Coronavirus

Arbitrary COVID-19 Control Measures Will Not Make Americans More Likely To 'Hang in There' Until Vaccines Are Available

Legal responses to this fall's surge in new cases, like last spring's lockdowns, are frequently illogical and unscientific.

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As the surge in newly identified COVID-19 cases continues, state and local governments across the country are responding by imposing new restrictions on social and economic activity. With a few exceptions, the rules so far are not as sweeping as the lockdowns that all but a few states imposed last spring, when far fewer cases were reported but the number of daily deaths was twice as high. But now as then, many of the distinctions drawn by politicians make little scientific sense.

As of yesterday, according to Worldometer's tallies, the seven-day average of newly confirmed infections in the United States was more than 152,000. That is more than four times the average on September 12, which was already slightly higher than last spring's peak.

Since virus testing has expanded dramatically over the course of the epidemic, from fewer than 50,000 tests a day in early April to around 1.5 million a day recently, comparisons between the spring and fall are misleading. But the recent spike in daily new cases is clearly much larger than expanded testing can explain, and the percentage of tests that detect the coronavirus has more than doubled during the last month, from a seven-day average of 4 percent in mid-October to nearly 10 percent now.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise. According to the COVID Tracking Project, nearly 70,000 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the United States yesterday, up from fewer than 29,000 on September 20. That is significantly higher than the previous peaks of about 60,000 seen in April and July.

Increases in COVID-19 fatalities so far have been less dramatic, even allowing for the typical lag between laboratory confirmation and death. As of yesterday, the seven-day average of daily deaths, per Worldometer, was 1,156, up 64 percent from the recent low on October 17.

The case fatality rate (deaths as a share of confirmed infections) has fallen from more than 6 percent in mid-May to 2.3 percent as of yesterday. In other words, COVID-19 patients, even when hospitalized, are much less likely to die from the disease today than was the case in the spring. That downward trend probably has been driven by several factors, including ramped-up testing that identifies milder cases, a younger and healthier mix of patients, and improved treatment.

What does all this mean for how many Americans ultimately will die from COVID-19 by the time effective vaccines are widely available? It seems clear that President-elect Joe Biden was excessively pessimistic when he predicted last month that we would see another 200,000 deaths, or a total of around 423,000, by the end of the year. The "ensemble forecast" from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based on projections from "45 modeling groups," puts the U.S. death toll at 260,000 to 282,000 by December 5. Based on the upper value from the CDC's forecast, Biden's projection implies a death toll of more than 5,400 a day during the last 26 days of December, which is 4.7 times the current average and 2.4 times the April peak.

By contrast, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, yesterday told CNN's Jake Tapper "it is possible" that the death toll will be in the neighborhood of 439,000 by March 1, as currently projected by the the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. But Fauci added:

The models, as I have said so often, are as good as the assumptions you put into the model. And we have got to change those assumptions. We have got to say, we are going to turn it around [by] very, very vigorously adhering to the public health measures. And we don't need to get to that number.

That is a model number if we act in a certain way. We can turn that around, that plus the fact that we are going to start getting doses of vaccines available for the highest-priority individuals sometime in mid-to-late December.

And then, as we get into January, we will get more vaccine doses available. I think, when we put those two things together, vaccine plus strong adherence to the fundamental public health measures, we can blunt that. We don't have to accept those large numbers that are so terrifying.

What does "very vigorously adhering to the public health measures" mean? One interpretation is that it means taking all the familiar precautions, such as avoiding crowds, limiting travel and social interaction, working at home when feasible, maintaining physical distance, and wearing face masks when you are indoors in close proximity to strangers. Another interpretation, increasingly favored by politicians, is that "turn[ing] it around" requires new legal mandates.

The legal restrictions imposed this fall cover a wide range, from mask mandates to renewed lockdowns. But in many cases, governors and mayors do not seem to have learned much from the bitterness and defiance engendered by last spring's restrictions, which were often arbitrary and hard to square with what we know about the coronavirus.

Beginning today in New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is imposing a two-week lockdown, meaning that residents are once again instructed to stay home except for "essential" activities, restaurants will be limited to takeout and delivery, and "nonessential" businesses such as gyms, salons, and casinos must close. Grisham's order also applies to outdoor venues such as state parks and golf courses, even though the risk of virus transmission in those settings is much lower. She also has imposed new capacity limits on supermarkets and big-box retailers.

Compared to Grisham's order, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's "advisory," which also took effect today, seems relatively mild. Yet Chicago's policy, like New Mexico's, includes some puzzling judgments.

Lightfoot is urging city residents to stay home as much as possible during the next month, eschew nonessential interstate travel, and avoid gatherings with people outside their households. While outdoor dining at restaurants will continue, gatherings of more than 10 people, whether indoors or outdoors, are banned. But according to the ABC affiliate in Chicago, that limit "does not apply to fitness clubs and retail stores, personal services and movie theaters." It is hard to see the logic of banning outdoor gatherings of 11 or more people while allowing them inside those businesses.

Likewise, it is hard to see the sense in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's new rule requiring businesses with liquor licenses to close at 10 p.m. The New York Times says "public health experts" view that edict as "a bizarre middle ground." But it actually seems worse than that, since limiting serving hours is more likely to increase crowding than reduce it. Cuomo also has decreed that no more than 10 people may gather in private residences, without regard to the size of the home or the number of people who live there.

Some American politicians, including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, seem inclined to close primary and secondary schools, which are not important sources of virus transmission, even while allowing indoor dining at restaurants. As the Times notes, that is the opposite of the judgment made by public officials in Europe.

"A mounting body of evidence from across the globe indicates that elementary schools in particular are not the superspreader sites they were once feared to be, though the science is more muddled for older children," the newspaper says. "Schools have so far been a bright spot for New York. Only .17 percent of tests conducted in over 2,800 schools over the last month came back positive. Several prominent public health experts have come forward in recent weeks to say they are now more confident that schools can reopen safely, as long as they implement strict safety measures and community transmission remains relatively low."

When there is little rhyme or reason to COVID-19 control measures, politicians should not be surprised by the skepticism and resentment they provoke. Worse, arbitrary legal restrictions may encourage Americans to disregard official advice and resist the voluntary steps that are crucial to reducing virus transmission.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel," Fauci said on CNN, alluding to the distribution of highly promising vaccines, which is expected to begin next month but probably won't reach full scale until the spring. "Help is coming. And that should, I believe, motivate people to just say, 'We are going to double down and do this uniformly.'"

At the same time, Fauci acknowledged that Americans "don't like to be told what to do" and may be losing patience. "Everyone is sensitive to what we call COVID fatigue," he said. "People are worn out about this. But we have got to hang in there a bit longer, particularly as we get into the holiday seasons and the colder weather, as we get into the late fall and early winter months." Every ill-considered, scientifically unsound edict compounds COVID fatigue and makes it less likely that Americans will in fact "hang in there," let alone "double down."

NEXT: School District Decides Asians Aren't Students of Color

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    2. “We’re just making shit up, but we’ll mug you or lock you in a cage for disobedience.”

    3. Anti-social, belligerently ignorant right-wingers who figure they can outsmart a virus are among my favorite culture war casualties.

      Stomping their preferences in the culture war has been a pleasure and an important public service.

      Watching their can’t-keep-up rural and southern communities continue to empty and decay will be fine entertainment throughout the next few decades.

      1. So, Rev, how is that “4-8 weeks” going, 32 weeks in? Oh, wait, the governor of Mass now says “do it for 4 weeks” and he won’t cancel Christmas. And Bidet says that if he takes office in another 65 days, that he’ll do 4-8 weeks to fix the problem.

        A non-shithead would conclude that panties on your face don’t stop a virus.

        As would 45 years of professional papers on the subject.

        And a non-faggot wouldn’t be shitting their pants over a common cold.

        Also, it’s the urban shitholes emptying INTO the rural areas, but we wish you’d stop and just finish burning your roach nests to the ground.

      2. It’s been even more delightful watching hicklibs and neurotic urbanites flail in frustration as they grapple with the reality that their magical mask talismans failed to fulfill their prophecies.

      3. So a Reverend…. couldn’t hack it in any fields that expect actual results I see.

        Now don’t get me wrong, “shaman” is a good gig if you can get it, though it’s about as real as your supposed “intellect”.

      4. Communities empty and decay? I think all your Joe Biden ass eating is confusing you. People are fleeing blue cities for zero income tax red states like Texas. What about all your left wing talk about flipping TX and AZ because of all the flaming liberals escaping CA causing a demographic shift?

    4. The faggots are doing as they’re told and will continue to do so because they’re faggots.

      They may be “tired of it,” but they’re still compliant little faggots. Almost no men have refused the charade.

    5. It’s just about time to overthrow the democrats.

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  3. I think it is cute that Sullum is still under the impression that the government has any interest in selling the lockdowns to the American people, rather than forcing the lockdowns down their throats over their objections.

    1. As the Hicklib would say, “open wider”. Of course, his rape fantasies are pretty gross.

    2. The fact that so many Americans have enthusiastically swallowed this bullshit means they barely have to sell it (news media has that covered). It is absolutely disappointing and disgusting that Americans did not refuse to go along any more many months ago.

      1. But we did have riots over the summer, which were at least partly in reaction.

        1. That is true. I don’t believe for a moment that it was all or even mostly about police or black lives mattering. I really thought that it was all done then. I guess I underestimated people’s capacity for willful ignorance and blindness.

      2. Women should have never been given the privilege of voting.

        1. Nor should men apparently; allowing a monopoly to dictate your life is for faggots.

  4. “Help is coming. And that should, I believe, motivate people to just say, ‘We are going to double down and do this uniformly.'”

    Translated: “Only the government can save you, and only if you do what you are told.”

    Collectivization is under way.

    1. “Everyone in lockstep, no one ask questions, it’s for your own good.”

      1. Just look straight into the bleeding jaws of fascism and say, “yes, daddy, please.”

    2. Jesus hates you Chuck. He hates your family and y’all are going to burn in hell.

      Mormon piece of fucking shit.

      1. How many Mormon lovers have spurned you, child? Let go of your bitterness.

      2. Man, you’re a real dick. And, you know what I found out? Apparently, on my dad’s side, I’m Ulster Scots, I.e., I’m related to the people in the Appalachians who are known as….yup, rednecks. So now I REALLY think you’re a dick.

      3. None!?!
        Since when do Mormons put out?

        Jesus fucking christ you Mormon lovers are dumb!

        1. Not nearly as dumb as you are. You probably get 90% off at the mind readers.

        2. 90% of a Mormon pussy is a handjob.

          It’s still a bunch of horseshit

  5. I’ve been seeing in some news outlets that Fauci is saying that even with the vaccine we’ll still have to have the mask and lockdown bullshit. They really mean to make this permanent, don’t they?

    The beauty of it, from their perspective, is that it isn’t falsifiable: if cases go down, that’s “proof” the mask/lockdown works. If cases go up, it’s because we aren’t doing the mask/lockdown thing hard enough. And I very much doubt this virus will ever be completely eradicated.

    1. Permanent? Absolutely. But, to be clear, it will not be limited to COVID-19. The lockdown approach is now ***the*** operative model in this country for dealing with any and every infectious and readily transmissible disease, even those that are relatively innocuous. In ten years, this will all seem normal. Both parties will be on board. Anything less will seem unthinkable.

      1. It’s worldwide too. That’s the really scary part.

        1. I don’t think they’re particularly strict about this in Africa, but Africa isn’t a hotbed of First World utopianistic thinking, either.

          1. Well, yeah, it was never going to happen in most of Africa. When you need to go out every day just to feed your family it’s all a total joke. But the fact that some governments even tried is pretty amazing.

      2. Yeah, it will probably work like the War On Some Drugs. They have a crackdown on heroin, declare it’s working but then say we need a crackdown on coke. They’ll declare it’s working but then say we need a crackdown on meth. They’ll declare it’s working but then say we need a crackdown on heroin. Around and around she goes, where she stops nobody knows.

      3. The lockdown approach is now ***the*** operative model in this country for dealing with any and every infectious and readily transmissible disease, even those that are relatively innocuous.

        The herpes lockdowns in the 30’s were the worst. Getting checked to make sure I was wearing the mandatory condom while at the grocery store was embarrassing.

        -me, in the future

        1. Haha that’s funny you fucking piece of shit.

          Actually it isn’t because Mormons dont have senses of humor.

          Go fuck yourself!

          1. Just forgive those Mormons who have made you their little bitch. Life will become so much better. I feel sad for you, who lets Mormons make someone to be their bitch?

            1. Who sticks up for square, evil mormons?

              A goddamn bitch

              1. Did the Mormons plow your ass and turn you into the gimp bitch you are today? Or were you already like this?

                Faggoty little gimp.

                1. Fuck people who defend Mormons!

                  Burn in fucking hell asshole

                  1. Stop eating Biden’s ass, you liberal ass eater.

        2. Hey Chuck, looks like your AIDS-ridden hicklib stalker is back.

          1. Hey if I was a hick would my name be killallREDNECKS!

            Goddamn moron

            1. If you had any dignity left, you’d run that razor blade vertically down your wrist. Faggot.

              1. Haha dignity? You’re the one defending mormons? Please show me where Jesus spoke in america?

                Mormon defending piece of trash

                1. Just because you’re a hicklib piece of shit doesn’t mean that there isn’t time to salvage yourself.

                  Remember, vertical, not horizontal, white bread.

      4. In ten years, this will all seem normal.

        No, it won’t. 8-10 yr. olds today will remember what it’s like to play outside with friends without masks and social distancing. From what I’ve seen, 10-17 yr. olds are already subverting their parents, the system, etc. IMO, there will be a reckoning/retconning at some point.

        Similar happened with AGW. They pumped all the “The world is gonna end if we don’t do something.” ideology into gradeschoolers. Eventually, lots of them figure out that the world isn’t actually ending and don’t take to kindly to being lied to.

        1. WA is being largely shut down again starting Wednesday. Lots of us are already working on circumventing as much of Inslee’s unconstitutional bullshit as possible.

          Democrats have really become an existential threat to our freedoms. They should be dealt accordingly.

      5. That means that, practically speaking, the restaurant and the bar will cease to exist, mass transit will be no more, theaters will be no more, stadiums gone,…! We’ll see “broken windows” on a massive scale as such facilities are salvaged for other uses, like warehouse and storage space, landfill, residences, farms,….

        1. not farms. labs. where our food will come from. no more “farms”

      6. And “climate change.”

        And yes, it will be permanent. As long as YOU comply, YOU will be doing this forever.

        When YOU refuse to be a faggot and stop complying, along with all the other faggots, it will end.

      7. This brings up one of my favorite rants. California has colored lockdown phases. Moving between phases is based on “SCIENCE!!”. But, in all the rainbow of phases, there is “green”, like, where our Imperial Governor GTFO’s and let everyone go back to living life. Not a word about it. Not even up for consideration. Ain’t gonna happen.

        This is going to be around for a long time.

    2. That’s the problem. Clearly, to anyone with half a functioning brains, masks don’t work – and never will.

      But people are stupid fucken retards.

      I’m very worried now. Personally? Eye for an eye. Fauci – who knows masks don’t work – has ruined people’s psyche. So I wish nothing but ill on him.

      It’s sickening to listen to these assholes basically say, ‘yeh we change our minds. Keep those stupid things on indefinitely.’

      It only stops when people say it’s enough. Fauci is just going to keep preying on people’s fears.

      1. Rufus, masks largely re-direct your breath to the edges of the mask, where it escapes. It just doesn’t go straight out towards the person you are facing. So they have some utility. But, of course, if there are people to the side of you they are now in the ‘line of fire.’ And for people who are coughing or sneezing they have obvious benefit.

        The biggest problem is that people feel invincible wearing a mask and take stupid chances, and don’t understand that the person standing next to them is spraying virus at them.

        1. The biggest problem is that 45 years of professional studies show that medical personnel who routinely wear masks get viral infections at exactly the same rate as the general public. And they have to changed masks every patient or couple of hours.

    3. If cases go up, it’s because we aren’t doing the mask/lockdown thing hard enough.

      The Scientism prophets and their disciples/acolytes have been making that excuse for months, and they really doubled down on it the last couple of weeks. It’s the classic coping mechanism when plans go awry that it’s not the policy that was ineffective, because we’re So Damn Smart And Have Degrees And Stuff, it’s that they didn’t get 100% compliance from the lumpenproles. It’s a grotesque indulgence in circular reasoning.

      1. That’s basically what’s happening in Michigan.

        Whitmer’s mask directive through the MHDSS is being enforced de facto by the vast majority of businesses in this state. Stores like Costco, Kroger, and Whole Foods are aggressively enforcing mask requirements. 99% of customers wear them. Most people wear masks to gain access to restaurants although they remove them once they are seated. I still see people wearing masks while alone in their car or while they are jogging or riding a bike.

        Yet, cases in Michigan are increasing and Whitmer just issued a new lockdown order and is seeking a mask mandate. Try to point out to people that the reason cases are going up is due to the amount of testing taking place and that deaths are actually decreasing and you are shouted down as a heretic. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        1. Locally, this has been a bit of a boon, if only transiently and risky, for local business. Major chain stores have mask orders and serve carry out, but if you’re a local business who’s being forced to close your dining room in the winter, what have you got left to lose? Eventually, they’re going to have to start bringing criminal charges against people owning businesses. I don’t think they’re bright enough not to pursue it to that end. I do think even a lot of the leftists, even the ones who voted for the less-extreme socialist(s), will have a problem with putting someone in jail because they wanted to own a restaurant. Especially if that someone is a woman or minority (Maybe it’s an effort to “rebalance social inequity”, but still, you’re going to have a lot of trouble locking up only the white people shopping at whole foods while leaving every bodega to it’s own devices).

          1. Some of those pieces of shit need to file some federal suits, rather than whining about how hard it is.

      2. That’s exactly what happened in the World Series. Rays take out their ace after he gave up a single and immediately lost the lead (and the Series). But “trust the process”.

      3. Hmmmm….if they’re so smart, why didn’t they take into account the fact that not everyone will comply. The realm of human action is complicated, indeed. Too complicated for politicians’ edicts, that’s for sure.

    4. Because “this virus” is a typical coronavirus that is and always will live within the human population, but the global socialists decided to make up a story about a super scary plague in order to destroy the middle class and seize totalitarian power worldwide.

      1. It’s really amazing how well coordinated the vastly different world governments and biological scientists are on this.

        The Socialist Chinese, the Socialist Australians, the Socialist South Africans, the Socialist people of El Paso Texas

        It’s exactly what you might expect if reality matches the idea that it is a real threat, combined with a lot of really stupid conspiracy theories promoted by people with agendas

    5. It’ll take time for produce enough vaccine to cover everybody, some people won’t be able to take it due to immune system problems.

      Having people still distance/mask during the time we are getting enough people vaccinated so that the amount of virus dies down is really the key to beating it quicker.

  6. I’ve learned to despise Facci. You can tell the guy digs the limelight.

    1. I’ve learned to despite EVERY single one of these depraved sons of bitches.

      And people who buy into this.

      1. Of course clingers resent their betters, who have been shaping progress against the bigoted slack-jaws’ wishes and efforts for five or six decades.

        But the culture war casualties will continue to comply with the preferences of the liberal-libertarian mainstream. They get to whine and rant about it as much as they like, though, because their betters are magnanimous toward our society’s losers.

        1. “Betters”?

          That’s a pretty right wing thing to say there, “liberal.”

          But we know what you are.

        2. Then why do all you parasites keep fleeing liberal states and infesting all our well-run red states?

          You people are like a locust infestation.

    2. I may have said I wanted to knock the smirk off of someone’s face before, but I don’t know that I have ever really meant it until Fauci. If I ever saw that guy in public, I would get arrested for sure.

      1. His face is just sooooo punchable.

      2. Fauci and Newsom and Whitmire they are glowing with power and Biden can just taste it he is so close yet so far away if this only last long enough for him to get into office.

        1. Imagine if he got Hunan-flu tomorrow and died on January 19th.

          Yes, things could be worse.

          1. that’s the plan

      3. Because you’re a fucking hypocrite like all Mormons!

        What about turn the other cheek?

        Goddamn piece of trash

        1. Show us where the bad Mormons touched you child.

          1. If a Mormon came near me I’d slit its goddamn throat

            1. With any luck, you’ll be gargling buckshot mouthwash soon.

              1. Big talk red rocks! Where are you in CO? I’ll rape your wife and fucking make you watch me cum on yor face you goddamn fucking coward

                1. The only thing you’re going to do is seethe at your laptop, buttboy.

                  Now eat that buckshot like I told you.

                2. Somehow I think you’d prefer to just eat Biden’s ass.

  7. Calling my shot now: They will lower the PCR threshold from 50 to 30 if Biden takes office, and give him credit for saving us all when the case count goes down.

    About All Those Positive COVID ‘Cases’ Fauci Keeps Freaking Out Over…
    https://pjmedia.com/columns/stacey-lennox/2020/10/05/why-is-fauci-wringing-his-hands-over-covid-cases-detected-by-prc-tests-n1004333

    So if we do a PCR corona test on an immune person, it is not a virus that is detected, but a small shattered part of the viral genome. The test comes back positive for as long as there are tiny shattered parts of the virus left. Correct: Even if the infectious viruses are long dead, a corona test can come back positive, because the PCR method multiplies even a tiny fraction of the viral genetic material enough [to be detected].

    In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.

    On Thursday, the United States recorded 45,604 new coronavirus cases, according to a database maintained by The Times. If the rates of contagiousness in Massachusetts and New York were to apply nationwide, then perhaps only 4,500 of those people may actually need to isolate and submit to contact tracing.

    Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said.

    Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. “I’m shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,” she said.

    A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35, she added. Dr. Mina said he would set the figure at 30, or even less. Those changes would mean the amount of genetic material in a patient’s sample would have to be 100-fold to 1,000-fold that of the current standard for the test to return a positive result — at least, one worth acting on.

    1. Experts: US COVID-19 positivity rate high due to ‘too sensitive’ tests
      https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/experts-us-covid-19-positivity-rate-high-due-to-too-sensitive-tests/ar-BB18wE8B

      New York’s state lab Wadsworth analyzed cycle thresholds values in already processed COVID-19 PCR tests and found in July that 794 positive tests were based on a threshold of 40 cycles.

      With a cutoff of 35, about half of those tests would no longer qualify as positive. About 70 percent would no longer be judged positive if the cycles were limited to 30.

      In Massachusetts, from 85 to 90 percent of people who tested positive in July with a cycle threshold of 40 would have been considered negative if the threshold were 30 cycles, Mina said.

      ‘I would say that none of those people should be contact-traced, not one,’ he said.

      The Food and Drug Administration said that it does not specify the cycle threshold ranges used to determine who is positive and ‘commercial manufacturers and laboratories set their own.’

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is examining the use of cycle threshold measures for ‘policy decision’.

      The CDC said its own calculations suggest its extremely hard to detect a live virus in a sample above a threshold of 33 cycles.

      1. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html

        Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be.
        The usual diagnostic tests may simply be too sensitive and too slow to contain the spread of the virus.

        One solution would be to adjust the cycle threshold used now to decide that a patient is infected. Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.

        Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said.

        Scientists Destroyed a Nest of Murder Hornets. Here’s What They Learned.

        How ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ Foretold Our Era of Grifting
        Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. “I’m shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,” she said.

        A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35, she added. Dr. Mina said he would set the figure at 30, or even less. Those changes would mean the amount of genetic material in a patient’s sample would have to be 100-fold to 1,000-fold that of the current standard for the test to return a positive result — at least, one worth acting on.

        1. Yup the Ct cycles set way too high. Even Fauci said as much in July…and that guy is a duplicitous little shit.

        2. How ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ Foretold Our Era of Grifting

          Now that’s interesting.

    2. OF COURSE it should be set below 30.

    3. If they DO actually pull a stunt like that, I guarantee they won’t issue any public statement saying, “oops, we were wrong, this is the cycle we actually need to test it at.” It will be quietly implemented and the only way to find out it happened is if some autist decides to dig through the public files out of sheer boredom or curiosity, like Michael Burry did with the housing market in the mid-2000s, and discovers the change.

      Nothing torques off “experts” more than having to admit they fucked up and might not know everything.

      1. “Fucked up”? Nah, deliberate. We’ll have a national lockdown, the test will be changed, and Biden will be our savior.

        Here is Fauci in July:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_Vy6fgaBPE&feature=youtu.be&t=260

      2. Yep.

        They will lower the cycle threshold, stop testing healthy people, and change to counting deaths “of covid” and not “with covid”.

        We could do that TODAY and the crisis evaporates.

    4. I wonder how many people who get tested because they feel like they are getting sick, and test positive for SARs-2, are actually sick from some other normal cold virus? With that kind of sensitivity, it seems likely to happen fairly often. Heck, I’d bet that a fair number of people hospitalized for covid are actually sick because of some other cold or flu virus.

      1. or with that type of sensitity many had it and it just like a common cold or less and thus useless but we destroyed the economy anyway. Most death occured in nursing homes that traditionally shut down at teh first sign of a virus except where the government told them not to. I’m thinking cuomo and others here. there is now more proof that it was around longer than they thought, sept 2019, it just took a while to get to the vulnerable population

        1. I’m thinking also of the strangely low numbers of influenza cases/hospitalizations. Are people getting flu, but testing positive for Rona?

      2. Some people get tested because they are forced to do so. I went to a hospital last month to get a test for an unrelated problem, and was told that I had to take a coronavirus test first, even though I had no symptoms.

        Shame on the corona cowards who applaud lockdowns and mask requirements. Unfortunately, most politicians, the media, the medical establishment, and Corporate America are on the side of the cowards.

        1. Yeah, I’m sure that accounts for a lot of tests. There’s another thing that would be good to know. How many tests are because people who have symptoms want to get tested and how many are like yours or for work or something.

  8. Crimes against humanity.

  9. The good news is we’re closer to achieving herd immunity every day, as previous studies (including one by CDC) found about 10 times more people have been infected by covid (than have tested positive for covid), and since herd immunity is typically achieved when about 70% of the population has been infected.

    To date, 8.3% of North Dakotans have tested positive for covid, as have 7.4% of South Dakotans, 5.9% of Iowans, 5.4% in Wisconsin, and 5.0% in Nebraska.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/09/01/816707182/map-tracking-the-spread-of-the-coronavirus-in-the-u-s#curves

    Eleven other states have surpassed a 4% covid case rate.

    1. A CDC study found 71% of Americans who tested positive for covid
      reported ALWAYS wearing a mask in public during the preceding two weeks, and another 14% reported OFTEN wearing masks.
      https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a5.htm?s_cid=mm6936a5_w

      Unfortunately for accountability, transparency and public health, however, CDC never reported this study’s key finding to the news media.

      1. Doctor uses Vape Aerosols to show just how much masks don’t work
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkdTyZ9xd_g

        BTW CDC and FDA have lied about vaping since 2009, when FDA first banned their sales, and CDC has lobbied to ban vaping in public places since 2010 (all of which protected cigarette manufacturers).

        In fact, vaping has helped more than 10 million smokers quit smoking, which is why Big Pharma and Big Tobacco teamed up to lobby FDA to ban >99.9% of nicotine vaping products (on Sept 9, 2020).

        1. PA’s mask wearing mandate (since April) in all indoor public places didn’t stop the huge increase in new covid cases in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area in late June and July, and hasn’t stopped the far greater skyrocketing of covid cases now occurring statewide.
          https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Cases.aspx

          1. You have that one right Bill. And that Dumbass Governor of ours power trip hasn’t done crap either.

    2. With the prevalence of testing, the 10X number is probably closer to 2-4X by now.

      Still, I have a feeling that within the next 10 days, “cases” in IA, ND, and SD are going to decline.

  10. Seriously nobody is going to pay attention. Lockdown all you want it won’t matter. Inslee the asshole governor wants you to eat your thanksgiving alone in the dark. Fuck you shitface democrats for creating this situation and kneeling to your Chicom masters. You can hide out all you want.

    1. How the hell do you manage to blame Democrats for this oh wait you’re a fucking idiot and you consume rightwing media like a fat kid in a vat of skittles.

      1. Inslee (cocksucker) is a democrat. Dumb bastard thinks he’s intelligent about this but he’s just killing people slowly.

      2. Right wingers didn’t threaten to withhold a vaccine because they didn’t like the President.

        Also didn’t place their state under house arrest unless they did activities the governor approved of.

        The only good Democrat, at this point, is one in a grave.

        1. You seem like you approach politics with a clear mind and definitely aren’t a robotic brownshirt tool.

          1. My point is made.

      3. “How the hell do you manage to blame Democrats for this oh..”
        Newsom, Cuomo, de Blasio, Murphy, Witmer…
        Yep, not a D among them, right, shitstain?

      4. Are you serious? If you got your head out of Biden’s ass for two seconds you might remember Cuomo killing off 10’s of thousands of elderly by intentionally sticking them in nursing homes. The guy is nothing but an ass-eating murderer like all Democrat scum.

  11. Stay strong comrades. Remember: Tomorrow is a rest day!

  12. https://twitter.com/AP/status/1328354421252755458

    The World Health Organization has recorded 65 cases of the coronavirus among staff based at its headquarters, despite the agency’s public assertions that there has been no transmission at the Geneva site, according to an email obtained by
    @AP
    .

    1. THEY DIDN’T WEAR THEIR MASKS!

  13. False-positive COVID-19 results: hidden problems and costs
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30453-7/fulltext

    To summarise, false-positive COVID-19 swab test results might be increasingly likely in the current epidemiological climate in the UK, with substantial consequences at the personal, health system, and societal levels

  14. Lock downs have no effect on Covid mortality…none, zero. Many data sources show this…one of the best is pandata.org

  15. Lockdowns only minimally slow down the virus. Lockdowns very quickly destroy jobs, though.

  16. Just the same old spin from Sullum…only mentions restrictions by Dem governors. Hey Sullum, Republican governors in ND, Ohio, and Utah initiated mask mandates. You must have forgot.

    Oh, and the libertarian darlings of Sweden (with their universal health care) are now initiating their own restrictions as well. Bars closed at 10 (not just NY Sullum), some museums and libraries closed, and now no more than 8 people at a public gathering.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-16/sweden-imposes-unprecedented-covid-restrictions-as-cases-soar

    I guess those libertarians in Sweden are resorting to “arbitrary” restrictions, eh Sullum?

    1. Yes, politics and overreaction exist in Sweden too. And it is obviously arbitrary. Find the scientific study or even mathematical reasoning why 8 is the number and not 7 or 9 or 15 or 3. Or why closing at 10 does anything.

      1. “…Oh, and the libertarian darlings of Sweden (with their universal health care) are now initiating their own restrictions as well. Bars closed at 10 (not just NY Sullum), some museums and libraries closed, and now no more than 8 people at a public gathering…”

        Oh, look! jackass found three (!!!!!) limitations on activity in Sweden!
        How much does cherry picking pay these days, jackass?

    2. Go look at the current Swedish daily case/death rates. Their daily case rate is up 4X relative to the spring but their death rate is 10x smaller than the spring. The term “unprecedented” is fear porn by Bloomberg.

      1. In jackass’ defense, the *restrictions* are unprecedented for Sweden; they’ve had pretty much zero so far.

    3. LOL your mask mandates failed harder than the Zulus at Roark’s Drift and you’re still coping.

    4. I live in Ohio. I want to see our little totalitarian wannabe governor spend the remainder of his days in prison.

  17. the last time Fauci’s name is spoken in public will be the best.

  18. it’s important to note that even with the highest mortality numbers that anyone can forecast, this year we’ll be at approx. 900 deaths per 100,000 (10-15% above the pre-corona level) or about the same rate that we had in… wait for it… 2005. Remember the year 2005, the dark ages, when human life was short and miserable? Yeah, that’s the abyss we’ll fall into.

    1. Or it’s the equivalent of terrorists perpetrating a 9/11 per day indefinitely, depending on how you look at it.

      Such cavalier dismissal of what will be millions of lives. It’s hard for us sane people to keep up because the moral standards you lunatics insist that we all follow keep sinking deeper into the shitter.

      1. You are not saving lives just postponing deaths.

        1. Without immortality any life saved is simply death postponed

      2. The 911 comparison is utter bullshit. You just can’t compare mass murder of people mostly in the prime of their lives to a disease that kills mostly old, sick people. Well, you can, but it’s stupid and dishonest.

        1. Zeb, every thing Tony says, as a rule, is bullshit.

          1. Including”
            “…It’s hard for us sane people…”
            He misspelled “lefty shits”.

        2. Why not? Are sick and old people not people?

          Of course you’re totally ignoring all the people disabled by this disease.

          And all because you don’t allow yourself to have thoughts that weren’t approved by the Republican party ministry of cunts.

          What is wrong with you people?

          1. “What is wrong with you people?”

            I guess we’re just sick & tired of watching you eat Biden’s ass all day.

          2. So every death is equivalent? It’s exactly the same when an 85 year old dies of a lung infection as when a 25 year old person is murdered? Fuck off.

          3. You are perfectly free to cower in your house. I do not have to live my life how you see fit, cunt.

          4. “…What is wrong with you people?”

            Nothing.
            Your health is your concern, not mine, shitstain.
            Cowardly pieces of lefty shit are welcome to crawl in a hole and stay there.

  19. And then, remember this and how soon it got memory-holed?

    “More Than 10,000 Scientists Sign Barrington Declaration Petition Saying Current COVID Lockdowns are ‘Producing Devastating Effects'”
    https://www.newsweek.com/more-10000-scientists-sign-barrington-declaration-petition-saying-current-covid-lockdowns-are-1539917

    But a search will show The Harvard Crimson claims this would violate the Hippocratic oath while The Guardian claim it’s pushed by ‘covid deniers’.
    Seems these guys aren’t as ‘sciency’ as the other guys.

  20. Silly Sullum, your preferred presidential candidate is not going to like you questioning his authority.

  21. Keep your gas tanks full.

  22. Borrowing a 2016 bumper sticker of the Dims….. RESIST

  23. Glad someone is finally mentioning the idiotic and arbitrary rules that have been forced on us in New Mexico! We’ve had the restaurants must close at 10 rule for weeks, it’s not just New York.

  24. Yeah, the response has even a shit show. The president and the drooling morons who love him are denying the problem exists, and governors are left to do 50 different things. Which is what I thought you people wanted.

    Until a governor does something you don’t like, then it’s time to commit extralegal political violence.

    1. Oh, so governors should be able to violate the Constitution?

      Well, the Left has disliked the Constitution for a long while now.

      1. The constitution doesn’t say anything about how states should manage pandemics. It definitely doesn’t say that if a pandemic happens, our only option is to let it kill as many people as possible.

        Nope that’s just the current Republican policy.

        1. “The constitution doesn’t say anything about how states should manage pandemics. ”

          There’s no “unless China kung flu hits” provision at any point in the Constitution. Government at any level has zero right to restrict free assembly (and, if they like what you’re doing, they don’t restrict it)

          “It definitely doesn’t say that if a pandemic happens, our only option is to let it kill as many people as possible.”

          I guess modern progressivism’s view on prison reform is to make EVERYBODY prisoners. Grand.

          1. I appreciate that your priority is fighting an imaginary war against evil leftists, but those of us who are not children playing with dolls might prioritize not letting millions of people die for no reason.

            1. “I appreciate that your priority is fighting an imaginary war against evil leftists, but those of us who are not children playing with dolls might prioritize not letting millions of people die for no reason.”

              I don’t appreciate your attempt to appear as an adult while acting as a whiny piece of lefty, adolescent shit.

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  26. I believe case fatality ratio refers to those infected with symptoms not just infected.

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  28. Essential is a relative term not an absolute. If a person relies on their job to put food on their table and to provide shelter for their family, then their job is essential. It does not matter what their job is.

    If a wealthy person has a hobby job even in the most noble and praised occupation does not rely on this job, then the job is not essential to them.

    I understand Governors and Health Department officials providing guidance, but I do not like the dictatorial requirements and lock downs. By implication a mandate implies the force of law.

    While it is hopefully a stretch, assuming that Biden issues a nationwide lock down and assuming that there will be resistance to the lock down. How long until a state mobilizes their National Guard to enforce the lock down.

    While the dystopian narrative would go further where citizens are actually shot by the government in order to protect them from a corona virus.

    Considering that government seldom if ever relinquish power, the loss of freedoms are probably as permanent other temporary thins such as Federal Income tax and Social Security

    1. At this point, should we have criticized the guys who wanted to kidnap Whitmer? Should we have demanded they get Cuomo, De Blasio, AND Newsom too?

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  30. So, sure miss all the Reason folks extolling all things Sweden. Maybe because museums and libraries are being shut down, public gatherings of more than 8 have been banned, and bars now follow New York’s lead and close down 10 PM.

    PM Lofven said this:

    “This is the new norm for the entire society. Don’t go to gyms, don’t go to libraries, don’t host dinners. Cancel.”

    Oh boy. So much for that Nordic libertarian stronghold.

    “On Friday, the last data available, Sweden recorded almost 6,000 new daily cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total number of confirmed infections to 177,355. This number is far higher than its neighbors Denmark (63,847 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data), Finland (19,419 cases) and Norway, with 29,514 infections to date, although these countries have roughly half the population of Sweden’s 10 million people. Still, the death rate per capita in Sweden is several times higher than that of its Nordic neighbors, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control shows.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/17/sweden-toughens-up-coronavirus-rules-as-infections-and-deaths-rise.html

    If I was you I’d start referring to South Dakota as the libertarian stronghold. They’ve really done nothing, much less than Sweden. But then, you should know that if SD was a country, they would have the third worst mortality rate of all countries.

    Libertarians…the science folks.

    1. And just in, Sullum…a curfew from 10 pm to 5 am! Oh boy…those New Yorkers! They hate freedom.

      Uh oh, wait a minute…that’s in Ohio, by a Republican governor, no less!

      1. I’m sorry…somebody is defending Republican governors who act like Democrats? Where?

        Again, feel free to assume the government will willingly give up their control of your life. It’d be an idiotic assumption, but you seem really good at those.

        1. Did you even read the article? You know, the one above, which only mentions restrictions imposed by Democrats, and conveniently, as usual with Reason, ignores same (even stricter) prohibitions by Republicans.

          1. “…which only mentions restrictions imposed by Democrats, and conveniently, as usual with Reason, ignores same (even stricter) prohibitions by Republicans.”

            Jackass will be here all week, folks. Please tip the servers; they’ll have rotten tomatoes available to throw at the ‘comedian’.
            Hey, jackass! A 10PM closing time is NOT the same as being shut down. I know this will come as a shock to you, but please take all the time you need to attempt to understand it.
            Oh, and fuck off and die.

        2. So, to sum up…Utah, Ohio, and North Dakota all have mask mandates. Ohio has a 10 PM to 5 AM curfew. And Oklahoma now has a curfew for bars and restaurants, as well as a mask mandate for state employees.

          All Republican governors. All ignored by Sullum. Of course.

          1. Pick them cherries, jackass!

      2. “And just in, Sullum…a curfew from 10 pm to 5 am! Oh boy…those New Yorkers! They hate freedom.
        Uh oh, wait a minute…that’s in Ohio, by a Republican governor, no less!”

        Yeah, NY is in total shutdown, jackass. They really love freedom, right?

    2. “So, sure miss all the Reason folks extolling all things Sweden. Maybe because museums and libraries are being shut down, public gatherings of more than 8 have been banned, and bars now follow New York’s lead and close down 10 PM…”

      OMG! jackass found Sweden instituting mild restrictions, and therefore….
      jackass is a lying piece of lefty cherry picker.

  31. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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