevalence than screening limited to people who sought virus tests because they had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or because they were in close contact with known carriers.

In New York City, where the samples were drawn from March 23 through April 1, nearly 7 percent tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, implying that infections outnumbered reported cases during that period by 12 to 1. The prevalence estimated by a state-sponsored antibody study conducted from April 19 to April 28 was three times as high, although the ratio of estimated infections to known cases (about 11 to 1), was similar. The difference in estimated prevalence can be at least partly explained by the spread of the virus between early and late April.

The gap between the two estimates may also be partly due to differences between the samples used in the studies. The CDC study was based on patients whose doctors ordered routine blood tests, while the New York State Department of Health study used blood drawn from randomly selected shoppers. Infections might have been unusually common among people who ventured out to stores during the study period, either because they were more likely to encounter carriers or because they had already recovered from COVID-19 and therefore felt safe leaving their homes. (Then again, the health department study would have missed people who were self-isolating because they had symptoms or because they had close contact with people who had COVID-19.)

In South Florida, where the samples analyzed by the CDC were collected from April 6 through April 19, almost 2 percent tested positive. That is just one-third the antibody prevalence that University of Miami researchers found in a random sample of Miami-Dade County residents about a week later. As with New York City, some of the difference might be due to rising infections, and some of it might be due to differences in sampling methods. The CDC study did not use a random sample of the local population, and it included patients from Broward, Martin, and Palm Beach counties as well as Miami-Dade. It is also possible that the antibody test used by the University of Miami researchers, which has relatively low specificity, generated more false positives than the test used by the CDC.

The CDC put the ratio of infections to confirmed cases in South Florida at 11 to 1, which is the same as the ratio it estimated in Utah, where the samples were collected from April 20 through May 3, and in western Washington, where the samples were collected from March 23 through April 1. Connecticut, where the blood was drawn from April 26 through May 3, had the lowest ratio of estimated infections to confirmed cases: 6 to 1. Missouri, where samples were collected from April 20 through April 26, had the highest ratio: 24 to 1.

What do these findings imply about the infection fatality rate (IFR) in these places? New York City had recorded 2,580 COVID-19 deaths as of April 1, when the CDC estimates 641,800 residents had been infected, which implies an IFR of 0.4 percent. (The IFR implied by the state health department's study, by contrast, was around 0.6 percent.) The COVID-19 death toll in Connecticut was 2,495 as of May 3, when the CDC estimates the state had 176,700 infections. That implies a much higher IFR: 1.4 percent.

Utah had recorded 57 COVID-19 deaths as of May 3, when the CDC estimates the state had 47,400 infections, implying an IFR of just 0.1 percent. Missouri's death toll was 388 as of April 26, when the state had an estimated 161,900 infections. That implies an IFR of about 0.2 percent.

These are just snapshots, and the IFRs in Utah and Missouri may have risen as the epidemic progressed in those states, especially if people infected in May were more vulnerable to the disease. But even now, there is a striking gap between the crude case fatality rates in New York City and Connecticut (8.4 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively) and the crude CFRs in Utah and Missouri (0.8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively). That suggests COVID-19 patients have fared worse in New York City and Connecticut than they have in Utah and Missouri, for reasons that may include the prevalence of preexisting medical conditions, the stress that the epidemic put on local health care systems, and policies regarding high-risk people such as nursing home residents.

It is plausible that the IFR for COVID-19, as well as the crude CFR, would vary from one part of the country to another, depending on local conditions. Based on the CDC's "best estimates" of the death rate among all Americans who develop COVID-19 symptoms (whether or not they are tested for the virus) and the percentage of infections that are asymptomatic, the nationwide IFR is something like 0.26 percent.

Virus testing in the United States has expanded considerably since early May, which helps explain why the nationwide crude CFR has been falling, from more than 6 percent on May 16 to less than 5 percent today. As more people with mild or no symptoms get tested, the denominator includes more low-risk cases, driving down the apparent death rate. The gap between confirmed cases and total infections also could shrink as testing is expanded, but that depends on the pace of new infections, which have been rising at a fast clip in several states.

In Texas, where newly confirmed cases rose 10-fold between May 26 and June 25 before falling slightly, the share of virus tests that were positive rose from 4.3 percent on May 26 to 13.2 percent on June 26, which indicates that expanded testing is not keeping pace with rising infections. It looks like the gap between confirmed cases and infections is growing in places like Texas, while it is shrinking in places like New York City, where the test positivity rate (based on a three-day average) plummeted from 70 percent on March 30 to 2 percent on June 25.

When the ratio of infections to confirmed cases is high, there is little hope of containing transmission by identifying and quarantining carriers and their contacts, even if a state has the capacity to do contact tracing. The CDC's antibody research "underscores that there are probably a lot of people infected without knowing it, likely because they have mild or asymptomatic infection," CDC scientist Fiona Havers told The New York Times. "But those people could still spread it to others."

The light gray lining of this dark cloud is that newly infected people in states such as Texas, Florida, Arizona, and California are substantially younger now than they were earlier in the epidemic, which means the death rate in those places should be falling. The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths in Texas fell from 58 on April 30, when the statewide lockdown was lifted, to 20 on June 13. It has since risen to 29 and probably will climb more as recently contracted cases progress. But the outcome would be far worse if new COVID-19 patients in Texas were older.

Since neither contact tracing nor a vaccine is likely to save high-risk Texans, the ultimate death toll will depend largely on precautions aimed at protecting them. Gov. Greg Abbott has responded to the new wave of infections, which he says is driven largely by young people who have been getting together for drinks in close proximity, by closing bars. But if young Texans are increasingly disinclined to follow social distancing rules, that step may not accomplish much. They can still get together in private, and their risk of exposure will in any case be higher as they return to work. Nor can those people, whose own risk of dying from COVID-19 is very low, necessarily be counted on to avoid contact with Texans who are much more vulnerable to the disease.

The onus for preventing contact between potential carriers and high-risk individuals seems to be shifting, fairly or not, from the first group to the second. Minimizing COVID-19 deaths will require adapting to that reality.

NEXT: Why Redistricting Reform Goes Off the Rails

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  1. I dunno what conclusions can be drawn from a week’s worth of samples in Missouri two months ago.

    I realize it might not seem that way to coastal people who think everything in flyover country is the same, but the state is quite varied.

    You have Branson, a tourist area. You have St. Louis, with business ties to the east coast and international travel. You have meat packing plants in the SW. A big college town in Columbia, and then KC which has ties to Colorado and to the West

    1. All I know is that “Saint Louis” was an anti-Semite and the city of Saint Louis should be renamed to something more progressive, like Saint Martin Luther King Jr. or Saint Malcolm X.

      1. Don’t forget Saint Louis is the patron saint of hairdressers and lacemakers. Practically Hitler.

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      2. Tear down the arch!

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    3. I only reply here as a response to a response. I don’t see a way to be a “top responder” to the article.
      At any rate, I keep seeing the same data, saying the same thing. Namely, that a large percentage of all people have been exposed to Covid-19. And that the percentage who do die is statistically tiny. Because this is not a deadly virus. We’ve faced far deadlier bugs in the past couple of decades, without the fanfare. And historically, for thousands of years, have always been exposed to coronaviruses.
      We all have cross-imunities, and in fact benefit from these viruses — we’ve coexisted with them for so long.
      The people who are dying are predominantly old white men of British extraction. This definitely applies to Americans.
      I also speak from experience. I contracted Covid-19 in Florida. This was before it even had a name. I stopped breathing twice. I thought it was a flu, though my pharmacist said not. But I did as I always do: I stayed in bed until I got better.
      I’m an old white man, but I’m German by heritage. I have no sympathy for these pathetic, yet powerful, old white Brits. Get over yourselves, and leave the rest of us alone.
      Please note: these opinions do not apply to New Zealanders and other isolated populations. Historically, they’d either succeed in isolating themselves, or die off as a people.

  2. WHITE KNIGHT POWER!

    1. Oh, whoopsie. How do I delete that?

      1. Settle down George Kirby.

        1. I thought he was doing Hillary Clinton mentor and former KKK leader Robert Byrd. The longest serving democrat in the senate.

          1. Apparently, there’s only a single structure in WV named after him that’s been renamed–some health center at a tiny college on the edge of the state.

            The other more than 3 dozen, including a highway, are still sitting there, oddly unmolested by BLM…

    2. Oy vey! You’ll be hearing from my lawyer, Hale Hortler.

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    3. Libertarianism attracts a lot of white supremacists, why is that?

      1. Where there’s light, there’s bugs.

        1. Good one ^

      2. Leftism attracts of lot of black supremacists and “those people” racists. Why is that?

      3. Because Black Knights always end up with their limbs cut off.

        1. Flesh wounds!!

  3. i know this is a little off-topic, but why is there so little information about the covid virus containing anteater RNA? What little there is seems to be a bland and indifferent supposition that bats and anteaters at the wet market in Wuhan must have something, something, something.

    1. Zot! Zot! Zot!

      1. Wasn’t that an eatanter?

        1. No, an entaeter.

          1. You say potato, I say potable – and we both know words don’t apparently mean anything anymore.

      2. You called?

    2. There were no anteaters at the Wuhan market. There was, however, an anteater at your mom’s house last night.

      1. Chipper, I didn’t realize you ate ants. I’ll send you a box of chocolate-coated ones. They melt in your hand and crawl in your mouth.

      2. An aunteater.

    3. Does the anteater sound like Jackie Mason?

  4. We need moar government contact tracers! Makin’ jerbs!

    1. Every fifth government employee should be a tracer.

      1. But every eighth employee would have to be a minder to ensure they did their job!

        1. You didn’t get the joke.

          1. Maybe a dumb question, but don’t tracer rounds help the enemy discover exactly where the fire is coming from?

            1. That’s not the intention, but I would assume it does.

            2. yes, which is why sometimes they won’t be used

            3. My understanding is that tracers are predominantly used from centers of fire and fixed installations where a) other outgoing ordinance and lighting affects your ability to point a weapon so the tracers help and b) the fixture as well as other outgoing ordinance help to provide information as to the location of centers of fire without help from the tracers.

              I’ve never been engaged in such a firefight or made use of tracers as such. I’ve seen plenty of footage and it seems like (e.g.) when the AC-130 shows up to make it rain, nobody on either side is going “Where is that coming from?”

            4. re: tracer rounds – Maybe. Tracers can certainly provide some evidence for the shooter’s location but it’s not definitive. Consider the context. You don’t use tracers when it’s bright out. You use them when it’s dark and on a cluttered battlefield. If you see a tracer crossing from left to right, you can make a reasonable guess that the shooter is in the direction of the left end of the trace. But how far? It’s dark and without context, determining range is very difficult. You also don’t know if part of the trace was occluded by a tree, a bush or even grass. Shooting at the start of a trace is better than shooting blind but not by much.

              Tracers are most useful to the person shooting who has an end-on perspective. Tracers could be equally useful to the target who also has an end-on perspective. But generally the guy getting shot at has other priorities, especially if the fire is accurate enough for that end-on perspective.

            5. As the saying goes: always remember that tracers work both ways.

  5. >The CDC analyzed blood samples drawn for routine tests unrelated to COVID-19

    Did they have explicit consent?

    1. You saw how they were dressed…

    2. I hope it did. As I recall, University of Washington researchers wanted to test stored blood samples, but the CDC refused permission on just that ground.

    3. Missa be thinking mostly no – – – – –

    4. They got a secret FISA warrant

  6. The COVID-19 infection fatality rate—deaths as a share of all infections—is much lower than the crude case fatality rate—deaths as a share of known cases.

    Thank god we didnt panic with Bailey and JFree running around like homeless end of the world preachers.

    1. TRUMP SAID THE FLU WOULD GO AWAY IN WARM WEATHER!

      1. There’s already been 120 million deaths, according to Biden.

        1. Trump is responsible for approximately 20 Holocausts.
          He is literally Hitler x 20!

          1. Super Hitler Supreme XXX, now in orange.

        2. Go take your Droxy like Trump said to do. He bought 20 million doses of that worthless shit with taxpayer money. The world is laughing at us.

          1. How can you hear the world laughing with your head buried in Xi’s crotch?

            1. LO… *cough* *cough* *hack* *wheeze* *ventilator noises* *deep breath*… L!

          2. “The world is laughing at us.”

            The world is laughing at YOU, turd.

            1. Whether he can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind his back.

          3. Nuttplug doesn’t know what Hydroxychloroquine was used for before the Chinese plague.

            1. He thinks it’s an ingredient in a cookie recipe.

          4. We should have you executed for child rape.

      2. It was declining and then the left decided to throw a huge covid party on the streets. Now young people are driving the spike.

        Let’s face it, the left was never going to let the virus disappear by summer and have Trump proven correct. They’ll let a thousand nursing home patients die before Trump can be proven right on anything.

        1. It’s actually good re the virus: young humans don’t get sick, but pass the virus around as they drink, screw, and occasionally attend class- this leads to the vaunted herd immunity. Closing schools was one, but only one, of the stupidest things the government did.
          IMHO everyone of the governors and mayors who closed private businesses, schools, and government offices, should be horse whipped.

          1. I suspect you are a shill for the horse whip industry, which has been particularity hard ht by the Communist Chinese Virus.

          2. IMHO everyone of the governors and mayors who closed private businesses, schools, and government offices, should be horse whipped.

            Let’s not put a bunch of silly conditions on this.

      3. Ate you over the age of 70? God I hope so.

  7. That ain’t nuthin’. If Friday’s report is confirmed, SARS-COV2 sequences were present in Barcelona sewage in March of fucking 2019! Meaning this virus has been circulating since what might as well have been forever.

    1. So another Spanish Flu.

      1. Except it’s not a flu, and the ‘spanish flu’ wasn’t actually spanish.

        1. But it met the guidelines set by the US federal government for hispanic.

  8. ‘White Power!’ is the new Trump campaign slogan.

    When you think about it – its not any different than Make America Great Again.

    1. We need to exterminate white people to save America!

    2. Trump’s stealing the DNC’s material?
      They’ve been shouting that since Andrew Jackson.

      1. You would never catch Dems making such bigoted statements.

        /Jesse Jackson

    3. Yawn. Weak.

      Don’t change a thing, tho. Haha.

    4. Like you ever think.

    5. Look, hicklib, if you hate your own skin color that much, you could always do the decent thing–buy a bullet, rent a gun, and cleanse yourself of your original sin.

  9. We can tell everyone that “the virus isn’t as deadly as you think”, using empirical data and scientific principles and it will fall on deaf ears. It. Just. won’t. work. No matter how hard and how often we try.

    Most of your country are ran by hapless nincompoops who would exist in a world without police and a blank economy that would extend to Valetine’s Day. If bars and businesses are shut down during the Christmas season, it’s GAME OVER.

    It’s a bad, never ending dream. America is like the City of Troy that let in the Trojan Horse twice. I just found that people in Imperial were allowed to travel to and from Mexico all this time. There are no words to describe how insanely stupid the ruling class and our experts are.

    1. I have leftist friends who insist that if you don’t wear a mask, you will definitely get very sick and likely die. I read a post from an hospital nurse who, like all nurses, thinks she knows more about medicine than MDs. Her post said that if you are exposed you will probably (i.e. >50%) get very sick. They don’t only believe this, they also wish it to be true.

  10. Yeah the attempt to scare up more fear isn’t working. Clearly people have realized this is a bad flu season. Stay home and wear a mask if you’re at risk. Otherwise go about your lives and ignore the prognostications of government and their media hounds.

    1. “Yeah the attempt to scare up more fear isn’t working. Clearly people have realized this is a bad flu season. Stay home and wear a mask if you’re at risk. Otherwise go about your lives and ignore the prognostications of government and their media hounds.”

      The powers that be have been trying to scare people from the start. In the beginning, we were hearing about 4% case mortality rates, or one in 25, without an explanation of how initial reports of crazy high mortality rates are always how it is for newly discovered diseases, since it’s the deaths that make people stand up and pay attention. The minor cases are written off as the flu, and the ones without symptoms simply escape notice. It’s only the bad cases that make doctors test for influenza, then discover that this is something else, and it’s only a lot of that happening that leads to the discovery of the new disease.

      When it became known that the true fatality rate was lower (the mortality rate in China outside of Wuhan was reported as 0.7% before we in the US knew it had even gotten here), we heard about the exploding confirmed cases, which is to be expected when we start testing for a disease that we never tested for before, but somehow the media didn’t feel the need to hammer that point home along with the rise in cases.

      When they started calling every death with COVID a COVID death, along with every death from a nursing home, and every death from a flu-like illness, then they started harping on the number of deaths. Most were old people with several chronic diseases, of an average age of 80, a few years past the normal life expectancy, a group of people that tends to die a lot even without COVID, but the media concentrated on anecdotes of the few young who died of COVID– including several that died of “COVID” after they were brought to the ER for unrelated reasons like a drug overdose.

      Now that people have had enough of the lockdowns and have come out of hiding, including gathering in crowds to loot stores in honor of George Floyd, the fearmongers are back to harping on the growing number of confirmed cases. Governor Abbott of Texas issued a warning to the young 20-somethings out there living life unmasked, telling them that if they keep doing it, they WILL test positive.

      That’s the big scary now? A test result?

      I guess he knows that telling them the disease “is death” like Cuomo said will just make people laugh now, especially 20-somethings who know their risk of death is practically zero, so now a piece of paper that says you tested positive is the best he can come up with as a reason to be afraid, be very afraid.

      I live in an area where the confirmed cases are exploding, and I think that not only is it not worrisome, but also that it’s about time. The young have gotten tired of hiding at home from a disease that presents essentially no risk to them, and they’re going out and catching it, often not even noticing they have it. The median age of infection has dropped by more than 20 years, according to the last report I saw, and the median age of a new positive test is in the very low risk for death age.

      I’ve been suggesting we have the younger population (pre-retirement age) who are in good health go out (with their consent) and build some herd immunity while keeping the vulnerable sequestered (with their consent) since the start… and now that this is actually happening, it’s causing a panic. No one’s saying the death rate is increasing, just that the number of confirmed cases is increasing, and that says a lot. They mention the used capacity of hospitals (implying that it’s all COVID causing most of it1, when it actually is not) and the rise in cases, but not the death rate.

      If the deaths per day were increasing, we’d be hearing about it, a lot. Constantly. Wall to wall coverage. The fact that they are reporting the confirmed cases instead tells us what we need to know. Deaths continue to fall as the concentration of the infected decreases in age.

      Whatever statistic seems the scariest at the moment is the one we’re told, and the context of that statistic is conveniently omitted. More people building antibodies to the disease while the death rate continues to fall is not a cause for panic… it’s a cause for celebration.

      The increase in positive test rates, whether in absolute numbers or as a percentage of all of the recently-performed COVID tests, is a meaningless statistic if the people being tested are self-selecting, which they are, of course.

      If the young SJWs (mostly white) are done protesting the existence of police forces, it might come back to them that oh yeah, there was this whole pandemic thing going on, so after all of that not-social-distancing they did, they go in and get tested, and surprise, a number of them have it. That’s to be expected. The people who know they have been hanging out in places where they could get it are the ones most likely to want to know if they caught it. No one said the tests were a random sample of people that might give us some insight into the actual prevalence of the disease out there. These are people who sought testing because of reasons known only to themselves.

      So there’s your increase in confirmed cases, which are still no more than a tenth, maybe a twentieth of the actual infections, and no evidence at all that the two (number of cases and number of infections) rise and fall together. It could be the same overall number of people infected, with more of them initiating the testing than in the previous round of testing, where older, less protest-y adults were the most common positives.

      Until we get herd immunity, all of these infections, all of the deaths, all of the people who got really sick and thought it really sucked, as is the case with the flu too, and all of the people who never knew they had been exposed to the virus, all of that was already a foregone conclusion. They were going to get it, and anyone that hasn’t, your time is coming too, mask or not, unless the herd immunity comes first, and the politicians of every country in the world except Sweden are doing their damnedest to put off that herd immunity as long as possible.

      Until a vaccine is produced and found effective, we have no idea whether it will even be possible to create one for this type of virus, and until then, we have to act on the premise that we will not have one. Unless that vaccine does come to pass, the only way of getting herd immunity is to have people live through having an infection as much as possible, the way that people have been dealing with viruses for thousands of years before anyone knew what a virus was.

      I can see why politicians would want to slow the virus transmission rate and prolong the pandemic as much as they can. Can’t have all the fun exercising your emergency powers if there is no emergency, right?

      1. That’s a really long way of saying “wrip the band aid off”

      2. Ugggg! It’s this kind of writing that makes life difficult.

        I’m tired of being an outlier as I find it rare to find others that think like me. Everyone around me says to wear a mask everywhere, stay home, be afraid, the world might end, etc.

        I want to agree and just go on with life with everyone else. So I look at the information out there so I can conform. But the information I see doesn’t conform to what so many people say.

        The CDC and New England Journal of Medicine (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372) say infection is most likely when a person is within six feet of another person for a few minutes and the infected person coughs or sneezes. Why do I need a mask for just walking past a person. Before masks where required people in stores would turn there heads away from each other as they walk by. A barber wearing a mask makes sense to me. I’m not against people wearing masks all the time, if they want, but the attitude of many who act as good little cultural revolution commies with their little red books is getting annoying.

        I’ve yet to see any proof that kids are major spreaders of the virus. I prefer to let kids go to school as usual and if they get the virus and have antibodies then they can visit grandma safely by Christmas. But there are too many scared parents to let this happen.

        Then AlexS writes an articulate essay that makes it even harder for me to conform to the masses.

        1. Very average liberals are convinced this makes them smart, and are even circulating “wearing a mask is an IQ test” meme on Facebook this week (which I guess reveals what they’ve been doing all along to comfort themselves).

      3. Abbott should just read Cuomo’s press conference speeches from April word-for-word and see how the press reacts.

      4. “When they started calling every death with COVID a COVID death, along with every death from a nursing home, and every death from a flu-like illness, then they started harping on the number of deaths.”

        We can’t let this part of the equation stand either – when they treat COVID deaths the same way they do every other disease, we will see a dramatic reduction in the death toll. Certainly half and, if there were a sports book on it, I’d throw some money at the under for 33%.

    2. “This is redneck radio, and we know better than scientists.”

      1. You didn’t read a word of the article, did you?

        Go back to hiding under your bed and let the adults in the room talk.

      2. “This is redneck radio, and we know better than scientists.”

        Stupid of them to think they know best. Clearly inferior to the show where they consider All Things.
        *Raises nose while sipping from NPR mug*

    3. If you’re at risk, stay homes as much as possible, wear a mask indoors in public places, and keep your hands and your environment as clean as you can. If you are NOT at risk (i.e., young and healthy), minimize your contact with people who are at risk, wear a mask in large or closely packed, indoor crowds, and keep your hands and your environment as clean as you can. If you are a hermit with no chance of being infected or of infecting anyone else, you should still keep your hands and your environment as clean as you can out of general principles.

  11. It may be his greatest prank since Borat sang “Throw the Jew Down the Well” in an Arizona country and western bar more than 15 years ago.

    On Saturday, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen apparently infiltrated the “March for Our Rights 3” rally in downtown Olympia, Washington, getting at least some of the right-wing militia attendees to sing racist lyrics along with him about Barack Obama, Dr. Fauci, and the “Wuhan flu.”

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/sacha-baron-cohen-pulls-epic-prank-on-right-wing-militia-event-in-olympia-washington?via=FB_Page&source=TDB

    “Barack Obama, what we gonna do?
    Chop him up like the Saudis do!”

    Sasha is brilliant! Punking wingnuts!

    1. Some leftist wingnuts want to kill all the whites. And they don’t need to be tricked into admitting it.

      1. Don’t bother turd with facts.

      2. Troll food, Don’t distribute.

    2. I am speechless. How can white people so cruel, so inhumane, so vindictive? Black people would never advocate violence or use threatening language. Shame on white America!

    3. ““Barack Obama, what we gonna do?
      Chop him up like the Saudis do!”

      How’s that racist, Nuttplug?
      Is Saudi Arabian or Barack Obama a race to you?
      You’ve wished worse on Bush and Trump.

      You’re such a stupid dishonest fuck.

    4. It’s stupid, sure. Now explain how it’s racist.

    5. how is a guy getting on stage singing a racist song and being chased off mean the people chasing him off are racist?

      “I said something racist!, that makes you a racist!!” how does that even make sense?

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    6. So, “some people” sang along with an obvious prank by a famous “comedian”. The desperation of the left is just precious.

  12. This can’t be right. Back in February, De Oppresso Liber was saying this could change long-term human life expectancy.

    1. Tony also says global warning will kill off every form of life on the planet, including all single-celled life. Making up shit to fit his fears is just his schtick.

      1. By the time microbial life is all that’s left, will you still care about scoring zingers on the internet?

        1. Pointing out that you have no care for facts, are imprecise at best and at worst — and you’re usually posting at your worst — outright make stuff up (remember your “hundreds of thousands of Americans will suffer permanent Covid-19 disabilities” bullshit based on a thinkpiece positing some people may have lingering problems from the disease) is “scoring zingers”?

  13. At the same time, the CDC’s antibody studies imply that efforts to control the epidemic through testing, isolation, quarantine, and contact tracing will not be very effective, since they reach only a small percentage of virus carriers.

    That’s not what it implies at all. Course I understand that the CDC either doesn’t want to contact trace or doesn’t know how or simply failed to be competent at it. So someone is going to latch onto any excuse for why that incompetence is actually implied competence.

    Including in this case, serology tests which were utterly useless in the early stages – meaning until at least mid-April. It is not POSSIBLE to even reliably test the antibody test until after you have a large PCR positive sample size and after they have recovered. Until you know the test itself isn’t useless, you don’t include results from its ‘are we useless’ stage. This article is full of examples of serological results from the ‘crappy period’. And not a single example – not fucking ONE afaics – of serological testing done after those serological tests were quick-approved in late April and thus presumably began ramping up testing in May. WTF!?!?!

    Countries that did the public health stuff early on have found out far more valuable info about the virus. Singapore, Korea, Germany, Taiwan, etc have all produced and published good info.

    The CDC OTOH like a true incompetent seems to be pretending that it is competent by shoveling out ungodly quantities of crappy data and flawed analysis and pretending that it is solid because – volume. That’s not how it works. They are a fucking embarassment.

    1. The CDC is incompetent but we should totally wear masks like they say.

      1. That’s not what they said at first, dawg. They fucked that up as well.

        1. They did. Then they got more research and it changed. They don’t flip-flop lightly, but they did and that’s a shame. But the current research that exists strongly suggests mask effectiveness. Are you going to look at the information and decide on a course of action rationally, or are you going to pick and choose what you want to hear?*

          *Your entire worldview depends on assuming people act rationally.

          1. No, they fucking wanted to make sure that the right people got masks and threw the proletariat under the bus on purpose, comrade.

            Who’s changing what story?

          2. I’m looking at the information right now tony and from what I can see, wearing a mask is almost entirely a political statement, save for a small percentage of duped followers who are concerned for their lives.

            What I would like to hear is a reason why this country is worth saving, but partisans and believers who refuse to acknowledge anything in contravention to their predetermined conclusions have me convinced to simply enjoy the shit show as it burns to the ground.

          3. There is no reason to believe masks are effective because the CDC says they are. No more so than if my dog or my hypothetical Norwegian Blue parrot says they are.

            There is reason to believe masks are effective because COMPETENT public health authorities in countries that clearly know what they are doing say they are. Those are the countries that understand how this virus transmits.

            Whether masks will work here in the US – in the summer when people aren’t really sneezing/coughing, when people are outdoors in much of the country, where Americans really don’t have a clue how to wear masks or view it as a partisan political symbol. And when people are wearing masks while driving in their car or walking their dog – but not at crowded bars. Well that’s all still completely unknown. But I sure as hell wouldn’t rely on the CDC to either conduct or assess research on that.

            The CDC needs a total gutting and overhaul. And I’m someone who really believes that public health is one of the core functions of competent governance so I don’t advocate that sort of overhaul as simply a hidden agenda way to get rid of the entire function. Too bad that sort of overhaul and reform will not be on the agenda with any DeRp. Or apparently any other party in the US.

          4. But the current research that exists strongly suggests mask effectiveness. Are you going to look at the information and decide on a course of action rationally, or are you going to pick and choose what you want to hear?*

            *Your entire worldview depends on assuming people act rationally.

            I assume that a rational scientist acting rationally, especially having fucked up once already, is going to find data to support his conclusion that is now right and ignore it otherwise.

            It wouldn’t be the first time for such a thing to happen in science… not even this week.

            1. They didn’t fuck up. They followed the evidence. Stop trying to destroy the concepts of facts, evidence, and the Enlightenment. Stop imposing juvenile self-serving conspiracy theories on things that are already explained if you would devote five minutes to reading up on the matter. You’re embarrassing yourself.

              1. Exactly. Those doctors wearing masks in the operating room were just hiding their identities!!!

                Hahaha. Could you be more clueless?

    2. Of course, “cloth face coverings” are super effective just for this one political virus from Communist China.
      If you go to the CDC website and look up masks and the ‘real’ flu, it turns out they will not make a recommendation for or against because the science is not clear.
      So somehow we are supposed to actually believe that everything about viruses in the past is no longer valid science, and only stuff made up in the last 6 months is really right.

      1. There aren’t double blind controlled experiments on masks because it would be impossible to do those during a pandemic. The observational evidence is that masks (cloth more so than surgical) significantly reduce the amount of spit spray that gets from your mouth to across the room.

        You may have invented out of thin air an individual right to be reckless with other people’s health, but you don’t even have the evidence on your side. The moment you do, you’ll surely pounce on it. I don’t know why it’s so hard for grown ass adults not to cherry pick facts based on the whims of politicians, and that’s embarrassing especially for you guys. Grown ass adults also shouldn’t be whining like screechy developmentally disabled children when asked to contribute to public safety in an unobtrusive way. Maybe if one of you tough breadwinning manly men could be convinced the virus is swarthy and has a gun.

        1. Forcing me to impair my breathing to “contribute to public safety” is unacceptable.

        2. His point, Tony, is that if the CDC doesn’t recommend mask-wearing for people during flu season, why do they recommend it for THIS virus? It’s on their site, easy to see, and is completely contradictory.

          No one is being reckless with other people’s health. We have a civil liberty in this country unique in all the world, and that is we are all presumed innocent of a crime until proven guilty by a jury of our peers. You want to assume everyone walking around is guilty, i.e., a weapon of mass destruction and so must be forced into wearing something that has not been proven to be effective at stopping or mitigating the spread of a virus.

          Even the WHO, when they revamped their mask-wearing recommendation (only just recently!), admits that the science is not there but people should wear masks anyway just in case and, oh, also because it will make them feel like they are helping.

          That’s not science. That’s voodoo.

  14. This means that the actual mortality rate from the virus is comparable to the flu, except that many more people who get it won’t even feel ill.

    And we have destroyed our economy and civil liberties over this???

    1. right and also basically only people 65 and over are really in any danger at all, with most of the deaths coming in an age bracket at or above human life expectancy anyway..

    2. A 0.1% infection fatality rate is saying that we are CURRENTLY at about a 30% antibody/exposure rate. 100 million have been infected – with close to 98% asymptomatic. Herd immunity is only a few weeks away. Only one more ‘doubling’ left. We achieved it faster than Sweden. There is no need – and hence no market – for a vaccine. And 2020 will go down as a big hoax.

      Either that or those studies are crap. Were known to be crap at the time. And Sullum is still pumping out 0.1% IFR scenario and will keep pumping that number out forever – and the dolts here will keep believing that long after it ceases to be even theoretically possible.

      1. Yes, yes, and the sky is going to continue to fall until we can get all of the peaceful secessionists in the CHAZ-hole into Section-8 SRO lofts nearby and free healthcare.

        We should probably deface some more abolitionist statues while we are at it so that they feel comfortable.

      2. “And 2020 will go down as a big hoax.”

        Right. And everyone will believe that, just like Russia, OJ’s guilt, and global climate warming change.

        1. It doesn’t matter what people believe. Our beliefs don’t affect the virus at all.

  15. actually I actually empathize with schools a little here. Litigious parents are a thing few administrations can afford to deal with.

    This elementary school student walked to school no matter what the weather and then had a couple paper routes after. And I sued EVERYONE over it.

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  16. City of Seattle was slated to remove Chaz today. They blinked, Chaz remains in full force.

    1. It’s time to send the Rangers into Wokadishu.

      1. Heartiest laugh in days… wokadishu. Fucking classic.

        1. I didn’t think it up (I believe Crowder did), but it fits.

    2. Nobody who doesn’t consume right-wing media knows anything about the supposed breakdown of society in Seattle. I thought you guys were supposed to be into that kind of thing anyway.

      People are leaving and it’s all but over. The one crisis going on right now that you care about, averted.

      1. Cared about? You must not have checked out the comments then. I counted a total of zero people who gave one shit about what happened to the people in or around CHAZ(?) or whatever it’s called. Not one shit. If anything, the only concern would be when they decide to reintegrate with society, which I think goes without saying that deportation would be the humane thing to do.

        1. Can one give negative shits?

      2. Apparently, they are not leaving.

        Another shooting: one dead, one badly injured.

  17. The case fatality rate is higher in NY and CT than in UT because the east coast cases came from Italy, where the mutation D614G on the spike protein made this strain of the virus possibly more infectious.

    “According to John Kenney, PhD, president and co-founder of Antibody Solutions, advanced molecular modeling may have revealed how D614G, the dominant mutation isolated from a majority of patients in Europe and the eastern U.S., gained a competitive advantage over the earlier isolates of SARS-CoV-2 found in China. The companies’ research included a comparative analysis of daily cumulative genotype counts by country and by U.S. states, which allowed its investigators to examine which specific viral sequences outpaced others as samples were collected in each geography over time. The most striking observation was that the D614G mutated virus became the predominant form of the virus sampled in most countries and U.S. states where the mutated and non-mutant virus appeared at the same time.“

    https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/antibody-solutions-research-predicts-competitive-advantage-to-sars-cov-2-virus-carrying-the-d614g-spike-mutation-1029318315

  18. So how reliable are these antibody tests, that is the question. 60 minutes last night had a segment on how unreliable some blood tests for Covid-19 antibodies were.

    1. Nothing from the CDC is reliable. Absolutely nothing.

      1. Except wearing masks. Totes reliable info now.

    2. Some early antibody tests were unreliable. Since then, there are more reputable tests out there. Here’s the FDA EUA list:

      https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/eua-authorized-serology-test-performance

  19. Who cares about contact tracing?
    It’s a fucking cold/flu

    1. The socialists care, and care passionately about contract tracing.
      It is a necessary step on the path to total intrusion by the governments.

    2. Contact tracing isn’t about contact tracing because it is a logistical impossibility. With up to 14 days to become ill, most people will come within a proximate distance of 1000s of people, each of whom will come into contact with 1000s more, and each of those 1000s more. They aren’t even pretending that it is legit. When was the last time you heard ANY mention or got a phone call from any contract tracing service that said you might have crossed paths with this one guy who is sick? Never! For all the billions they are spending on this bullshit, the only logical conclusion is that “contact tracing” is about marking everyone, not tracking an illness that is said to be so transmissible and have such a long incubation period.

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  21. RWers seem to have completely forgotten when they thought covid deaths would never exceed the 12,000 of the Swine flu, what a horrible tragedy that was!

    Now it’s at 130,000 and far from over and they’re like ‘meh’. Guess they’re gonna need a lot more, and we’ll get them because of how they love spreading this virus around because of their freedums.

    Half a million by the election.

    1. Once Biden is in charge, Covid will start being bad. Everyone just remember I said that.

      1. Biden in charge. LOL

        1. Well, the sap who gets VP position on the ballot.

      2. Once Biden is in charge, COVID won’t be a problem any more.

        1. Because it’s a conspiracy of… which Trump admin. agency? Which Trump adviser? I can’t keep straight which part of Trump’s government is fabricating all these virus lies.

    2. Subtract all the people murdered by proggie governors and their nursing home edicts. What’s the number now?

    3. LWers seem to have forgotten that the lockdowns were originally sold as being necessary to “flatten the curve” in order to keep hospitals from being overrun. We were also told at the time that this would only affect the shape of the curve, not the area under it (i.e. total cases and deaths). What ever happened to that?

    4. RWers seem to have completely forgotten when they thought covid deaths would never exceed the 12,000 of the Swine flu,

      LWers seem to have totally forgotten when they thought COVID was completely harmless, and that RWers were using COVID as a pretense for their xenophobic policies.

      Half a million by the election.

      Yes, almost all in states run by Democrats according to the kind of policies Biden favors.

    5. GenoS
      June.29.2020 at 3:13 am
      “…Half a million by the election.”

      You.
      Are.
      STILL.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

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  24. At long last, scientific data that proves Nancy and the Dems (band name from the fifties?) are right.
    We MUST have a single nation wide response to the Communist Chinese Virus, because all the data across the nation is identical.

    1. And that response begins with sending all your money to DC and getting your tracking chip installed.

  25. I have noticed all the talking heads have stopped talking about Sweden and for good reason, if you look at their stats, although their number of cases have steadily increased since the start of this the number of deaths peaked in mid-April and have been steadily dropping since then.

    1. And they suffered a nearly equal drop in economic activity as their neighbors. So yeah, more death for no benefit.

      1. Little benefit?

        Avoiding a lockdown had other benefits. It shouldn’t surprise us their economy is struggling. It’s not like Sweden is denying there’s a virus. People were voluntarily avoiding economic activity plus there were border shut downs further impacting trade.

        Rather, there’s a bigger picture issue at play.

        When all is said and done their numbers will be better than some countries in the West but overall in line with everyone else. They will have achieved this without breaking the bank and turning their citizens into pussies. Don’t under estimate the psychological damage these lockdowns will have unleashed. To say nothing of other horrible consequences like suicides, bankruptcies, foregoing of cancer treatments, domestic and child abuse.

        They may also come out of this in better shape than North America will in the long-run.

        You should be pulling for Sweden. Not mocking it in my view.

      2. First off: cite.

        Secondly, if you feel personal liberty is of no benefit, please leave.

        1. It’s not a legitimate personal liberty when your exercise of it could harm or kill other people. You guys understand so precious little, why are you abandoning the one concept you figured out?

          1. It is the other people not isolating that are the responsible parties. We have abandoned nothing.

          2. “”It’s not a legitimate personal liberty when your exercise of it could harm or kill other people.””

            Like driving an automobile? Cutting down a tree? Owning a swimming pool?

            A lot of things you do have the ability to harm or kill others.

            1. Yes, and in all such cases we try to strike the right balance to maximize both safety and liberty.

              Wearing a mask is not fucking oppression!

              1. Bullshit. Maximizing auto safety would mean making you put a governor on your car that stops you from going over 20 mph or drive a moped. Not the right “balance” for you? Well, fuck! The guy you hit some day might think differently.

                See, you don’t get to say that making me wear a mask to save you from a threat that you imagine I could pose to you if you go out is not oppression. You don’t get to say that making me shut down my business so you don’t wander your silly ass into it and cuddle up to a stranger isn’t oppression. You are well within your rights to hide in fear, but not within them to make me do things so you can imagine that you are safer.

                My responsibility isn’t to do whatever you think is necessary to save you from possible consequences of your own actions. If you live that much in fear, there’s nobody stopping you from staying the fuck home.

          3. Calm down Tony.

    2. When the next big wave comes next Winter, I’ll bet Sweden does comparatively better than its neighbors. We can’t assess the effectiveness of their policies until we have a widely distributed, effective vaccine or Sweden and it’s neighbors have all achieved herd immunity. Until then, the effectiveness of Sweden’s policies speculation.

  26. There is way too much focus on the case mortality rate and too little on the physical damage caused by the virus. Obviously, those who have been hospitalized are most likely to have suffered organ and other injury, but nobody really knows (yet) about the ‘mild’ cases. People may not even realize their kidney function has been imparied as just one example. Likewise, unknown is how long it will take (if ever) to recover fully.

    1. Feel free to live in fear over things you can’t control.

    2. People may not even realize their kidney function has been imparied as just one example.

      Uh, if your kidneys are fucked up, you’re going to realize it.

      1. All such medical conditions shall be henceforth counted as COVID-related as if they never occurred prior to 2020.

      2. Actually renal failure is one of those things most often picked up late in the game unless you are looking for it.

    3. By all means…. damn near anything could happen. Isn’t that always the case? I agree that there is way too much attention on mortality rate. But it doesn’t follow that we must fear every secondary effect that that we can imagine. And you assume little is being done to study it when that in fact is not the case. Statistical data requires study of a large number of people over time, and nothing replaces that. Go on with life, get your annual physical, and deal with the consequences if there are any. Because your alternative is what exactly?

  27. I don’t doubt that the positivity rate is important. But 125,000 deaths is 125,000 deaths, regardless of the percentage of people who died.

    1. Point?

      Are you suggesting lockdowns were necessary or a necessary evil?

      1. He’s saying Stalin was bad, but at least he was a scratch golfer.

    2. You must remember that at least 50% is wrongly marked as a Wuhan death

  28. It just blows my mind how stupidly incompetent politicians are.

    Shutting down restaurants and bars as if it’s ground zero while the rest of the society moves along is beyond illogical. It’s unconscionable to do this to small business.

  29. Deaths rising by 10-15 in a state as large as Texas hardly qualifies as a spike or meaningful statistical data. At this point, I want to just go ahead and catch the damn virus and get it over with. We were never going to be able to eliminate it, or hide until it goes away. We’ve just delayed the inevitable, and caused so much damage along the way. This country needs a heavy dose of the serenity prayer, not contact tracers or fights about masks.

    And it’s totally fair that the vulnerable bear the responsibility for protecting themselves. Otherwise you have the vast majority of the country dealing with mostly useless countermeasures, suffering emotionally, socially, and economically, and possibly being traced by the government in order to protect a small minority. Do you think someone recovering from leukemia is totally safe at Target so long as everybody else there covers their face with a bandana?

    1. Yup.

    2. This: We were never going to be able to eliminate it, or hide until it goes away.

      I have absolutly nothing against New Zealand, but it will be interesting to see what will happen when (if) they reopening their travel with the outside world. Do they have to wait until a gold standard vaccine is available, since pretty much the rest of the globe is still dealing with waves of infections?

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  31. Also makes contact tracing even more pointless.
    I suppose it could be useful in a study of how it spreads, but people keep talking as if containment is remotely plausible at this point. The Rona is going to go through the population, possibly slowed down slightly by restrictions, but that’s the only way this is going to play out. Seems to me we should want it to spread as much as it’s going to sooner, before cold weather returns.

  32. What if the virus happened to affect middle-aged white gun owners most? Would they be willing to take one for the team, or is that just something we ask of people trapped in nursing homes?

    1. Pretty much every disease hits elderly sick people hardest. That’s why getting old kind of sucks.

      Have you asked elderly people in poor health whether they think that young people should be asked to “take one for the team” and have their future economic and social prospects seriously damaged so that they can live a little bit longer?

      1. I just didn’t realize we were automatically required to consider short-term economic health in exchange for the deaths and suffering of hundreds of thousands as a valid option–or that we were supposed to invite libertarians and rightwing conspiracy theorists to the table.

        1. No. Absolutely not, Tony. You’re table should only be open to alll the good people who already think exactly like you do. DIVERSITY!!

    2. “””Would they be willing to take one for the team, or is that just something we ask of people trapped in nursing homes?”””

      IDK, Check with Cuomo.

      1. You mean the draconian tyrant who is locking down New York against the basic freedoms of Americans?

        Is the narrative here that Democrat=bad? Because you can save us a lot of time by stripping out all the egregiously contradictory bullshit and just going with that.

    3. Apparently during the 2017 flu season it was something we asked of children. Over 600 pediatric deaths. Schools were kept open, no masks were being worn. The more than 80,000 deaths that year included far more young people than this virus has killed. We also ask about 200,000 to 300,000 children to accept death from malaria every year to protect bird and bat species from suffering the consequence of insecticides. Strange world.

      1. Very well put.

  33. So basically the flu. As we said from the beginning.

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