Thursday, April 30, 2020

Added a new tracker on the sidebar...

My own statistical analysis for projected deaths

So I have been tracking the CDC, Worldometer, and the Covid Tracking Project numbers on the sidebar. But earlier this week I decided to include my own projections for how many people will pass from Covid-19 (at least through this particular season).

Right now, my tracking shows that 77,197 will die, which will fluctuate from day to day. This is based on some fairly simple spreadsheet analysis that I have been tracking since the beginning of this. In simple terms, I am using the average of the daily numbers provided by the three tracking sites, and comparing them against the average projections from the original models that showed the death toll between 90,000-110,000.

Rather than adjust the model as we go on  (which is fairly complicated and has not proven to be all that reliable), I am still tracking this as if the curve will run well into June, as it was originally projected. The main reason for this is the reality that the original models (as counterintuitive as it seems) appear to have been more reliable in many ways than the new models (which also seem to be overreacting to the day to day statistical changes).

While the daily numbers have been fairly consistently under the numbers originally projected, the actual outline of the curve seems to be more in line with the original models (which have a longer plateau and extend out longer) than the newer models (which have a steeper climb and steeper decline). Therefore it makes sense to use these original models as the baseline for how it is tracking with the current data. I would rather use an accurate curve that over or under projects the numbers, than a model that misses on the curve. 

So how does my number compare? Well, the most current Covid Model (that most people are using) started at around 80,000, before plummeting down to 61,000. However, recently it has gone up multiple times and has settled in around 72,000. So my numbers are a little higher than what the people at the CDC or the task force might be thinking. 

Unfortunately if I had to put a bet on the over/under using either 72,000 or 77,000 at this point, I am pretty sure I would bet over. It doesn't "feel" right to me that these numbers are going to drop as fast as these models are projecting. The death toll just remain stubbornly high on the east coast, and it feels like we are at least a week (rather than a day or two) away from this really drastically coming down.

Slow building fact introduced momentum for asking why we are still in full lock down mode?

Hindsight is 20/20 and the panic and fear that people are fearing "will" eventually be "blamed" on someone once all of the facts come out!

Sure... I can look at the polls that still show many people wanting to wait out the crisis, especially those with the financial ability to do so. Those who are still working, especially from home. Those who are garnering overly generous unemployment. Those who have money to fall back on. But those numbers have been slowly but surely changing and will continue to do so in those states where lock downs are being extended, even as the numbers continue to get better.

More and more and more people are out there educating the people on the facts. This is starting to break loose on social media, in what is left of the blogosphere, and you are at least starting to hear it on Fox News. We blew this one, and we blew it big time. Not because we didn't do "something" but because we didn't do the "smart things" that should be expected of the people elected to lead the country and the people they trust to provide us with insight.

While we are willing to literally shut down everything to protect a very small minority of people who are being seriously impacted by Covid-19, the fact is that those in these groups are not being protected very well by the shut down. Moreover, we have done almost nothing specific to address the disparity of who is dying from this disease, and in many cases our wrong-headed thought pattern of protecting society as a whole has led to governing choices that made it worse.

Eg: New York's policy to place Covid-19 infected people into nursing homes. A policy that quite literally put our most vulnerable at greater risk in order to avoid what exactly? Having Covid-19 patients around those who are not at great risk?

Our response to this should have been performed with a scalpel. Instead we chose to use a sledge hammer. There are probably 1001 different things we could have done early on to protect those people most needing protection. But instead, our powers to be simply refused to acknowledge that the majority of deaths were taking place with people over the age of 65 and those with pre-existing conditions, and especially those who were both over 65 and had preexisting conditions. At least in my state (even today) the Governor and his people barely acknowledge it and down play the reality of it as if it is some obscure bit of information that is unimportant. 

Instead, the powers to be led people to believe that "everyone" was equally impacted by it and that "everyone" should be scared out of their collective minds that they were going to die from it, especially if they got within 6' of someone or didn't wear a mask in public.

Was this due to a lack of understanding or because they wanted to stoke some form of fear?

The fact is that a healthy person under the age of 45 isn't protecting themselves or necessarily preventing anyone from dying because they wear a face mask in public. They could, however,  prevent someone from dying by staying away from nursing homes, assisted living communities, and by isolating them from anyone they knew who fit the bill of someone more likely to get it (obese, diabetes, hypertension).

More to the point, the elderly who lived in nursing homes should have had extra care. Those who were at most risk should have been instructed much earlier than everyone else to remain isolated. Instead, we instructed the young and healthy to stay home and pretended that there was no need to treat different people differently.

Absurd policy and borderline criminal, if you ask me. Eventually, hindsight being 20-20, more and more people will agree.

FBI notes literally admit to entrapment

FBI notes detail effort to catch Flynn in lie to 'get him fired' as Trump adviser
'What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?'
The notes and other emails were provided to Flynn's lawyers under seal last week and released Wednesday night by court order, providing the most damning evidence to date of potential politicalization and misconduct inside the FBI during the Russia probe.

The notes show FBI officials discussed not providing Flynn a Miranda-like warning before his January 2017 interview — a practice normally followed in such interviews — so that he could be charged with a crime if he misled the agents, the officials said.

They say that entrapment is always difficult to prove and is rarely used by Judges to toss aside cases. But what happens when the proof is in the FBI own notes and documents, and they spent the greater part of three years hiding the exculpatory evidence from the defendant?

Assuming the Judge "still" refuses to toss the case, will he finally allow Flynn to recant his plea and force the DOJ make the decision to drop the charges or prosecute him in court? Because we all know how that would turn out.

The big question is very simple. Why did it take William Barr getting personally involved to get this information out in the light? It should have been obvious to everyone that this was not on the up and up.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wanna bet?

Meat Plant Workers To Trump: Employees Aren’t Going To Show Up
“All I know is, this is crazy to me, because I can’t see all these people going back into work,” said Donald, who works at Tyson’s Waterloo, Iowa, facility. “I don’t think people are going to go back in there.”

Donald asked to be referred to by his first name only. He is currently recovering after testing positive for the virus.
“I’m still trying to figure out: What is he going to do, force them to stay open? Force people to go to work?” he asked.

This isn't a hypothetical what if conversation at all.

The choices for people to work or not have been happening since day one of the Covid-19 crisis. As I have stated before, I have two sons, both working in a retail environment (Target/Fleet Farm) where the stores remain open and where employees are given the option of continuing to work or taking a furlough. One of my sons has chosen to take the time away, while the other has chosen to go back to work. In both employment situations a small minority of people have taken the option to furlough, while the vast majority have continued working.

So far none of our Targets, Cub Foods, McDonalds, Fleet Farms, Kwik Trips, or any other type of industry that remains open are having any issues finding people to work.  Many of these industries are customer facing, meaning they have interaction with a variety of people every day. There is way less control over these retail situations than what could be done in a more static environment such as an office or a plant.

Will "all" of the workers choose to go back to work? Probably not. But enough of them will that these meat plants will remain open and functional as long as their is a financial incentive to do so. If we can force auto-manufacturers to continue to work and build ventilators (for example) we can certainly justify keeping our food supply moving along. Not sure why someone thinks this is a story, or by interviewing one person who contracted the disease that they have any real evidence to back up the assertion.

I find it amusing that the same people who criticized the President for not using his executive powers to force companies to keep our medical supply chains in tact are now criticizing him for using executive powers to keep our food supply chain in tact. It doesn't do us any good to have medicine if there is no food to eat.

No media bias?

RCP: Biden vs. Kavanaugh: How the #MeToo Numbers Stack Up 
In September 2018, Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh captivated the media’s attention, with CNN mentioning her name 1,898 times, MSNBC 1,878 times and Fox News just 1,066 times.

In contrast, over the past month, mentions of Tara Reade’s name on cable news have been almost nonexistent. Fox News has mentioned her 57 times to CNN’s nine times, while MSNBC has mentioned her name just once the past month.

So to recap this. The Ford allegations were mentioned  3776 times by CNN and MSNBC together, while the Reade allegations have been mentioned a grand whopping total of 10 times? Can anyone come up with any sort of reasonable explanation as to why?

To compare and contrast:

  • Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh dated back to high school, while Reade's allegations were from when Biden was an adult Senator.
  • Ford told nobody at the time that she was assaulted by anyone, only her husband (and supposedly a therapist) after Kavanaugh because a prominent public figure. Reade told multiple people, many of whom have come forward to corroborate that fact.
  • Nobody who knew Kavanaugh and Ford believed that Ford's allegations were real. Many people close to Biden and Reade believe that Reade's story is legitimate.  
  • Kavanaugh had never once been accused of anything similar prior to the Ford allegations. The allegations of Biden making women feel uncomfortable with his overzealous touching and feeling are legendary.  

Yet, we had one situation where this consumed the media (and eventually the public) while we have a situation today where old CNN programs are being deleted out of existence and police reports are being misquoted on purpose to make them less accusatory. Anyone who doesn't see this as an almost criminal use of media for political gain isn't looking very hard. 

Will General Flynn finally get off?

There have been a ton of new revelations in the ongoing General Flynn saga. According to most legal experts, the concept of Flynn fighting this after pleading guilty and affirming that guilt multiple times is a an uphill battle. However, in light of several new pieces of information (or possibly better described as evidence of previously assumed information) there is now a very real possibility that General Flynn will get off. Even if the judge refuses at this point, there is more than enough cover for the President to provide a full pardon given everything we know.

Some of the most recent information that has come forth is:

  • That the FBI knowingly interviewed Flynn without having an actual investigative reason. 
  • That Prosecutors did threaten to prosecute Flynn's son if he did not plead guilty.
  • That they withheld exculpatory evidence from Flynn and his legal team. 

Now none of this is really "new" news. All of this has been alleged prior. The difference is that there is now documented evidence that all of this did occur. It's no longer just an allegation, an assumption, or even an argument. 

The original interview was not really part of a so-called investigation into whether or not Flynn was breaking the law (Logan Act) by negotiating on behalf of the United States. While we all knew this to be true, it can now be proven. Without an actual legal reason to interview Flynn, the questions have no material value to an investigation and therefore cannot be considered to be perjury. Even if it can be proven that he lied, without a legitimate investigation there is no crime.

Documentation has now emerged that does actually show that the people om Mueller's team did threaten to prosecute Flynn's son (for failing to register as a foreign agent) if he did not plead guilty. This is not only unethical, but it is may actually be illegal. 

While we all knew that they withheld information from Flynn, the amount of exculpatory evidence withheld is much more than originally suspected. One of the number one reasons why Judge throw out convictions and cases is evidence being withheld. 

Now the Judge in this case has seemed very resistant to Flynn's desires to have the case either tossed out, or even have his guilty plea taken back. It's very unlikely that the former will happen, but the latter is becoming a more distinct possibility. Of course, if Flynn does get his guilty plea removed, the DOJ would be able to charge him and put him on trial and conceivably they could prosecute his son as well.  

Obviously the current DOJ would not prosecute General Flynn and it's unlikely any future changes in the DOJ make up would lead to such a prosecution. Moreover the concept of charging some people with "failing to register as a foreign agent" while allowing others to retroactively register is a dubious one that will also not likely be repeated by any prosecutors in the near future. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Washington Post Correction on Tara Reade?

Can someone explain how this mistake takes place?

Correction: This story as originally published misstated the language in a police report about Tara Reade’s complaint. That version of the story quoted the document as saying Reade “disclosed that she believes she was the victim of a sexual assault.” The document does not contain the words “she believes.” This version has been corrected.

So they "mistakenly" put in the two words "she believes" that otherwise did not exist in the police report? Seriously, how does one make that mistake? Then again, how does someone go about deleting and resequencing Larry King shows to eliminate the show were Reade's mother appears?

This Tara Reade allegation may be the single largest cover-up in the history of Presidential politics. 

Give thanks where thanks is due!

I'll just let you draw your own conclusions!

Financial incentive to diagnose patients with COVID-19

"Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate. Why? Because if it's a straightforward, garden-variety pneumonia that a person is admitted to the hospital for — if they're Medicare — typically, the diagnosis-related group lump sum payment would be $5,000," he added on April 19. "But if it's COVID-19 pneumonia, then it's $13,000, and if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000."

Let's also keep in mind that upwards of 80% of those placed on ventilators will die anyways. Is this an issue of ventilators not working for Covid-19, or are ventilators being used on lost causes in order to garner a bit of invoice padding? 

Looks like Americans now agree with Trump on this issue:

Americans support halt to immigration during virus outbreak

The Post-U. Md. poll finds that 65 percent of Americans support a temporary halt on nearly all immigration during the coronavirus outbreak, with 34 percent opposed. Republicans overwhelmingly support the idea, with 83 percent in favor. Democrats, meanwhile, are split, with 49 percent supporting and 49 percent opposing. Among independents, 67 percent say they support such a move. (The poll began after Trump announced a general suspension of immigration to the United States on April 20 that he said would temporarily suspend nearly all immigration, but before details of the policy were announced two days later.)

I also saw a recent poll that suggested 80 percent of Americans saw mass immigration (such as the type that occurs at our southern border) as a potential medical issue for Americans, in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

It's amazing that nobody has challenged the President on this order so far (I say so far, because I am sure it's eventually coming). But it would appear that there is a new found respect for some form of nationalism, whether it be a distrust of international organizations such as WHO, whether it be the idea that we need to be more self reliant on our supply chain, or whether we want to be more careful over who we allow in and out of the country.

When this is all said and done, we will likely study why NYC was hit harder than pretty much the rest of the country combined. While much of it will be due to the close living conditions, the mass transit, and the overall inability to avoid other people, those same conditions exist in other parts of the country and they have not experience the same issues. The major difference appears to be the sheer amount of visitors (especially foreign visitors) coming in and out of New York.

Is it fair or logical? Probably not. After all New York has survived for decades without such an outbreak. But the sheer amount of travelers in and out of New York certainly seems to have played a factor and made them less safe in this medical crisis. One will have to see if anything might be tempered moving forward?

So why did google play delete the Larry King show with Tara Reade's mother?

As of last night, neither Google nor Wikipedia had returned requests for comment from multiple outlets. Between them, they should be able to settle this question pretty quickly. And they might be more willing to cough up an answer if it was CNN asking the question rather than conservative news outlets.
But let’s get back to the original, curious question about that Google Play feed. So it doesn’t look like CNN could have deleted the entry from the index. That brings us back to the other possibilities I was mulling over yesterday. It either had to be some bizarre technical glitch or somebody deleted it. The “glitch” theory still seems like total gibberish. The rest of the entire 1993 season is displayed in chronological order. Also, as noted yesterday, the August 10 and 12 shows are listed with sequential episode numbers rather than showing a gap in the sequence. That smacks of an intentional choice to disappear the episode down the memory hole.

So it's not just that the show with Tara Reade's mother was "missing". Google Play literally changed the episode numbers of that particular season so that it wouldn't look like they were missing a show. That could not have happened without a little bit of effort, and it is literally impossible for this to have been an accident or a glitch. These outlets refuse to return calls because there really isn't going to be a reasonable explanation here.

The fact is that just yesterday, another corroborating witness stepped forward to say that she was also told by Reade (at the time) that she was sexually assaulted by Joe Biden. However, your liberal news media is either too busy ignoring it, or actually making it about the fact that Trump people are "highlighting" the new claims as if there is something wrong with "highlighting" claims against Joe Biden.

Well, I mean there is something wrong with that, according to the liberal news media. But it's not something you would think that they would actually argue with a straight face. If you are comparing the Tara Reade allegations against the Christine Ford allegations, the former is clearly more reputable and believable than the latter. That isn't a matter of any sort of partisan thinking. It's simply a factual matter of looking at the two cases and comparing them.

I am not looking for anyone to just accept what Reade said as the truth. Biden is entitled to his defense. What the country should demand is nothing less than what we provided for Ford when here allegations came forth. Ford supporters (and the #metoo movement) demanded that a USSC justice was too important of a position to not vent the situation, and many believed that the allegations themselves (true or not) should have disqualified Kavanaugh, based on the idea that we might never really know the truth.

Nobody is going to argue that being President is of any less importance than being one of nine Justices on the high court. We should provide Reade with the same respect as Ford was provided and we should air this out in open congressional testimony.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Let's hope it's not just an abberation

So a while back, I suggested that the models projecting a sharp decline in deaths that should have occurred last week seemed dubious. I suggested (based on the stubbornly high numbers coming out of the greater New York Area) that the reported would remain up into the 1800-2000 range for a while longer. The actual average number reported by the CDC over the past week was just over 2000 a day. Unfortunately my gut feeling was proven to be correct.

Chances of getting this 100% correct!

The question I am posing to myself right now is whether or not we have reached the downward side of the plateau. Yesterday, all three of the main tracking sites reported numbers that were considerably lower than both what we have been seeing, and what we saw last Sunday. The average of the three sites was just under 1300.

Last Sunday we also saw a significant dip, followed by another string of numbers that broached 2000 more often than not. But the good news is that so far, today's numbers are tracking fairly close to what we saw yesterday, rather than where they went last Monday. I wouldn't be surprised to see numbers higher than 1300 (Sundays seem to track lower than other days), but I would be very surprised if we saw them skyrocket back up over 2000 again.

The other piece of good news is that the pace of new "probable deaths" has slowed, suggesting that retroactive reporting of previous deaths is no longer going to be a big factor in keeping the numbers artificially inflated. With more and more testing becoming available, the amount of people with Covid-19 symptoms that are not being tested will be reduced moving forward.

Either way, here is to hoping that we are on the downside of this thing and that all of our sacrifice and dedication to social distancing is finally paying off.

What if there is no Vaccine?

America Needs To Win The Coronavirus Vaccine Race
The first nation to develop a vaccine for Covid-19 could have an economic advantage as well as a tremendous public-health achievement. Doses will be limited initially as suppliers ramp up, and a country will focus on inoculating most of its own population first. Even with extraordinary international collaboration among multiple companies, it could be years before a vaccine is produced at a scale sufficient to help the entire world. The first country to the finish line will be first to restore its economy and global influence. America risks being second.
While friendly nations will try to share a successful product—to a point—the U.S. can’t rely on vaccines from China or even Europe being available in America quickly. So it’s important to take steps to speed up progress in the U.S., and to prepare to manufacture such a vaccine on a global scale. A more prepared U.S. could inoculate Americans quickly and share the product with others, particularly low-income nations that can’t develop their own vaccines and need protection.

This is all well and true, assuming in fact that someone can actually create a vaccine. The Chinese are "said" to be in the late testing stages of several possibilities that they feel could be available sometime in 2021, but who really trusts the Chinese anymore. Moreover, if 2021 is the earliest we can expect a vaccine, then what will we do come fall of 2020 when the expected second round of Covid-19 comes around?

If we go back to the SARS coronavirus crisis from the early 2000s, we never did create a working vaccine. The SARS virus basically lasted parts of two cold and flu seasons across the globe and then simply didn't come back for a third. I am not sure anyone really understand what brought it on or why it went away.

What we do know is that we have never had a vaccine for the common coronavirus (aka the common cold), much less a cure. People are hopeful that we can come up with something. After all, necessity is the mother of invention. But rather than sitting around waiting and hoping and planning on some sort of vaccine as a precursor for reopening the economy, perhaps we need a very real plan B that assumes that there will be no vaccine this fall when most experts expect it to come back.

Oh, and just to be clear. A journalist suggesting what is obvious to everyone doesn't really help. Just because some journalist is asking for a vaccine today, doesn't make it a failure if one isn't developed in the next few months here.

This is what it's come to...

No! You need an actual SOURCE to confirm a story.... not other media outlets! 
The tweet — which was swiftly retweeted by Azar himself — came less than a day after POLITICO and the Wall Street Journal first reported on Saturday night that White House officials were weighing a plan to replace Azar. Other news outlets, including CNN and the Washington Post, confirmed the story. Trump also spent much of Sunday attacking news outlets, including the New York Times and Fox News, for their coverage of his presidency.

So when did it become so common place for our media to be driven by clandestine tips, anonymous sources, and rumors that cannot be publicly confirmed by anyone with the actual ability to do so? How is it that there seems to be nobody holding anyone in the media responsible for getting rumor after rumor after rumor after rumor dead wrong? 

There once was a time when a story in major media outlets reporting some major development was followed (usually within hours) by that major development. There was an air of legitimacy that required nobody to question, because those reports were generally 99.9% accurate. We expected our media to be forewarned of major events so that coverage could be timely and accurate. 

Today, we read rumor after rumor after rumor about things that never actually take place, much less take place within any specific time period. To be clear, when something reported doesn't come true... then that report is wrong, regardless of how many media outlets report it. This basic concept seems to have become lost on an entire generation of American who treat the news as if it's a giant game of he said she said rather than something that it tangible and real.

To be clear. There is no reason why anyone from the White House would deny that someone being fired is going to be fired. There is also no reason why the White House would suddenly change their minds about firing someone, simply to spite the reports. If the media reports that someone is getting fired, and that person is not fired, then they got it wrong.

Why is that so hard to understand?

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Remember when I predicted this just a few days ago?

That Dr Fauci and Dr Birx will be public enemies number one and number two to most liberals who had previously believed them to be the greatest thing since jelly beans!

Just a few days later, Birx is going at it with media mongols who just don't get what their own jobs are!

“It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle, because I think we’re missing the bigger pieces of what we need to be doing as an American people to continue to protect one another,” Birx said. “As a scientist and a public health official and a researcher, sometimes I worry that we don’t get the information to the American people that they need when we continue to bring up something that was from Thursday night.”
"The president has always put health and safety first," Birx said. "I think you can see that in the way that he was supportive of slowing the spread guidelines, knew the impact that would have on the economy."

In other words, Birx is echoing the same sort of sentiment that Trump and others have towards our lame-stream media.  It has been a fairly consistent trait that rather than take these briefings as a chance to educated the American public, the media press corp is attempting to use it to undermine the President.

This attitude literally serves nobody any good what-so-ever. I like the idea floated that after every press conference, the American public would "vote out" a media member for asking the dumbest question. Once voted out, they would be replaced with another media person from a different outlet. That way if CNN wants Acosta as their main guy, they would have to make sure he doesn't ask stupid questions.

Democratic insiders: "we are so fucked right now"

by Gaegan Toddard

As Joe Biden starts to come out of hiding only to embarrass himself, an effort to oust the former VP is expanding exponentially. Over the weekend #DropOutBiden has become of the most popular hashtags in recent social media history.

Former Democratic Presidential aides, significant political players, social scientists, and tens of thousands of others are banding together in the face of growing evidence that Joe Biden did, in fact, sexually assault Tara Reade.

More alarming for Democratic Party elders is the fact that their internal polling continues to show Democratic voter enthusiasm to be at a decades low number right now. As one of their internal pollsters stated just this week: "With Biden at the top of the ticket, Democrats can kiss the Senate and possibly even the House goodbye. Many Democrats just don't think he is worth the effort, and we are not just talking Bernie progressives. The lack of enthusiasm is across the board."

Meanwhile, the same Democratic pollsters are tracking the opposite thing happening on the Republican side. That same pollster explains: "Conventional wisdom is that all of this controversy surrounding Covid-19, all the fighting between Trump and Governors has damaged the President. But our polling suggests the opposite. Both Trump and his voters thrive on this sort of aggressive conflict and Republican voter enthusiasm is reaching a fever peak. They see him as they always do, as being treated unfairly. This motivates them all the more to vote for Trump come hell or high water."  

Another Democratic strategists went on to explain that he felt that the growing number of people protesting or otherwise defying local orders have already concluded that Democrats are using the Covid-19 crisis to provide an excuse for heavy handed government. As these protests grow, and the conflict between citizens and state governments continue to heat up, the Joe Biden message of more Government and more Government control will likely backfire.

As a high ranking DNC strategist stated: "Democrats wasted a tremendous opportunity to show the country that more government would be good in a time of crisis. But instead, the message they have provided is one of our own federal medical experts, our own federal resources, and our federal response as being incompetent and incapable. While they had hoped this would have harmed Trump, it instead is harming American's trust in the federal government to come through for them. Americans are suddenly more trusting of their state and local governments, which plays into the long standing Republican stronghold of State's rights. It's as if Democrats somehow come across as telling Americans that our federal government is incompetent, but we need more of this incompetence moving forward."

So what the Democrats need at the top of the ticket is someone capable of playing the sort of 3D chess that will be necessary to make their way through this ultra-complicated political environment.

"Biden has some tremendous strategic issues right now and is facing a front wind right now in a lot of political areas. The allegations from Tara Reade are not going away and Joe Biden has developed zero strategy for addressing them. People are questioning our reliance on our Federal Government, and Joe want's to continue to feed into that. He's never been a great politician, or someone with good political instincts. As much as people are trying to help him, he doesn't seem to be getting any better." stated a former Clinton aid who choose to stay anonymous. 

Biden wants to spend a hell of a lot more money on stimulus!

Because currently we are “wasting a hell of a lot of money.”

You can't make this shit up folks!

Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Conservatives are just smarter I guess...

Some CDC numbers...

Liberals are excused from reading this as we know they hate math!

So the CDC is tracking a variety of numbers, including the age of those affected. Since it has not been widely publicized (if not completely ignored) I will shed some light on the numbers as they currently exist. The actual final numbers are going to be 99% actual and about 1% approximate as the age groups are tracked slightly differently and they are one day apart.

  •  <  18  - 17367 cases and 31 deaths (reported death rate 0.18%)
  • 18-44  - 320,974 cases and 1381 deaths (reported death rate of 0.43%)
  • 45-64  - 324,668 cases and 8907 deaths  (reported death rate of 2.7%)
  • 65-75  -  94,001  cases and 10608 deaths (reported death rate of 11.3%)
  •  > 75   -  108,575 cases and 27889 deaths (reported death rate of 25.7%)
  • Total  -   865,585 cases and 48816 deaths (reported death rate of 5.6%)

These numbers are assuming that there are actually only 865,585 cases as reported by the CDC. This a simple measure of dividing the number of deaths by the number of cases to produce a death rate.

But the reality is that every random sampling has shown that at there we have somewhere between 13-45 million people who have been infected by the Covid-19, rather than the 868,585 that has currently been reported to the CDC.

If we take these estimates we are looking at these numbers for a death rate:

  •  <  18  -  Actual death rate between 0.004 to 0.01%
  • 18-44  -  Actual death rate between 0.008 to 0.02%
  • 45-64  -  Actual death rate between 0.05 to 0.18%
  • 65-75  -  Actual death rate between 0.21 to 0.75%
  •  > 75   -  Actual death rate between 0.49 to 1.71%
  • Total  -   Actual death rate between 0.11 to 0.38%

Now, since the total deaths is a real number that will continue to go up and the total cases is a calculated number which would likely remain the same, we know that these rates will go up over time and depending on the final death count, could be higher by double or so. But even assuming the death toll would double and the actual cases are closer to 13 million than 45 million, you still end up with numbers that look sort of like this:

  •  <  18  -  Actual death rate 0.02%
  • 18-44  -  Actual death rate 0.04%
  • 45-64  -  Actual death rate 0.36%
  • 65-75  -  Actual death rate  1.5%
  •  > 75   -  Actual death rate 3.42%
  • Total  -   Actual death rate 0.76% 

This is quite literally what I would argue is pretty much worse case scenario for overall death rates. As you can see, even when imagining the worst case scenario, the rates are considerably lower than even the seasonal flu (0.1%) for everyone under the age of 45. The numbers would be about three-four times that of the average flu for those between 45-64. Only those who are over the age of sixty five are looking at the sort of death rates that were originally speculated regarding Covid-19.

So the question goes back to our response to this virus. Is it really the contention of our country's leadership that we cannot figure out a way to protect those who are most in danger, without having to trample on those who are not vulnerable to this virus? Seems like this is either an extremely lazy approach, a wildly misinformed approach, or a highly politicized approach. 

What I can assure you is that it's the wrong approach.

Go drink some bleach

Friday, April 24, 2020

Cuomo states that Hydroxychloroquine doesn't help...

But asks the President for more doses to provide to his constituents in the hospital?

It doesn't work, but I want more anyways!

Quote from Trump

But somehow, reporters are telling people that he asked Americans to drink Lysol or bleach

“It wouldn’t be through injections, you’re talking about almost a cleaning and sterilization of an area,” said Trump. “Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work, but it certainly has a big effect if it’s on a stationary object.”

Perhaps Trump shouldn't provide these sorts of what-ifs. Even if they are the greatest idea in the world or even if he is right, the media will always spin it in a negative fashion. Just like he was mocked a few weeks ago for suggesting that the virus might suffer once the weather warmed. Studies are now concluding that sunlight, humidity and warm weather do hamper the Covid-19 viruses ability to survive and spread.

Should  have been accepted common sense, but because Trump said it... it became a theory that many would work overtime to disprove.

Minnesota to start reopening on May 1st!

Restrictions could be lifted on up to 100,000 Minnesota workers by Monday

Thousands of closed businesses may reopen Monday, with safety plans. 

The move puts Minnesota in a fairly aggressive posture compared with other states, which have been adhering to the White House's Open Up America Again Guidelines to pursue only a "phased comeback" once they have seen 14 consecutive days of declines in COVID-19 cases. But Walz and state officials said the decision was science-based and not open-ended like the plan to restart almost all businesses in Georgia that even President Donald Trump has criticized.The move also does not change the rest of the stay-home order, which remains in effect until May 4, or recommendations for people to continue to work from home if they can.

So it was "science" that made Walz decide to order one of the most draconian lock downs of any state because his science convinced him that 74,000 Minnesotans would die. Now "science" will make Walz a target for liberals who will demand that he is opening too soon.

Reality... Minnesota still does not have a death of anyone under the age of 50. Approximately 70% of our deaths are occurring from people living in long term care facilities (nursing homes). We are in the bottom five in terms of cases per million and on the lower end with deaths per million. We could attribute this to our hard core lock down, but the truth is that we are not doing significantly better (and in some cases worse) than our neighboring states that do not have draconian lock downs in place.

Not only does science suggest that we ease our restrictions, but common sense demands that we do it.

Some words of wisdom?

We Won't Do This for 12 to 18 Months 
By Sean Trende - RCP StaffApril 23, 2020
Economist Herb Stein was famous for a great many things, but most prominent among them was “Stein’s Law.” It is elegant in its simplicity: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”
Stein’s Law is particularly appropriate these days as we discuss plans for reopening the economy. There is a small but growing portion of mostly Republican governors who seem intent on opening up sooner rather than later. There’s also a group that insists on opening up slowly, with Ezekiel Emanuel suggesting “conferences, concerts, sporting events, religious services, dinner in a restaurant, none of that will resume until we find a vaccine, a treatment, or a cure” while concluding that “[w]e need to prepare ourselves for this to last 18 months or so and for the toll that it will take.”
These are interesting debates, but they don’t frame the question properly. The question isn’t what timeline we should allow for things to start to reopen. That assumes a degree of control over events that we probably lack. Instead, the timeline will probably be dictated for us, which demands a slightly different policy discussion. There are a couple of reasons for this:
First is public opinion. Support for stay-at-home orders remains robust nationally in polling, but there is at least anecdotal evidence that patience with such orders is starting to wane. I’ve noticed an increase in traffic when I go to the bank, and longer lines when I get takeout. We’ve seen protests, although they are sporadic at best. And, again anecdotally, people’s nerves seem to be fraying.
How long the public will support these measures is anyone’s guess, but I doubt the public’s patience is infinite.

I think the one undeniable fact is this. The public's willingness to stay at home (and the polling that supports this) will continue to fade over time. More people today than yesterday are coming to the conclusion that they want to get back to some form of normalcy. More people tomorrow than today will come to that same conclusion.

This is a one way issue, and short of some major unforeseen chain of events tied to an increase in the Covid-19 outbreak, more and more and more people will begin to become impatient with the idea of staying home. Right now it may only be affecting people whose livelihoods are at stake, but eventually it starts to affect everyone.

As Trende also points out, there is no guarantee that we will EVER see a vaccine for Covid-19. As the old saying goes, there is no cure for the common cold and no medical expert anywhere has ever come up with a vaccine to stop the spread of a basic coronavirus. Is it possible that we could do something unique with this strain? Sure. But we shouldn't count on it.

So those holding out for a cure or vaccine may have to either change their thinking or hold out forever!

The idea originally was to "flatten the curve" as to not overwhelm our hospital systems. But here in Minnesota (like most of America) our hospitals system is at about 35% capacity and they are cutting hours and even furloughing medical workers.

If not now, then when?

Thursday, April 23, 2020

New York performs some random testing...

and lo and behold, the fatality rates are not as high as some fear
While noting the sample size of 3,000 people and other limitations of the survey, Cuomo said the implied fatality rate of 0.5 percent of those infected by COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, was lower than some experts feared.

“If the infection rate is 13.9 percent, then it changes the theories of what the death rate is if you get infected,” Cuomo told a daily briefing.

I am not sure any credible statisticians, medical experts, or anyone really paying attention believes that we are getting an accurate death rate by simply dividing known confirmed deaths by known confirmed cases. So I wouldn't necessarily agree that it actually "changes the theories" about how deadly Covid-19 actually is.

So far we have two studies out of California which show higher infection rates and a death rate around 0.3% in those areas of California.  We also have data collection showing that pregnant women who are tested are coming back with an approximate 15% rate of infection which would push the death rate down to around 0.1% nationally. Now this New York study is also concluding that many more people than confirmed are infected and that the death rates are likely more in line with other winter viruses, rather than in line with some sort of black plague.

If you add into the mix the extremely high disparity between the death rates of younger and older Americans, at the end of the day this virus will likely be much less deadly for a large share of the population than most viruses we catch. Whether we ever use this information  to judge our responses to the crisis in the same manner that we judge most other things (in hindsight) is a different question all together.

Demographic update:

Based on CDC death certificates (which now total 21050) we are now looking at the following age breakdowns:

So as the actual death certificate start to catch up a little with overall reported deaths, the percentages are moving even further towards the elderly. At right around 10,000 death certificates the over 65 group accounted for 77.81%, at 15,000 they accounted for 78.05%, and now they account for 78.86% of the total deaths. 

On the flip side, the under 45 group now accounts for less than 3% of the total deaths when they at one time represented 3.3% of total deaths.

While these changes are nominal, they confirm that these percentages are not going to change. There is no real hard empirical evidence to suggest that Covid-19 poses a grave threat to younger, healthy Americans.

It's starting to become very clear that those with most financial risk to being isolated are looking at very little medical risk. while those with the least financial risk to being isolated are at most medical risk.

It would seem like in an advance country like ours that these sort of overwhelmingly obvious numbers should allow us to work this out so the the people who need to work (and are not at medical risk) should be allowed to, whereas those with the most medical risk can continue to be isolated and protected (as they should).

But I guess that is just too complicated for our leaders to figure out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

On the issue of Covid-19 polling

The numbers I have seen from most polling suggests that there is about a 60-40 split in terms of remaining in a complete lock down state, vs some degree of reopening. Depending on how these polls are worded those numbers can certainly vary,  but it remains right around that split.

Certainly it's not surprising that the "majority" of Americans want to stay in lock down.

If you live on the east coast, the idea of reopening anything would seem crazy to you. If you get your news from people who pretend that what is happening in New York is representative of the United States as a whole, then I could see why you are also against the idea of any sort of reopening. If you are the sort of person who just looks at a death toll, without understanding anything about it, then you are probably against reopening the economy.

Moreover, many Americans are probably not affected by the shut down in to much financial degree. For many of us, we are still working full time without the costs associated with driving to work, buying lunch, coffee or anything else. There is little place to spend your money and for the most part we are probably better off financially because of the lock down (I know I am). There is little incentive for these people to take any risk, regardless of how remote.

When you look at these polls, the thing to remember is this: Those who are in favor of opening up things and going back to work are generally going to be made up of the exact people who are losing everything because the "majority" doesn't want them working. They are not looking to kill anyone or be killed themselves. They want to stave off complete ruin.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion on this.

But unless you are personally in a position where you are not able to pay your bills, you are depleting your life savings, and you are financially being wrecked, it's rather disingenuous for you to chastise others for wanting to go back to work.

A case for reopening a majority of the states...

The number tossed around by the task force the other day was thirty. As in as many as thirty states are probably in a position to start to reopen their states. Let me explain with empirical statistical evidence that his is the best (and possibly only legitimate) decision to make.

As explained here multiple times, the working age folks are not all that susceptible to dying from the virus. Out of the first nearly 17,000 death certificates, 3360 came from "working age folks". About 80% of the deaths are still occurring with people beyond the normal working age.

Assuming that most older workers (45 and above) are probably in jobs with more flexibility, have more savings, more retirement, and more resources to weather a storm, we can focus on those under the age of 45 as the ones most likely to be taking a hit and are "needing" to get back to work. 

Of those people under 45 (the most likely people to want to go back to work) the number is still less that 500 people out of the 15,000 overall deaths, or only approximately 3% of the total deaths.

So the question becomes... should a group of people that make up 60% of our population but only represent 3% of the total deaths be told that they cannot go back out in public?

But let's take this one step further.

The thirty states we are talking about only represent about 6% of the total over all deaths.

Simple math using the latest death toll from Worldometer:  45,000*0.03*0.06 = 81 total deaths.

Statistically speaking, if you are under the age of 45 and live in one of these states, you are not being allowed to work because somewhere between 75-100 people overall have died in your age demographic over the past six weeks or so.

So if someone has a reasonable explanation why these people in these states should not be allowed to make a living, I would love to hear it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

We will start seeing more and more of these studies...

Hundreds of thousands in L.A. County may have been infected with coronavirus
Hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles County residents may have been infected with the coronavirus by early April, far outpacing the number of officially confirmed cases, according to a report released Monday.

The initial results from the first large-scale study tracking the spread of the coronavirus in the county found that 4.1% of adults have antibodies to the virus in their blood, an indication of past exposure.
That translates to roughly 221,000 to 442,000 adults who have recovered from an infection, once margin of error is taken into account, according to the researchers conducting the study. The county had reported fewer than 8,000 cases at that time.
The findings suggest the fatality rate may be much lower than previously thought.

So to put this in perspective, if we were to use this particular study to recalculate the current "death rate" as is being reported based on strictly "reported cases" on a national scale - the rate would drop from approximately 4.8% (as reported by the Covid Tracking Center) down to 0.28%.

That is a significant drop.

How it works is simple. Take a 4.1% rate of exposure of the total population of 327 million Americans, and it works out to approximately 13.4 million Americans rather than the 778 thousand that is being reported. When you take the amount of deaths from that same tracking center (37676) and divide it by the new number of 13.4 million Americans and you get the 0.28%. Simple enough.

If you want to use the reported numbers from Worldometer, the number is a bit higher, coming in at 0.32%. But either way, we would be looking at a death rate that while still higher than the seasonal flu, is not the sort of exponentially higher number that some are suggesting.

Moreover, since the Covid-19 virus seems to hit the elderly at much more significant rate than the seasonal flu does, it would stand to reason that the Covid-19 would likely be far less deadly for the younger age groups. By far less, we may be talking about extreme low rates. If these numbers are to be believed, 4.7 million Americans under the age of 25 may have been or currently are infected. Yet only 17 are confirmed dead at this point (which is a number that reflects death certificate cases that represent about half of reported cases). So it's likely that that 17 is going to be in the 34-35 range.

That would put the average person under the age of 25 at well less than a 1 in 100,000 chance of dying from contracting the disease. Think about that.

Something to consider

If Half the Country's Deaths Were in Montana, Would New York Shut Down?
According to The New York Times coronavirus report, as of Sunday, April 19, 2:48 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, there were 35,676 COVID-19 deaths in the United States. Of those deaths, 18,690 were in the New York metropolitan area.
(The New York metropolitan area is generally regarded as consisting of the five boroughs of New York City, the five New York State counties surrounding New York City -- Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Orange -- and the populous parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.)
That means that more than half (52%) of all deaths in America have occurred in the New York metropolitan area.

I think this is more than just a casual thought here. The real question is would anyone on the east or west coast even care if some virus was working it's way through the red flyover states with little chance of it making an impact on the major population centers on either coast?

Would the "world revolves around me" coastal elitists really lock themselves in their own homes, kill off the coastal economies, if they were seeing six or seven deaths per million (as many of these states are seeing) rather than the 900 plus that the New York City area is seeing?

Would they, as some form of national unity watch businesses go under and people lose their jobs because of a virus that was not impacting them personally? Certainly they would see their own lot in the world as too important to shut down?

As pointed out here (and many other places) if you remove New York City from the rest of the country, then the greater non-New York United States doesn't even break the top 10 in terms of countries affected by Covid-19.

But as this article points out. Much of our media and much of our government elitists believe that the country (and the world) revolves around New York and other population centers. Like in the movie "Coming to America" when Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are trying to figure out where to go. "The land is so big. The choices so infinite. Where shall we go, Los Angeles or New York"?

Monday, April 20, 2020

The states without stay at home orders....

So where do these states rank?

So what is happening in New York and New Jersey?

Why does New York and New Jersey seem so out of sync with the rest of America?

Let's review some of the data:

  • New York and New Jersey make up 9% of the overall population.
  • New York and New Jersey make up 20% of the overall testing.
  • New York and New Jersey account for 44% of the overall positive test.
  • New York and New Jersey account for  50% of the overall deaths.
  • 42% of the Covid-19 testing comes back positive in New York & New Jersey.
  • 14% of the Covid-19 testing comes back positive from the other 48 states.
  • The amount of people who die after a positive test is 30% higher in New York and New Jersey as it is in the other 48 states.

So what exactly accounts for this? 

Why do three times more people who walk into the hospital with Covid-19 symptoms test positive for Covid-19 in the greater New York metropolitan area than people who walk into hospitals in other parts of the country? Why do considerably more people who test positive die in New York and New Jersey than in any other part of the country? Why do they have so few negative tests compared to everywhere else?

There doesn't appear to be an obvious intuitive answer. Perhaps more New Yorkers with mild symptoms are choosing not to be tested and that accounts for fewer negatives? Perhaps there really is a health care crisis that doesn't show up in the number of ICU units or the number of ventilators. 

But rather than our media spending time focusing on these types of relevant questions, our so called journalist are busy asking why Trump didn't warn the world back in January that the Covid-19 crisis was coming or desperately trying to create a relative soap opera type atmosphere about who likes who and who is mad at who in the greater task force community...

Sunday, April 19, 2020

So what if Covid-19 actually is "less" deadly than the flu?

From what we know right now based entirely on the statistics as they stand, for the average adult American under the age of 45, the rate of death from the Covid-19 virus is around 0.2 percent, which is about double the rate of the typical flu bug (0.1 percent).

While the current "overall" numbers suggest a death rate more in line with 4% - that includes rates upwards of 15% for people over the age of 75, many of whom (as cold as it sounds) were likely any virus away from passing away.

The problem is there is much unknown in terms of how many people may actually have the Covid-19 bug and either had mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. The more testing we do, the more likely it is that the amount of people who have had the virus will likely go up, while the amount of deaths from Covid-19 will remain the same.

As it stands, nearly everyone getting critically ill or passing from symptoms associated with the Covid-19 virus is being tested. Where someone has died from related symptoms and never had the testing, doctors are now able to provide Covid-19 as the cause of death. As it stands right now, the CDC shows more "presumed" deaths from Covid-19 than "presumed" cases. This obviously seems highly illogical, not to mention mathematically impossible (every presumed death should be automatically added as a presumed case by basic reasoning of common sense). But I digress.

But as testing ramps up (especially the anti-body tests which will show whether or not someone previously had it) the number of cases will start to go up (possibly way up) without any change to the number of Covid-19 deaths.

Pretty much all anecdotal as well as empirical data suggests that at least half (or more) people who contract Covid-19 will be asymptomatic (showing no symptoms). Tests also suggest that a great deal of people will see minor symptoms, rather than the sort of life threatening symptoms that sends people to the Hospital to get tested. This suggest that our current testing is way underestimating the number of Covid-19 cases, again without affecting the bottom line number of deaths.

So let's say that we actually have double the amount of Covid-19 cases than have currently been confirmed by the numbers. That would mean that the bulk of the population has no more to worry about from Covid-19 as they would from the typical flu.

But the anecdotal and empirical data so far suggests that doubling the amount of cases is likely just the tip of the iceberg. By doubling the total, that would put the total number of cases at about 1.5 million, or about 0.4% of the US population. Yet, researchers are estimating that those numbers are significantly higher. Some researcher are suggesting as much as 10 percent of the population might have already been infected. Other anecdotal random anti-body testing has shown between 15-33 percent of the people are testing positive (many without having had any symptoms)

But let's say that the ten percent rate is accurate, then the total rate of death (including everyone) would literally drop to about 0.1% overall. Those under the age of 45 would see the numbers plummet to approximately 0.009% death rate. In other words, it would mean that only one in 10,000 infected with Covid-19 under the age of 45 would actually be dying.

Now it may be that ten percent is an overstatement (or it could be an understatement). But what we do know is that it's much higher than the 0.2% of the population that has tested positive so far. As those numbers increase from more and more testing, the death rate will continue to go down.

The question will be when everything is all said and done... how much did we overestimate the deadliness of this virus (because we obviously have overestimated it) and to what cost did that overestimation come with?

My prediction is that by the time this is all said and done...

That Dr Fauci and Dr Birx will be public enemies number one and number two to most liberals who had previously believed them to be the greatest thing since jelly beans!

Birx: "Liberals are going to hate us for suggesting parts of the country can reopen, aren't they?"
Fauci: "yep, They sure are!!"

And then there is this?

Even Cuomo has said on multiple occasions that nobody died due to a lack of medical attention! This is a flat out disgusting lie regarding the deaths of Americans. 

More to the point, there is currently an overabundance of ventilators in pretty much in every single state. In fact, not only are states not short on ventilators, many states are sending them back to the national stockpile or to other states that are still seeing a lot of new cases.

The reality is that we pressured many companies into building ventilators and will likely have approximately 100,000 in reserve when this is all said and done. This is an extremely large number that would likely never be used outside of a national disaster type respiratory pandemic that kills triple or quadruple what we are seeing here.

The sad thing about it is that there are liberals out there dumb enough to fall for the piece of garbage lie that Duckworth is pushing here. Or maybe she is just a very stupid and uninformed person?