Coronavirus

'COVID-19 Hospitalizations' Are an Increasingly Misleading Measure of Severe Disease

New research shows incidental and mild infections account for a large and rising share of that widely cited number.

|

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers, policy makers, and journalists have viewed hospitalizations as an important indicator of the disease burden, often citing increases in that measure as a justification for government interventions aimed at curtailing virus transmission, such as business restrictions and mask requirements. Hospitalization numbers do have advantages over case tallies, which are highly dependent on who happens to be tested, and fatality reports, which are a lagging indicator, since deaths may be recorded weeks after diagnosis. But because hospitalization rates reflect patients who test positive for COVID-19, they do not tell us how many were admitted for treatment of the disease or how many experienced severe symptoms.

A newly published preprint study addresses those gaps in knowledge by applying measures of disease severity to about 48,000 V.A. hospital admissions of more than 38,000 COVID-positive patients between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. The researchers, all but one of whom work for the V.A. Boston Healthcare System, found that the share of admissions involving moderate-to-severe COVID-19 cases fell from 64 percent before vaccines were widely available to 52 percent afterward.

In other words, incidental or mild cases accounted for a rising share of so-called COVID-19 hospitalizations—nearly half by the end of June. That means it is increasingly problematic to treat that number, which includes COVID-19 patients without life-threatening symptoms as well as COVID-positive patients admitted for other reasons, as an indicator of severe disease. Notably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which collects data on what are commonly called "COVID-19 hospitalizations," uses a more ambiguous term: "COVID-19-associated hospitalizations." But even that description is misleading, since the tally includes many hospital patients who were not admitted for treatment of COVID-19.

The main measure of disease severity in the V.A. study was an oxygen saturation level below 94 percent, which corresponds with "the most stringent cut-off" on a scale developed by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers also considered whether patients received the steroid dexamethasone, which reduces mortality in COVID-19 patients on supplemental oxygen or mechanical respiratory support. By both measures, the prevalence of moderate-to-severe cases declined with the advent of vaccines.

The researchers cite two explanations for that trend: Vaccination protects people against severe disease even if they are infected by the coronavirus, and "unvaccinated patients tend to be younger and healthier," meaning they are less likely to experience life-threatening systems. Another factor could be the criteria that hospitals use for admitting COVID-19 patients, which are apt to be less demanding when the infected population becomes younger and healthier. But the upshot is that "COVID-19-associated hospitalizations," which were always an imprecise measure of severe disease, should be viewed with even more caution now.

"Routine inpatient screening, common or mandated in many facilities, may identify incidental cases," the researchers note. "If hospitalizations are used as a metric for policy decision-making, patients hospitalized for the management of COVID-19 disease should be distinguished from patients who are hospitalized and incidentally found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2." They argue that oxygen saturation levels and use of supplemental oxygen, both of which are recorded by hospitals, are handy ways to distinguish between these two groups. They suggest that "reporting definitions may need to be revised to reflect the changing nature of the pandemic, particularly in regions with high levels of vaccine uptake."

The researchers note that "the VA population is not representative of the US population as a whole, having few women and no children." But the finding that mild cases account for a substantial share of hospitalized COVID-positive patients is consistent with earlier research involving pediatric populations.

A study reported in Hospital Pediatrics last month looked at 117 admissions to a children's hospital in Northern California between May 10, 2020, and February 10, 2021. Two-fifths of those "COVID-19 hospitalizations" involved patients who were asymptomatic. One-fifth involved "severe" or "critical" cases.

Another study reported in the same journal last month looked at COVID-positive patients younger than 22 who were treated by Valley Children's Healthcare in Madera, California, between May 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. The researchers found that 40 percent of the patients had "incidental infection," 47 percent were "potentially symptomatic," and the rest were "significantly symptomatic." In this age group, they reported, "most hospitalized patients who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic or have a reason for hospitalization other than coronavirus disease 2019."

The authors of the V.A. study note that "most of the data are from months before the more-transmissible delta variant became dominant." But they add that "proportions of patients with moderate-to-severe respiratory distress or being treated with dexamethasone did not appear to be rising at the end of the observation period (6/30/2021), when delta was becoming predominant nationwide, suggesting stability of the vital signs metric for identifying moderate-to-severe COVID-19."

As David Zweig notes in The Atlantic, the V.A. study "demonstrates that hospitalization rates for COVID, as cited by journalists and policy makers, can be misleading, if not considered carefully. Clearly many patients right now are seriously ill. We also know that overcrowding of hospitals by COVID patients with even mild illness can have negative implications for patients in need of other care. At the same time, this study suggests that COVID hospitalization tallies can't be taken as a simple measure of the prevalence of severe or even moderate disease, because they might inflate the true numbers by a factor of two."

Zweig interviewed Shira Doron, a co-author of the V.A. study who is an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center. "As we look to shift from cases to hospitalizations as a metric to drive policy and assess level of risk to a community or state or country," she told him, "we should refine the definition of hospitalization. Those patients who are there with rather than from COVID don't belong in the metric."

NEXT: Memphis Gave IKEA $9.5 Million While Several Smaller Furniture Stores Went Under

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Dying of lymphoma and test positive? Congratulations you’re a “COVID-19-associated hospitalization!”

    Break your leg in a car accident and test positive? Congratulations you’re a “COVID-19-associated hospitalization!”

    And so on and so forth…

    1. Are you asymptomatic, in good health, and merely in the hospital to give birth to a healthy baby but you test positive anyway? Congratulations, you’re a “COVID-19 hospitalization”.

      1. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6938e1.htm

        This is one of my favorite links, but you have to read the fine print.

        During March 1–August 22, 2020, approximately one in four hospitalized women aged 15–49 years with COVID-19 was pregnant.

        1 in 4 women in the hospital with covid is pregnant. Let that number sink in. 25% of ALL THE WOMEN WHO ARE IN THE HOSPITAL WITH COVID… are pregnant. Either the virus is some kind of super viagra and knocking up ladies harder and faster than the Holy Spirit, or, in the much more likely case, otherwise healthy women who are in the hospital to give birth because that’s the overwhelming majority reason women go to the hospital are incidentally also turning up positive on a COVID test despite largely not being in any danger.

        1. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

          1. I made over $700 per day using my mobile in part time. I recently got my 5th paycheck of $19632 and all i was doing is to copy and paste work online. this home work makes me able to generate more cash daily easily.VDe simple to do work and regular income from this are just superb. Here what i am doing. Try now………

            Click & Chang your Life …………… VISIT HERE

            1. Start making money this time… Spend more time with your family & relatives by doing jobs that only require you to have a computer and an internet K access and you can have that at your home. HaY Start bringing up to $65,000 to $70,000 a month. I’ve started this job and earn a handsome income and now I am exchanging it with you, so you can do it too.

              Here is I started.…………… VISIT HERE

        2. Covid fat shames so hard it can’t tell the difference between food blisters and preggers.

        3. 25% of ALL THE WOMEN WHO ARE IN THE HOSPITAL WITH COVID… are pregnant.

          In fairness, no – 25% of women aged 15-40 in the hospital with COVID are actually there because they’re pregnant. Which is still not insignificant in that that’s still a lot of women, but also it emphasizes how much COVID never really was a danger for people under 50.

          1. My last pay test was $9500 operating 12 hours per week on line. my sisters buddy has been averaging 15k for months now and she works approximately 20 hours every week.ui i can not accept as true with how easy it become as soon as i tried it out. This is what do,…………… READ MORE

        4. https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/COVIDNet/COVID19_5.html

          The number has slowly been edging up. Last winter, it was 22%. Now it’s just over 30%.

    2. On one level – from a health care perspective, it sort of makes sense. If I break my arm in a motorcycle accident and test positive for covid (asymptomatic & fully vaccinated, however), I’m certainly going to be put in their covid wing, rather than the alternative. I’m taking up a ‘covid’ bed, from their perspective.

      On the other, when the media and policymakers run with these stats without context, you end up with hysteria and bad policy.

      Of course, we have been saying this for months.

      1. What you say makes some sense if what you want to know is how many designated covid beds are occupied. But it seems like it should be pretty easy to keep track of who is in the hospital because they are sick with covid and who is in the hospital for something else and happens to test positive.

        1. Would be easy if the CDC wasn’t incompetent. This is the same CDC that didn’t create a national view of the pandemic for months into it, forcing news orgs to get together and scrape it from state sites. This is the same CDC that decided that they couldn’t be bothered to track breakthrough infections just as the debate over boosters was starting. It was also the CDC that, at the very start of this, f***ed up the COVID test while simultaneously banned other labs from using their own. It is the same CDC that uses weasel words like “vaccinated MAY infect others” to push masks because they don’t actually have the tools to figure out how likely it is. The same CDC whose director shows up for hearings double masked, but says virtually nothing about air filtration for an aerosolized disease. The same CDC that is increasingly using studies out of Israel to make its decisions because, despite being a far larger health department, they somehow haven’t bothered to conduct similar studies.

          If there is ever a 9/11 style commission for how we fouled up the response to COVID, the CDC had better feature prominently (though, just as prominently, it should be noted that virtually every country similar to the US got slammed roughly as hard, so it is not as if government response actually mattered in this case; but if we are going to spend billions on a public health agency, we had better not screw up this bad in the future).

          1. If there is ever a 9/11 style commission for how we fouled up the response to COVID, the CDC had better feature prominently[.]

            What would be the point of that when we already know what the answer to the question will be?

            Trump.

            Unfortunately, it really is that simple for the simpletons who make policy, and the media toadies who parrot their press releases and carry their water.

            1. This whole panic was an election year scheme that got out of control. The media and the permanent bureacracy blew it way out of proportion.

              Had a democrat been president in spring 2020, this would have been Bird Flu 2.0 and we would have already forgotten about it by now.

              They would have done this with any republican in office, but Trump causes extra special hysteria and that made it that much worse.

              1. How do you explain the rest of the world? I don’t doubt the election made some things extra ridiculous in the US. But the whole world (with a few notable exceptions) went nuts.

                1. US media dominates the world and not a single world leader wanted Trump to be reelected either, so they were happy to play along.

                  The US started it and the rest of the world played along and then it (the hysteria) got out of control.

              2. That was a dumb comment. A democrat is president now and Covid still leads the nightly news every night. Your partisanship is appalling.

          2. The CDC, besides being totally incompetent has also been blatantly corrupt since at least the Obama administration. The entire organization needs to be immediately shuttered and then carefully reorganized without any political operatives.

            They are unquestionably responsible for the needless torture and premature deaths of thousands (if not millions) of innocent Americans.

            While our “bought and paid for” Congress continues to collectively sit on their equally corrupt hands and ignore the entire situation. At what point do lethal crimes against humanity warrant government intervention? Likely when it’s that very same government committing such crimes.

        2. It would also be easy if hospitals were honest in their reporting. If you recall, at the beginning the COVID situation in March of 2020, there was a provision for health insurers to be required to pay 100% for COVID treatment, including hospitalization. So, if you have a gall bladder attack and your insurance would normally pay 60% of your bill for surgery, AND you have COVID, guess what your diagnosis will be? You’ll be admitted for COVID and they’ll “discover” gall bladder issues. They get more $$$, they don’t have to mess with co-pays or billing you for much of a difference, and everybody wins.

      2. Maybe if this was the Spanish Flu or the Black Death that would make sense but it is not so it doesn’t. At this point COVID is not much different from the annual flu from any perspective but compensation for the hospital and populace control for the politicians.

        1. Except for the fact that it is contagious, and they do need to quarantine, because hospitals are filled with people who just do not need secondary infections on top of their existing injuries/cancer/stroke. Those are the patients at serious risk from COVID pushing them over the edge.

          1. Isn’t that always the case in a hospital regardless of prevalent virus? I mean, most of the people in the hospital aren’t healthy. Many of them are quite contagious with various sicknesses.

            1. I think covid is enough more contagious than common things like colds and flu that it’s probably worth doing something extra. A lot of the reason numbers were so bad in some places early on is that tons of people were getting it in hospitals and nursing homes. Targeted protection for those who want and need it, leave everyone else the fuck alone.

              1. I think covid is enough more contagious than common things like colds

                The average person gets around 7 colds EVERY YEAR.

                Coronaviruses already cause about 15% of those.

                C19 is precisely in that ballpark.

          2. Isn’t that true of the flu, too?

            1. Exactly. To speak of COVID as being unique “for the fact that it is contagious” is hardly an argument for distinguishing it from influenza.

      3. when the media and policymakers run with these stats without context, you end up with hysteria and bad policy

        The media and policymakers choose which metrics to use and how in order to induce maximum hysteria in order to enable bad policy.

        See also: climate change, gun control.

      4. The number that is affecting policy is ICU beds – maybe add ER/ambulance waiting times – not general hospital inpatient. Maybe there are people in ICU who have covid and also just had a stroke – but that is NOT the reason that ICU covid admissions have been going up dramatically since June. Strokes are not contagious. Heart attacks are not contagious. Head injuries in car accidents are not contagious. Covid otoh is contagious. This ain’t rocket science.

        Further, kids aren’t sitting in ER rooms until their appendix bursts simply because hospitals want to lollygag around with fake covid patients.

        1. The number that is affecting policy is ICU beds

          The number that is affecting policy is ICU STAFF

          Nurses that don’t want to get vaccinated are being fired, being furloughed or walking off the job.

          Almost 30% of them in some places.

          No one asking why nurses don’t want the vaccine.

          Funny that.

      5. The only reason “it sort of makes sense” is that the federal government pays hospitals extra money for treating covid patients.

        https://www.kff.org/policy-watch/funding-for-health-care-providers-during-the-pandemic-an-update/

        That payment program is scheduled to terminate October 1st. The hospitals want the money to keep flowing, so, remarkably, Covid case counts are rising. Incentives matter

    3. At the beginning that may have been true. It’s not any longer. And hasn’t been for quite a while. But keep believing that fantasy.

      1. Not reading the article I see.

      2. Isn’t it exactly what the article being discussed is saying? Have they got it wrong?

      3. How can you honestly make such a statement after reading that article?

  2. Increasingly

    Nice weasel word.

  3. “COVID-19-associated hospitalizations.”

    Soon, moving to “COVID-19 adjacent hospitalizations”, which will eventually move to “COVID-19 curious hospitalizations”.

    1. At this point I’m pretty sure that, as someone who identifies as trans-COVID, equal protections grants me the right to use the women’s locker room.

      1. Heh…I remember reading toward the beginning of this that a journalist talked about getting COVID and how bad the symptoms were. However, that same article complained that the tests don’t work, because they came back negative. Dude literally identified as having COVID and expected readers to respect it.

  4. “reporting definitions may need to be revised to reflect the changing nature of the pandemic, particularly in regions with high levels of vaccine uptake.”

    Got to find a way to manipulate the numbers so all those anti-vaxers shut up about ‘breakthrough’ infections and hospitalizations.

  5. “we should refine the definition of hospitalization. Those patients who are there with rather than from COVID don’t belong in the metric.”

    But we are totes cool with keeping the death metrics unchanged.

    1. It is just more subjective than people realize.

      It is not so difficult to do a data search on patents admitted where Covid was in the diagnosis list. Or mortality data for the same thing. So that is what we get mostly.

      To determine primary cause of morbidity and mortality is not so easy.

      1. What happened to your whine about the poor nurse over-run with wu-flu cases?

      2. Why assume a conspiracy of cui bono interests when laziness and ineptitude will suffice?

        1. It is neither. You are just learning how medicine works.

          There are often no hard answers.

          Someone brought up lymphoma earlier.

          So ok patient with known lymphoma. It has a 5 year survival rate of around 80%. It also results in immunosuppression.

          The patient shows up with shortness of breath and tests positive for Corona. Chest X-ray demonstrates mild infiltrates. Over the next few days getting worse. Lungs are filling up.

          Then ICU ventilation. The works. Nothing is getting her better. Her immune system cannot fight. The stuff in her lungs filling up her alveoli so she cannot get oxygen is likely a combination of reaction to Covid pneumonia and fluid because of systemic failure.

          You tell me. What did she die from?

          I will make it multiple choice.

          1) Acute respiratory distress syndrome

          2) Covid pneumonia

          3) Lymphoma

          4) All of the above

          1. From a medical perspective, what is most likely to be True? Multiple choice question:

            A. The patient is “post operative”(changed from “someone” to “her” by the end of the comment)
            B. Echospinner is clearly sexist
            C. Hypothetical women die more often than men. (From covid)
            D. All of the above

            1. ARDS does not mean post operative. It is a critical point when alveolar permeability breaks down. You see the capillary membrane, anyway why am I wasting my time. The simplistic explanation is air goes in and out. Blood goes round and round. When one of those stops happening you are in trouble.

              It can occur in a wide variety of conditions. Those can be direct or indirect. Direct would include infectious etiology, direct trauma, or near drowning. Indirect would include sepsis, pancreatitis, or drug overdose.

              The sex of the patient is irrelevant to the pathophysiology.

              You have not answered the question to the case I proposed. What did she die from?

              1. You don’t need to understand biology to answer that question. One need only survey the political/financial landscape. Clearly, she died from COVID. Human beings respond to incentives, regardless of whether or not they have an “MD” after their name.

          2. Patient dies from lymphoma while testing positive for covid = covid death. Where have you been? And yes that was sarcasm.

            1. Where has echospinner been?
              Passive-aggressively shilling for leftist totalitarianism for the last 18+ months

              1. I’ll say it again:
                If you reject live-and-let-live, as the left comprehensively does, you’ve put everyone else in a kill-or-be-killed situation.

                1. The natural rights of every American are worth more than the collective life of every leftist.

          3. The problem isn’t that the medicine is complicated, the problem is the oversimplification of reporting. Quite often, we end up with stories that already have their narrative and they just grab whatever statistic, instead of actually taking the numbers and writing the story as an analysis.

            I never believed doctors were conspiring to drive up their numbers, it was the CDC, the media, and policymakers who were pushing hard to manipulate numbers because they realized COVID was an issue that could win elections.

  6. Those patients who are there with rather than from COVID don’t belong in the metric.

    There are those among us who have been saying this since…I don’t know…April 2020? COVID statistics are a rough measure at best, misleading to most (most people don’t know shit about how to properly evaluate numerical data), and fraudulent at worst. The fact that The Atlantic, source of one of the chief scaremongers of COVID, took a year and a half to get around to publishing the obvious, tells you everything you need to know regarding why a large portion of the population has no trust in COVID reporting from the media or the Government.

    1. And so we latch onto an attempt to do better at reporting as an opportunity to reinforce the “I’m not going to get vaccinated because the government is liberal” stupidity.

      1. And we latch onto any critique of the MSM to promote ones own personal pet narrative.

        Look, fuckface (trying to be polite), trust issues in institutions are a real thing. Trying to deny that, or blame the rubes, is simply…stupidity.

      2. Yes, of course, the same people that are trying to mislead us about coronavirus hospitalizations are totally trustworthy when trying to convince us to take a vaccine against coronavirus.

      3. Shut up nazi asshole mike

      4. This is both an insult to liberals and people who use the term liberal perjoratively. Congratulations, you’re worse than both sides.

      5. The best reason to not get vaccinated is the microchip. If you avoid vaccinations then you won’t be carrying around a transmitter that constantly pings radio towers, tracking your every movement.

        1. The best reason to not get vaccinated is no one knows what the long term side effects of mRNA vaccines are going to be and the survival rate for anyone under 65 is greater than 99%. Oh, and it’s nobody’s business.

          1. And there’s no medical reason for people who don’t have co-morbidities, and those who’ve already had and recovered from the virus, to get vaccinated.
            Absolutely no medical justification whatsoever.

            1. And plenty of political and creepy “come jump off the bridge with us” social justification not to.

        2. The hilarious thing being that almost everyone these days is voluntarily carrying around a mobile device that does precisely that.

          1. So what you’re saying is that when you let people choose and even let the burden of payment fall on them, they tend to choose the correct option?

            Almost makes it seem like mandates are an act of aggression purely to act aggressively.

            1. Almost makes it seem like mandates are an act of aggression purely to act aggressively.

              Bingo! Their patience is wearing thing…dun dun dunnnnnn!

    2. There are those among us who have been saying this since…I don’t know…April 2020?

      Not just saying this, but spelling out that this was part of the plan. Hype the numbers, force lockdowns and recovery spending, blame the current administration, win the election, insist that the numbers are being mismeasured.

      Remember, what, a month ago when DeSantis was manipulating the numbers by switching from ‘date death reported’ to ‘date death recorded’ to make Florida look better? Fuck that noise. All of it.

  7. This is good news. Fauci says there will be no vaccine mandates or passports.

    Fauci says federal government won’t mandate vaccine passports

    President Biden’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said in a Monday podcast that the federal government will not mandate passports that show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations.

    1. Oh, crap. Old article. I guess the science re-settled.

    2. Really can’t see how it’s not coming, especially after CA Gov Newsom’s heroic triumph for the forces of science.

    3. People of Color, marching over the Brooklyn bridge shouting Fuck Joe Biden might’ve been a little nudge.

      1. They’ll drop it, the Democrats everywhere, except California, are tanking.

        1. Except California, Oregon, Illinois, Minnesota

            1. New Jersey.

              At least NJ can claim the number two worst state for business now that California continues its number one position. So there’s that.

              1. Is there anything that New Jersey CAN be #1 at?

                1. They had the fattest governor until Illinois decided to 1-up them.

    4. There won’t be a government vaccine mandate. What they are talking about is the government forcing employers to have a vaccine mandate. Totally different! /Sarc

  8. So, in hindsight, the numbers we all knew were bullshit have been proven to be bullshit. When hospitalization varies from hangnail to death, anyone with half a brain discounted the numbers. As long as people with no reason whatsoever to even suspect that they have COVID are part of the official scary numbers, the scary numbers are about as reliable as a used condom with a hole poked in it.

    1. That’s a bit extreme. The numbers are still unaffected as far as order of magnitude, and now it is known how they could be more accurately collected and reported.

      1. They started by counting deaths from the disease but gave up really quick to report deaths with the disease. When those numbers weren’t scary they reported cases where people are being treated for the disease. Now they’re reporting anyone in the hospital who tests positive.

        You really think anyone has an interest in collecting and reporting accurate data when they continually water down the numbers to make them look scary?

        1. Has anyone else stopped to think that maybe these rampant case numbers are reflecting poorly on the current administration, and by shedding light on this to change policy and lessen said cases could give this administration the ability claim a win. Granted that win will only be seen by those who in full fear meltdown.

        2. Yes, I believe some people have an interest in accurate information. Outside the political sphere.

      2. Check out n00bdragon’s post above.

        “approximately one in four hospitalized women aged 15–49 years with COVID-19 was pregnant.”

        C’mon. That’s not even pretending to collect accurate information.

      3. Stop apologizing for the nazis, asshole mike

      4. You’re a steaming pile of lefty shit .

      5. 40% error rates in reporting? Meh. -Mike.

    2. “the scary numbers are about as reliable as a used condom with a hole poked in it.”

      Aha

      Now we know why she is pregnant.

    3. Data regarding hospitalizations with Covid vs from Covid are never going to be reported honestly by Fed Gov. That kind of data could be tracked to suggest we are reaching herd immunity, even without everyone getting jabbed. And that is not part of the narrative.

    4. Age groups. How many 85-90 year olds are hospitalized, for any reason, on any given day. How many 75-90 year olds die on any given day.

      On Joe Biden. It’s inhumane and senior abuse to keep him speaking in public. Imagine his grandchildren looking at his filmed legacy of dementia sinking in fast motion. Next up Kamala Harris.

      1. Imagine his grandchildren looking at his filmed legacy of dementia sinking in fast motion.

        Pretty sure that between the half-siblings with strippers and the ‘Uncle Hunter cheated on Auntie Kathleen with Mom’ stories, Joe working a job well past his prime is going to look pretty tame.

        1. half-siblings with strippers

          ROFLMAO! Misreporting half-siblings of strippers and half-siblings with strippers; guilty as charged!

  9. Why aren’t the medical practitioners wearing hairnets above? I want to be protected from their loose hairs! 😛

  10. The medical system we have is disconnected and hard to collect data from. It is no surprise and while hard numbers are an estimate you can see trends.

    Even Israel which has what we would call socialized medicine and a very efficient database and delivery system you are going to find conflicting results. They know there is more Covid. They know the death rates and severe cases are lower because much of the population is vaccinated. That is not a failure it is learning about the nature of the disease and the strength and limitations of the tools to fight it. What is true today may be disproven tomorrow.

    Much of the lay public is seeing just how difficult it is in medicine to make firm conclusions. It is an aphorism that medicine is making order out of chaos.

    1. Firm decisions aren’t necessary, but when people swing the numbers around like they are absolutes and people learn that’s not true, why believe the number swingers. When the official narrative is so firm and authoritative, people not wanting to march in line aren’t irrational to be skeptical. When Google makes it hard to find contrary information, even true info that doesn’t fit the narrative, it makes fools out of all of us.

      1. I use Google scholar often.

        They only post published data. Even then you need to be aware that you will find contradictory articles.

        Do not trust politicians and msm.

        Also practitioners are often mislead or just plain wrong. I knew a very accomplished neuroradiologist. The guy could thread a micro catheter into your brain and stop a bleed like no one I knew.

        He also promoted and sold copper magnetic bracelets for pain management. He believed in it.

        1. He also promoted and sold copper magnetic bracelets for pain management. He believed in it.

          Our son had astma when he was born. As a precaution, they sent us to an allergist. The allergist tested him and came back with a list of “subclinical” allergies and recommended all sorts of treatment options. Dubious, we said we’d take it back to our pediatrician. The pediatrician said our son would likely grow out of the allergies and maybe even the asthma, history has since proven him correct on both counts. A couple years after handling the asthma, our boy’s younger brother kept developing strep infections. The same pediatrician literally prescribed Oscillococcinum.

          Forget the olden days of leeches, tea leaves, and witch doctors, welcome to the post-information age.

    2. “What is true today may be disproven tomorrow.”

      I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you didn’t mean to say what you just said here.

      1. I am a medical doctor and that statement is 100%. correct.
        Just one example out of many..I was taught in medical school that stomach ulcers were caused by psychic stress and happened to people called “type A personality”
        We treated ulcers with antacids and sedatives.
        You could have knocked me off my chair with a feather when it was shown that gastric ulcers were an infectious disease
        And the proper treatment is antibiotics!

  11. Oh, huh. when Trump wasn’t responding well enough to the rising number of hospitalizations he was incompetent. Now that Biden’s in office, the hospitalization numbers aren’t important. Who could’ve foreseen this… other than the couple dozen Reason forumites who told everyone this is what will happen.

    1. The mike liairsons of the world are the biggest problem. Gulping down whatever’s is fed to the from big brother.

    2. They just blame Trump anyway.

  12. CDC, now report hospitalizations involving fatties.

    1. First, CDC didn’t do this study. Which is a different problem, the fucking CDC should have been collecting this data rather than making policy, but the study was done by some academicals who saw the need. Thank goodness.

      Second, the fatties data exists. CDC isn’t publishing it, but like this locals do it. My county publishes it weekly and, as a general rule, the #1 comorbidity is Hypertension (like 40%), followed closely by Diabetes in about 35%, heart disease in 25%, and then alzheimers (20%), kidney disease, asthma, then obesity at around 10%.

      On other words, the ailments the elderly run into the most are the most dangerous, duh. But the point is, the data exist. CDC could pretty easily compile a dataset by sampling these sorts of hospital census reports that EVERY locality keeps. I mean, that would be the job we’d expect people like that to do, while making policy should be left to the president, congress, and the courts to work out. I wish someone had written a document describing how that works that folks could use as a guideline.

      1. omorbidity is Hypertension (like 40%), followed closely by Diabetes in about 35%, heart disease in 25%, and then alzheimers (20%)

        FYI, I suspect the Alzheimer’s isn’t the issue, but a factor that comfortably rides shotgun with old age.

        1. You are absolutely correct.

          That’s what comorbidity is, though. They died, and at the time of their death they also had these things. Folks with alzheimers very often are often not in good health otherwise by the end.

          So that’s what I meant by ailments that affect elderly. A lot of people who are healthy at 50 will have hypertension, heart disease, or diabetes when they are near 80. My mom’s diabetes didn’t present until she was well into her 70s. These data are only ignored by people who don’t want the full, real picture of who is genuinely at risk.

  13. The only numbers that matter are ICU utilization and covid deaths. That is assuming deaths are accurately counted and not fudged. And of course utilization can be high because for profits want your sweet sweet insurance and government cash.

    But still worthwhile to know. Covid chance of death is 0.2%. 1 in 500. Worse than getting murdered (if you live in the suburbs anyway). Not even close to heart attack and stroke. You have bigger problems, and you should focus on those. Take whatever precautions you think are necessary and go live your damn life and stop complaining.

    1. Covid chance of death is 0.2%. 1 in 500.

      Is that death from or with? I’m pretty sure it’s with. That statistic counts every dead body that tested positive, regardless of the cause of death.

      So the chances of the virus actually being the cause of death are much, much smaller. One can only speculate how much smaller, because the facts will never be known.

      1. “One can only speculate how much smaller”

        Don’t both recent studies cite a figure around 45% smaller? So, 0.1% instead of 0.2%?

    2. That’s almost right. And I am really nitpicking here.

      ICU is not a perfect study of severity of the disease. That’s why this report chose a “Severe covid” measure that was identical across all data. Different folks have different ideas of when people are in the ICU, depending on the hospital policy. The blood oxygen level determination is identical no matter where you go.

      Same with death. There has been no standardization along the lines of death of vs death with.

      Those nits picked, you’re really right. And that’s what the study concluded and what even the Atlantic said when they picked it up a few days ago. Policy should be determined by data such as Severe cases, not by raw and messy numbers that have no context.

    3. Chance of death is .2 of known cases. it’s much lower when you estimate the # of cases which were never tested, reported or detected.

      1. Sadly, we are actually up to 0.2% of ALL Americans having died from COVID. At least, per the official figures. The degree to which this reflects died of vs died from is an exercise for the reader.

        1. With. Not from. Important distinction.

        2. That’s for two years or seasons now, mind you, of Americans dying “with” COVID. 2020 alone is roughly half that.

    4. “The only numbers that matter are ICU utilization and covid deaths.”

      But how much of that ICU utilization is covid only? Aren’t patients with serious injuries taken to ICUs? Are they counted as covid ICU patients?

      In any given day there are bound to be hundreds (if not thousands) of patients take to the hospital for broken arms, accidental laceration, breathing problem owing to some existing conditions, drunken bar fights, etc. If these patients are infected with covid, are they just added on top of covid ICU numbers?

    5. Utilization rates are garbage. Hospitals build ICUs to meet capacity. They are specifically designed to be as full as possible. There’s no reason to build beds that aren’t getting used. It’s like trying to judge how much business a store does by what percentage of its parking spaces are filled at any given time, irrespective of the size of the parking lot or the store.

      1. Amen. Hospitals are businesses that exist to make money. Funny how the Branch Covidians seem to either forget or ignore this.

  14. My very first economics 101 textbook was ‘How to Lie with Statistics’. It was a warning to students, somewhat of a critical data analysis class, not a how to. In 2021 it’s an instruction manual for the state.

  15. Yes I’m sure the fact that the death rate has rapidly been increasing over the past month is just a lie. Same with the fact that ICUs are filling up- it must just be asymptomatic people. Right?! You people are nuts.

    1. In my state the death numbers are plummeting. Still too early to know because of the lag in data reporting, but the trend is clearly downward. We got a very step and scary looking case rate, but only a somewhat moderate hospitalization rate. The free ICU beds number was just a blip (and largely unrelated to actual ICU admittance, although it’s the key metric in triggering new levels of lockdowns), and the death chart is pretty much just a bump.

      Every death is serious, but we are NOT seeing that any rational person would call a “spike”. It’s a low shallow hill that already heading down. It’s dwarfed by actual spikes earlier in the eighteen months we’ve been at war with COVID. It’s a nothing burger compared to any time prior to January. But the case numbers is freaking everyone out. We have 86% of adults vaccinated, and when they catch it’s it’s nearly always extremely mild. The problem is the unvaccinated. They’re overwhelmingly the cause of the hospitalization and death numbers.

      1. Lol your post is most certainly false because the daily death rate now is approaching 2000 people per day in the US. It objectively not decreasing. If whatever state you live in is seeing Covid deaths declining then that is a clear outlier in this country

        1. You’re conflating COVID “with/from” deaths. Use your head, kid.

    2. “You people”. Wow.

      1. Yes the people who take every bit of overwhelming evidence of how dangerous this pandemic is and try to cast doubt on it. Meanwhile the pandemic continues and people keep dying and there are people out there who still refuse to get vaccinated or wear a mask or do even the slightest thing to help America.

        It’s sad and it’s pathetic

        1. Ah, a new troll.

          But, that’s OK. I’ll take actual data (my county, hospitalization is dropping, as are case counts, and positive testing percentages, for example). Oh, and the word of this study, though it was obviously made by the far right deniers at… where was it?

          Oh, yeah Harvard and the Boston VA Healthcare system. Definitely redneck anti-vax yokels there.

          1. What do expect from those people like Jdumb?

            1. Inflammatory rhetoric. I expect inflammatory rhetoric.

              It’s all meant to polarize the debate rather than allowing people to understand the nuance and discuss rationally. Troll gotsta troll, you know.

              And there is nuance. People die = bad. How we react is debatable, and the effects of our reactions are tangible, short AND long term.

              The best way to an informed debate is with GOOD data like, you know, when people do carefully designed studies and publish them so people can review them and know their strengths and limitations.

              Trolls just call you an idiot to pick a fight instead.

        2. Jdromb is right of course. Think of how much better life would be if no one questioned evidence provided by the government?

        3. What is sad and pathetic is those who shit their pants over this slightly bad seasonal flu and swallow whatever fear porn some publication wants to spew.
          Jdromb is probably one of those who think thousands of unarmed black men are shot to death each year by the police.

          1. LOLOLOL. Slightly bad seasonal flu. It must be tough to constantly have to look for reasons to deny and doubt everything. I’m not a troll. I’m just posting the truth and you can’t handle it

            1. It must be tough to constantly have to look for reasons to deny and doubt everything.

              It must be tough for the MSM and government hacks assert and fabricate everything. Now, that’s hyperbolic, but perhaps you now understand how you sound.

        4. Jdromb, explain to me the problem here. This is not a public health threat. This is only a threat to the unvaccinated, you said so yourself, right? Not getting vaccinated is a choice. So you are worried about people accepting the consequences of their decisions for not vaccinating? This despite the that the unvaccinated aren’t imposing any risks on anybody who chose to vaccinate?
          Or maybe vaccines really don’t work that well? That the vaccinated still need protection from the unvaccinated (which make slightly better disease vectors for covid)? But despite the fact that vaccines don’t work that well, the government must still force them down everybody’s throat? And despite that their long term side effects aren’t known. And despite that the vaccines have already had many many recorded cases of severe negative side effects including deaths (even if less deaths than from the virus itself), people should be forced to take them?
          You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either vaccines are so effective that what the unvaccinated do really doesn’t matter to the vaccinated. Or vaccines really aren’t close to a magic bullet in which case why are they being effectively mandated?
          If I may propose a 3rd option, this is actually about politicians and jackasses like you who get off bossing other people around. Now to the point of forcing them to choose between their livelihoods and making their own decisions about putting experimental substances in their bodies.
          If COVID was really deadly (FACT: it isn’t at all to most but the elderly and already sickly). If the vaccine really worked nearly flawlessly (FACT: it doesn’t as evidence by breakout cases, rapidly diminishing artificial immunity, discussion about booster shots, etc…). If the vaccine had next to no side effects (FACT: it has killed over 10,000 and caused many more cases of severe side effects). If the long term side effects of the vaccine were known (FACT: they aren’t, as the testing was rushed and thus there is 0 long term side effect data). Unless you want to dispute these ifs/facts, there is clearly a tradeoff, downside and risk to deciding to take the vaccine. Despite this, you want to force this on people and take away their choice to make up their own minds? What is wrong with and assholes like you?

          1. Thank you for taking the time to write this. Unfortunately, Jdromb will trip over it, pick himself up and dust himself off, and act as if nothing happened. Let’s hope, however, that there are other rational human beings whom this might persuade.

          2. Where did I say that it’s only a threat to the unvaccinated? I definitely did not say that nor do I think that. As long as there is a huge unvaccinated population, the virus will continue to circulate and be a threat to both populations.. just a more significant threat to unvaccinated.

            Your dichotomous either/or thinking is juvenile.

            1. You didn’t address his main point. Either the vaccine works as advertised or it doesn’t, you can’t have it both ways goddamn it.

            2. Fair enough, so you agree the vaccine doesn’t work that well. But despite the fact that it is so ineffective that the vaccinated still need to be protected from slightly better disease vectors (aka the unvaccinated) it should be mandated at the point of a government gun. You agree those who don’t comply don’t deserve to be able to earn a living or fly (another proposal on the table in the works from the medical fascists) or god knows what’s next (if you think these are the last restrictions on the unvaccinated, you are dead wrong).
              Again, that leads me to believe you are simply a complete asshole who wants to control other people. Doubly so when you aren’t even refuting the short term risks or unknown long term risks of taking the vaccine. You are simply a totalitarian enabler who doesn’t deny that the jab isn’t that great nor denying there are risks to taking it, but you think it’s ok to effectively force most people to take it or destroy their lives and take away their ability to make their own risk assessments.

              1. Huh? You’re seriously confused if you think I said that the vaccine is. It effective.

                Your dichotomous thinking is on display again. “If the vaccine doesn’t 100% protect from disease you must think it doesn’t work at all right?”

                1. No, my point is if the vaccine doesn’t work that well (and you agree) and comes with risk (which I presume you agree with because you haven’t refuted any of my points about that), people should make up their own minds about whether to take it or not. The government should absolutely not mandate it. Do you agree or disagree with that?

                  1. Just so it’s clear for you, I do not agree that the vaccine does not work well. Not sure how you keep getting confused. It comes with minimal risks, that when weighed against the severe risks that come with Covid, are clearly a benefit to the individual, to public health, and to our health system.

                    Again, not sure how you got so confused but hopefully that clears things up.

                    1. Way to dodge the question, buddy. So I’ll ask it again: Do you think the government should mandate the vaccine or the choice should be up to the individual?
                      And no, the vaccine doesn’t come with minimal risk. It comes with some known risks and completely unknown long term risks due to the hasty half-assed nature of it’s develoment. Again the vaccine has killed over 10,000 people, not as bad as COVID itself, but not insignificant. The number of non fatal adverse reactions is much higher. And the fact that it’s not recommended for children obviously means it isn’t benign and risk free.
                      And in the age group of working folks (the ones Biden intends to dictate medial tyranny to first), COVID is not a serious statistical risk according to the CDC’s own data. Not to mention although people like you want the US to become Venezuela, the US is still a free country, so people have the choice to make decisions about their own health, even if you and the “experts” disapprove.
                      Vaccines are a net benefit to older, sicker individuals. To younger, healthier individuals it’s pretty much a waste of time to get it. Without vaccines, a huge percentage of the young, healthy portion of the population getting COVID, recovering and having significantly better immunity than the vaccine would actually be better for public health as we would be closer to herd immunity. In addition widespread vaccine adoption is driving the evolution of COVID into new, more contagious strains such as the delta variant. And how hard the push to vaccinate everyone is leading the public to way way overestimate the actual dangers of contracting COVID leading to overloading hospitals when terrified sheep go straight to the hospital when 90% of them will recover just fine by staying at home in bed for a few days with a bit of NyQuil.
                      And I must be confused, if the vaccine works well, what do you care what the unvaccinated do? If you do care that there are people around you that are unvaccinated that means you are either a busybody prick or that vaccines don’t work well to the point that they can’t be relied upon to protect you from the unvaccinated. Which is it? And don’t dodge this question too. And if the answer is vaccines are insufficient to protect you from the unvaccinated how can it possibly justify the worst tyrannical unconstitutional mandate in modern times?

        5. It isn’t dangerous. It’s a catalyst that doles the final death blow to people old and/or sick enough that they would have likely died soon anyway.
          FACT: over 78% of US COVID deaths are over the age of 65
          FACT: over 55% of US COVID deaths are over the age of 75
          FACT: over 28% of US COVID deaths are over the age of 85
          FACT: the mean age of a US COVID death victim is 73.5
          FACT: the total number of US COVID deaths under age 45 is 20,500
          FACT: all recorded US COVID deaths have lowered the life span of the average American by only 10.5 days relative to their social security actuarial table life expectancy (and this only accounts for their age, not any pre existing co-morbidities)

          This is all from analysis of freely available data from the CDC. https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku/data. These numbers are valid as of September 4th. I’m happy to send you my spreadsheet with how I calculated those figures. Either refute them with numbers or shut up about this garbage that COVID is the next black plague and super dangerous because that is factually false.

  16. I’ve always looked at hospitalizations, and ICU cases, and deaths. But that middle number is sometimes very hard to find. The media likes to trump “cases” as the only important number, but those three are the real measure, and the last two point to severity. But without ICU cases, those hospitalizations serious enough to warrant intubation and the ICU ward, it’s really hard to know. The death statistics are good but don’t tell the whole story.

    1. those hospitalizations serious enough to warrant intubation and the ICU ward

      Not to refute your overall point about ICU beds, but even before COVID, absent acute physical trauma, intubation was predominantly a death sentence. The fact that every medical professional on Earth initially screamed “VENTILATORS!” and now nobody wants them (not to mention the studies in between) strongly suggests that the “Intubated and subsequently recovered from COVID” numbers are between small and nonexistent.

      To actually bolster your broader point; intubation/ventillation nonsense suggests that other options are being explored (or not) on ICU beds occupied by people who will die regardless; to the (continued) detriment of people who show up with GSWs.

      1. the “Intubated and subsequently recovered from COVID” numbers are between small and nonexistent

        Maybe more clearly; the distinction between the intubated and the dead is between small and nonexistent.

  17. I’m vaccinated and I’m getting so confused. Is Covid out of control, or mostly under control? Too many conflicting stories. My elderly uncle got covid was vaccinated and died two weeks ago. My Dad is vaccinated had breathing issues and was in the hospital for 10 days and is still exhausted. My Step Mom refused to get vaccinated she got it and spent a week in the hospital and is exhausted 3 weeks later. Glad I’m vaccinated but wondering about how effective it is based on family members currently dealing with it.

    1. Tell your family to go on a diet for Christ’s sake.

    2. The plural of anecdote is not data. The actual data show that more than 90% of people requiring hospitalization are unvaccinated and an even higher percentage of those dying are unvaccinated.

      1. The plural of anecdote is not data.

        The plural of data is not information. The plural of information is not knowledge. The plural of knowledge is not wisdom.

        1. Best example:
          Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
          Wisdom is not putting a tomato in a fruit salad.

          1. Knowledge is knowing tobacco is in the nightshade family.
            Wisdom is not drying and smoking nightshade.

      2. Not in the UK , not in Israel, not in cape cod. And with no control group there is no meaningful data. The problem is that imbeciles like you don’t understand how science works. You should look up the scientific method, or is that now racist, or sexist, or xenophobic, or some other word you don’t understand the meaning of?

        1. Hahaha I love how you cling to cherry picked pieces of information as if they are representative of the population. Tell me more about how a hookup party at Bear week in Provincetown is representative of America.

          I’ll wait

          1. You didn’t refute a thing he said, bot.

            1. Yeah, sorry Jdromb, you didn’t address his data by deploying the “cherry-picking” parry. They are indeed representative of certain populations (Israel, UK, etc, as noted), which happen to be human beings — you know, the same species as Americans. Earlier you even spoke of “doubting and denying everything”, which is precisely what you’re doing here with your disingenuous dismissal. But hey, go ahead and keep waiting in your smug self-righteousness.

              1. And yet the data for America as a whole completely refutes your cherry picked studies of uk, israel, “etc” (LOL it’s not lost on me that you’re not citing the cape cod study any more).

    3. Vaccines don’t stop covid transmission, it just prevents the worst symptoms.

      1. Wait, what?
        The Communist Chinese Virus is just like every other virus ever?
        How can that be? It wrecked the economy.
        Or was the damage from the incompetent government responses?

  18. ALL of the statistics have been terrible from the start. The govt never established suitable data protocols, for measurement, collection, and reporting. And on top of that, in a paroxysm of feel-good idiocy they did make COVID more highly reimbursable than other illnesses, guaranteeing over-reporting.

    So, the tests were at first not available, and then gradually grew in number. But their sensitivity could be gamed to make positive percentages look higher or lower, plus the number of tests given (more tests=more positives) includes biases without even manipulating the numbers.

    We have never really sorted out “deaths from COVID” versus “deaths with COVID,” but the reimbursement angle certainly biased providers to identify COVID wherever plausible. There are stories, anecdotes but too many to pretend they are rare, of people checking into a hospital for an unrelated problem (broken bones, cancer, stroke), having COVID diagnosed for an asymptomatic person, on the basis of a hypersensitive test that would not have been administered but for them appearing at the clinic for that unrelated ailment, and in the cases of death, COVID being blamed when often having no identifiable connection to the death.

    All in all, the numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and even deaths are only vaguely accurate. Clearly there are more cases now than a few months ago–that is in the data but also in the “lived experience.” But the data do not support any real detailed analysis. You can make big tables and pretty charts, but at the detail level it all means less than it appears.

    As we used to say in Computer Sci 101, “Garbage in, garbage out.”

    1. And on top of that, in a paroxysm of feel-good idiocy they did make COVID more highly reimbursable than other illnesses, guaranteeing over-reporting.

      Additionally, and I don’t want to assert any conspiracies here*, inflating the costs so that once a vaccine was developed and this became a preventable disease, insurers could be put on the hook for the inflated costs.

      *Seriously, even if it isn’t conspiracy and was just happenstance, it represents a distinctly interventionist/anti-liberty happenstance.

    2. Well GIGO was the definition at first, when used by data processing professionals, but it quickly got captured by the government, and became “Garbage in, gospel out”.

  19. Now the problem is that the change in how we are measuring and reporting cases will result in a sudden ‘drop’ in reported numbers. Then that drop will be used to justify the argument that every single person everywhere must be vacinated, because the drop in reported metrics was clearly due to vax rather than changing how we measure the cases.

  20. Is this Reason magazine? Seems like Crackpot Conspiracies magazine from the comments.

    1. What comment is promoting a conspiracy? Be specific.

    2. A lot of the commenters here are Trump fans who have infested the commentariat. They regularly complain about how awful Reason is, but hang out here as free riders because it’s one of the few political discussion areas with no moderation.

      1. Over/under Mike Laursen IQ: 84.5

        Taking bets below

  21. I imagine hospital beds used is still a relevant statistic for temporary measures. I’m not convinced the state needs to do anything, but with local beds filling up I’m seeing a lot of local businesses starting to implement incentives for vaccination.

  22. As long as there is a huge financial benefit to reporting a death as “COVID related”, I will not bother with overall numbers.
    I discuss the relative risks with my personal doctor, and we determine what to do or not do.
    When the huge financial benefit goes away (as if), I will not believe any numbers from the FDA or CDC.

    1. Just a normal flu? So that’s why excess deaths over the past year is more than 600,000 people. If only the scientists had consulted “nardz”

      1. It’s A fucking flu, iNazi bitch.

    2. One out of every 500 Americans has died from this “fucking flu.”

      I’m not sure it matters what mouth sounds you make when referring to it. We spent trillions in response to 9/11 for just 3,000 dead. And I bet you had a raging war boner for every dime of it.

      1. “Other people’s boners justify my raging COVID boner.” – Tony

        1. What is your preferred COVID policy?

          Is it to let it kill exactly the maximum number of people possible? Isn’t that it?

          1. My preferred policy would be to just let people do or don’t do whatever they want. People are smart enough to figure it out themselves. People are dumb, sure, but the great mistake of centralization is thinking you can put smarter than average people in power.

            1. So that’s a vote for maximum death.

              You’ll understand if others have a more active policy in mind, even if you don’t agree with it, yes?

              1. No. I don’t understand. Do explain how allowing people to make their own choices will certainly cause the “maximum death”, as you say. Explain it once more, please, how the diktats of central planning will save lives now in ways they never have before. As I said above, the great mistake of central authority is the assumption that the people in power are smarter than everyone else. But how can that be? Politicians have never been known for their wisdom and certainly never in the history of mankind have they been known for altruism and a disposition to the common good. Yet you would trust them here, now, and with this?

                It is the classic fallacy: Something must be done. This is something. We must do this.

                1. Your problem is not necessarily misunderstanding how the complex dynamics of human societies work, but a fundamental misunderstanding about how 2+2=4 works. You’ve been turned anti-evolutionary by your stupid dumbfuck ideology. Fit that into your theories, behaviorists!

                  The rational individual quarantines or vaccinates himself during a pandemic, because the rational individual doesn’t want to die a horrible death. He also puts aside dumbfuck false ideologies in favor of the pragmatic naked self-interested behavior of quarantine or vaccination.

                  But people don’t actually work this way all the time, as we have seen. Some people have brains stuck on a setting that has nothing to do with anything.

                  You’re more interested in being seen as right around peers you’ve never met than you are in not dying horribly. Again, behaviorists, and even more to the point, economists, you have explaining to do.

          2. As opposed to completely shutting down the world and keeping it that way in order to protect 80 year olds from complications.

            1. Maximum death advocate right here.

              1. “Maximum death advocate right here.”

                Lol, Tony doesn’t understand externalities and unintended consequences. We will look back at this years from now and see how much unanticipated harm it has caused and this Compassionate Fascist will reply with something like this old gem:

                Tony
                July.7.2021 at 1:57 pm

                It would be a mistake to take my posts too seriously, as I have no deeply held beliefs.

                1. There are unintended consequences out there that are worse than death?

                  1. The world is full of them Tony, just use your imagination.

          3. What is your preferred COVID policy?

            You do realize that, in maintaining the boner analogy, you’re pretty much asking how I avoid raping people as policy, right?

            1. It’s truly fascinating how you people can’t even conceive of the conceptual framework of a world outside yourself.

          4. Develop treatments.

            No coercive measures in civilian society.

            1. “No coercive measures in civilian society.”

              Why on earth would we stop having coercive measures the moment a pandemic strikes?

              You surely believe in all sorts of coercive measures for civilians. The ones that keep them from stealing your shit and raping your wife, for example.

              But oh no, now that there’s a communicable disease, that’s the time to stop protecting people from each other.

              1. We don’t have coercive policies that keep people from raping and stealing. We have punitive. Note the difference. You want to see an example of a coercive policy to cut down on rape? Look no further than Afghanistan, my friend, where women must cover their bodies in public so as not to attract male lust.

                1. Heh, Tony is not capable of understanding such nuance. He’s the dealer that “wants you thinking that it’s either black or white”, as Leonard Cohen once said. “A vote for maximum death” — a simple phrase for a simple mind.

                2. Ah, okay, so we should be punishing anti-vax propagandists.

                  Fine by me. We’ll clean up the civil liberties issues after the pandemic is over.

  23. One additional factor: ventilators. Early on, everyone was panicked about running out of ventilators. We didn’t come close, and now have huge stockpiles of them. What happened? The medical community by sometime in mid 2020 realized that the ventilators were essentially killing people. They required intubation, and that is very invasive. Because of that, they used up a lot of ICU beds. They apparently only use ventilators as a last resort now.

    The point though is that a lot of the early statistics are skewed because of the early mistreatment of the disease. If you look at the CDC deaths versus case statistics, sometime in the latter part of 2020, the deaths started following cases, up until Delta, where they may be trending a little lower. But up until then, the case fatality rate was significantly higher – at least partially a result of mistreating the illness (and, yes, moving COVID-19 positive patients back into rest homes in NY, NJ, etc).

    1. Who gives a shit about your excuses?

      1. I agree. So don’t make excuses for Democrats who shoved covid positive patients into nursing homes.

        1. The fact that you must resort to talking points that are a year and a half old about a politician who’s long been canceled suggests that you’re more interested in feeling good about your choice of partisan tribe instead of finding the truth for yourself.

          1. Hahaha, classic Tony. Never change buddy.

          2. “The fact that you must resort to talking points that are a year and a half old about a politician who’s long been canceled…”

            Lol, Andrew Cuomo resigned just 37 days from the date of Dumb Tony’s post. Dumb Tony also believes the death of over 12,000 nursing home patients at the hands of Andrew Cuomo is resorting to talking points. So much for not being a “Maximum Death Advocate”, right Tony?

            1. You literally only care about those specific deaths among millions because you can blame them on a Democrat.

              You’re the stupidest person who ever existed.

              1. You literally don’t care about those specific deaths and ignore them because they make the democrats look bad.

                You’re the stupidest person whoever existed.

  24. Covid fat shames so hard it can’t tell the difference between food blisters and preggers.cara menggunakan google translate offline

  25. Our independent calls girls are always ready for the service which you need in your life that partners are not satisfying your desires
    http://www.delhicallgirls.club/
    http://www.lovelyrani.in/

  26. Could it be that the testing is wrong? The current PCR test is an indirect way of showing that some virus is present in the patients nose. In many cases, they are not infected but have fragments of Covid-19 virus in their noses or some other virus that shows the same signal after being amplified 30 to 40 times. In case you don’t know the math, 30 times amplification is 1,073,741,824 increase.

  27. “France has suspended 3,000 health workers without pay for refusing the Covid vaccine.
    The health minister, Olivier Véran, said the staff had been notified in writing before the government-imposed deadline to have at least one dose….
    Currently just under 47 million French people aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated, representing 81.4% of the population; 86.1% have received at least one jab.

    “A large number of these suspensions will be temporary,” Véran told RTL radio. “They involved mostly personnel in support service, like those working in laundry or food preparation.” He said very few doctors and nurses remained unvaccinated. “Many of them have decided to get vaccinated now the obligation to do so has become a reality,” he said.”

  28. Our government and complicit media have been pretty misleading since day one. Some examples

    1. Masks including your old T short don’y work, but now we must mandate them (they got it right the first time)
    2. If you die with Covid you dies of Covid. I mean what could go wrong with that?
    3. Wearing your mask from the door to your table at a restaurant is essential. After the you can take it off.
    4. Covid is dangerous at some political demonstration s but absolutely is not a threat at others.

    You can only clown around so long.

  29. wreckinball:

    1. Mask work – https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-study-shows-masks-can-prevent-covid-19/
    They protect others more than the wearer because contagious particles stopped at the point of exhaling stay with infected, those stopped at the point of inhaling are within less than an inch of the wearers nose and mouth.
    2. ? You mean what is killing people at 20 times the rate of seasonal flu and 1 out of every 450 Americans (and rising), or more than any war we’ve ever been in?
    3. Masks and how you wear them are not fool proof, but they lower the odds of you transmitting or receiving it. Got it?
    4. View the Floyd protest news footage and you’ll see most wearing masks. Rioters are another story and should be locked up.

    The imperfect response of the government, at first led by a buffoon trying to pretend he could hide from Covid, is not an excuse for us to screw up. Get your shot and wear a mask when in closed public spaces. better safe than sorry.
    3.
    2.

    1. “ Mayo Clinic researchers recently published a study that shows the proper use of masks reduces the spread of respiratory droplets. The findings strongly support the protective value and effectiveness of widespread mask use and maintaining physical distance in reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

      The study was essentially a model based on several false assumptions – GIGO. Masks are not used properly, for the most part. Many, if not most, of the masks used are not nearly sufficient (imagine trying to stop aerosols with neck gaiters). And most importantly, maybe, they assumed droplet dispersion, where the primary dispersion mechanism through the air for COVID-19 appears to be as an aerosol, with sizes orders of magnitude smaller than the holes in surgical masks.

  30. As long as hospitals are incentivized to report non-COVID cases as COVID, they will continue to do so. They get money from the government for every COVID case. The government needs the numbers to be high to feed their ‘fear porn’ machine and continue to brow beat people into getting the vaccine. What is lost in the noise is the fact that most of the people likely to die from COVID are already vaccinated or, sadly, already dead. If they want to help in the long run, they need to be honest about comorbidities. Fat people die at a much higher rate. We need to tell people that being fat is unhealthy, not accept gross obesity as the new normal.

  31. Jeff:

    “People also claim death numbers are being inflated so hospitals get more money. Potter says that’s not true for two reasons.

    The first, Potter says that 20% add-on from the CARES Act is only for services provided, not deaths.

    In actual dollar amounts, Potter says the 20% payment averages out to be around $35,000 per patient on a ventilator.

    Potter says the second reason it’s not true is because of checks and balances.

    “If somebody knowingly alters the medical record, which would then create the bill I think is being alleged here… That would be caught through audit. And if that occurred, you could be prosecuted — there’s huge penalties,” Potter said.

    “I know that there’s a certain group of people out there who seem to think that we’re taking directions from the CDC, or physicians or certain health departments or something like this to inflate the numbers which is absolutely, completely false,” Klaeser said.

    “There’s no pressure on the physician to say COVID, we’re going to get paid more if you have COVID,” Dr. Mead said.

    In September, Medicare began requiring a documented positive COVID-19 test to get the add-on.”

    As to obesity, that national problem will not be resolved on a pandemic timeline, so sure, we should address it, but no, that won’t solve Covid.

    By the way, Michelle Obama tried to focus the nation on childhood obesity and diet and right wingers flipped out.

  32. Does it really matter whether or not these hospitalizations meet some technical definition of severe disease when they’re still taking up beds and other resources to the other people are unable to be treated, increasingly even when they’re presenting with serious issues?

    Sullum has gone full on pro-disease death cult. Endless criticism of the evidence it’s harmful, evidence free presumptions and hyperbole for all the proclamations of the “sky is falling!” for any proposed mitigation measure.

  33. fafalone, good point. Sure, we want to know all the facts, but when the audience is only interested in the facts which support doing nothing – while ignoring those which make more clear everyday that the smart decision when doing risk assessment is get your shot and wear a mask in indoor public spaces – feeding that audience excuses is hard to see as in good faith.

    1. Except there is little real science behind wearing face diapers in public. And for kids, there is science behind it being unhealthy and dangerous. Amazingly, there also appears to be negligible correlation between infections and percentage of the population masking indoors.

    2. What risk assessment? There is no valid risk assessment because the long term effects of mRNA vaccines being used widely during a pandemic are completely unknown. There is eve science backing the idea that it may make things worse in the same way widespread abuse of antibiotics makes things worse. The virus is already adapting to the genetic markers from the mRNA vaccines and people who are vaccinated are now super spreaders. England even has data showing higher rates of death for vaccinated people who are hospitalized for the Delta variant than people with natural immunity. People say “Follow the science” are ignorant to the fact that there is science supporting both sides of the argument. The only thing there is not science supporting is the idea that we can end this pandemic with vaccines. The goal would be as realistic is ending the seasonal flu or common cold.

    3. Believe it or not, something I learned in engineering is that sometimes the best action is inaction. There is overwhelming evidence at this point indicating the actions they are taking are making things worse.

Please to post comments