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Reflections on Tribalism in a Plague Year

March 31, 2020

In my darker moments, I’ve wondered what it would take to reunite today’s obstinately tribal America into something resembling a nation. A deadly plague? A world war? An alien invasion?

Well, it turns out we have all three on our hands.

1) Yes, a latter-day plague is spreading around the globe and snaking its way into the lungs of millions. The novel coronavirus can live on metal and plastic surfaces for days at a time, waiting patiently for unwary humans to serve as hosts and carriers. With an estimated mortality rate of just under 3% (up to 10% for older patients), COVID-19 can’t compare with the more lethal Ebola, SARS or MERS – but it blows them away in terms of sheer infectiousness and potential economic devastation.

2) Nations everywhere are mobilized as if for war. Trump even invoked the Defense Production Act, a radical measure that compels private enterprise to mass-produce needed supplies and equipment for the public good during national emergencies. (More on that later.)

3.) The COVID-19 pandemic is essentially an alien invasion; the planet has been set upon by an invisible but deadly life-form intent on destroying human civilization. The bugs might have the collective IQ of a barnacle, but they’ve proven their wanton genius for disrupting individual lives, schools, families, businesses, the stock market, and the very fabric that binds people together: an indispensable commodity known as social life.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic succeeded in bringing us together as a nation, despite its penchant for separating us as individuals? Sadly, no – at least not yet. We’re more wary than ever of strangers in our midst. We recoil from our fellow humans as if every casual encounter could prove fatal.

You’d think a massive invasion capable of afflicting untold millions of Americans would ignite a spark of unity, of mutual regard and sympathy, of renewed respect for the struggles of our neighbors. During the Great Depression and World War II, the vast majority of Americans rallied together regardless of class or politics.

Instead, our progressive friends have been ripping into the president at every opportunity – justifiably for his delayed response to the pandemic and his boneheaded rejection of testing kits from the World Health Organization… almost as justifiably for his predictably baseless optimism and hyperbole… but incredibly, even when he authorized a radical response with the kinds of measures (like the aforementioned Defense Production Act) that a New Deal Democrat might have ordered during a similar emergency.

When Rep. Ilhan Omar, certainly no moderate, praised Trump for his decisive actions, some of my progressive friends (and several pundits) went into full TDS – Trump Derangement Syndrome. Omar broke an unwritten commandment: progressives are simply not allowed to praise the unholy resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for any reason. I found myself in the unlikely position of defending Omar for defending Trump, when I’m not a fan of either – and of course I took heat on Facebook for my reckless intrusion into a “progressives-only” discussion. 

The coastal elites continue to waft their contempt for the corn-fed masses of Middle America – especially Trump’s ever-loyal base. Our ongoing alien invasion still hasn’t given them the heart to understand why a group that feels despised by progressives would veer away from progressive politics and cling to a blunt demagogue for leadership.

As for the conservatives and libertarians – well, some of them have stepped up and shown themselves to be true disciples of Ebenezer Scrooge – the pre-Christmas Scrooge, not the reformed Scrooge. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick went as far as to suggest that older Americans should willingly sacrifice themselves for the good of the economy.

Ah, the blessed economy! Holier than human life, and just as fragile. It’s easy to understand why conservatives would be wringing their hands over a devastating months-long suspension of business and revenues; I understand it, too. Of course, the big corporations stand to benefit from the record $2 trillion stimulus package recently approved by Congress and Trump himself. Let’s just hope the employees of those companies – not to mention all our vulnerable mom-and-pop businesses – see their share of benefits as well. With their income on hold, how many sidelined employees and small businesses can survive without an infusion of public money?

Our libertarian friends must be going apoplectic at the thought of government laying its heavy hand on the free market, even to save businesses crippled by the pandemic. You’d think such interventions would convince even the most obstinate social Darwinist that government is not always the enemy; in this case, it’s the white knight charging to the rescue. Will it convince them, though? I suspect they’ll be fretting about the slippery slope that leads to socialism, and I’ll leave them to their fretting.

Despite the apocalyptic scope of the COVID calamity and its politicization by our resident tribalists, it’s been heartening to witness stellar examples of human warmth and decency: quarantined Italians singing to one another from their balconies… restaurants offering free meals to children… grassroots humanitarians taking food and supplies to isolated senior citizens.

Extraordinary times usually call for extraordinary leaders, but we can’t depend on an inarticulate narcissist for inspiration – even when he happens to do the right thing. We can fantasize about having an FDR, a JFK, a Reagan or an Obama to guide our battered spirits through the pandemic and speak to our better angels. (We Americans desperately need to get in touch with our better angels.) Yet when we hear dire warnings that up to three-quarters of our population might catch the coronavirus, no amount of soaring rhetoric – let alone hand-scrubbing and social distancing – will ease the dread.

It’s up to us, as free individuals living in an interconnected community, to transcend the tribal and embrace the good. We can start listening to voices beyond our private circles, appreciating them for their character, their gritty wisdom, and the unique stories they tell – regardless of whether they vote red or blue. We can bond more deeply with our families and friends, despite the distances between us. If all goes well, we’ll never again take their presence for granted.

We’ll never again take our own existence for granted, either. We all know that our lives are finite, but maybe some of us have been running on autopilot for too long. Our bodies are miraculous machines – our minds even more so – and we should appreciate them while they’re still in working order.

We should probably wake up to the beauty and fascination of our surroundings, too. I’m a habitual walker, and I’ve noticed how poignant it seems that nature is blooming spectacularly even while our minds are consumed by the ongoing plague. Spring will continue to work its magic without sanitizer or safe distancing; you can’t quarantine a grove of cherry trees.

The wisdom of the Earth makes our tribal politics seem petty and pointless. Who were all those Democrats on the debate stage just a few months ago? Does anyone still think about Reince Priebus or Steve Bannon? We’re all transients here, so let’s stop squabbling and start enjoying our stay as friendly neighbors on this endlessly diverting planet. 

Will we still need to throw ideas around for our amusement, edification and disagreement? Of course – as we should. But let’s hope this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has taught us Americans that life is too short – and too great a gift – to squander by holding a grudge. 

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three brilliant (but sadly unsung) essay collections are available in e-book form on for only $2.99 each. Just search under “Rick Bayan.”

832 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2020 11:58 pm

    Rick “But let’s hope this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has taught us Americans that life is too short – and too great a gift – to squander by holding a grudge. ”

    You have a much greater expectation of our leaders who set the example for all Americans than I do. Even before this is 25% over, everyone is trying to place blame before all the facts are known. For instance, multiple times one will see accusations that the pandemic response team was cut. Has anyone deep dived into the impact, if the work was eliminated, was the work transferred to other capable individuals, was there no impact at all, etc?

    If all the leaders (and their mouth piece media outlets) do is attack any politician before detailed investigative analysis of all decisions before and during any crisis, including this one, then your hope is more a dream than reality.

    • John Say permalink
      April 1, 2020 1:42 am

      The claim is the “national security pandemic team was cut”.
      It is not even their job to thwart pandemics, only to analyze their effect on national security.

      • April 1, 2020 12:39 pm

        Dave “The claim is the “national security pandemic team was cut”.
        It is not even their job to thwart pandemics, only to analyze their effect on national security”.

        But is that what so many on the left are portraying? Or is it “OH MY GOD, LOOK WHAT TRUMP DID TO US BY CUTTING THAT TEAM!!!!!!”

        You continue to say “I dont care”. You continue to say “people are free to make up their own minds”.

        Well I CARE !!!!!!!!! I care because people are being brain washed by facts not verified. I care because voters vote based on brain washed thinking. I care because free countries become Venezuela’s after voting for candidates supported by brain washed voters. I care because their votes eventually impact me through governments based on unverified facts.

        Just look at the comments by everyone here. How many times do we see comments by all of us that we don’t take the time to deep dive into the details before commenting. I do it, but I do try to verify some of the things I comment on like the Spanish flu. And even then the facts that can be found are not always the same.

        Have we not seen “Trump cuts pandemic team” here with no factual information presented showing the impact of that action. Yes, because no one has done an investigative analysis yet of that action by Trump.

        Everyone wants to stay in the cocoon with their tribe spouting the tribal messages without taking any of their time to question those facts. Any of them on any subject. Not just Trump, Obama 43 or any other political decision.

        Just like Rick comments on Trump rejecting WHO offer for test kits. Did he deep dive into that? Maybe, maybe not. According to a WHO spokesperson “No discussions occurred between WHO and CDC about WHO providing COVID-19 tests to the United States,” said WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris. “This is consistent with experience since the United States does not ordinarily rely on WHO for reagents or diagnostic tests because of sufficient domestic capacity.” According to the report, WHO focuses on countries without expertise and facilities to help themselves.

        Now is that true or not? Who knows, but it needs to be verified before running around claiming something that may or may not be true.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 4:57 pm

        I do not care any more about the left’s “brainwahsing” than the purported claims that Russia through stupid social media ads “influenced our elections”.

        To the extent we have a failure – it is that our education system has become one of political indoctrination, rather than teaching critical thinking.

        If people are “brainwashed” – that is a failure of our education system to make them capable of making decisions.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 5:22 pm

        There are two different allegations regarding testing that are conflated.

        The first is a “shortage of test kits” – that claim is crap – first the intial attempt to contain this at the borders requires extremely small amounts of resources, but it requires moving very rapidly and with near perfection. It is about identifying and quarantining a very small number of people as well as everyone they have exposed as quickly as possible with out missing many people.

        With each missed person and each cycle the problem grows exponentially larger.

        In this effort testing is very nearly useless. You do not quarantine people because they tested positive – you quarantine them because they were exposed.

        Japan successfully followed this model and did less testing than the US.

        Next a “test kit” is 3 cotton balls on sticks and sterile containers to put them in.

        The actual Testing failure of the NIH/CDC/FDA was their own failure to develop a successful test, their failure to make any use of the experience of any others in developing tests, and their active interference in third party testing and development.

        When the first effort to contain fails – extremely wide spread testing can be an effective means of regaining control – that is effectively what the South Koreans did.

        Having lost control testing becomes a means of establishing the behavior of the disease – to give some certainty to many of the current unknowns.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 5:24 pm

        Every single thing that is described that went wrong here would have self corrected quickly if government had allowed the free market to work.

    • John Say permalink
      April 1, 2020 1:49 am

      We are not great because our leaders are great – we are great because our ideals are great.

    • April 1, 2020 12:38 pm

      Ron: There’s still so much about this pandemic that fits into the “we don’t really know” category. So yes, the hysterical accusations don’t help the situation.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 4:54 pm

        To some extent the accusations are inevitable.

        The competition between ideas is fundimental to human advancement.

        Our partisan politics are merely a relatively ofal reflection of that.

        But ultimately – whether by our leaders or each of us as individuals decisions have to be made based on the information that we have and our judgements regarding its quality.

        We frequently do not get to know all that is knowable before we have to make decisions.

  2. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 12:06 am

    1). We know it can live on surfaces – though most sources I have read claim hours not days, depending on the surface itself.

    Pretty much all the advice we have been given is based on colds and flu’s. It is highly likely that Covid19 spreads like colds and flu’s. But like myriads of other things we have no certainty yet. Ultimately we will, but for now, our precautions are based on what works for colds and flu’s.

    While we should not presume because we do not know something for certain the advice is “fake”.

    We should still be careful. We are making lots of decisions based on poor and incomplete knowledge – that is how things often must work in the real world.

  3. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 12:21 am

    Our government has made some mistakes. Some of them are Clearly Trump’s and some Trump’s because he is president.

    At the same time – as the US government has not done as well as a few asian countries but it has done as well as the best of europe and better than most of europe.

    If Trump handled this badly – then pretty much all governments have handled this badly.
    There may be good reason to crticise all governments handling of this.
    There may be good reason to criticise Trump.
    But the arguement that Trump has uniquely failed – does not hold water.

    There is alot to think about the proper role of government – especially when we get past this and can look at information better.

    But attacking Trump’s optimism is a bit much.

    First because Trump actually does know something that aparently you and all the experts do not – but they should. They odds of EVERY variable resolving to the worst possible case is slim. I do not know exactly how bad this is, but the probability of it being as bad as health experts predict is actually quite low.

    A few days ago we were told atleast 2million deaths in the US, then “oops” that is wrong, it will only be 100-200,000. Who know what we will be told tomorow.

    But pessimism serves absolutely no purpose.

    Further Trump’s optimism serves a real purpose. ‘
    Trump has undeniably gotten the CDC/FDA off there asses and pushed them out of this we will not allow anything that is not proven perfect first nonsense.
    We are trying Hydroxychloroquine in New York – as well as several other things.
    Even if all these do not pan out – they give us hope, and we have not given up.

    You say Trump is too optomistic – what do you think of Churchill.

    The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

    Winston Churchill

    • April 1, 2020 9:52 pm

      I have nothing against optimism when applied properly; during a crisis it’s a valuable commodity. FDR and Churchill used it effectively and eloquently to give people courage during dark times.

      I was critical of Trump’s downplaying the pandemic and urging the country to get back on track by Easter, a folly that could have cost a few hundred thousand lives. I’m grateful that he seems to be tempering his unrealistic statements these days.

      He can still rise to the occasion by urging us to save lives and lower the death toll by taking precautions. He can say we’ll get through the pandemic if we all pull together. That kind of optimism would be “fitting and proper.”

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 12:21 am

        I agree with you that Trump is wrong.
        But in the exact opposite sense.

        The government should “quarantine” those at the most risk, it should quarantine everyone who is sick. It should quarantine anyone who has been exposed. It should bar large gatherings. It should provide us with recomendations. It should conduct its own affairs in a way that is an example to the rest of us. In every other way it should leave the choices up to us. And it should have done that from the start. South Korea did not shutdown. Singapore did not shut down, Taiwan did not shut down, Japan did not shut down, Sweden did not shut down – every one of those countries has done better thus far than the US. There are other examples, but I have not looked at every country in the world.

        There is no such thing as an essential business or a non-essential business.

        We are already seeing how free markets innovate to meet our needs.

        It appears that Obama blew through the strategic reserve of 100m N95 respirators and masks with swine flu leaving only 5M and never replacing them. That continued for the past 3 years – so Trump bears some responsibility to.

        But the shortfall of masks and respirators is being dealt with. Perfectly ? No, but soon enough there will be no shortage. Whether it is 3M or MyPillow, the masks are being made, and will be plentiful soon enough.

        Ventalators are more complex and will take more time, but they will come.

        We have more than enough toilet paper and hand sanitizer and wipes, but we do not have enough stock boys to refill the shelves.

        If government stayed out of testing – you could get drive by or at home tests several weeks ago, and the entire country could be tested by now – if we wanted to.

        Whatever the problem is soon enough free markets will find the answer.

        With government we have people being arrested for walking on empty beaches, or sitting in empty parks, or playing tennis, or walking their dogs.

        We have the possibility that 25% of tenants are not paying their April rent in the next few days – including commercial tenants. We have $1.5T in debt for residential and commercial leased space that could quickly go into default.

        We are shortly going to see spikes in suicides, a wide assortment of drug overdoses, alcohol poisoning, we will see rises in violent and property crimes, we will see rises i domestic violence. These are already baked in – some would have been inevitable no matter what.
        But most are not, but they will be the longer this shutdown continues.

        Regardless, trust people to work things out themselves. N95 masks are increasingly available, a mask, gloves, glasses or goggles and you reduce transmission by 95%, even masks along are over 60%.

        “Let 10,000 flowers bloom”. It will be chaotic, but people will work this out.
        Neither you nor I can guess at the creative solutions people will come up with.
        But we can know that they will. BTW the same is true in reverse regarding the economic shutdown. I listed a few of the known effect that will result in DEATHS, but neither you nor I can know all the different ways that shutting down the economy will harm and kill people.
        But you should be able to know it will.

        And rather than shutting everything down for 6 weeks they will come up with solutions that are sustainable – that can continue for as long as necessary.

        I do not want no stinking stimulus, I do not want no stinking shutdown.

        Let people work this out. We can handle this, and we will adapt as necessary.
        No top down government solution can do that.

  4. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 12:24 am

    There are lots of people who say lots of stupid things. There does not appear to be any ideological constraints on saying stupid things.

    If we are going to judge an ideology based the stupid remarks of some adherent – all ideolgies – including moderation are looney.

  5. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 12:33 am

    The economy is not more sacred than life.

    It IS life. IF you fork up the economy – where is the wealth coming from to pay for cancer treatments, diabetes treatments, safe work places, all the things that make life good and healthy.

    If you reduce standard of living – people will die. You may not clearly see them hauled out of hospitals in body bags – but they will still be DEAD.
    Further each of us will live shittier lives.

    Worse still it is the bleeding hearts who purported care so much for the poor who seem to are the least. It is the people with 6 figure incomes who can work from home and whose greatest inconvenience from this is being scared to go shopping, who are the most willing to sacrifice the jobs and futures and health of the working class in this country that is getting its teeth kicked in by this.

    Please do not “Ebeneezer Scrouge” me on this. If you do not think the economy is DEATHLY important right now – you are trading your safety for both the safety and the future of the working class.

    It should be crystal clear at this moment exactly why a strong economy is important.

    Your IRA might be taking a beating at the moment – but if you have a 6 figure income you can hold on 6 or 12 months and it will recover.

    If you are living hand to mouth, and your hours have been cut back or you have been laid off, which matters to you a 1:100 chance you will die from a disease that at the moment your odds of getting are 1:1000 or the fact that you can not pay for rent or food or heat or light ?

    One of the things this is exposing is how sheltered from reality so many people are.

    • April 1, 2020 10:16 pm

      Believe me, I feel the pain of all those restaurants, shops and other small businesses being hurt by the shutdown. But what’s the alternative: let people back into crowded shops, restaurants and workplaces while the death toll skyrockets because of mass-contamination? No. You simply can’t keep the free marketplace open for business as usual if it promotes widespread illness and death.

      This is where you might need to gulp hard and sacrifice your libertarian principles until the pandemic subsides. Government is capable of keeping businesses alive with direct payments during the crisis — no strings attached, no slippery slope to socialism. I wouldn’t mind paying extra taxes next year if it means saving the small businesses in my community (and elsewhere).

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 1:12 am

        “Believe me, I feel the pain of all those restaurants, shops and other small businesses being hurt by the shutdown.”
        Clearly you do not – and it goes well past restaurants. We had a 3.5M spike in unemployment last week – and it is likely to get worse. It is unlikely a single person on this blog will lose their jobs – the losses will be disproportionately working class people – particularly minorities.

        We here the left rant about racism – the effects of this shutdown are going to hit minorities HARD – 2-3 times as hard – or more than the rest of us.

        “But what’s the alternative ?”

        The alternative is simple – let people work these things out for themselves.

        I can list a number of things that can be done.
        spread customers out within the resturaunt – as one example, but the point is NOT to tell people how to solve problems, it is to allow them to solve them, themselves.

        I am not going out to a resturant for a long time – I am almost 62 and I had part of my right lung removed 40 years ago, and I pick up colds and flu easily, and I am a man – 7:10 deaths are men.

        But that is me chosing. You get to make different choices. Waitresses get to make their own choices, younger people get to make their choices.

        And people will find creative answers to this.

        Your thinking is too rigid – and frankly that is disturbing – why do you think that suddenly there will be busy resturants and theaters – when I doubt you would risk going to a crowded restuaraunt even if you could – and I certainly would not.

        Regardless, the FACT is that everyone’s risk of Covid19 is not the same and everyone’s risk from shutting down the economy is not the same.
        By shutting things down you are not saving us from harm. You are just dictating who will get harmed the most.

        “No. You simply can’t keep the free marketplace open for business as usual if it promotes widespread illness and death.”

        You have drawn a conclusion that has no basis in fact.
        Outside of china, not a single country that has dealt successfully with this has shutdown its economy. That does not mean that lots of things have not slowed down. But they did so because people made individual choices.

        Some people stay in. Some people go out but take precautions – like gearing up, or avoiding crowds, regardless people make their own choices.

        “This is where you might need to gulp hard and sacrifice your libertarian principles until the pandemic subsides.”

        Apparently you do not understand what a principle actually is.

        “Government is capable of keeping businesses alive with direct payments during the crisis — no strings attached,”

        No it is not – and you are smart enough to know better. Aside from the impossibly difficult practical problems of knowing where to direct payments,

        There is the more fundimental problem that MONEY IS NOT WEALTH.

        If it were – we could just shut down the economy entirely and print piles of money.
        We could do it during the “pandemic” we could continue after.

        But you know that is impossible.

        Government can through this idiotic policy play a shell game, but it does not create.
        I am told we have shutdown about 20% of the economy right not.
        We are 20% poorer that we would have been. period. You can not fix that.
        Whatever was not made, no amount of government stimulus will cause it to be made.

        Nor is any of this new or news. We have tried this many times before – it does not work.

        It does not work – because it can’t.

        Do I really need to pound on this for pages ? Or can you grasp that if we do not produce something – it does not exist. It we produce 80% as much as we did before – we have reduced our standard of living 20% – and there is no amount of money in the entire world no stimulus that can fix that.

        You can play games with how the pie is divided – but you can not fix the fact that you have a smaller pie.

        Worse still – this is going to absolutely positively hit those near the bottom the hardest.

        As I noted before – you and I will not have to pay for this – short of a brief hit to our IRA’s.

        But the working class is going to take the biggest hit – and that means they do not get a 20% kick in the teeth, they get a 40% or more kick in the teeth.

        “no slippery slope to socialism.”
        That is not the issue – though the statement is false. Venezeulla has spent more than a decade following exactly this “stimulus” process – how well has that worked ?
        It is unimportant whether it is poor economic policy or a virus that reduces what is produced, you can not fix it by dumping money.

        “I wouldn’t mind paying extra taxes next year”
        All government spending is ultimately paid for by the people.
        It is not especially important whether it is paid for by inflation, higher taxes, or reduced services. It is still going to be paid for. It is not free money.

        “if it means saving the small businesses in my community (and elsewhere).”
        but you wont – and frankly you do not want to, if government did manage to save small business the long term negative effects would be large. We already have big business slurping at the trough of government the last thing we want is small bussiness to figure out how to push up to the trough. Government subsidies destroy business.

      • April 2, 2020 1:52 am

        Rick, I agree completely with the lock down. In 1918 the cities the relaxed too quickly had a double spike in deaths. Those states/cities that remained locked down long into the declining curve did not experience that same increase in cases/deaths.

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 5:27 am

        The data you have from 1918 is incomplete and not well specified.

        Further you fixate on spikes as meaningful.

        All the modeling demonstrates that nearly all the techniques being used do not change the area under the curve.

        i.e. you will get the same number of total cases, they will just be spread out longer.

        Further I have provided numerous statistics that show the increased number of deaths due to the negative economy – and those are only the obvious ones.

        So all you doing is sacrificing freedom for a different way of killing people.

        I do not understand why it is so hard for you all to understand that the death of the economy is the death of people. Lower standard of living means more death.
        So even if the only thing you care about is lives – you still lose.

        Finally – it does not matter whether you agree with the lockdown or not.

        If there is a runaway train coming down the tracks and you can do nothing to stop it, but there is a track switch infront of you and if you flip it – you will kill one person and if you do not, you will kill another – what do you do ?
        The analogy is not perfect – in reality your moral problem is larger.
        You are using force to choose who will die AND infringe on liberty.

        Don’t play god with peoples lives and do not presume that you know enough to make decisions involving the use of force.

        Do you actually know what results you will get each way ?
        If you do not, then you do not even have a utilitarian argument.

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 5:33 am

        I would note from your own comment won of the problems with your 1918 data – is it a graph of cases or is it a graph of deaths ?

        They are not the same thing. They do not have the same meaning or weight.

        I do not think it is possible to tell from your data source, and that makes the reliability of the source questionable.

        Lets assume it is a graph of deaths, and lets assume that the spike represents an actual increase in deaths, rather than stringing them out over more time, which is what the models show,

        BTW I will be happy to admit that the models are just models. But they are all we have.
        We do not have the oportunity to run reality each way and actually see which result is better, we can only run models, each way. Reality we only get to do one way.

        Now we have made all those assumptions, now lets flip it – and the numbers are cases, not deaths.

        Do you get to wreak havoc on the economy in order to alter the number of people who get sick rather than the number of people who die ?

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 6:15 am

        Next – what is the difference between Covid19 and the Flu ?

        If we are free to lock down the entire economy over Covid19 – why can’t we do so over the seasonal flu ? The US estimated Flu deaths this year are between 28K and 68K people – that is more than global Covid19 deaths thus far. Can we shut down the entire economy every year to reduce flu deaths ? It will work about as well as it does with Covid19

        What is the degree of scaryness that warrants shutting down the economy ?

        If 61M infections and almost 70K deaths is not enough – then what is ?

        You say letting the economy free earlier will produce more deaths – based on a 100 year old graph of a disease with different properties, and where we had not antivirals, no ICU’s no ventalators, no N95 masks, little understanding of social distancing and on and on.

      • April 2, 2020 12:10 pm

        Whats thd difference between covid-19 and the flu?

        Are you REALLY asking that question?

        Yes the flu claims 30,000; 40,000; 50,000+++++ live each year.

        BUT and thats the BIG BUTT….I am free to choose if I get a flu shot that may be 50% effective and if I get the flu, it may reduce the symptoms by 50%. That shot may be the difference between me living and dieing.

        Covid-19 has no cure nor vaccine. You get exposed, most likely you will get it. If this is ignored, then a bad flu season is magnified by the numbers that got the flu shot. If 50% get that shot,then flu cases are controlled by some number up to 50%. Not so when no one is vaccinated!

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 2:51 pm

        There was no flu shot for most of my life.

        There is no flu shot for most of the world.
        The flu typically arises in China.
        Epidemioligists in China try to sort out from what they see in birds and pigs today what is likely to make it to humans in 18 months and they develop the vaccine based on those quesses. I beleive the flu shot typically is for 3-5 different strains of potential flu’s.
        If they guess wrong and the actual flu that runs round the world is not one of those – then the flue shot does nothing.

        There is no guarantee in any year that the flu shot will work AT ALL.
        That is part of why some years are bad and we get almost almost 70M cases in the US and see almost 70K deaths.

        Those are the years when the flu shot did not work at all.

        “Covid-19 has no cure”
        The flu has no cure.
        most of the same things that mitigate the flu, mitigate Covid19.
        The HydroxyChloroquie/Zythromax combo is being reported by some experts as a cure.
        it has been used in china, and france, and it was used very extensively in South Korea where we have the lowest mortality rate and probably the best testing.
        With better testing it may prove to be a cure. It also may prove a dud, or any number of possibilities in between.
        We have a very large number of antivirals. This is not 1980 and Aides – where BTW many of the treatments that the FDA pissed over proved effective – especially in combination.
        But some did not.
        It is highly likely that our ability to treat this will increase quite rapidly.

        Lots of people are painting this as a harbringer of future disasters.
        More likely it is the last possible pandemic of this type.
        We are not likely very far from having the equivalent of antibiotics for many if not all antivirals.
        The use of Hydroxychloroquine and Zythromax against Covid19 did not come out of thin air.
        Hydroxychloroquine and Doxycyclene were used against some viral diseases 25 years ago.
        There were also laboratory experiements against SARS and MERS. There is reason to beleive that the combination is a generally effective antiviral – particularly against Corona Viruses. but research has been slowed because there is little money in Chloroquines, and there was no untreatable pandemic driving research.

        But even if that proves less effective than hoped or even ineffective. There are more than 100 other drugs being researched right now.

        And contra claims I have heard here – we are increasingly able to cure viral diseases.
        We have “cured” aids in a number of people – we can not do so reliably, but we have a start.
        We can cure Hep C 95% of the time. And there are other viral diseases we have cured.

        Maybe we are at the end of the road for viral diseases.
        Or maybe we are just at the begining of the end.
        But we are not completely helpless.

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 3:11 pm

        There are more than a dozen vaccines for Covid19 right now – and unlike the flu every one of those actually targets Covid19. How quickly we have a vaccine is a function of how much risk we are willing to take – nothing else..

        Periodically the Flu vaccine does not work at all.

        The flu had never infected more than 27% of the population – even when there were no vaccines. No infectuous disease has ever hit more people than that.

        There are more than 200 cold viruses – and most of us have no natural immunity to them.
        Yet the cold does not cause pandemics – or we do not notice.

        the fact is that every disease has some natural limits to the numbers of people who will get it.

        There is far more science does not know than what it knows, and one of those things is what those natural limits are and why.

        On the cruise ships which are close to optimal for the spread of an airborne virus we saw about 20% infection rates. That is likely the theoretical max for Covid19.

        In the real world the widest spread we have seen is iceland where just under 4% of people MIGHT have gotten it and 80-90% were asymptomatic.
        Which BTW means the actual fatality rate is the same or LOWER than the flu.

        It is possible there is something wrong with the iceland data.
        But if that is the case – we have not seen Covid19 spread to more than 0.3% of the population – but with a 10 times higher mortality rate.

        There are STILL large numbers of factors WE DO NOT KNOW.

        But the odds of this infecting high percentages of the population AND having a high mortality rate are increasing LOW.

        “You get exposed, most likely you will get it.”

        No Ron, we just plain do not know right now. But the odds are heavily that Covid19 is either much harder to get than we beleive OR much less lethal – or even both.

        BTW I do not think more than 30% of people in the US get the flu shot and world wide it is much lower.

        Yes those people with the flu shot form an impediment to the spread of the flu – but only in the west, and only if they guess right on the flu vaccine, and occasionally they do not.

        Regardless, some immunity which also provides some level of herd immunity comes from the flu shot most of the time.

        But the same is true of asymptomatic Covid19 targets.

        While they may or may not be able to spread Covid19 – for possibly 20 days,
        Ultimately they too become immune. Those who are asymptomatic become immune, those with mild cases become immune. Those who survive serious cases become immune.

        We do not know how long that immunity lasts. and we have had a tiny number of people who were reinfected, but it is highly likely that immunity lasts atleast many months.

        Immunity to smallpox lasts atleast 65 years. We beleive that immunity to the flu is similar.
        We have had flu’s that did not infect anyone over 50.

      • April 2, 2020 4:26 pm

        Dave, OK, 27% bad flu rate. Lets say that is true without the added contagion covid-19 seems to have. And the latest mortality rate published in Webmd is .0066 or .66%.

        So 320,000,000 population
        27%:get it is around 86,000,000
        Mortality of .0066 on 86,000,000 is 570,000

        So what is your acceptable number of deaths before you would say “enoung is enough”.

        Life to me is much more important than businesses making money or staying in business. If 1000 restaurants close in NYC, I find their death is less distressing than 1000 human lives being lost. Those 29-45 are the age group representing almost 50% of the cases and they mingle, catch it and pass it on the seniors who have the highest death rate.

        I understand your thinking about the importance of the economy. Its like the abortion fight. The rights of one group being opposed by the pro-life group. (And yes, where those that are not supporting life on one issue could be supporting life on the other. Doesnt make sense to me, but that is not our discussion right now.)

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 4:55 pm

        27% is the maximum we have seen from any virus.
        It is NOT the norm.

        Thus far in the absolutely optimal conditions of a cruise ship no one has seen more than a 20% infection rate, I beleive the current Cruise ship Zaandam has 2400 passengers and crew, 4 deaths – but only 2 from Covid19, and 45 infections. That is a sub 2% infection rate.

        If the Iceland data is correct that is a sub 4% infection rate with 80-90% of the infected showing no symptoms.

        Iceland has 1200 REPORTED infections and 4 deaths in a population of 365K.
        If the 4% infection rate is correct then Iceland actually has 14K cases – most of which are asymptomatic. And a fatality rate of 0.0003 – that is much lower than the flu.

        In the US a 4% infection rate would be 12.4M people and at a 0.0003 fatality rate that would be 4000 deaths. We have already exceeded that, So it is likely that something is wrong with the Iceand data, but the magnitude of the error would have to be incredible to get to 570K deaths in the US.

        BTW the 1918 Spanish Flu killed 650K people in the US. With a population of 104M,
        Worse the 1918 flu specifically targeted HEALTHY people.

        We can play numbers games forever. there are models that produced 7M deaths in the US.

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 5:05 pm

        You seem to have accepted my 27% limit – Why ?
        I am not trying to undermine my own argument. I am trying to point out how much we do not know.
        I think that the natural limit for Covid19 absent optimal conditions is more like 4% or more accurately it is probably 10% in cities 4% in suburbs and 1% in rural areas.

        But that is just a guess – based on what we are seeing worldwide.

        There are 58M people in Hubei – we all beleive the Chinese were lying. By how much ?

        Were there 2M people with Covid19 in Hubei alone ? that is 4%.

        Italy has a population of 60M Their lockdown though dramatic was way late. Do you think there are 2M people infected in italy rather than the 100K reported ?
        If so then the death rate is below 1% and italy has a very old population.

        We are now getting information that 2/3 of those who die would have died in 6 months regardless, In italy more than 50% of the dead had 3 very serious health problems.
        all but a few percent had atleast one life threatening health problem.

        Are you prepared to fork over the lives of 10’s of millions of people, to gain an extra 3-6 months of likely pain and suffering for a few thousand people ?

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 5:22 pm

        “What is the acceptable number of deaths ?”

        Wrong question. What is the required number of NET lives saved to justify shutting down the economy ? that is the question.

        Sweden has not locked down. They have 548 cases/million of population. The US has locked down – they have 750/million.

        Italy had the most draconian lockdown – they has 1900 cases/million
        South Korea did not lockdown 192/million
        Taiwan – no lockdown 14/million

        We do not have much evidence that lockdowns actually work.

        Your asking everyone to bet 10’s of millions of jobs against some unknown possibility that you will save lives.

        I would note that the models do not show lockdowns working unless they are 90%.
        Anything less prolongs this but does not change the number of infections.

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 5:28 pm

        Abortion is not a conflict of rights. Nor is this.

        There is no actual right to life, only the right not to have life taken by you by the unjustified use of force by another.

        That applies to abortion and to this. If you misstate what our actual rights are, then you will reach false conclusions.

        In both abortion and Covid19 you are confusing a right to freedom – to be free from being forced by another, with a right to have something.

        Liberty guarantees you little – not even life. It only guarantees that force will not be used to prevent you from attaining what you hope for. It does not assure you will get it.

        But arrangements with less freedom work out worse in nearly every way – including people dying.

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 5:32 pm

        As murders and rapes start increasing, as thefts increase, as suicides increase as drug overdoses increase, as alcohol related deaths increase, as domestic violence increases, as people lose their cars, their homes, …..

        are you still going to be telling me that the economy is less important than extending the life of terminally ill people a few months ?

      • John Say permalink
        April 3, 2020 2:55 am

        We have an enormous number of unknowns regarding Covid19.

        Though we are slowly zeroing in on PROBABLE values for those unknowns.

        But most importantly the odds are heavily against all unknowns resolving in the worst possible way. And that is what must occur for Covid19 to justify shutting down the economy.

        Italy has peaks and is headed down the curve slowly.

        Many other european nations have peaked.

        Globally we appear to have peaked or are close to it – the daily new cases have not risen much in 7 days.

        Disclaimer – the global data is the worst quality.

        The US is between 5 days and 2 weeks behind much of the world. We were more effective at keeping it out, and are therefore further behind the growth curve.

        But the rate of increase in daily cases in the US appears to have slowed – we are still not at the peak, but we MIGHT be close.

        20 US states have less than 1000 cases – most only a 100 or so.
        47 US states have less than 10,000 cases.

        NY has almost 50% of US cases,
        NY, NJ, and CA have significantly more than 50% of cases.

      • John Say permalink
        April 2, 2020 2:58 am


        I beleive with near absolute certainty that when we allow it to happen the economic recovery from this will be incredibly rapid.

        But every week this economy is in lockdown the losses are enormous.
        Predictions are for unemployment to increase by 6.5M next week – that is on top of the never even close to seen 3.5M last week and big business has just started to lay people off.

        In myriads of areas of the economy production has tanked.

        I do not know why it is so difficult for you to understand but The gold fairy could dump 20T of new gold into Fort Knox tomorow allowing (according to gold cranks) the US Government to spend many $T more without raising taxes – and pay of the national debt.

        And that would do absolutely nothing to mitigate the damage.

        Money is not wealth. Not even Gold. Adam Smith proved this conclusively 250 years ago, it should be trivial to grasp, and yet time and again people – even some very smart people are deluded.

        Our standard of living is based SOLELY on the value we PRODUCE.
        If we do not produce value – we will be poorer PERIOD.
        You can not make even a tiny dent in that with money.

        Your arguments about slippery slopes and socialism and willingness to pay more taxes next year are both wrong and irrelevant.

        Oddly I suspect this gargantuan stimulus bill will be less harmful that I would normally predict.
        Though I will bet hugely that the vast majority of it goes into the pockets of the politically connected, not those who most need it. That is always what happens.
        This time will be no different.

        But the fundimental problem is not the damage of the $2T “stimulus” – and it will be net negative, no stimulus spending has EVER been net positive, I would expect that it will reduce our future GDP by about 1.5% for a couple of years. That would track with prior data on government spending. No government has ever spent itself into economic growth.
        Japan tried something like this in the 90’s and subsequently – and lost a decade.
        Spending does not work.

        The fundimental reason it does not work should be absolutely obvious by the particular circumstances right now. You can not fill a whole in production with money.
        All money is a claim against what is produced – nothing more.
        Spain went from the worlds only super power in the 1400’s to a backwater, while England want from irrelevance to the worlds only superpower by the mid 1900’s.
        This despite the fact that Spain was pillaging the new world of unbeleivable amounts of gold.
        If you can not make up for deficits in production with gold, how do you expect to do so with paper ?

  6. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 12:39 am

    Absolutely the beneficiaries of this stimulus will be “some senators son”.

    Regardless, it is not possible for government to do this right.

    Every single person in this country has different needs and has been harmed by this in different ways. As has every business. There can be no effective one size fits all solution, and it is not possible for any government to construct a stimulus that comes close to the individual needs necescary to actually make things worse.

    If I would to predict – the stimulus made recovery harder – not easier.

    If you want an example of what government should do, look to Harding and Coolidge in 1920.
    A deep, but very short depression with an actual v shaped recovery.

  7. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 1:07 am

    You say there is something wrong with libertarian opposition to the stimulus.

    Can you cite an actual example where this nonsense worked ?

    Why should libertarians not oppose feel good stupidity ?

    Absolutely NO ONE opposes government doing something that actually works.
    But this does not work.

    There was no stimulus in 1920 – Harding and coolidge cut taxes, cut government spending and cut the debt – V shaped rapid recovery.

    Hoover and FDR tried just about everything in response to the 1929 crash – and the result – the longest depression by far in US history.

    Repeated bouts of Keynesian stimulus in the 60’s and 70’s gave us “stagflation” that destroyed Carters presidency.

    Did Reagan respond to the 1980 recession with stimulus ?
    Nope, Tax cuts and he produced the longest period of sustained growth in US history.

    How did Cash for Clunkers work out ?
    TARP ?
    ARRA ?

    The great recession – and the massive stimulus that followed produce the second longest and weakest recovery in US history.

    If you hate Trump – you should hope this stimulus works pretty much like all preceding ones.

    Money is the lubricant for the economy. IT IS NOT the economy itself.

    The problem with the economy right now is that we have deliberately SHUT IT DOWN.

    We are producing less. Absolutely no amount of money will cause the economy to produce more so long as people are forced to stay home.

    The only thing that dumping money into the economy will do know is raise prices.

    What is the definition of inflation ? More money chasing fewer goods ?

    This is not about some slippery slope to socialism. We see all arround us right now the evidence that free markets work and socialism does not.

    We are seeing toilet paper makers step up. God knows why we suddenly need more Toilet Paper – but who cares, they will make as much as we will buy. The only limit being how quickly the stores can restock. My daughter works at Target – she says the shelves are full of TP, Paper Towels, …. at 8am every morning, and they are all gone by noon.

    But eventually people will have all the TP etc, they can possibly need.

    We were told to be terrified because our masks were coming from China. But tens of millions of masks are being made in the US every week now.

    Ford GM and Dyson are making Ventalators. These are more complex, if will take a few weeks to ramp up production – but they will, and soon we will be drowning in Ventalators.

    Drug makers have DONATED enough HydroxyChloroquine to fully treat 50M people.

    That is every know actively infected person almost 100 times over.

    It is my understanding that lots of zythromax has been donate – with even more to come.

    Everywhere you turn people and businesses are trying to help.

    Some banks are suspending mortgage payments.

    Strippers are delivering food – and a private show.

    Very little of this has much to do with government

    You bitched about government and testing – multiple companies have Covid19 testing available – from home, or from your car.

    One takes 15 minutes – the other 2. And the only thing in the way of this has been government.

    And you say government is the white night charging to the rescue ? And you do this at the same time you note that this is unlikely to help those who need help ?

    So which is it Rick ? Is the Stimulus $2T down the tubes, or lubricating the already powerful and their sychophants ? Or is it our salvation ?

    Can we put our thinking cap on ? It is not sufficient that we DO SOMETHING,. ‘
    What we do must actually work.

    Whether the Government is the white knight riding to the rescue or not – depends on whether anything it does is effective. Not the size of what it does.

    If you come to the doctor with a blister on your toe – and he amputates your leg at the hip – he rscued you from the blister – so does that make him the White Knight ?

    • April 1, 2020 12:17 pm

      Dave, 1920’s there was one difference. Not only were taxes cut, gov’t spending was also cut.

      Just try that today. There is no way any politician is going to risk not being reelected by cutting spending.

      One only needs to look at the shit storm that eliminating the pandemic response team has had without anyone actually doing an in depth study as to that actions real impact on this pandemic.

      And once they do it, if it shows that had a significant impact, all hell will break loose in the news. If the study shows the work went on by excess staff at CDC or wherever that work was done and there was no impact. it will be on page 10, 1/2 a column at the most report in a paper or never reported on any T>V> news report.

      Times are very different than in the 20’s.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 4:50 pm

        History (as well as logic, reason, and economics) informs us of what does and does not work.

        If politics today precludes us from doing what works and drives us towards doing what will fail – then we need to fix our politics.

        Trump has accomplished an enormous amount as president – some of which I disagree with.
        Regardless, despite the constant attacks by the left and the media, despite an impotant congress, despite every possible effort to thwart him at everything and in every way despite his own constant tweeting and energy wasted in all this parrying he has accomplished more than Bush and Obama combined.

        It is useful to consider how he has done so, and I would note that is a pattern that exists inside of his business life.

        One major aspect of that is significantly restricting the number of advisors and decision makers.

        This particular – as well as many other attacks on Trump are that because he has reduced spending or the number of people in some area he has diminished the ability to address problems. On the whole the opposite is true.

        The free market is a constant cycle, the birth of small businesses, their growth often to enormous businesses followed by their death. I beleive the current lifespan of a fortune 500 company is 14 years.

        Businesses are born to solve problems. they grow because there are real economies of scale, and they die because the larger they get the more unmanageable, unwieldy and unresponsive they are. Psychometric studies have found that over 60% of the managers of a business NEGATIVELY impact that business. That most businesses could get rid of 60% of their management and they would function substantially better.

        More money often makes problems much worse and harder to solve.
        More people makes problems worse.

        In computing there is a Classic Computer Science Project Text that is more than 40 years old called “the Mythical Man Month” that analyzes software development, and how projects scale. Much of the book is an effort to work arround a software development problem discovered extremely early – that after a certain relatively low point adding more people to a project slows it down – often to the point of even going backwards.

        There have been some colosal software project failures over the years – two that come to my mind are the Philadelia Water project, and the Denver Airport baggage handling system.
        Both of these took decades, billions of dollars and failed. And the failures were from some of the largest and best companies in existance – IBM, Oracle. Yet each of these projects could have been done by a tiny fraction of the people in a couple of years.

        This is not limited to software. Lockheeds “Skunk Works” over 60 years delivered some of the most amazing aircraft of all time on time and usually under budget. The P38 was the very best fighter of any kind until very late in WW2. The F104 was one of the best fighters in the world for decades. The U2 was developed in 1955 14months – and variants are still flown today. The SR71 was developed in 18months, flew for 50 years, is the most advanced aircraft ever developed, and still holds nearly all aviation records. The F117 Stealth fighter was developed in less than 24 months.

        Core to the Skunk works was a small team of the best of the best, with the few good enough to be part of it having the power and autonomy to do their jobs as they saw fit.

  8. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 1:12 am

    You bitched about Trump for being over optomistic and then you try to sell FDR ?

    Please tell me how FDR helped with the great depression ?
    And while your at it – explain to me how Obama helped with the great recession ?

    And please get your own rhetorical house in order.

    Neither Obama nor FDR gave us anything but rhetoric. Each presided over one of the most protracted and painful recoveries in US history. On one hand you tell me that leaders must inspire us – give us hope – while Trashing Trump for doing exactly that, on the other you tell us that words alone are insufficient – after citing FDR and Obama.

  9. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 1:27 am

    You tell us that Trump’s assertion that drugs like Hydroxychloroquine might significantly improve things are poppycock, and you follow this by offering without the same disclaimers assertions that 3/4 of the population might get this.

    Let me try this AGAIN. I do not know where this will go. What I do know is that the odds of everything playing out in the worst way is very near NILL.

    There is no epidemic we have data on that has ever infected more than 27% of the population.

    Not a single country has had more than 0.35% of its population infected todate.
    Most of the world (including the US) is under 0.1%

    Italy – one of the worst hit – has plateaued. it is a bit early to judge but it looks like the planet may have plateaued. Regardless there are very strong indications we are at or near the peak. In 5 days I could be proved wrong, but that is where things look at the moment. ‘

    If that is true – this will not infect 0.5% of the population anywhere.

    Lets say I am wrong – by a factor of 10 ! – that still means that your 75% prediction would be off by a factor of 20 !

    We do not know enough to rule out the worst case completely.
    But the probability is near zero.

    If you are going to rage at Trump over optimism – where is the anger at the pessimism ?

  10. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 1:40 am

    Though I think I would express it differently I agree with your final note.

    Even if the final result is 2M covd19 cases world wide and the deaths are a fraction of those of the yearly flu. This will have scared us, changed us – hopefully for the better.

    It is my hope that several generations who have not had to deal with any real threat will gain some perspective.

    As I have said before – we live in the best country in the world at the best moment in time (except tomorow).

    We must never give up trying to make things better, but if we can not see how good they actually how we are more likely to make things worse.

    We have lots of problems to solve – we always will have more problems to solve.

    But we are unlikely to make things better if we suffer from the delusion that half the country is racist, homophobic, trans-phobic misogynist hatefule, hating haters.

    It is my hope that confronting something truly bad – if hopefully only at a distance, will give us a clearer understanding that our differences are not existential threats.

    Covid19 is a real existential threat – if only a small one.

    I would further question “the wisdom of the earth”.

    Gaia is giving us a lesson.

    Life is not fair. It is outside the power of humans to make it fair.

    We can strive for freedom, but we are only equal in death.

  11. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 2:38 am

    Yea, we can trust the FBI – things are different now, they have this new woods procedure that is being followed. NOT!

  12. John Say permalink
    April 1, 2020 3:05 am

    Since you insist on beleiving that the economy has nothing to do with Life and death – NBER found that a 1% increase in unemployment results in a 3.6% increase in opiod deaths.
    If the projected unemployment from this is correct – that is almost 30,000 additional opiod deaths. That is 7 times the current Covid19 deaths. And opiods are only one drug that is abused to death – there are many other drugs – and alcohol whose use will increase dramatically – and that will result in more deaths.
    Suicide rates increase as unemployment increases, violent crimes increase as unemployment increases,

    And those are just some of the Easy increases to find.
    And that does not include the vastly greater non-lethal damage done to people.

    We are all looking to accomplish the same thing – to keep as many people alive and as well off as possible.

    We are disagreeing on priorities – atleast partly because of the poor quality of the information we have. Potential policies that make sense with death rates in the 10’s of millions do not make sense with death rates or less than 10,000.

    And we do not know where this will end up. But the odds arefar more likely for 10,000 than 10,million

    • April 1, 2020 12:40 pm

      Dave: I can’t deal with 11 consecutive comments all at once. (Whew! I must have touched a nerve.) I’ll see if I can work my way through them later today.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 5:26 pm

        No special nerves.

        Your editorial covers alot of ground.

        There is alot that I agreed with – SOME of which I noted, But mostly if I agree. I do not need to say anything.

        One the rest – if I either strongly disagree or somewhat agree but wish to make a different point – I responded.

        Read/dont Respond/dont as you wish.

  13. Priscilla permalink
    April 1, 2020 10:53 am

    Rick, this is just what I needed to read today. As Winnie the Pooh said (one of my favorite quotes) ” Sometimes, when I’m going somewhere, and I wait, somewhere comes to me.”

    “But let’s hope this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has taught us Americans that life is too short – and too great a gift – to squander by holding a grudge. ”

    Ah, yes, Rick, these awful times have the potential for helping us to see the things that are really important and those that are not. Not sure that this potential is being realized, and, because of that, I have had some really desolate moments. But today is a beautiful sunny day, and hope springs eternal.

    A few days back , right after I had been tested, but before I knew that I had the virus, I became hyper-emotional over “man’s inhumanity to man,” and found myself crying at the drop of a hat, over the casual cruelty of our political discussions here, and the general lack of civility in American politics that has torn us apart from each other. I typed out a long, emotional response to a comment that was posted here, angry tears running down my face the whole time I typed.

    After spending 30 minutes typing the screed, I deleted the whole thing. Was this me? I thought (I am famously NOT a crier ), was it the effects of the fever, fatigue and fear that I was feeling over being one of the plague-stricken denizens of plague-stricken NY/NJ? I ended up leaving a snarky, angry response instead, and decided that I wouldn’t come back here until I was feeling more myself.

    “We’re all transients here, so let’s stop squabbling and start enjoying our stay as friendly neighbors on this endlessly diverting planet.”

    Ive often said that I like to discuss politics, because it interests me, and “squabbling,” per se, is not particularly harmful ~ squabbling, as in “Oh come on, you don’t really believe that, do you?” But, more and more frequently, “squabbling” has been more characterized by the “Eat sh*t and die!” arguments that have been put forth by politicians and the news media. And, yes, by us regular folks, as well.

    In this time of plague, and potential economic ruin, this second type of squabbling is what carries with it the most potential to strip us of our essential decency and rational thought.

    • Vermonta permalink
      April 1, 2020 11:51 am

      Priscilla, I am sorry to have triggered that and I hope you recover well and your family is spared any more covid repercussions.

      I have tried to be objective about Trump’s actions and separate them from his personality. I have had some sympathy for his plight on covid which I noted here.

      I have also developed a bag oftricks for not getting into it with dave and keeping my distancemost of the time.

      I am scared to death for my daughter because of her work and inevitable exposure under poor condition s to this disease. Do you understand?

      Trump on the global level and Dave here manage to hog bandwidth and smother every aspect of existence trump in the real world and Dave here.

      They are both poisonous personalities to many people. To you they are admirable and critisizing them for some reason seems much worse to you than their own words. Well, I never will get it.

      I can avoid tnm and Dave that is simple and up to me having some self discipline, but it’s hard to avoid life in the national culture and avoid trump.

      Anyhow the world is full of beautiful kind admirable people and I and everyone would do well to avoid the human fascination with poisonous people.

      Again I wish you a speedy recovery.

      • Priscilla permalink
        April 1, 2020 1:11 pm

        Apology accepted, Roby, and my apologies to you for biting your head off.

        I know the feeling ~ I worry nonstop about my son in NYC as well as my other son who has been volunteering as an EMT. I didn’t even worry about myself, because I thought I was being so careful! You know, I’m here in the New Brunswick area, which is not as bad as North Jersey, but it’s quickly getting there. Being in the Covid epicenter of the world is no fun, that’s for sure.

        I pray for your daughter’s good health as well as for your own. It’s an incredibly scary time.

        Personally, I blame the ChiComs 100% for this, since it seems pretty obvious that they have lied about it from the beginning, and are still lying now, but the blame game isn’t going to do us any good right now. And the poor Chinese people are suffering as well.

        Trump has not been perfect, but, in my estimation, he has risen to the occasion. On the other hand, that is clearly my opinion, and yours is very different. So, since we really don’t know how this ends yet, let’s be on the same side for a little while. ❤

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 5:44 pm

        I think Trump has made more mistakes than you – some serious.

        But I do not expect perfection – particularly not from government.
        Despite the mistakes, I think Trump has handled this better than
        and presidents in my lifetime have handled a crisis.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 1, 2020 1:55 pm

        No atheists in Foxholes! I’ll join you in praying for you and yours. Praying for each others families is a good way to overcome the political wounds.

        I am remembering the parents of Teddy Roosevelt, His father was a proud Yankee, his mother was a Southern Belle. The Civil War put them on different sides and they both saw events from the North and South points of view, respectively, but they did not take it out on each other.

        There ought to be one side here.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 7:00 pm


        I doubt that Rick, and I and Ron, and Priscilla would have any problem finding some common ground, or where we can not disagree – possibly brutally without getting personal.

        I bet I could even have a debate on the issues with Trump without his resorting to personal invectives.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 4:01 pm

        What is the purpose of any debate ?

        To establish facts ? Truth ? Right and Wrong ? to determine courses of action based on those ?

        Or is it to reach into your “bag of tricks” to deflect and avoid confronting difficult questions ?

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 4:18 pm

        What are the criteria for what is kind and what is poisonous ?

        once again you spray moral judgement with the certainty that you are correct, but without any willingness to offer much less defend the foundations for that judgment.

        This is precisely why we are so frequently in conflict. And it is why that conflict often becomes bitter.

        You constantly lob moral hand grenades – are you completely blind to the fact that pretty much every post you make is laced with moral judgments, while rejecting the very legitimacy of discussing the foundations for moral judgement.

        What is the value of anything you say – and particularly your moral pronouncements, if you have no principles forming the basis for what you say ?

        You apologized to Priscilla for “triggering her” – well what “triggered her” ?

        You actually argue that it is either outside your depth or interest, or evil itself to examine the basis for deciding what is right and what is wrong.

        Philosophy is the systematic study of foundational principles.
        Ideology is the study of those principles in action.

    • April 1, 2020 1:00 pm

      Priscilla: I’m devastated that you’ve come down with the virus; either I haven’t been paying attention on Facebook or this is the first you’ve mentioned it in public. You seem pretty fit and vigorous for a fellow boomer, so I trust that you’ll make a full and speedy recovery. I’ve prized your friendship ever since we reconnected for our 40th reunion.

      I’m glad my latest was just what the doctor ordered. You make a good point about the two types of squabbling. I agree that life wouldn’t be as much fun without the more playful squabbles — I have fond memories of the animated late-evening bull sessions in my dorm at Rutgers half a century ago.

      But this tribal animosity is something else entirely. I couldn’t believe the vicious response I got from one of our old classmates — a certain warmhearted but hotheaded blonde from Milltown — when I defended Ilhan Omar (of all people) for praising Trump. I’m still hoping that something good will come out of this pandemic once the partisans realize that we’re all in it together.

      Please get well soon!

      • Priscilla permalink
        April 1, 2020 1:21 pm

        Rick, I kept the news of my diagnosis off of Facebook, precisely to avoid the kind of political firefight that you describe from my friend from Milltown.

        Plus, I don’t want people worrying about me or thinking of me as a leper, so I figure I’ll “out” myself after my recovery.

        And I am recovering, from what seems to be a pretty moderate case, so that should be relatively soon. It’s a bit of a roller coaster, but today is a pretty good day ~ I don’t know if its the sunshine or just that I’m turning a corner, but I’ll take it!

        Stay well, my dear friend!

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 5:41 pm

        One of the fundimental differences – between us, and just generally, and one of the drivers of our partisanship, is

        We are not all in this together.

        We are all in this individually.

        We get to choose individually how to address this.
        We should be free with regard to ourselves were our impact on others is small.

        Absolutely most of us do come together – but even that is a choice.

        When you take away choice, you diminish us all.

        There are people gathering supplies and heading off to hunting and cabins or isolated vacation spots.

        For those who have that choice – there is nothing at all wrong with that.

        It is nto something that all of us can do. And that is part of the point.
        We do not all have the same choices, nor the same risks.

        We ranted about 20 somethings partying at Spring break.
        But aside from their being careful not to spread anything to grandparents,
        why do we care ? The fatality rate for 20 something’s is a tiny bit higher than the flu.
        We would arguably be better off if this burned through 20 somethings and left a large cohort of people atleast temporarily immune.

        Conversely we should be totally locking down senior care facilities.

        I can go on – but the point is that there is not one perfect shared community response that is appropriate for this. Each of us as individuals not only should be free to make our own choices – but we individually have completely different risks.

        Should we be voluntarily coming together where necescary – certainly.
        But the choices must be made individually

    • John Say permalink
      April 1, 2020 3:13 pm

      The reason that the left adopted Alinsky’s Rules of radicals – is that they work.
      The reason that Trump has adopted them – is that they work.
      The reason that our politic parties are increasingly bitterly divided – is that it works.

      All of these things work – because we let them.

      I think that Covid19 will ultimately prove to be little more than a bad flu season that we have radically overreacted to.

      But whether I am right or wrong about that – it has scared us deeply, and it is likely to have as profound an inpact as 9/11 or the sinking of the Titanic.

      In less profound ways it will change how we interact, the myriads of forms of communicating over the internet will become more important, more attention will be paid to being able to work from home. Many aspects of this will be a good thing. It will connect us back to our families more.

      The more important question is how will this impact our values.
      It is my hope that confronting a REAL threat will put all the faux threats we are so bitterly fighting over into perspective.

      Yes, we should deal with a wide assortment of issues that we face, but nature has just bitch slapped us and reminded us all how puny we are and that it could choose to wipe us all out in a minute. And that it does not care if we are moral, or racist, or sexist, or caring, or ….
      Life is fundimentally not fair and we can not make it so.

      • April 1, 2020 3:35 pm

        Dave “I think that Covid19 will ultimately prove to be little more than a bad flu season that we have radically overreacted to.”

        If this becomes a bad flu, its only because of the actions taken. Look at NYC right now with these drastic controls. Spread that out across America. What do you see. Right now there are a few hot spots only.

        My concerns. When this REAPPEARS in the fall,do we go back into isolation from Nov to April next year? FDA wont approve vaccine until at least June or July 2021. And will there be drugs to cure the elderly by fall. I doubt it.

        So what happens when NYC finds 50 cases?

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 7:05 pm

        I understand your concerns about this reappearing.

        But there is alot we do not know – and while there is reason to be wary there is no reason to be certain.

        If there are 10 possible factors each of which has a good, and bad outcome. the odds of all 10 coming out bad are near zero. Conversely the odds of there all coming out good and significantly better.

        The existance of life does not require everything to always produce the best outcome,
        But it does require than bad outcomes are overall much less common than good ones.

    • John Say permalink
      April 1, 2020 3:26 pm

      “You are wrong”
      “your ideas are idiotic”
      “You are stupid”
      “you are a liar”
      “You are racist”
      “You are a pig”
      “You are evil”

      Each of the above are things that are said constantly. Each has become deeply ingrained into our public discourse.

      Only the first two are a legitimate part of an argument and they are not argument.
      All but the first two are ad hominem.

      Ad hominem is illegitimate in argument, both because it adds nothing to the discussion and because it powerfully deflects discussion from the facts to the personal.

      We are powerfully drawn to respond to attacks on the person with counter attacks on the person and rational discussion ends.

      Each of the last 4 is an allegation about the morality of another person.
      Error regarding facts comes at the expense of our credibility
      Error regarding moral claims about another comes at the expense of our integrity.

      If you make a moral judgement of another person, you must not merely be right, you must prove you are right, and not to your own satisfaction but that of the vast majority.

      You bet your credibility.

  14. Vermonta permalink
    April 1, 2020 11:01 am

    Excellent piece Rick. Not a word I disagree with.

    Here in Vermont there are many examples of people being human, in the best way.

    I’ve realized (yet again) how deeply the political and ideological poison has penetrated my brain and have once again rebuilt my defences against partisans and ideologues.the common sense and common decency of most people is a much better thing to let into my life.

    • April 1, 2020 1:11 pm

      Thanks, Roby. One of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had in recent years was my Alaska cruise. My first impression of my fellow-passengers was “Looks like I’m in Trump country here.” I could tell from the accents that many (if not most) were from “flyover country” — and I was dreading the prospect of sitting down to dinner with them and making conversation.

      Well, it turned out I liked every single person I chatted with. We were just fellow Americans enjoying a common experience and responding to each other in the most neighborly way possible. I would hope that the pandemic has a similar effect — that it will finally bring out our common humanity and make us all good neighbors again. Glad you’ve already been experiencing those good vibes up in Vermont. Stay well!

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 1, 2020 1:33 pm

        The gigs my band used to play at service clubes, I mean American Legions, VVWs, etc. put me right in the middle of trump country, if I had any doubts the bumper stickers in the parking lot would have cured them. Very warm friendly people to play for and they loved their 60s rock and roll.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 6:47 pm

        Then why is nearly everything that you say a moral condemnation of those and others who are equally warm ?

        And if you are going to rain moral condemnation on others – can you atleast have the decency to have a foundation for that judgement that is more consequential than “feelings” ?

        I do to you exactly what you do to others. But I am prepared to, and have repeatedly justified my condemnation of your moral preening.

        You do it so constantly in everything that I do not think you are even aware of it.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 6:34 pm


        The bitter partisanship is confined almost entirely to the left.

        I do not mean to say that no one else is partisan, or holds strong political opinions,
        but that outside of the left the vast majority of Americans at the very least tolerate and often revel in discussing their differences.

        I can debate the bible with a fundimentalist christian. that debate might get heated, but it rarely if ever degenerates to ad hominem. But as you noted Rep. Omar can not ever remark that Trump ever did anything right without being brutally attacked. Often the left does not even know what orthodoxy and heresy are – but once determined – even the past needs rewritten. Recently, it was decided that Trump was “racist” for calling this the wuhan virus or china virus. I think that Trump reveled too much in torquing reporters when challenged on that. Regardless, once the decsion was made that Trump’s words were racist, the entire left instantly got on board. And those of us who have not locked out brains in a box had fun going back and finding the dozens of times those now attacking trump had called this the Wuhan Flu or China Virus.

        When I debate christian fundimentalists – they like Robby lace much of what they say with moral judgment – but unlike Robby they are fully prepared to confront the foundational principles that drive those moral conclusions. And it is often possible to make small progress with a chritian fundimentalist specifically because you can directly address the principles that underpin their judgements, and when THEIR principles conflict with some of their judgments and actions they are prepared to rethink their positions.

        That is absolutely never true of those on the left. It is nearly impossible to get anyone on the left to ever discuss actual foundational principles.

        There is an attack here at TNM on partisanship – fine, but aside from some (alot) of power games, partisan is little more than ideology in pratice, and you can criticise if the practice and the ideology are inconsistent – which they often are.
        Ideology is philosophy put into effect – it is driven by principles, and those principles and their underlying philosophy can be examined. And those principles and their underlying philosophy are the basis for right and wrong.

        We can not have a functioning society if right and wrong are arbitrary. We can attempt to correct by argument a normative concept of morality that we think is wrong. But society is still possible if there are some errors in our normative concept of right and wrong – if our laws are imperfect. It can not function without any laws at all. It can not function where your concept and my concept of right and wrong are radically different and yet claimed to be equal.

        Ideology is not a cancer. Bad ideology is a cancer.

        Fundamentalists are wrong – but they know what they beleive to be true, and they are prepared to defend core principles.
        Conservatives of various types are wrong about many things – but they generally know what they beleive to be true and they are prepared to defend core principles.

        The modern left does not know nor care what it beleives, and has no underlying principles.
        decisons about what is right and what is wrong are arbitrary, and change often with little notice. The left does not have any foundational principles to guide it with difficult questions.

        You and I might wrestle with questions regarding how to deal with transexuals and high school locker rooms, or sports, but we have principles to try to sort out the answers.

        Those on the left do not. Please give me a principled explanation why an MTF transexual trump’s feminists in the debate over sports participation ? Or bikini waxing ?

        I am not saying the left reaches the wrong answer. I am saying they have no foundation for reaching an answer.

        The lack of foundational moral principles is why you can not have a civil debate with those on the left. Absent principles to argue, debate MUST become fallacy – ad hominem or appeals to emotions.

        Finally I would note that this lack of underlying principles is not unique to the extreme left – with a few rare exceptions it permeats the entire left.

        On rare occasions I have been able to prod Robby into providing some of his principles.
        I do not think Robby is on the extreme left, at the same time when pushed, the principles he presents are not principles, they are values. Values rest on principles, sometimes our values conflict those conflicts though troubling are not fatal. – our principles should not.

        An example, I beleive Robby stated “not separating children from their parents” as a principle.

        Clearly that is a value not a principle.
        Do we incarcerate the children of murders with them ? Do we release murderers because we will not incarcerate their children ?
        “not separating children from their parents” is a value not a principle.
        As such it can not provide answers to our questions. Which should be obvious – because we may VALUE keeping parents and children together, but it is not a principle because it is not even close to absolute, and other factors are ALWAYS necescary to make actual decisions.

    • John Say permalink
      April 1, 2020 3:59 pm

      I am glad that you are able to see the good that is in the world as a result of this.

      With respect to partisanship and ideology – you paint them as inherently evil.

      Ideology and partisanship are constantly used as vehicles to power.
      A parties success means control of government, of jobs, of power.
      There is little you can do about that.

      But beneath the crass politics of power, ideology is inherently about what is right and what is wrong.

      Whether it is conservatism, progressivism, liberalism, socialism. communism, libertarianism, these are each assertions of the foundations of right and wrong.

      Ideological conflict does not end short of near universal agreement on the foundations of right and wrong.

      You personally CONSTANTLY make moral judgements. Even the post I am responding to has an underlying moral disparagement of ideology and partisanship.

      Am I wrong in observing that you see these as immoral ? And that you are clearly casting judgement on anyone who disagrees ?

      To be clear I am NOT challenging making moral judgments. I am pointing out that you do so all the time – so do I, though less so than you.

      But there is one consequential difference. I am prepared to back up my moral judgments. Right and wrong are not fungible, or whimsical for me – I have a foundation for determining what is right and wrong, and I can express those principles, and you and anyone else can examine them and critique them. You make moral judgments of others but are unwilling to produce much less defend the principles on which you make those determinations.
      You claim that philosophy does not interest you, and that ideology is inherently evil.
      That is equivalent to saying that right and wrong do not exist.

      Every ideology rests on some philosophy establishing principles that determine right and wrong.

      Peaceful human social interaction is not possible without some fundimental common understanding of right and wrong, and the use of force – Government to impose it.

      Put simply – it is childish and immature to make moral judgments without being able to defend the principles that are the foundation for those judgments.

      Right and wrong do not exist as arbitrary concepts. They are inherently philosophical, ideological and we judge philosophies and ideologies based on whether they work.

  15. April 1, 2020 12:58 pm

    And tribalism continues. Why in the hell should people in low tax states subsidize obscene spending in CA, NY, IL and other liberal states?

    • April 1, 2020 1:14 pm

      Because we’re all fellow Americans? I hope we can finally overcome the red state – blue state divide by the time this pandemic is over.

      • April 1, 2020 1:36 pm

        Rick, please. If California wants to spend and tax people out the waazoo, why should I, in N.C. pay higher federal taxes? I have no problem helping others. I do have problems helping others waste money. How about CA cuts their spending. When I lived in CA property taxes were high, most went to schools, schools in CA were close to best in USA. Now high taxes and not so good schools.

        Sorry, not tribalism. Its state issue for state to pay. This is not a federal. issue.

      • John Say permalink
        April 1, 2020 6:42 pm

        My hope is that face with something that atleast resembles an actual existential threat many of us will get some perspective on the truly miniscule scale of much of what is claimed to be an existential threat today.

        Russian Facebook adds are of no consequence compared to a virus that can kill you and you can do very little about.

        Faux claims to a wide assortment of rights seem unimportant when nature can deliver a pestulence that destroys your job and threatens your life.
        We live in the best moment of human existance – except for tomorow.

        Maybe after the dark clouds pass we will notice the rainbow and grasp how good things actually are and that is life is not a right, then healthcare and respect are not either.
        That some things must be earned.

    • John Say permalink
      April 1, 2020 5:30 pm

      The repeal of deductions for state and local taxes must stay.

      States must justify the cost of their government to their citizens.

      IF California can not convince its citizens that the benefits Government provides are worth the taxes paid then they must lower taxes and reduce services.
      Not demand bailouts from the rest of us.

      Mostly the Trump tax plan is good.

      It is closer to a flat tax, with less deductions – and one large standard deduction.

      It should be flatter still and have even less deductions.
      But it is still good progress.

      Your choices as to spending should be up to you.
      An d not driven by taxes.

  16. John Say permalink
    April 2, 2020 1:30 am
    • Jay permalink
      April 7, 2020 3:42 pm

      I drove past Walmart in Burbank yesterday.
      A dozen Customers were lined up outside, staggered apart with space between them.
      Three Walmart employees in face masks outside the entrance were regulating entry.
      One of them was spraying shopping cart handles with disinfectant.
      Another was offering handiwipes to those allowed inside – in small groups- matching the number of people exiting. The third was keeping the line from bunching.

      Will Churches take similar precautions while the curve is flattening?

      • John Say permalink
        April 7, 2020 4:00 pm

        “Will Churches take similar precautions while the curve is flattening?”

        Why do you ask incredibly stupid questions that you already know the answers to ?

        There are perhaps two or three lunatic fringe churches in the US that are behaving incredibly stupid regarding this.

        My Wife’s church has had a streaming service for shuttins for years. My Daughter runs it.
        They switched to exclusively streaming weeks before any government recomended.

        We have some minor issues in my country because we have significant amish and old order menonite. They are still meeting. They are ALMOST ignorant of Covid19. At the same time they are strongly socially isolated from “the english” – outsiders normally. So this mostly does not get into their communities. Or biggest problem is we have a very large retirement population, and a large portion of those are able and before this even traveled. When they pick this up it travels through them fairly fast, They are older so it hits harder. and most every retirement community has graduated levels of care until it reaches people who are in poor health and if it gets to them – most of them die from this.
        So we have a disproportionate number of older people and a disproportionate number of deaths.

        In fact I do not think we are seeing this outside of those communities.

      • John Say permalink
        April 7, 2020 4:07 pm

        There are about 100,000 churches in the US.

        I think that maybe TWO have made the news because they are still holding in person services on a large scale – an you fixate on that ?

        Most US churches have gone virtual.
        Some are not holding services.
        The vast majority of churches are quite small to begin with and family groups are distancing themselves during services.

        Most of the churches that still hold in-person services are rural where in most instaces this has not arrived, and in most instances may never arrive.

        In rural communities the average “social distancing” is in miles not meters.
        Covid19 is unlikely to burn through a community of 1000 even if 50 or so gather together at a church on Sunday

      • Jay permalink
        April 7, 2020 4:23 pm

        Huh? If churches have already adapted to the situation, why are you bitching?

      • John Say permalink
        April 7, 2020 8:31 pm

        “Huh? If churches have already adapted to the situation, why are you bitching?”

        You asked

        “Will Churches take similar precautions while the curve is flattening?”

        If you do not want an answer do not ask the question.
        If you do not think there is a problem, why ask the question ?

        You are just highlighting your own problem.

        We do get it. You do not actually care what the facts are.
        All you are looking for is the opportunity to malign those you disagree with.

        Just more TDS.

      • Jay permalink
        April 7, 2020 4:31 pm

        And you do agree churches located in dense population areas Should follow “social distancing” regulations until the virus has reached manageable levels. Correct?

        And do you want to lift regulations in rural areas for restaurants, bars, movie theaters?

      • John Say permalink
        April 7, 2020 10:15 pm

        “And you do agree churches located in dense population areas Should follow “social distancing” regulations until the virus has reached manageable levels. Correct?”

        To agree or disagree, you would have to ask a clear unconvoluted and spun question.

        I do not “agree” with most of the government regulation regarding this.

        Outside of quarantining those actually exposed, and protected people who are seriously at risk and incapable of making choices for themselves, Government has no legitimate role.

        But I “agree” that pastors of mega churches should not crowd thousands in for services.

        As to the specifics of what should be done where – each entity should resolve that on their own, and each individual should decide on their own whether they will engage with that entity based on their choices.

        Using churches resturaunts and theaters as an example.

        If a fascility in a rural community with no Covid19 chose not to do anything – I am OK with that.
        If a suburban fascility with only small numbers of cases decided to remain open but required unrelated patrons to seat themselves 2meters apart – that is reasonable to me.
        In an urban area with serious infections – I would expect those fascilities to shut down, deliver, or operate virtually.

        Further whether Rural Urban, or Suburban each of us should be free to decide for ourselves.

        If I go to a resturuant and I am not comfortable with the choices them have made – I can choose not to dine there.

        This is simple – leave us all free to make our own choices.

        I think that mega churches that gather large #’s in crowded spaces are stupid – probably even rurally. I am certainly not attending a Mega Church.

        But if that is what the Pastor chooses and that is what the parishoners choose – that is their business not mine. Though I would have zero problems with insurance companies refusing to insure the church and health insurance companies raising the deductable of people who recklessly expose themselves to high risks.

        With specific respect to regulations – I do not want to lift rural regulations.
        We should never have imposed ANY regulations. Or atleast not this broad shutdowns.

        I want to make something clear.
        I want people to have the greatest possible freedom so long as they do not harm others.

        That is why quarantining people who have been exposed is justifiable – they are a risk to others.

        But if people who do not know they were exposed wish to congregate in crowds with others who might also have been unknowingly exposed.

        Even if I think that is unwise and would not chose to do so myself, it is still their right.

        Finally, one size fits all nonsense does not work.

        Every church, every person, every resturaunt, every theater, is different.

        If the government worked out a 5000 page rule book – what are the odds that it would properly get the risks right for every instance ?
        What are the odds people would follow it?

        Common sense is NOT a basis for regulation.
        It is a basis for each of us to decide on our own how to act.

      • John Say permalink
        April 7, 2020 4:37 pm

        There are crazy pastors, and there are crazy former nurses.

        Wise people do not make widespread judgments based on a few crazies regardless of their tilt.

        We actually have a shortage of medical personel at the moment – because we have shutdown the medical community too. Outside of those dealing with critical patients Doctor’s offices and hospitals accross the country are empty. And medicine is not a practice that can be done virtually.

      • Jay permalink
        April 7, 2020 5:59 pm

        “We actually have a shortage of medical personel at the moment”

        Of emergency room medical personnel.

        In general, patients have cancelled other non-essential appointments. And doctors and nurses in those other disciplines are retraining to assist emergency room procedures.

        Also pharmacy flummoxes as medical prescriptions across the board have increased— hypochondriac syndrome? Getting meds at drug stores and clinics, etc. can be problematic. A friend just told us she had to wait in her car an hour and a half to get her Kaiser prescription ready for pick-up after ordering it by phone the night before.

      • John Say permalink
        April 7, 2020 10:35 pm

        “In general, patients have cancelled other non-essential appointments. And doctors and nurses in those other disciplines are retraining to assist emergency room procedures.”

        First an iCU is not an emergency room. This is entirely different from emergency room medicine.

        Next, you presume that because you imaging something could be true that it is.

        Some Doctors and Nurses are “retraining” – frankly little or no retraining is needed. If you graduated from nursing school or medical school you have more than the skills needed.

        And some doctors and nurses are moving from other areas to deal with Covid19.
        But mostly they are just un or under employed. In fact accross the country there are hospitals that are empty – because there are no doctors and nurses and because there is no Covid19 in those areas.

        While in places like NYC national guardmen are serving as nurses as needed.

        Reality is always messier that top down planning or imagining.

        “Also pharmacy flummoxes as medical prescriptions across the board have increased— hypochondriac syndrome? Getting meds at drug stores and clinics, etc. can be problematic. A friend just told us she had to wait in her car an hour and a half to get her Kaiser prescription ready for pick-up after ordering it by phone the night before.”

        My daughter had surgery just before the “lockdown” – litterally the last day in our state.

        She has had no trouble getting her meds.
        Again the problems you describe – are true some places – but not in most of the country.

        In the US so far 1 in 1000 people have been infected.
        There are still far fewer Covid19 cases this season than cases of the flu and fewer deaths than from the flu. It is highly unlikely that Covid19 will reach the number of cases that even a weak Flu Season produces. In fact it is likely to be atleast two orders of magnitude less.
        It is possible that Covid19 will kill as many people as a typical flu season. Though even that is questionable. It is highly unlikely that Covid19 will have the number of deaths of a bad flu season much less those of the Spanish Flu. It is probable there will be less deaths from Covid19 than from H1N1.

        It is probable that when looking at the date rate for 2020 in the US Covid19 will not alter it one iota from a normal year.

        About 8,000 people die every day in the US. Covid19 todate is 1.5 days of that.

      • April 7, 2020 6:19 pm

        I think most all of our churchs are online now. Might be a few 5-10 person gatherings, but none on the news like the idiot preacher in Louisiana. But on thing about stupidity, its cured by death!

  17. John Say permalink
    April 2, 2020 1:41 am

    Here are the experts for you

  18. John Say permalink
    April 2, 2020 1:58 am

    There isn’t actually any contradiction in the beliefs that (A) the virus is dangerous, (B) mass unemployment is dangerous, and (C) authoritarian government policies are dangerous. There needn’t be any cognitive dissonance holding all three at once; they’re not mutually exclusive.

  19. John Say permalink
    April 2, 2020 2:04 am

  20. John Say permalink
    April 2, 2020 2:11 am

    Serious Question:

    At this moment there are just over 900K reported case globally, and 210K cases in the US.

    How accurate do you beleive that is?

    Do you think the actual number of cases is double ? Tripple ? Quadruple the reported numbers ?

  21. April 2, 2020 2:24 am

    Whats happening in your state?

    Here in N.C. we have had a record number of individuals trying to file for unemployment. They can apply online or via telephone.

    So many losing jobs do jot have computer. State does not have staff to handle call volumn.

    State has hired call center to handle calls.

    Still the wait can be hours if you dont get cut off. Some calls drop off after 60 minutes and you have to reestablish time on the call que .

    Once you finally get the app completed, your employer has 10 days to respond giving readon for job loss.

    State then has 14 days to complete application and sends out first checks.

    That is 24 days from the day the application is completed and some just got throughbtoday after being terminated last Friday, so to the 24 days above, add another 5 days, so basically a month without the first check arriving.

    These people are already hitting the food banks, but they are running out of food since so many people are not shopping other than for themselves or friends.

    Governments seem to have excellent systems in place until you need them.

    • John Say permalink
      April 2, 2020 6:11 am

      I keep telling you. you are just trading one crisis for another.
      Last week 3.5M people applied for unemployment, that number was something like 6 times the prior record for one week, this week the number is supposed to be 6.5M

      I have no doubt state UC systems suck in good times. I have had to deal with them.
      But there is no possibility they can scale up by a factor of 10 overnight.

      You tell me we must lock things down – this is the consequence,
      and next week the layoffs from big businesses hit.

      We are looking at unemployment levels not seen since the great depression.

      While I expect a quick recovery WHEN we get passed this, it will take longer for employment to recover.

      At what point do you grasp that this is NOT an improvement.
      Everyone can not work from home.

  22. John Say permalink
    April 2, 2020 3:07 am

    I do not give a shit if these people are nazi’s and refuse to care for jews.

    They are caring for 65 people at a time that would not be cared for otherwise.
    If they are making a political statement – SO WHAT!

    If you are offended by the values of this particular group – you are free to refuse their care.

    Government may not discriminate, though there is no evidence this group will, I do not care.
    I do not care if they follow the policies and laws of NYC. I care if they save people’s lives.

  23. John Say permalink
    April 2, 2020 6:00 am

    The impact of this more than doubles as you climb down the economic ladder,
    But it is those at the top who are most anxious by far.

  24. April 2, 2020 6:47 pm

    Well no one should be surprised by this. The one thing you do not ever do in the military service is go out of the chain of command under any circumstances, Period! I knew when I saw him at the press conference his career was over.

    Just like MacArthur when Truman said “I fired him because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the president. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail.”
    In his 1956 memoirs, Truman wrote: “If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military. Policies are to be made by the elected political officials, not by generals or admirals.”

    There is a chain of command, you do not violate that. From a Seaman to an Admiral, everyone follows it.

    The other issue not being reported, but I bet it comes out in the future. You never provide any information to the public that releases operational readiness of any military asset. Once this became public, others not as friendly to us knew how this ship was compromised.

    • John Say permalink
      April 3, 2020 1:00 am

      There are lots of problems in the military. Quite often the “brass” is complete idiots.

      But you do not go outside the chain of command and embarrass the brass.

      I thought the same – this guys career is over.

      This guy is just like Col. Vindman, and eventually Vindman is in trouble too.
      And it has nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with breaking chain of command.

      If you are the capt. of a naval vessel – the navy is looking for leadership.

      Do not get your vessel infected. If you do – figure out how to deal with it.
      And make sure you can keep “fighting your ship”.

      You probably have a great deal of maneuvering room – so long as you do not embarrass your superiors.

      Conversely if you put the navy in a position were they even have to contemplate pulling a super carrier from ANYWHERE – you are FORKED.

      Aside from the carrier itself – this is a whole battle group – no carrier, no battlegroup. Period.

      This guy left the navy looking at the possibility of having to yank 1/12 of its capability.
      Actually more than that – because we do not have all 12 Carrier Battlegroups deployed concurrently.

    • John Say permalink
      April 3, 2020 1:12 am

      With respect to the House Armed Services committee – there is no “unique circumstances”.

      The captain of an aircraft carrier is expected to be able to fight his ship with half the crew dying of the Plague.

      I would further note – which is somewhat absent in this story, that on an aircraft carrier there is a Captain and an Admiral – always. The Admiral is NOT the commander of the Ship. He is the commander of the battlegroup. Crozier answers to that Admiral. And Crozier does not need email to talk with him. Whatever Crozier’s problems – he was either able to handle them himself or bring it to the admiral who was ON THE SHIP WITH HIM.

      We do not know what actually happened, but my guess is that he did, and did not like what he was told. And that is what triggered the email.

      No matter what Crozier went outside his chain of command.

      I would further note that an aircraft carrier is NOT like a city, or even a country.
      The captain is absolutely responsible for not just the safety of the crew but the readiness of the crew to do their job. If the flu sweeps through the ship effecting readiness – the Captian is responsible, if Covid19 gets on board – the captain is responsible.
      A navy captain is god on the ship, he is expected to prevent everything preventable, and solve anything not preventable, whether it is actually solveable or not.

  25. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    April 3, 2020 12:06 pm

    Priscilla, let us know how your recovery is going. Praying that it will be fast and that your family is doing well.

  26. April 3, 2020 12:37 pm

    Priscilla, How are you doing?!!!

  27. April 4, 2020 8:37 pm

    I set and watch how those that have no idea how hospitals conduct business with disgust. People reporting the news have no idea what the hell they are talking about.

    Ventilators. Cost between $5,000 to $50,000 for top of the line ICU vents.

    Hospitals have two category of expenses. Operating and capital expense.

    For most healthcare systems, senior management will meet for up to a week reviewing line item budgets for each department. Most of the time, any line item less than a specific amount will pass without question. The specific amount is based on the hospital size. Anythin over that amount, the department manager needs to give support for the expenditures or the vice president over that department needs to support specific expenses, or those expenses are cut! Right then and there. At the end of the budget meetings, the budget is set. Every expenditure is documented. ( Unlike government).

    Now for Cap Ex. Most healthcare systems have capital equipment committees. Senior management and doctors. Capital can be any one item equal to or over an amount like $5,000. Managers present their request, show how much revenue will be generated or how the item(s) support the budget for the coming year. If the item does not fit the ROI or mission of the health system, the money is not approved.

    I can tell you with 99.9% certainty that if a manager would have presented buying 100-300 vents or more at a cost of $5,000 to $50,000 each and told the Cap Ex committee those would be excess, never used except for an epidemic, they would have been rejected and once that manager left, discussions on what that person had been drinking would have taken place.

    Hospitals never buy medical equipment to store. For one thing, the technology today is outdated tomorrow.

    The reporters thinking excess vents are practical just show their ignorance. But they are making political points. Guess thats the important thing!

    • John Say permalink
      April 5, 2020 12:09 am

      Buying significant excess anything to deal with rare events is just never going to happen – and it should not.

      You say we should buy excess ventalators just in case ? I can think of millions of different hypothetical but possible disasters and needs we would have in the event of any of them.

      The nation would be filled with warehouses stockpiling goods we might need someday with the people impoversished – because they do not have what they do need today.

      • April 5, 2020 1:26 am

        No Dave, I did not say we should stock pile vents. I am addressing all the idiot reporters asking why there is a shortage!

        I am addressing their stupidity!

        I am addressing their asking the question in public instead of asking in private, someone with some background ” should we expect a stockpile of vents” and that one person can tell them no and why.

        But they ask so they think it makes Trump look bad and sometimes his team gives 5 minute answers to questions and never answer the question which does what they wanted.

      • John Say permalink
        April 5, 2020 2:25 am

        Just because I expand on a remark you have made does not mean I disagree.

  28. April 4, 2020 9:01 pm

    Interesting. And people say I’m an alarmist.

    California Governor Gavin Newsom spoke to members of the media Saturday to address the state’s ongoing response to the coronavirus.

    Newsom said he takes full responsibility for the state’s staggering testing backlog, and also said the number of people in the state’s intensive-care units rose 10.9 percent overnight, to 1,008.

    In addition, the governor stated that he does not expect normal NFL or college football games to be played in front of full stadiums in the state of California later in the year.

    “I’m not anticipating that happening in this state,” Newsom said. “We’ve all seen the headlines over the last couple days in Asia where they opening up certain businesses and now they’re starting to roll back those openings because they’re starting seeing some spread and there’s a boomerang. One has to be very cautious here, one has to be careful not to overpromise.”

    One has to wonder.when will normal return. Sometime in 2021?

    • John Say permalink
      April 5, 2020 12:15 am

      No i am not seeing these headlines – anywhere, if you have links provide them.
      JHU has been showing incredibly small numbers of new cases in China for over a month.

      It is entirely possible that information is wrong, but I have not seen evidence that is the case,
      and I have been looking hard for it.

      • April 5, 2020 1:34 am

        Here you go. Had to do another search and more popped up than before. Just searched ” gov newsom football games”

      • John Say permalink
        April 5, 2020 2:34 am

        Nothing in the article you linked provides evidence that places that have relaxed are now seeing more Covid19.

        I am trying to pay close attention to this.

        It is an important peice of information.

        i do not “know” the answer. But I do know that so far i see no data showing a resurgence.

      • April 5, 2020 11:24 am

        Well other than China, everyone still has significant numbers of new cases.There can be no recurrence if there has been no end.

        This site allows one to click on the country and drill down. Look at any country ‘s charts and the all look alike. Except for China. There is no way in hell that case chart is true!

        On another subject, it is going to be interesting after the Chinese have basically destroyed the worlds economies how much of the businesses they end up buying in bankruptcy fire sales.

      • John Say permalink
        April 5, 2020 2:32 pm

        Thank you for the link.
        I did not check every country, but I have not seen one where there was a flare after restrictions were relaxed.

        Whether that is the case or not is important to know. There have been several predictions that China or other countries that had gained control would lose it again.
        I have been watching that closely.

        there are problems because data from all over the world is of poor quality – even the US. It is near certain that there are atleast double the number of cases currently being reported.

        It is also likely that in many countries political factors destort reporting further and that is true even more so of China.

        But I do not see evidence of, nor do I think that china could hide a second wave.

      • John Say permalink
        April 5, 2020 2:43 pm

        While the left is making a huge political mistake trying to defend China and use it as another claim of racism against China.

        My daughter is chinese and is very sensitive to the fact that SOME people are displaying extraordinary racism towards chinese.

        But mostly we understand this is a failure of government. Xi has been disasterous in many ways. But most importantly he has retrenched China into greater oppression.

        Regardless, China is not coming out of this unscathed.

        You and I have constantly twiddled over buying things from China. Do you really think that americans are going to quickly return to past buying habits ?

        I do not want government involved in the economy or foreign trade.
        But I have no problems with consumers expressing their distrust of China.
        And it will not take much for the consequences for china to be bad.

        We have a poor picture of what is going on inside china. But there are strong clues that the Chinese are not happy with their government. I do not know exactly how long it will take – but I think the communist party rule of China is facing an inevitable if possibly protracted end.

        Before Covid19 there was strong evidence of mfg flight from china – at the very least businesses were looking for more production diversity. A plant in Thialand incase there were issues in China. or moving back to a more automated factor in the US to shorten supply chains.

        All that was before Covid19.

        Absolutely China is in the midst of a massive pr campaign right now.

        They are not stupid, they know their image is seriously tarnished – and that impacts the economy

        And that is how it is supposed to work/

      • April 5, 2020 3:31 pm

        Dave “Do you really think that americans are going to quickly return to past buying habits ?”

        if the only products in this country are Chinese, yes. You cant find a light bulb that is American made. They might be American companies, but produced in China. Most all antibiotics are Chinese and most OTC’s meds. And there are many other examples.

        And American companies are not going to go where quality might be higher, but so is cost. Going back to light bulbs, if the package says it will last 2000 hours and it only last 200, who is going to send it back for a refund?

      • John Say permalink
        April 5, 2020 7:40 pm

        “if the only products in this country are Chinese”

        We are seeing right now, the US gearing up to produce things that we previously bought in China or mostly in China. We are even fighting because things like Masks which were almost totally made in China 4 months ago are gearing up rapidly in the US and now europe and Canada are buying them from us.

        Business makes money by producing what people want.

        if people what light bulbs made in the US – that is what they will get.

        One of the key elements to the free market is the pricing system.

        It is one of the most important features. It is why socialism fails and capitalism is tremendously successful. But it is also one of the most controversial (as well as important) parts of free markets.

        Prices are how we signal what we want and how badly we want it.

        The price system is essentially the most perfect VOTING system ever concocted.

        When you take an item to a cash register and buy it, you are saying that THIS ITEM and ITS attributes I want enough to pay the price, and I chose it over all the other items that might be similar. I choose the red tie over the blue – because I want red more, or the made in the USA mask over the Chinese one, or the less expensive one over the more expensive one.

        Every producer of every product has created that product with the attributes they beleive will win they the most customers at the highest total profit.

        If a producer beleives that consumers will discount the value of made in china produces – the prices will reflect that.

        If there are no made in america products on the shelves it is because Consumers have decided that few of them will pay the price necescary for those goods.

      • John Say permalink
        April 5, 2020 7:42 pm

        If you are unhappy with the quality of product made in China – do not buy it.
        If enough people are as unhappy as you are production will move to somewhere you are happy with.

      • April 5, 2020 7:44 pm

        Dave “If you are unhappy with the quality of product made in China – do not buy it.”

        guess I will need to buy up some kerosene and kerosene lights if I follow that advice.

      • John Say permalink
        April 5, 2020 8:17 pm

        “guess I will need to buy up some kerosene and kerosene lights if I follow that advice.”

        So we are not seeing copious amounts of masks and other medicial supplies suddenly being made in the US – because americans do not trust that they will be able to get them from China where they were buying them in 2019 ?

        If you do not have an american choice for some product – it is because your and the rest of america’s past value of price was higher than that of origen.

        Production moved to china – because of out past values.
        If those values change – so will production – as it has.

      • April 5, 2020 9:53 pm

        Dave my last comment on this because your hard head will never let facts enter you dont want entered.

        Light bulb manufacturers all move to China. After a year or so, people know a 2000 hour bulb last 200. They look around and all are cheap chinese crap. No other choice. So to light their homes, they HAVE TO (Forced) buy Chinese lights. No choice!

        So just because American buy Chinese crap does not mean they would not buy sonething else if available.

        Is that so hard to understand?

      • John Say permalink
        April 5, 2020 11:56 pm

        “Light bulb manufacturers all move to China.”

        I provided links to several US lightbulb makers. If you want an bulb made in the US you can find one. That is not a requirment for my argument.

        You are correct that Most lightbulns are made in china – that would be because the overwhelming majority of us picked price over all the reasons that you beleive we should not have bought light bulbs from china.

        And that is exactly how the free market is supposed to work – producers produce products that meet OUR values. There are few US lightbulb makers at the moment because nearly everyone values price until this moment over “made in the USA”.

        At this moment – that is changing – because our values are changing. Maybe permanently maybe temporarily. i do not know, and do not care. If we as consumers decide to buy US n95 masks or respirators, or gloves, or lightbulbs. I am fine with that – even if we pay more, even if we actually get worse quality – so long as we decide freely.

        I am not fine with Trump, or the Feds or you, deciding that I MUST purchase in any specific way. So long as the market is free from government interferance – the market will reflect the ranked value of consumers. Many markets will be diverse – like breakfast cereal, where there are myriads of choices – one to near perfectly fit each persons values. Some will be less so and I might have to pay a price premium for the product that most closely reflects my personal values.

      • John Say permalink
        April 6, 2020 12:16 am

        I am sorry that you have had these horrible experiences with light bulbs not lasting 200 hours.

        I would agree that CFL’s in particular and LED’s to a lessor extent have not lived up to their hype – yet. They are not 20,000 hour or 100,000 hour bulbs, and they have too high a rate of defects.

        But have found by most objective measures they are still superior to older Incandescent bulbs.

        They may not last 100,000 hours, But they do last more than the 750-2000 hours that incandescents last. They have a higher failure rate than I would hope. But I still remember screwing in a new incandescent and getting a flash bulb rather than 2000hr light.

        At about the same frequency LED’s fail in 200-500 hours. Put simply no matter how imperfect Cheap LED’s from China or anywhere have proven – they are superior to Incandescents.

        The only serious problem I have with LED’s is that the cheap ones are not dimmable, and the ones that are dimable with a traditional dimmer do not dim nicely.
        But the smart bulbs solve that – and much more, and will ultimately prove as cheap as incandescents.

        Finally, for years I have been buying most of my lights from Costco. Recently I received an unsolicited check in the mail. It was my payment as part of the settlement of a class action lawsuit against an LED bulb maker whose bulbs Costco sold cheaply – because they rarely lasted the 20000 hours advertised. That LED Bulb maker was a US company, not a Chinese one. While I cashed the check, I was never truly unhappy with the bulbs. They were still a better value than the incandescents I used before.

        If your experience has been different – I am sorry. But in my experience most of the “cheap” chinese goods I have bought – have been a very good value. Sometimes they are not, and I do not buy them again. Sometimes either because I need something immediately, or because I am willing to pay more for some feature of a product I buy from the US or Germany or …

        Most of the time I pay little attention to where something is made, but I usually have a good idea that it will meet my needs and is a good value for the price.

      • John Say permalink
        April 6, 2020 12:27 am

        “So just because American buy Chinese crap does not mean they would not buy sonething else if available.

        Is that so hard to understand?”

        I provided you with several links to US made LED bulbs since that is what you are constantly carping about.

        You have always been able to buy them.

        In a prior post I noted that I have bought US made LED bulbs cheaply from Costco in the past. I did not try to do that. I did not try not to do that.

        Regardless, the internet exists, and I will bet I can find some company in the US making pretty much every commodity that you say is only made in China.

        Those companies exist – so clearly you are right, some people are buying from them.
        They do not dominate – so consumers must place a higher value in that “made in china crap” than you do.

        No one has taken your choice away from you.
        But you are seeking to take choices from others.

        If not backing down when the facts unequivocally support my argument is “hard headed” – I plead quilty. But I think Woodpeckers should avoid your head – because they are going to get a concussion. The american made products you want exist, if you look for them, and are willing to pay a premium for them – sometimes. Like breakfast cereal the free market provides almost everyone with a choice that reflects their values. As Bernie Sanders likes to bemoan – dozens of different deoderants, when we should all just use the same one.
        What the free market does not guarantee – is that YOUR preference, YOUR values will be reflected in the cheapest or most ubuiquitous product.

        And I find nothing wrong with that. Neither you nor I are entitled to require that the market personally cater to our values, over those of our neighbors.

      • John Say permalink
        April 5, 2020 8:20 pm

      • April 5, 2020 10:00 pm

        Ok i searched. Could not find. Link me to American MADE light bulbs.

      • John Say permalink
        April 5, 2020 8:28 pm

        Honestly ? in the internet era you really beleive I can not find american made choices for everything ?

        BTW there is even a class action lawsuit against an american LED bulb maker for false advertising – because there 20,000 hr bulbs only last a couple of thousand hours.

        I Thought you claimed that was a problem unique to chinese junk ?

        The fact is that pretty much All LED bulbs last much longer than CFL’s and Incandescent bulbs. Though few last as long as a very well made and expensive on could.

        Many LED bulbs fail out of the pack or shortly after – as did an even larger percentage of incandescents.

        Manufacturing a cheap low cost better product is difficult. With each generation LED bulbs get cheaper and better – regardless of where they are made. But even the first generation was better than incandescents – just not the 100,000 hour bulbs we were promised.

        Today i can buy a 2 pack of any color WiFi LED smart bulbs for about 40% more than a 2 pact of good incandescents 20 years ago.

      • April 5, 2020 10:05 pm

        I am not commenting on lite fixtures in that catalog! I bought Sylvania LEDS and I am probably one that complained. Clearly marked on the box was MADE IN CHINA! Sylvania is an AMERICAN company producing in CHINA!d


      • John Say permalink
        April 6, 2020 12:52 am

        Bulbs,com will specifically let you search for bulbs made in the USA.

        Sylvania LEDvance bulbs are made in the USA – not all Sylvania products.
        Some are made in KY and some in PA.

        The FTC – you seem to like regulators, takes a dim view of false advertising, and they have standards for what “fat free” “all natural” “organic” and “made in the USA” mean.

        My Wife’s Honda was made in the USA, but I doubt every part was.

        I buy products made in China that have parts in them that came from the US.

        To my knowledge not a single country in the world aside from the US has designed a successful CPU as an example. Iphones are “assembled” in China, but designed in the US.

        For most manufactured in China products, the portion of the purchase price that actually goes to China is small. A new iPhone costs about $1000, or that about $200 is the price of manufacture in China – the rest is the capital costs for the design, the rights, the transportation, the shipping, the marketing, the sales costs and US profits. Apple makes more in profit in the US than it pays for the manufacture of the product.

        BTW that is also one reason our trade imbalance is greatly in error.
        Because if an iphone is made in china for $200 and sold int he US for $1000 – then $1000 is added to our trade deficit as reported by government.

        BTW the most common failures in both CFL’s and LED’s are heat related circuit failures NOT LED failures. the LED’s are good for 100k hours.

        So if a CFL or LED bulb is “assembled” in the US and it fails prematurely, the problem is almost always a design or assembly issue. Driven primarily by cost.

        Converting 110V AC to the DC needed by an LED light in a reliable way is difficult.
        And gets much worse if you want it dimmable and low cost.
        The simplest LED light design for US AC would be to connect about 90 LED’s in series.
        This will not be dimable, and if the MTBF of each LED is about 100Khrs, the bulb will only last about 5K hours – because the whole bulb will fail if one LED fails.

        Dimmable bulbs using fewer LED’s give us a much higher MTBF based on the LED’s but the tradeoff is more complicated electronics that has a higher failure rate than the LED’s – atleast today.

        One of the big problems – also a problem for incandescent is surges and voltage and current spikes – particularly when you turn the bulb on.

        When an incandescent bulb is said to last 2000 hours – that is burning 24×7, It will last a small fraction of that if you turn it on and off constantly.

        This is also why low wattage incandescents last far longer than high wattage ones.
        They have thicker filaments put out less light and can handle higher surges and spikes.

        LED;s in DC lighting systems have incredibly long life. but we have not used DC for house power since Edison.

        Regardless, the light manufacturers get better at this all the time – whether they are Chinese or not. You can expect that bulbs you buy next year will be cheaper, better and last longer than today, no matter where they are produced.

  29. April 5, 2020 2:58 pm

    Well once again when the news gets out “Trump” will be the ne taking the blame. And its his watch. But I dont blame Trump, I blame total government incompetence!

    Mnuchin meets for days with Pelosi, McCarthy, Shumer and McConnell and they devise a small business bailout. Its simple, right? You go to your bank, apply for a loan and you get it that day or shortly after. WRONG!!!!!!!

    Most small business in America deal with small community banks. Most smalo community banks do not have a relationship through the SBA. Much of the SBA loans through banks are with the billionaire wall street banks.

    So what is happening in N.C. in small towns across the state? Business owners go to there banks and are being told go to B of A, etc. They go to B of and because they dont have a relationship with B of A, they are basically told to go directly to SBA because we don’t want your insignificant business.

    The SBA is not staffed nor ever was in its history to handle the volume of applications they are going to get hit with. And while they wait months for money, thousands of small businesses go bankrupt!

    Dont these legislators have any intelligence to pass workable legislation or are they just interested in being able to say we passed a hill, workable or not.

    • John Say permalink
      April 5, 2020 7:22 pm


      I have multiple small businesses, I have been running small busineses all my life.

      I can figure out how to change the way I do business to mitigate the harm that the economic impact of this does to my businesses, I can figure out how to alter my business practices to keep the people who I work for, work with or are my clients safe.

      I do not need, do not want and never have wanted government assistance with this.
      Covid19 was unexpected – but dealing with the ups and downs – even the unexpected ones is part of business.

      I have zero interest in this stimulus. I do not beleive it will work. I to do not beleive it can work. I do not beleive it is possible for govenrment to construct any aid program that provides assistance where it is needed without incurring sufficient additional cost to make it not worthwhile without massive amounts of corruption.

      I do not beleive that it is possible for government to provide ne assistance at those times when I might want assistance through no fault of my own, without far worse negative impacts elsewhere.

      Are you correct that there will be all kinds of examples of government failure regarding the implimentation of the stimulus – absolutely.

      I not only assume that will be so, I know it will be so, possibly more than I know my own names.

      The SBA should not exist. What small businesses need most from government is less government – less rules and regulations, less assistance to their larger competitors, Less, Less, Less.

      I would not go to the government for a loan unless I KNEW I was such a high risk that no one else was going to loan me the money. Put simply, I would not borrow from the government unless I was such a high risk that I would not lend to myself if that were possible.

      No these legislators can not pass workable legislation. Because that is a unicorn. It does not exist.

  30. John Say permalink
    April 6, 2020 10:47 am

    This article by Turley does a reasonable job of explaining the differences between the Federal governments power and authority in an epidemic and that of the states.

    There are very specific areas that are the presidents exclusive domain – restrictions on travel accross our borders, National security in the narrowest sense.

    In almost all other areas the primary authority and responsibility is with state and local government, and to the extent the federal government has any authority it is either to provide additional assistance or maybe to intervene where a state has failed.

    There is not and probably can not be a national quarantine. It is also unlikely that the president can broadly quarantine individual states – even if they appear to have failed. Public health is very nearly constitutionally the exclusive domain of the states.

    It is possible that the governor of Rhode Island can quarantine the state from New Yorkers – it is near certain the president can not.

    The primary responsibility for hospitals and supplies lies with the states, not the federal government.

    We listen to these daily briefings by Trump and all his advisors, But ultimately the President can not order a state to do anything, and has very limited authority to order the federal government to act within a state on a public health basis.

    Trump talks about ending the nationwide shutdown, but rhetoric aside he did not and can not order it and can not end it. This economic shutdown is essentially each state governor excercising their actual authority to act as the president has recomended.

    Governor’s are free to defy the president and not lockdown their states or to have different provisions than other states, and they are also free to continue their lockdowns regardless of what the president or his advisors might say.

    Even in the area of supplies – the president uniquely can invoke the Defense production act, though that power is more substantial as a threat than in action as there is ample evidence from history that the more control government attempts to excercise on production – whether in a short term emergency or a long term situation such as a war, the worse it makes the problem it is trying to cure. Trump can rant at GM and Ford to make more ventalators faster, but actually stepping in will assure less and slower. Beyond the Defense production act the states are individually responsible for resources, They federal government has merely backstop powers to provide additional support to a state that has failed.

    You or I can assert that the law should be different. but that is what it is.

  31. John Say permalink
    April 7, 2020 9:15 am

    So the claim that our drugs are all coming from China is “fake news”

  32. Priscilla permalink
    April 7, 2020 12:10 pm

    Hey guys ~ Typhoid Mary here!

    My doc says I’m likely recovered now from covid16, but need to wait 2 or 3 more days without a fever, before I can consider myself non-contagious.

    Anyway, I’ll be back in the fray, as soon as my energy is back! (This typing is a lot of stress on the fingers 😉 )

    • April 7, 2020 1:06 pm

      Good to hear! We can argue like cats and dogs, call each other names, but seems like we are concerned when something bad happens.

      Save your finger energy for later. We have months to debate coming up!

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      April 7, 2020 3:10 pm

      Great news, Priscilla! I don’t even think of entering the fray here beyond the second or third day after I post. You’re a brave soul!

      • April 7, 2020 6:16 pm

        Rick is like the animal keeper that throws the red meat bones to the lions and then watches the fight over the red meat provided.😁

    • John Say permalink
      April 7, 2020 3:49 pm


    • Jay permalink
      April 7, 2020 3:52 pm

      Glad to hear you’re ok…👍

  33. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    April 7, 2020 1:27 pm

    Very wonderful to hear you are recovering! I hope your family did not catch it either.

  34. Jay permalink
    April 7, 2020 3:57 pm

    Posting this in full as I received it…WSJ (unlike the NYT offing unlimited access for COVID-19 news) still fire-walled.

    “Was Dr. Strangelove an Epidemiologist?
    A doctor on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis has special permission to tell the truth.”

    By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
    April 3, 2020

    “There is no price too high to save a life,” says New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

    “We will not put a dollar figure on human life,” declares New York’s Andrew Cuomo.

    These statements would be insane if anyone considered them seriously. Or take an icon of high-status wisdom, Bill Gates, who calls for a 10-week national shutdown in the Washington Post. He does not offer any cost-benefit analysis but he knows his audience: “Through my work with the Gates Foundation, I’ve spoken with experts and leaders in Washington and across the country”—i.e., people like himself.

    The problem here is not an inability to think clearly. It’s an unwillingness to be seen thinking clearly.

    Let’s understand something: The point of cost-benefit analysis is not the one that launched a thousand op-eds, to trade human lives for mere dollars. Its purpose is to help us weigh different kinds of harm against each other so we can achieve our goals at the least possible cost.

    A voice of realism is UCLA’s Joseph A. Ladapo, perhaps because he’s a medical doctor who has been treating Covid-19 patients and has permission to be realistic. In USA Today, he writes that we missed any chance to corral a virus that will spare most of us but kill thousands. The shutdowns if prolonged will only make our situation worse. They will add mass unemployment, poverty and missed schooling to our problems.

    “The epidemiologic models I’ve seen indicate that the shutdowns and school closures will temporarily slow the virus’ spread, but when they’re lifted, we will essentially emerge right back where we started. And, by the way, no matter what, our hospitals will still be overwhelmed.”

    The alternative, contrary to much lazy thinking, is not the “let it rip” scenario. Politicians couldn’t mandate doing nothing if they wanted to. The American people by now are fully engaged: They will be wielding 300 million scalpels to cut the most high-risk interactions out of their lives, and likely more efficiently than any one-size cower-in-place order from the feds could achieve.

    This is not a libertarian antidote. The government has a role to play in making testing universally available, beefing up hospitals, boosting supplies of masks and gloves.

    Readers for weeks have asked if the virus came from a Wuhan weapons lab, an inquiry now raised in the Washington Post. My answer: A bioweapon is unlikely but bat viruses have been an interest of researchers since the SARS outbreak in 2003. A careless researcher is more likely to have been involved in the jump from bat to human than somebody who had no reason to be messing around with bats in the first place.

    There is much that we don’t know, and much that we know that probably is wrong, thanks to Chinese dissembling. Fresh reporting points to renewed shutdowns in certain Chinese cities and counties, unrecorded deaths, uncounted infections, a leaked CIA warning to the U.S. president that Beijing’s claims can’t be trusted.

    The World Health Organization may have much to answer for, its officials having rushed to lend credence to China’s boast of having quashed a flu-like disease when it was already loose in a population of 1.4 billion. “It’s long been thought that transmission of viruses that cause influenza-like illnesses can’t really be stopped,” says the respected medical site StatNews, implying that such “dogma” now can be discarded.

    This may be the miscalculation of all time, with high consequences for countries that have taken China as a model. Far from certain is whether cooping people up at home hasn’t just aided the virus to find its most vulnerable victims. Our nagging of young people may be exactly wrong according to immunologists who see only one endgame: mass exposure and mass immunity to reduce the virus to a recurrent nuisance.

    Our bodies are home to trillions more microbes than human cells. The purity of our essence may not be protectable.

    Donald Trump is mocked for invoking the most ancient of medical advice, “do no harm,” i.e., don’t let the cure be worse than the disease. He was right when he called himself a wartime president, and may have taken a turn for the worse when he decided the solution for him politically and personally is to start talking about saving lives without regard for the cost to the 71% of our workforce who can’t work from home.

    I keep thinking of Omar Bradley before D-Day warning his troops that pols back home were exaggerating potential casualties to ward off blowback on their own careers—tommyrot he called it. “Some of you won’t come back,” he told his men, “but it’ll be very few.” Many things are worth doing; many risks are worth taking, and many are worth avoiding. It would be great to have more clear thinking about which is which in our present crisis.


    • John Say permalink
      April 7, 2020 7:01 pm

      Interesting article.

      There is much in it – what do you agree with ? Disagree with ?

      Generally, I think it is good.

      Some nits – Yes, letting people work this out on their own is “the libertarian antidote”.
      Even the areas that Lapado claims government has some role in – is wishful thinking.

      Government can not act fast enough, efficiently or effectively.

      There is no system in existance that beats free markets at meeting peoples wants and needs. We have looked at everything – nothing works as well.

      We are already seeing that free markets have responded – myriads of items that are still in short supply only are so because of government regulations.

      Aparently you can tell people how to make a mask on facebook, but if you produce them en mass – you must have FDA approval – because they are a medical device.

      Aparently a private esearch lab has found 5 antibodies that the developed to fight SARS all work – WELL against Covid19, but they will not be available until September – because of the extensive testing that they must go through, and then they will only be available for medical staff and extremely ill patients. That despite the fact that this treatment is expected to be a CURE. You get a shot and 8-12 hours later the virus is gone.

      So why is testing going to take so long ?

      One of the problems is exactly the issue that the WSJ article addresses. The value of human life. The concept that you can not place a value on life is absolute idiocy. It should be obviously false to anyone. We all make life and death choices on occasion. We do not like to, but they are not avoidable. When resources are limited – who do we save first ?
      How heroic a measures do we take to save someone who is going to die one way or the other soon enough ? The idea that we do not place a value on human life is insanely stupid.
      Of course we do. It is a high value, but a value none the less. If you are uncomfortable expressing it in monetary terms – we still tend to favor the young over the old, those with greater chance of survival over those who do not. Those are value based choices.

      Beyond that there is this idiocy that there is something distinctly evil about monetary value.

      Money is a MEASURE of value. It is not actual value. It is the means of measuring our preferences – our values. The price of something is quite litterally the numerical reflection of our value of that thing.

      It would not matter if the value was expressed in Dollars or Euro’s or just magical comparison units. So long as a price of 200 meant we valued that item 10 times more than an item with a price of 20. It does not matter if the unit of measure is dollars, or seashells or bitcoin something that only exists as a matter of beleif.

      Rather than run from placing values on life we should run towards it. Because once we have such values, decisions are easier to make.

      Such as how much of a risk are we willing to take on some experimental Covid19 treatment ?

      There are 40 vaccines available RIGHT NOW, they are all in early stages of testing,

      If we took each vaccine and tested it on 10,000 people right now – in a month we would know which were safe and which were not, and which worked and which did not ?

      Perfectly – probably not.

      But that would involve testing on 400.000 people. And vaccines do not work on people who are sick so you have to test on healthy people. And if you test now on 400,000 people – some are going to be killed by the testing – really. It is near certain that atleast some of these proposed vaccines, even if they work will kill or injure some people.

      The Swine Flu vaccine left 400 people (out of several million) paralyzed. It also likely saved 10,000 lives in the US.

      400 paralyzed vs 10,000 lives – that is a value based choice, it is placing an actual value on human life.

      Right now we should entirely dispense with the FDA and regulations. We have centuries old and more effective means – that work in emergencies when regulation does not.
      They are called contracts and torts.

      As for volunteers. get the best informed consent you can get – becausw we do not really know what the risks are. We can pay them to be guinea pigs. We can offer them insurance – if the eperimental vaccine kills you – your heirs get money. If it harms you, you get some reasonable disability based on they harm.

      This type of accelerated testing WILL Kill people, and it WILL harm people. There is zero chance that 40 potential vaccines tried on 400,000 people will go perfectly.

      But it is near certain that we WILL find an acceptable vaccine, and we WILL do so much faster than by complying with the FDA, and we WILL on net save enormous numbers of lives.

      The approaches are different for treatments – testing an experimental drug on a sick person is much more acceptable than testing a vaccine on a healthy one.

      right now 2/3 of people with Covid19 on ventalators WILL DIE. Why are we not aggressively testing experimental treatments on people who are near certain to die otherwise.

      Many of these are people who were going to die one way or another – most Covid19 deaths are people who were in the last 6 months of their lives.

      Again we can not test experimental treatments on people without their permission.
      But who doubts that plenty of people would give their permission ?

      If I was teminally ill – NOT with Covid19, I would willingly allow doctors to try long odds treatments against pretty much ANYTHING on me. I would allow them to give me an experimental Covid19 vaccine and then expose me to Covid19 to see if it worked.

      Human life has a value, and it is not until we grasp that that we can start to make better choices than we get from FDA or government.

      We must respect – that as with breakfast cereal, automobiles and deodorant – the value of each human life is NOT the same. But that is not an impediment because free markets are VOLUNTARY.

  35. Jay permalink
    April 7, 2020 4:04 pm

    Not to worry … Trump promises to oversee the distribution of the money…

    ‘WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has removed the inspector general tapped to chair a special oversight board for the $2.2 trillion economic relief package on the coronavirus, the latest in a series of steps Trump has taken to confront government watchdogs tasked with oversight of the executive branch.”

    • Jay permalink
      April 7, 2020 4:20 pm

      All those who believe in their hearts and souls that Trump won’t have large sums of money transferred in ways that benefit Trump… raise your hands 👋

      • John Say permalink
        April 7, 2020 8:27 pm

        More idiocy. Did you actually watch the linked video ?

        The constitution does create checks and balances. Yet nowhere in the constitution is an inspector general ever mentioned.

        As a practical matter, neither Trump nor congress will be effective in oversite.
        Because they hav e designed something with enormous moral hazzard.
        It is already being “abused” – it can not possibly not be.

        I warned you repeatedly from the start than the beneficiaries of this would be the politically connected.

        Do you still doubt that ?

        Do you honestly beleive that it would make a difference whether Trump Or Obama was overseeing this ? Need i remind you of Solyandra – or the numerous other missuses of ARRA to benefit cronies ?

        Will Trump cronies benefit ? Probably.
        But is there the slightest doubt in the world that Hunter Biden, Devon Archer, … will be swilling at the trough one way or the other ?

        Purportedly this provides that no elected or appointed person in government or their immediate families can benefit – so there will be another layer of corruption between the Bidens and their ilk and this swill.

        Who here has the slightest doubt that this lard is going to the most connected – one way or another ?

        The solution is not an IG. We already know that most of them are pretty inept and political.

        The solution is for our political classes to NOT act stupid.

        We do not need money. We need government out of the way of the economy.
        And out of the way of our healthcare.

        There is not a problem Covid19 creates that can not be better addressed by individuals than by government.

    • John Say permalink
      April 7, 2020 8:17 pm

      I am absolutely for real oversite. Though the consistancy of quality in IG’s has been known to be dubious for a long as we have had IG’s.

      Regardless, if you wish to reform the IG system – be my guest.

      As to corruption in the $2.2T stimulus – I fully expect it will be rampant.

      It already is. Aparently mortgage processors are being overwhelmed with requests for mortgage forebearance. They are required to process these expedititiously, they are not paid to do so, and they are not allowed by law to inquire into whether there is a real basis for the request. Next, though this is being offered as a loan or loan forebearance, the expectation is that the loans will be forgiven.

      So we have a law that has created massive moral hazzard.

      No IG can fix this.

      And Congress – both Republicans and Democrats are lining up to do even more.

      Has Trump F’d up here ? Yup. McConnell, Schumer, Pelosi, … all too.
      Each party is fighting to see who can Fork Up the most.

      This is a shitty idea. Get government out of the way. Trust people.
      There will be a few idiots, like the mega church pastor, and teens at Spring Break.

      So what ?

      All that exposes is the moral hazzard created by your Forked up medical system.

      When you free people from the consequences and costs of their choices THEN they make bad choices.

  36. John Say permalink
    April 7, 2020 4:48 pm

    This is part of the problem with politics.

    Unions are a legitimate part of free markets. When employers do not respond to the needs of their workers they get unions, and that is appropriate. Conversely we know that unioized workplaces are less productive and highly vulnerable to competition.

    Regardless, Government should have no role in unionization aside from assuring that societal norms are followed – that neither employers nor unions use violence to acheive their goals.

    This gag rule is stupid and quite obviously unconstitutional.

    The law is not about neutrality, it is a typical modern leftist effort to silence whatever viewpoint they do not like.

    Absolutely unions should have the oportunity to inform their employees of the benefits of unions. But who in their right mind would trust the advocates of anything to be the only source of information for those making a choice ?

    Even here are TNM we here cries to Silence disfavored groups. We here “the Russians” The Russians – as if hundreds of thousands of americans votes were changed by bad russian social media advertisements.

    The quintessential argument for free speech in the past has been “who decides”.
    Today we know the answer – the left.

  37. John Say permalink
    April 7, 2020 4:56 pm

    There is significant evidence from actual use that Hydroxychloroquine is effective.

  38. John Say permalink
    April 7, 2020 5:09 pm

    How easy is mail in voter fraud ? Easy.

    • Jay permalink
      April 7, 2020 6:18 pm

      Doesn’t sound that successful – one out of three tries? A decade ago?

      If mail-in votes are allowed in significant number a much higher percent of phony votes than would be detected now with modern forensics. And to even try to accomplish significant voter fraud damage you’d need to set up significant operations in swing states.

      • John Say permalink
        April 7, 2020 10:54 pm

        “Doesn’t sound that successful – one out of three tries?”
        2 out of 3 – she filed 3 times – 2 fictitious names and once under her real name.
        We would expect the real name to get approved.
        Both fictitious names should have been on lists of names to be suspicious of.
        One was rejected the other not.
        In both cases she did not provide drivers license numbers of SS#’s – in other words she provided no verification of anything – not that she existed, not that she was alive not that she was a US citizen. Not that she was eligable to vote.

        “A decade ago?” and Hanah Arent is still on the voting roles and could have voted absentee in each of the last 10 elections.

        And nothing has changed in the past decade. Enforcement is no better, no laws have changed., This is as easy today as then.

        “If mail-in votes are allowed in significant number a much higher percent of phony votes than would be detected now with modern forensics. And to even try to accomplish significant voter fraud damage you’d need to set up significant operations in swing states.”

        In the 2000 election about 300 fraudulent votes in FL could have thrown the presidency either way.

        The Franken/Coleman election was decided by 2000 votes,

        In 2018 several dozens of house elections elections and about 1/3 of the senate elections were decided by 1% of the vote – in several cases elections were decided by a few hundred votes.

        While no one credible claims the Georgia Governors election was close enough to be altered by fraud, There were more than 1000 suspicious mail in ballots for a house seat won by 900 votes. In georgia it is illegal to handle the mail in or absentee ballot of someone else.

        In California the ballots that were probably illegal and fraudulent are LEGAL – and there were 2Million of them. It is well known that Mail In ballots altered the outcome of every single GOP loss in CA. It is well known that counting only the inperson votes in CA house elections – Republicans would not have lost any seats in CA.
        The odds of democrats flipping every single seat they won in mail in ballots without fraud are near zero.

        Further this article addresses just about the least common and hardest from of mail in voter fraud.

        The most common is getting REAL people to register, filling out their ballots FOR THEM, and mailing them in FOR them. That is incredibly common.

        In a few states – mostly republican states that take voter fraud seriously,
        a person must apply in person for an absentee ballot. there are special provisions for people who are actually unable to do so. But those provisions do not permit people representing one party or another to handle ballots.
        Typically those states serious about voter fraud make it illegal for anyone to assist another person in voting who is not closely related to that person.

        And even in those states there is plenty of documented voter fraud by mail in ballot every year.

        Every single state that has switched from in person voting to exclusively mail in voting has flipped from Red to Blue.

        We can argue about what specifically that means, but it means something.

    • Jay permalink
      April 7, 2020 9:20 pm

      Btw, Trump votes via absentee ballad.

      • April 7, 2020 10:03 pm

        His state sets voting rules.
        Read the constitution. States control the methods of voting, not the feds. He can not delay nor change election, only congress can delay it.

        So come Jan 20, 2021, he and Pence are gone. Constitutional succession kicks in. That is speaker of the house. But Pelosi is out also because her term ended Jan 20. So next is Chuck Grassley, senate pro tem. But 23 republicans term ended Jan 20, leaving the democrats in majority of a short seated senate. So when they come back on Jan 20, Pat Leahy would be president pro tem. but is he until governors pick replacements? And since all house members term ended Jan 20, governors would have to pick replacements until the rescheduled election. Many would pick the sitting reps, but what would happen in states where governors were out Jan 20th. States would be doing the same as feds for succession.

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 12:35 am

        I voted by Absentee Ballot in 2018. I was in New Orleans on election day.
        I had to go to the courthouse two weeks in advance. I had to present photo ID, I had to sign lots of documents, I got to fill out my ballot in private. I had to seal it in an envelope. I had to seal that envelope in another envelope – that process had to be witnessed, I and the witness had to sign the outside of the 2nd envelope. This is far more complex than in person voting – and slower. The double seal is so that no one but me sees my ballot, and so that I can certify that the contents of the envelope are my ballot, while at the same time maintaining the privacy of the actual ballot.

        That is NOT the process used by states with Mail In voting.

        It is also not the absentee process used by most states.

        Had CA and Georgia used rigorous standards like that – no one would have questioned the outcome of elections in CA and GA in 2018. And probably the results would have been different.

        It is not merely important that we prevent actual voter fraud – whether in person or by mail.
        It is possibly more important that we thwart the perception that fraud is possible.

        It does not matter whether that perception is based in fact – though it is.

        Bush’s early presidency was weakened by questions about the 2000 FL election.
        And that is how it should be.

        We do not want an outcome that voters are suspicious of.

        That goes for the 2016 election too.

        But the problem their is that the left beleives that the election was “influenced” by something that not only can not be prevented, but should not be, and that really did not happen.

        Assuring peoples confidence in elections is important. But when those we need to insure are essentially bat shit crazy and seeking to change the voting process in an impossible fashion.

        Stopping foreign nations from expressing an oppinion covertly or overtly regarding US elections is impossible
        And it can not even be attempted without violating the actual rights of americans.
        Further the position of the left runs dangerously close to any voter who voted differently from our desires is by definition influenced and their vote should not count

        That is not a solveable problem.

        While the lack of confidence that all the votes cast we cast by real people. reflecting their actual vote – that is within the realm of what we can do.

        We can not keep people from voting in ways we think are stupid or being “influenced” in ways we do not like, but we can make sure that however they vote – it is their vote, they only get one, and that it is not altered and counted.

  39. April 7, 2020 7:15 pm

    Jay, Trump has crossed my line of unacceptable decisions.

    When you have a carrier group captain basically announcing to the world that the only carrier group in the south Pacific is not fully operational, he gets fired for probably multiple different issues, the sailors go as far as they can short of rebellion and then Trump fires the person firing the daptain. Trump has now put the whole disciplinary procedures of the military in jeopardy.

    I have agreed with most everything he has done, but this one goes way over the line of acceptable.

    • Jay permalink
      April 7, 2020 9:18 pm

      Ron. I’m on my second glass of Costco Canadian Whiskey (only $18 a bottle!) and im not registering what you’re upset about? The firing of the ship’s commander or the guy who criticized him with the crew?

      • April 7, 2020 9:40 pm

        Ok, here is a three glass description!
        Ships captain ‘s action warrant removal
        Acting Sec of Navy fires captain for cause. (Everything good so far.)
        Public outcry over firing. Sailors do their “demonstration” in support of captain.(OK, still good)
        Trump fires secretary over firing of captain (Wrong!)

        So whats Trumps next move. Ordering the captain back to his old post?

        This just undermined the whole military chain of command.

      • Jay permalink
        April 7, 2020 11:10 pm

        Ron: “Ships captain ‘s action warrant removal”

        Which action(s)? Sending multiple copies of his email complaint?

        “Trump fires secretary over firing of captain (Wrong!)”

        Trump fired him? I thought Modly voluntarily offered his resignation? And if the ship’s captain warranted removal, wouldn’t Modly’s inappropriate behavior at the ship, publicly berating the captain and crew, warrant removal too?

        And the captain’s leaked email apparently accomplished it’s purpose. As of today nearly half of the crew has been taken off the ship, and the number COVID cases has risen from the 15 the captain cited, to 235 testing positive.

      • April 7, 2020 11:41 pm

        I already commented when he was first fired.

        He went out of the chain of command.

        Enlisted get courts marshaled

        Ship captains get fired.

        Been that way since this was just a fledgling country

      • John Say permalink
        April 7, 2020 11:56 pm

        Captains get court martialed too.
        I doubt that is in Croziers future.

        But his carreer is over.

        Super Carrier captains go on to be admirals.
        The next rank above Captian is Rear Admiral.
        The Roosevelt it NOT a supply ship. It is not a Frigate.

        Crozier is an actual Captian – meaning that he is Both the captain of a ship, and a captain in the navy.

        The ranking officer in lessor ships is not usually an actual navy captian. though the ranking officer in a ship is always called captain – even if they are an ensign.

      • John Say permalink
        April 7, 2020 11:50 pm

        “Which action(s)? Sending multiple copies of his email complaint?”
        Yes, that is sufficient.

        His job is to solve the problem not to risk drawing public attention, and to risk that attention diminishing the readiness of his ship

        “Trump fired him? I thought Modly voluntarily offered his resignation? And if the ship’s captain warranted removal, wouldn’t Modly’s inappropriate behavior at the ship, publicly berating the captain and crew, warrant removal too?”

        We agree.

        “And the captain’s leaked email apparently accomplished it’s purpose. As of today nearly half of the crew has been taken off the ship, and the number COVID cases has risen from the 15 the captain cited, to 235 testing positive.”

        It did, but that purpose was at odds with his duty.
        3000 people were removed from the Roosevelt, a very serious disruption of the navy that will have broad impacts on readiness elsewhere.
        The replacements came from somewhere. They are not available for the task they were performing at the time. It is likely they are from the crews or reserves for other carriers.
        There is not alot of superfluous personel in the navy.
        It is likely that every crew in every supercarrier throughout the navy will have small negative impacts on its readiness for months as a consequence.

        And that is merely one problem. As Modly noted when firing Crozier – the number of people he emailed – about a matter that really was his personal responsibility on the ship, virtually assured it would be made public.

        Public means more than that CNN knows about it.
        It means China knows about it.
        It means that China would inevitiably find out that A US SuperCarrier was vulnerable, and might take that moment to exploit that vulnerability.
        That COULD be an attack. It also could just result in Chinese efforts to bluff or threaten to push arround a US battle group to see if they could trigger an embarrassing failure.

        The state of a Super Carrier is supposed to be always ready. If it is not, no one outside the navy is supposed to EVER know. Because that knowledge is a serious threat to the US national security.

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 12:08 am

        I beleive Trump has already indicated support for Crozier’s firing – as has Chairman JCS.

        Modly resigned because of the negative response to remarks he made to the crew when he flew to the Roosevelt.

        I think his remarks were accurate, but better left unsaid.

        At the same time the crew of the Roosevelt has stained themselves forever.
        The entirety fo the current navy will remember the roosevelt Crew as being pansys that could not do their job under a bit of adversity.

        This is a big deal. It is a reputation that will stick with the current crew and poison that of future crew. The navy is NOT particularly forgiving. And I do not mean the brass. Naval crews are highly competitive – A ships crew may remain close through retirement into old age.

        The Navy a few years ago took the mothballed super Carrier USS America and used her as a target ship to determine the strengths and weaknesses of Super Carriers so that they could make the Ford class carriers even more durable.

        It took 4 weeks to sink an undefended super carrier. Nose every antiship weapon in the US arsenal was used. No US Carrier in WWII was hit anywhere close to as hard or with as much ordinance.

        Still the former crew vigorously protested. This was their ship. That ship was part of their personal identity.

        The Roosevelt is likely to be remembered by other crews for a long time as the pansy’s who could not deal with a virus.

        I doubt Croziers crew are going to be so supportive of him in a couple of years after they have been the butt of jokes and derision throughout the navy.

        Everyone should remember the navy is NOT the same is private citizenry.

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 12:14 am

        Crozier undermined the military. Not Trump.

        If you want me to have sympathy for the position he was in – I do.
        He was in a tough spot – and apparently not one of his making.

        But you get Captians stripes in the US navy and command of a Super Carrier because you are expected to handle tough spots what would destory most people with ease.

        I suspect Capt. Crozier is an incredible leader. A great person. And has a bright future – but not in the navy.

        But that is NOT enough to be captain of a super carrier. Dealing with a covid19 outbreak without effecting the readiness of your ship and without showing any public sign of a problem – that is the requirements for a captain of a super carrier.

        BTW I would not that Sec. Modly – even though he outranks Crozier is NOT subject to the same high standards. He is a civilian appointee. The standards of conduct and leadership he is subject to are NOT the same.

    • John Say permalink
      April 7, 2020 11:22 pm

      Ron, the Navy Sec., Acted independently.
      He did not contact Trump or the whitehouse.
      He also acted properly.

      I could care less whether Crozier was “popular” with his crew or they opposed this.
      I would suggest watching the Caine mutiny again – espeicially the very end where the attorney defending the crew in court rakes them over the coals essentially telling them they are lucky – because he would have convicted them all.

      Crozier commanded a supercarrier. Not some supply ship.
      There are only 13 of those in the world.
      Typically only half of them are deployed at a time.

      Crozier does not appear to have been responsible for the decision that brought Covid19 onto his ship. But he was responsible for containing it, and for maintaining the state of readiness of his ship NO MATTER WHAT.
      The Navy Sec who fired him has subsequently resigned because of his remarks to the crew. Those remarks were tone deaf and innappropriate. But they were correct.

      The Captian and his crew are expected to do their duty – even if a hypersonic missle is headed at them. They are expected to do their duty even if the ship is hit by a hypersonic missle.

      It was Croziers job to contain the outbreak – and a warship is NOT a “free country”.
      Sailors have very limited rights – that is how the military works.

      Failing to contain the outbreak, it was Croziers job to in one way or another maintian the readiness of the ship.

      Instead this country has had a carrier battle group unexpectedly removed from service.
      The navy has had to remove 3000 of the crew – of whom only 155 were infected,
      and replace those with people who were not expecting to be deployed.

      This has negatively impacted the US’s readiness accross the fleet.

      And it was Croziers job to prevent that. Captians are responsible for everything on a war ship. They are also responsible for dealing with anything that might happen.

      Now was Crozier an “ordinary” Captian. He was not merely a naval acadamy graduate but one of a tiny number of naval academy graduates that rises to captain a super carrier.
      That does not occur unless you have demonstrated incredible leadership and ability to deal with problems, even crisis at more junior levels. Crozier was supposed to be the best of the best. Had he completed his tour as Captain of a Super Carrier he would have been on the fast track to being an admiral. He was in rarified air. This is not some bosuns mate.

      These are the very very few people we demand the pinnacle of leadership.

      If the Roosevelt was sent to the South China Sea or to the Taiwan Straights – both dangerous places to send Super Carriers – he would have been expected to deal with whatever the Chinese threw at him. If the Chinese has attacked in force he would have been expected to fight his ship. If they damaged it – he would have been potentially accountable. Even if Roosevelt was damaged through no fault of Croziers – he would have been expected not merely to save the ship but to continue to fight it.
      If the Flu was running though his ship – he would still be expected to fight it.
      If Ebola was running through his ship – he still would be expected to fight the ship.

      Roosevelt is not merely a warship it is one of the most important warships in the US navy.

      The chairmen JCS was asked about this, while he defered on questions of details – specifics of personal matters in the navy are not his domain, he observed that based on what he understood the actions of the navy were appropriate. And Keen was correct.

      This is NOT a Trump thing. There is no indication that Trump had anything to do with it.
      Though he certainly had the absolute right to fire Crozier under the circumstances.

      The Roosevelt is not a Cruise Ship. It is not even a navy supply ship – and a navy supply ship captain would have been canned under similar circumstances.

      I would further note that if the captain of a super carrier is incredibly popular with his crew – that alone indicates a problem. It is not a captians job to be popular. His primary duty is not to the crew, it is to the country, it is to carry out orders. It is to maintain his ship in the best possible state to carry out any possible orders. It is expected that he will do so – with sick crew. Even if he himself is sick.

      The Roosevelt is an $8B weapon. Not a pleasure yatch.

    • John Say permalink
      April 7, 2020 11:27 pm

      It is my understanding that Trump did not Fire the navy Sec. that Sacked Crozier.

      That Navy Sec. Flew to the Roosevelt and made public remarks to the entire crew that were tone deaf (if otherwise accurate). After the media took him to task, he offered his resignation without prompting, and told his staff that he expected it to be accepted – which it was.

      Essentially he held himself to the same standards he held Crozier to.
      It was Croziers job to maintain the readiness of his ship – Crozier failed.
      It was the Navy Sec. responsibility to protect the immage of the navy and the administration.
      He failed and fell on his sword – he behaved more honorably than Crozier.

      Trump had little or nothing to do with this

      • April 7, 2020 11:42 pm

        OK I was wrong.

      • Jay permalink
        April 8, 2020 9:52 am

        “ he offered his resignation without prompting“

        Wrong once again…

        Numerous former high ranking navy officials began speaking out against his behavior, both his intemperate remarks on the ship, and his abrupt removal of Crozier before UNIFORMED navel officers conducted a review of his actions. AND did Modly even have authority to remove Crozier from command of the ship? Appointed SECNAVs do not have operational command authority over Naval forces.

        AND Defense Secretary Mark Esper had chastised Modly, telling him he had to publicly apologize to the sailors for his remarks- seeing the writing on the wall Modly chose to apologize AND resign.

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 1:40 pm

        You keep providing unsourced assertions.

        You do not seem to grasp that the frequency with which you have been wrong or worse made false accusations in the past means that you are not trusted.

        Regardless Modly spoke to this personally.

        On the issue you fixate on the most he explicitly stated that he had no communications with the whitehouse at all on the issue.

        With respect to the rest of your assertions – they are either false or irrelevant.

        Gen Keene JCS supported the decision to remove Crozier.

        Further the decision was inevitable and Crozier should have known that and so should you.

        It was likely even if the story had NOT gone public. I have stressed over and over that Crozier was the Captain of one of the most important ship in the US navy.

        As a consequence of his actions or inactions that ship’s readiness was significantly impaired.
        Their is no way that Crozier survives that.

        This is the US Navy – no one gives a shit what his excuse is.

        You should actually read the Comments Modly made to the crew.
        You are correct they were “intemperate” – but they were accurate.

        The captain and Crew of the Roosevelt are expected to be able to “fight the ship” even after being hit by a hypersonic cruise missle. The Roosevelt is NOT the borough or sleepy hollow.
        It is one of the most critical warships in the US Navy. it is also the cornerstone for a battle group.

        Crozier received command of the Roosevelt as the next step before becoming a rear admiral.
        Military advancement is incredibly darwinian – you thrive in impossibly difficult circumstances or you are out.

        The only think Modley did wrong was make a public spectacle of saying what was true but need not have been publicly stated.

        Crozier was fired – the message was delivered.

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 1:59 pm

        Did Modly have the authority ?

        Are you nuts ?

        You are confusing YOUR wishes, and possibly traditions for actual authority.

        The President has the authority to dismiss anyone in the military.

        Truman dismissed MacAurthur.
        The Civilian control of the military is US dogma, it is in the constitution.

        You and the military might prefer that the Sec Navy stay out of “operational matters” – though this was NOT as much an operational matter as it was a national security matter.

        Do you understand that making public the fact that a Super Carrier is potentially unable to do its job – especially one in the pacific is an invitation for aggression ?

        China could have taken this as an opportunity to threaten Tiawan, or make agressive moves in the South China Sea – and even if these did not result in conflict, thwarting them would significantly stress the navy without the full utilization of the Roosevelt.

        Had Crozier not emailed half the navy pretty much assuring this would go public,
        even if the Roosevelt’s readiness was negatively impacted – China would not know that.

        And if you doubt that readiness was impacted, 3000 sailors were removed from Roosevelt and replaced. Do you really think that the Navy has an extra super carrier crew lying arround fiddling their thumbs ?

        I have a close friend who was a Navy Chief on the GW. An action like this percolates through the entire navy. Leaves have to be cancled. Families are disrupted. There is a domino effect through the navy.

        You really do not seem to understand how big a deal Crozier’s failure was.

        You also do not seem to understand that if you are one of 13 captain’s of US Navy Super Carriers, with the expectation of being a rear admiral next, no one is interested in your whining that something is “not my fault”.

        Your first duty is to assure the SHIP is operational at all times. Like it or not the crew is secondary. This is what they sign up for when you join the military. Sailors are not their to protect their own safety. They protect that of the entire nation. If you are not up to the fact that assuring the readiness of the warship to do its job is more important than your personal health – do not join the navy.

      • Jay permalink
        April 8, 2020 5:13 pm

        You’re right, I was wrong, the Secretary of the Navy may—
        “assign, detail, and prescribe the duties of members of the Navy and Marine Corps and civilian personnel of the Department of the Navy.”

        However, in practice, he doesn’t directly reassign uniformed officers, allowing other uniformed officers in the chain of command to determine the process. 90% of his responsibilities in peacetime are related to obtaining supplies and equipment, the construction maintenance and repair of buildings and structures, and military equipment, and other budget matters. So what decided him to jump so hard on Crozier?

        In reflection, it seems to me both Crozier and Modly are decent competent patriotic men who have the nation’s interest at heart. Both apparently were good at their jobs; now both are past tense servants of the nation. This is Trump Miasma at work. Like COVID, TM infects those forced to inhale that malevolent air. Those working in any capacity in his administration need to practice conscientious mental social distancing from him. If Hillary was elected, we wouldn’t have the same level of discord permeating the country. And we certainly won’t have it when Biden is elected…

        That’s looking better now, with Bernard dropping out; Real Clear Politics has Biden holding an average 6-point lead over Slow Donnie – when the Bernie backers stop sulking that lead should hit double digits.

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 7:06 pm

        Practice and authority are not the same.
        It is not normal for the Sec Navy to dismiss a Capitain.
        But it is in his power to do so.
        This should have been handled by the CNO – but it is pretty clear he was not going to do so.
        Modly did not want a repeat of the Navy Seal mess, so he acted.

        Modly’s actions were proper up to the point he flew to the Roosevelt and admonished the crew. In doing so he made very nearly the same mistake that Crozier did.
        He was right to resign.

        This is not because what he said was not correct. What Crozier emailed was also correct.
        It is because he should not have said it.
        Further it was honestly a mistake on his part to fly out to the Roosevelt period.

        Dismissing Crozier because the brass was not acting was necescary.
        Personally involving himself further was NOT.
        He was not required to allow the brass to clean up the mess, but he should have allowed them to.

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 7:10 pm

        You always find a way to blame Trump.

        You are correct Crozier and Modly both appear to be decent, honest, ….

        But Crozier mad a mistake in a profession where mistakes are not allowed.
        You may not like that – but that is the terms and conditions of being a navy captain.

        Do we allow the captains of ssbn’s to make a mistake ?

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 12:37 am

        If Clinton was elected the nation would be differently divided, the issues would be different the mistakes would be different.

        But we would still be divided.

        Further for all your ranting accusations and speculation about Trump – We KNOW about Clinton.

        We will remain divided so long as those on either party think that they can use government force to advance an agenda. I have consistently opposed that regardless of who is doing it.
        Where are you ?

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 12:44 am

        Listen to Democrats. Absolutely they are happy Bernie is gone.
        But they KNOW that Trump has to fork up Covid19 horribly or they are in deep shit.

        This is not Republicans saying this. Even Joe Rogan thinks Biden is daft and is toast.
        Glenn Greenwald made it clear – it was not Republicans painting Biden as seriously slipping – it was many democrats until he was inevitable and now it is democrats accusing Republicans of pushing something THEY brought up first. Further Greenwald and several other journalists pointed out that Not only is the Joe is not their story coming from Democrats, it is also TRUE.

        You say Biden is up by 6 ? Clinton was up by nearly 12.

        Right now this election rests entirely on Trump’s handling of Covid19.

        If he botchs that – in terms that ordinary people, not those suffering TDS like you see, he is done, Anything else – Landslide Trump.

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 12:46 am

        Bernie dropping out is unlikely to add votes to Biden-Trump matchup polls.

        When Trump vs. Biden was polled last week Voters were not given a Bernie choice.

        It is more likely that Bernie dropping out will boost Trump a few points.
        Because for reasons that I find hard to grasp a significant portion of Bernie voters went top Trump not clinton in 2016 and possibly more will in 2020.

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 2:23 pm

        This is from Modly’s “appology”.

        “We pick our carrier commanding officers with great care. Captain Crozier is smart and passionate. I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship.”

        Are you really still saying Modly backed down on the need to sack Crozier ?

        The captian of any US navy warship deliberately drawing negative public attention to his ship for any reason – including the health of his crew is not acceptable conduct.

        I can understand that democratic congressmen do not get that.

        Esper was not upset with Modly for canning Crozier – but for pouring gasoline on the fire that Crozier started.

        Cozier’s sacking was appropriate and inevitable – and it had to be done quickly.

        Modly’s remarks were accurate but need not and should not have been said, and he appropriately resigned for making them.

        Modly, made a mistake and corrected it himself.
        Crozier should take a lesson from that.

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 2:44 pm

        Modly was a 1983 US Naval Academy graduate and a Naval aviator for 7 years.

        He was familiar with the navy chain of command.

        YOU have noted correctly that military officers are at odds with Trump and the whitehouse – though you have failed to note that Trump has strong support from enlisted men.

        That difference should not be surprising.
        Modly’s decision was in conflict with the advice of the CNO, who would normally be the person to sack Crozier. In this case Admiral Gilday was wrong.

        Modly was concerned about conflict between the Navy brass and the Whitehouse.
        But the driving issue here was national security.

        Crozier placed a relatively small issue of the health and safety of his crew above national security. That is specifically NOT what a captain must do.

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 1:06 am

        There are no new facts in the Brookings story, just spin.

        There are two issues regarding Crozier.
        The first is was he right regarding Covid19 – we will never know, Brookings says that he was right as evidenced by the Navy decision to remove much of the crew at Gaum.
        But was that decision actually a health or readiness decision ? Or was it a political one – and there are numerous political factors beyond left/right. Further once Crozier’s email went public – which as Modly noted Crozier eitehr had to know would happen of he would have to be naive and stupid – and as Modly noted in his “appology” Crozier is neither Naive nor stupid, therefore he sent the email KNOWING it was going to go public.

        There are inumerable problems with that. Croziers immediate superior was the Rear Admiral of the battle group Crozier was apart of – an officer whose quarters and offices were on the Roosevelt. Crozier needed no email to consult him. That rear admiral was Croziers chain of command – not the list of people in his Email. Maybe Crozier talked to that Rear Admiral already and was turned down. Maybe he did not talk to him. What DID NOT occur is Capt. Crozier dealt with the issue with his immediate supperior and got his permission.

        Aside from breaching chain of command, Crozier also breached national security.

        All the public arguments for Crozier fixate on a Fallacy – that his first duty is to the safety of his men. That is FALSE. Warship’s and the military would not exist if that is true.

        Brookings notes that most of the crew were removed from Roosevelt – as if that somehow exonerates Crozier – it does not, it damn’s him. It is an indication that the navy not only does not have confidence in Crozier – but it does not have confidence in the crew of the Roosevelt.

        This is a big deal. This crew will have this hanging over there heads for the rest of their lives.

        But you go ahead and beleive what you want.

        Oddly you have gone from TDS to TDS twice removed.
        In Jay world Crozier is good because Trump MIGHT have been offended by Crozier’s remarks, or MIGHT have had him sacked – except he did not, or even because Crozier might have been sacked because of your impression of what Modly thought Trump wanted.

        This is not even a close call Jay. Crozier is the captain. He would be held responsible if a typhoon caused Roosevelt to be unable to perform its job.
        We hold Captain’s of super carriers to unbeleivably high standards.
        Crozier fell short of those. That is all it takes.

        That’s not “fair” – well the navy is not about fair.

  40. Jay permalink
    April 7, 2020 10:37 pm

    Trump is a dishonest untrustworthy authoritarian asshole who needs to be STOPPED from further Don-fuckery.

    “ Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis issued a rare public rebuke of President Trump Tuesday over his decision to fire Glenn Fine, the Pentagon inspector general charged with overseeing implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

    “Mr. Fine is a public servant in the finest tradition of honest, competent governance,” Mattis told Yahoo News in an email. “In my years of extensive engagement with him as our Department of Defense’s acting Inspector General, he proved to be a leader whose personal and managerial integrity were always of the highest order.”

    • John Say permalink
      April 7, 2020 11:30 pm

      What has the Pentagon IG got to do with the $2T aid package ?

      This whole thing is nonsense.

      Absolutely Trump needs to clean house in the IG’s.

      But firing an IG does not mean there will be no IG.
      Another will be appointed.

      Regardless constitutionally actual oversite is a CONGRESSIONAL responsibility.
      Trump can not fire congress.

    • John Say permalink
      April 7, 2020 11:35 pm

      Like lefty’s you seem to have this view that a job is a right.

      That if you do that job either by some objectively correct standard that does not exist, or in such a way as to get benefactors such as Mattis to support you that you are entitiled to keep that job forever.

      That is bunk.

      Trump serves at the pleasure of the electorate. In November you get to remove him if you can.

      The remainder of the executive serves at the pleasure of the president.

      It is long past Time for Trump to clean house.

      I am not sure what the specific “sins” of the DoD IG were. Just as I can make no sense of why the DoD IG would oversee the stimulus.
      Atkins clearly needed fired.

      But whether Fine was a good public servant or some deep stater subverting Trump is irrelevant. He serves at the pleasure of the president.

    • John Say permalink
      April 7, 2020 11:40 pm

      I also get very tired of this heaping of praise on people who have show no special reason to deserve it.

      “a leader whose personal and managerial integrity were always of the highest order”
      These are not things one says of someone who “did their job”.

      I would not even say that of Gen Eisenhower – who we know was somewhat short of personal integrity but a manager of the highest regard.

      Please tell me who today is a Patton, MacAurthur, Spruance, Nimitz, Halsey ?

      Can we save the eulogies for the dead or people who really are exemplary ?

      Just doing your job is not justification for crocodile tears and public tearing of sack cloth.

    • Priscilla permalink
      April 9, 2020 9:25 am

      I think that the President has the right to have someone that he trusts to oversee the implementation of a $2T stimulus that he signed.

      Many of the inspectors general are part of the resisistance, masquerading as unbiased civil servants. One of the many attempts at a “gotcha” question during this week’s press conferences involved an HHS IG appointed in 1999, who claimed that there was a shortage of test kits….it was untrue, bcause her “study” was completed on March 23, before many of the newer test kits even came out!

      Plus, she realeased her report to the press, without ever going through Admiral Giroir and the Task Force. What kind of insubordinate crap is that? It’s resistance crap, that’s what.

      I can tell you that I first had symptoms on a Thursday, I called for a test on Friday, got the test on Saturday, and got the results first thing Monday morning. It was quite easy.

      There are too many career bureacrats whose main goal is to “get Trump,” and who actively work with the press to do so.

      If Trump believes that Glenn Fine could be working against him, he would be a fool to keep him on as a “watchdog.” And if James Mattis likes Fine, that’s all well and good, but James Mattis is pretty much a nonentity in this, now, isn’t he?

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2020 11:02 am

        And it’s the citizenry’s right to OBJECT when an untrustworthy president takes actions that can’t be trusted.

        Trump as you well know is a sneaky lying SOB who will do anything and everything in his presidential POWER to cover up his own malfeasance.

        I’m truly glad you’re recovering from your physical bout with COVID, Priscilla; it’s unfortunate your Trump DELUSION Syndrome seems incurable.

      • Priscilla permalink
        April 9, 2020 2:53 pm

        Of course, you can object. But objecting doesn’t mean that Trump doesn’t have the right to sack employees of the executive branch who have made it clear that they are not willing to follow the President’s policies…or who have made it clear that they will sabotage those policies, if given the opportunity.

        It’s not a matter of Trump or not Trump ~ it’s a matter of how our system works. Queen Nancy does not get to use the stimulus as her personal slush fund for Democratic donors and programs, the way she did during the Obama stimulus (remember the “shovel ready projects” that were not shovel ready?)

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 4:28 pm

        While I mostly agree with what you have said.

        Anyone who thinks that this Stimulus is going to be on NET beneficial is blind to history.
        Anyone who thinks it is not going to be swill for the political classes of both parties is also blind to history.

        There is another issue i am trying to get a handle on.
        But it appears that Congress as part of the stimulus created an oversite authority made of a committee existing IG’s with Fine selected has the head.

        This structure is with near certainty unconstitutional. There is atleast a full century of law regarding this particular area – basically the efforts of congress to create centers of action within the executive that are not really answerable to the president.

        Historical examples are the Federal Reserve, the NLRB, the FCC, the FEC. the CPRB

        The text of the constitution does not allow these independent executive bodies at all.

        But SCOTUS has allowed them, but only if they meet a narrow set of criteria that this Stimulus review board does not meet.

        As SCOTUS has determined.

        an actually independent body must:

        have a board, it can not have a single director,
        The board must have members from both parties.
        The members must have staggered terms,
        They must be appointed to that board by the president and approved by congress.

        SCOTUS has allowed the PRESIDENT to circumvent the “confirmation process” by transferring already appointed and confirmed people from one role requiring confirmation to another.

        But it has never allowed congress to do the same.

        Congress created an oversight board, and then populated it with people who had already been appointed and confirmed.

        That is not constitutional – not as the constitution was written, and not even as SCOTUS has interpretted it.

        To be constitutional, congress would have had to require Trump to appoint the members, and the Senate to confirm them, and if that was done, Trump could not then fire them.

        By not doing this properly, this new board is NOT independent, and Trump can re-arrange its members as he pleases.

        And that is what we are seeing.

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 3:58 pm

        The Trump administration is not Normal.

        Way too many career people, and on occasion even some of his own appointments, are actively working against him.

        If I had said that about Obama, you could rightly call me paranoid, but no sane person doubts that with Trump.

        Myriads of people in government openly admit that on issue after issue they act to thwart Trump. That would be fine – if they were congressional democrats. But they are not, they are members of the Trump administration.

        I am a firm beleiver in checks and balances – but that is not what this is. This is active (and passive) sabatoge by people who swore an other to the constitution and the president.

        I do not know that each of the IG’s recently fired was a problem. But given the past 3 years,
        I think Trump is proactively firing people in critical positions when he has any doubts.

        i have long advocated here that Trump did not fire enough people at the start.

        It is CONGRESSes job to interfere with the presidents policies – NOT the rest of the executive.

        Voters are entitled to see the policies they voted for implimented. Especifally when those polices REDUCE government.

        Trump should be judged by his success or failure as a president – but that requires that half his own administration is not trying to sabotage his own success.

        CrossFire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation were a disaster.

        To the extent that you MIGHT beleive they were EVER justified, it should be self evident to all but a dolt, that very quickly Mueller and Comey KNEW there was nothing there.
        And still for 3+ years they continued on a fishing expedition.

        Our constitution establishes in serveral places WE DO NOT TARGET PEOPLE.
        The excercise of the investigative power of government is predicated on the existance of a CRIME.

        IG’s are a very weird entity within government. Horowitz fairly clearly demonstrates an IG acting within his scope – Horowitz stuck to his lane. His investigation was confined to FBI & DOJ, and it was confined to whether those involved followed the laws, and procedures within their department.

        Conversely IG Atkinson. Was far outside his lane. He accepted a complaint that was nothing more than gossip, that involved differences of policy, not violations of law, and that was outside of the domain of the Inteligence community – i.e. outside the scope of anything he was responsible for.

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 4:11 pm

        I am repeatedly posting about the various problems with different efforts to “investigate Trump”.

        The most fundimental problem is not that investigations are occuring but who is doing them and how.

        Comey’s investigation was illegitimate, Mueller’s was illegitimate, Atkinson’s was illegitimate.

        But Schiff’s investigations were NOT illegitimate. Congress is free to do politically motivated investigations of the exectutive branch.
        I think Schiff’s investigations were done badly, and with zero respect for due process, and that those failings were self evident to all of us, and I expect democrats to get punished in the next election as a consequence, and if they are not, then republicans will do the same to the next democrat elected president.

        I also beleive that the House should have taken its subpeona fight to the courts, and that they should have won in MOST instances. Oversite of the executive is THEIR job.

        One of the problems with the Comey and Mueller misconduct, is that it was fundimentally political and the consequences should be political – if the house conducts a blatantly political and unfounded investigation they are held in check by VOTERS.

        Instead we are badly holding to account those within the FBI for violations of the law or procedure. They tried to use criminal processes for political purposes and are being badly held account criminally.

        What SHOULD have occured was an investigation by the actual political body – the house, with political results and political consequences.

        I have no problems with the house and the executive slugging it out over policy.

        I have major problems with turning the weaponry of the executive branch against itself over policy.

  41. John Say permalink
    April 8, 2020 6:28 am

    An excellent article on Trade deficits.

    A trade deficit MUST have a balancing capital inflow.
    That means a trade deficit MUST result in foreign investment.
    And the only portion of that foreign investment that a country will EVER have to pay back is interest and principle on government debt.

  42. John Say permalink
    April 8, 2020 6:30 am

    The FDA has grown 79% since 2007 – why is it doing so badly ?

    Is it possible that growing a government department actually makes it LESS capable ?

    • Ron P permalink
      April 8, 2020 10:29 am

      In this instance, the way you demonstrate your importance is to create more red tape and paper work.

      Few will ever agree with me, but other than military, govt is the problem, not the solution.

      F’up Fauci has made more mistakes only days later to have them proven mistakes, to not be considered an expert, but his lifer title bestows that label upon him regardless of his actual abilities.

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 2:31 pm

        The military is not immune to all the problems of government.

        It is merely an actual necescity – a legitimate function of government.

        The FDA is not merely not within the scope of legitimate government but a real negative impact on overall health.

        One of the noteworthy issues regarding the current pandemic is it is clear that free markets are able to respond quickly. There are already 40 vaccines ready to or in testing.

        Contra what the government claims there is no requirement for 12-18 months to make them available.

        12-18 months is the amount of time it takes to work through the FDA’s standards for safety.

        It is glaringly obvious – more so that normal, that getting the high degree of safety the FDA requires will COST LIVES.

        It is very rare that people can so clearly see that “playing it safe” is quite often more deadly than taking appropriate risks to provide a solution.

        But this is ALWAYS the case. It is just rarely so dramatically visible.

        Every single drug or treatment you seek approval for is always a balance between the risk of bringing something to market with less that perfect testing, and the real harms caused by delay.

      • April 8, 2020 3:10 pm

        Vaccines, China, Covid-19.

        Since almost every bug seems to start in China, I think Trump needs to work with China, direct the drug companies to produce 1.5 billion doses of a tested vaccine, but one that has not gone through the FDA red tape, send them to China where they can force their citizens to be vaccinated and slow any new fall and winter outbreak.

        Never happen!

      • John Say permalink
        April 8, 2020 7:01 pm

        H1N1 started in either Mexico or more likely the US.

        MERS started in Saudi Arabia.

        The 1918 Flu started in the US.

        It is normal for the seasonal flu to start in China.

        Right now Covid19 is in the wild.
        i want to be careful because we do not know enough about it.
        But in all likelyhood it will periodically return until either it mutates or until we eradicate it globally.

        But it is highly likely that each return will be weaker than the last.
        There is likely an increasing body of people who are immune and that will make spreading it harder.

        Further we do not know why any virus does nto effect 100% of the population – but none do.

  43. John Say permalink
    April 8, 2020 6:36 am

    The house oversite committee has absolutely zero interest in investigating why the government has failed.

    Instead it is going to investigate why the sun rises.

    “price gouging” is simply the normal mechanisms of a free market responding to the laws of supply and demand.

    When demand significantly exceeds supply – prices rise dramatically – causing production to rapidly spike and prices to drop.

    It is not only something you can not stop, it is not something that you want to stop.

    Further any means of doing so is “price control” and always and everywhere “price controls” lead to either higher prices or shortages. Does no one remember Nixon’s disasterous odd/even gas rationing ?

  44. John Say permalink
    April 8, 2020 6:54 am

    I wonder how I missed this.
    In 2018 Paul Romer won the Nobel Prize for Economics.

    I have repeatedly cited Romer’s work here in the past specifically his work demonstrating that if you have a sufficiently complex mathematical model you will always be able to hindcast the past perfectly and STILL forecast any outcome that you wish.

    Romer was echoing an important argument made by classical liberal economists,
    Economics (and all other social sciences) must START with our understanding of human behavior. You can not work backwards solely from data.

    The same is true outside of the social sciences.

    One of the huge flaws in CAGW is that the proof that CO2 causes warming and the strength of the warming it causes is NOT measured empiracly, it is determined by modeling.
    In real science (or logic) the conclusion derived from your experiment can not be one of the assumptions that you start with.

  45. April 8, 2020 3:01 pm

    Drip, drip drip.
    The water is increasing another couple degrees all you “crabs” with a smart phone!

    You will here, no personal info is being tracked by government. Its all anonymous.. And you can turn off location GPS tracking.

    Well if this happens, when will government say they need personal information tracking in the name of safety?

    And according to a Princeton University study, not all tracking can be shut off by the user.

    I think I will just keep one old flip phone when traveling and let the battery go dead at other times.

    • Jay permalink
      April 8, 2020 5:34 pm

      Do you you subscribe to Prime? If so you can watch this great Indian Bollywood movie (with subtitles) showing what happens when the nation’s cellphones revolt against the people, swarming into multiform destructive creatures. Great special effects, and incidents addressing your privacy concerns – here’s the trailer:

      • April 8, 2020 5:58 pm

        Sorry don’t have Prime. Is that part of Amazon prime or is that in addition to the prime for buying stuff?

      • Jay permalink
        April 8, 2020 8:45 pm

        Included with the buying Prime membership.
        My wife buys a lot of art supplies on Prime- the membership saves way more money than it costs…

      • April 8, 2020 10:09 pm

        I think my wife has it. I just buy stuff and get free shipping with 4-5 day delivery.

        I have yet to get into streaming stuff.

      • Jay permalink
        April 8, 2020 10:55 pm

        You’re missing out on a great free deal, Ron.

        You can view Prime on computer, mobile device, or TV if you can connect to programming on it directly or via a device like Roku or Apple TV etc.

        Hundreds of movies and tv shows and documentaries new and old. Great old films available, from the 30s 40s and 50s. I’m watching “Impact’ a 1949 Brian Donlevy drama-mystery now.

        Here’s a search database link to what’s available,to watch

      • April 8, 2020 11:28 pm

        Interesting. I have HULU with liove TV since we are 35 miles from a transmitter, rolling terrain, trees all around us and in any kind of weather except perfect weathr, the local channels pixelate when on antenna. The antenna is 45-50 ft above ground level, 6 ft above the roof line, amp at the antenna and amp at the splitter inside the house. Without the amps, get nothing.

        So HULU has all this old stuff also and I don’t watch much. Mostly sports and a few network shows. I am watching some BBC, Canadian shows.and many of the history network programming. And occasionally a few minutes of a news program.

        I can also tap into my sons CBS on demand if I want to watch the new Star Trek show.

        Anyway thanks for the info. Might check it out using my wifes account.

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 1:16 am

        Pigs are flying. We agree.

        Prime is not only a great deal, but if one person has it, everyone in the family does too

      • Jay permalink
        April 9, 2020 9:16 am

        Don’t tell Donnie it’s a good deal. He’ll have a shit-fit.

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 1:13 am

        If your wife has prime – you have prime, you can link family member accounts to the main account.

    • John Say permalink
      April 8, 2020 6:56 pm

      My fundimental problem with government access to tracking information is that even thought I would allow it for some things – what is clear from the xfh mess is that whatever the rules are government will not abide by them.

      Otherwise I would have no problem with letting CDC get a warrant for to track the past 14 days of someone infected by Covid19 AND give them identifying information on anyone who they came in proximity.

      But the warrant is limited to public health – no matter what else they may think they have discovered, nothing gets shared outside of health officials and the use is limited to health.

      But what are the odds of government conforming to those restrictions ?

      • Jay permalink
        April 8, 2020 8:51 pm

        Odds with a Trump-like administration in power: next to zilch.

        We’re tracked daily now. Drive anywhere with you cell phone on, your movements are recorded or posterity.

        Future citizens of the technocrat will have the privacy of fish in a glass tank.

      • April 8, 2020 10:15 pm

        You might be tracked, but its not government. No different than wire tap warrant. You are sledding on thin ice when government can get that info. And while you do that, why not require phone companies to record all conversations and give that monthly to the government.

        But what do I know. I’m just one of those nutty libertarians seeing boogy men behind every door and window.

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 1:15 am

        I do not care if my cell phone company tracks me.

        They do not have the ability to throw me in jail

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 1:12 am

        The NSA domestic spying program is pretty serious and an invasion of our privacy – but it is not actually as bad as you claim. Nor do they retain all of this data for “posterity”. With few exceptions it is not kept over 18months, and in most cases not more than 90 days.

        Further while the NSA captures the data – though not the dynamic tracking you are claiming. The data of US persons can not be search in an identifying fashion without a warrant.
        That is the law. Of course as we know from Horowitz – they lie to get warrants, and from Adm Rogers, we know they search all too often without the required warrants.

      • April 8, 2020 9:57 pm

        Dave, “But what are the odds of government conforming to those restrictions ?”

        About as good as the government following the FISA rules. And remember, 43 asked for that temporarily for 5 years. Now going on 19 1/2 years.

  46. Jay permalink
    April 9, 2020 9:10 pm

    Trump continues to be an asshole.
    Not surprising- he is what he is..
    More surprising is how many idiots continue to support him.

    Addendum: even the Wall Street Journal is telling him to shut the trump up at his daily self serving corona newscasts

    • April 9, 2020 9:32 pm

      Jay, you are unbelievable. First you bitch about all the money Trump has, how he is running his businesses behind the scenes, how he should have to sell off all his properties and get out of management (WHICH HE HAS)…and now…

      you bitch because you think he should be running the businesses and he open up the properties to first responders and healthcare workers.

      What the F do you want? (Other than his apparent defeat come this November). Do you want him running them and opening them up or not running them and letting someone else make decisions.

      He is not running his businesses. His kids are.

      Get a life and start making some sense with your constant TDS. Your rants are beginning to sound like Biden ramblings.

    • April 9, 2020 9:34 pm

      Second Try.Word Press again!
      Jay, you are unbelievable. First you bitch about all the money Trump has, how he is running his businesses behind the scenes, how he should have to sell off all his properties and get out of management (WHICH HE HAS)…and now…

      you bitch because you think he should be running the businesses and he open up the properties to first responders and healthcare workers.

      What the F do you want? (Other than his apparent defeat come this November). Do you want him running them and opening them up or not running them and letting someone else make decisions.

      He is not running his businesses. His kids are.

      Get a life and start making some sense with your constant TDS. Your rants are beginning to sound like Biden ramblings.

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 11:39 pm

        In this case he does not even own the hotel.
        it is actually a Hilton.

        BTW Trump owns only a few of the Trump branded Hotels in the world.

        So whenever you see any of this kind of nonsense you should immediately check if it is actually owned by the Trump’s

        Beyond that I strongly suspect the claim in the King tweet is even more incorrect than that.

        Las Vegas has approx 1500 cases as of Today. Las Vegas has 914 Accute Care beds.
        That is 1 for every 2 Covid19 cases and less than 10% of Covid19 cases require hispitalization.
        There are 2299 Primary care doctors who LIVE in Las Vegas – that is 2 for every ICU bed and 20 for every hospitalized Covid19 patient.

        So why would we presume that Las Vegas has 100,000+ doctors visiting from other locations in need of a hotel room to stay in ?

        There are 200+ hotels in Las Vegas,

        Las Vegas has 27 hotels with over 2000 rooms. There are only 55 hotels with over 2000 rooms in the world.

        That is 27 hotels that could provide an individual room for an individual doctor for each Covid19 patient in Las Vegas.

        That is also 27 hotels that could provide a room for every doctor in Las Vegas.

        The largest “The Venetian” has more than 7000 rooms – it could provide individual rooms for a team of 4 for every single Covid19 patient in Nevada, and a team of 5 for each patient in Las Vegas, and a team of 50 for each patient in the hospital.

        And just to be clear ALL of these hotels are CLOSED right now.

        Further ALL of these Hotels would be the WRONG choice.

        No one Sane wants to keep a large hotel and its substantial staff open to provide services for a handful of doctors and nurses from out of town – if ANY.

        Close the hotel, send the staff home.
        Put any out of town help you have in a motel – where they do not have to interact with lots of staff. Where they can drive in, park walk directly to their room, and go in without getting within 2M of another person.

        But logic and sanity have no place in Jay world.

        He is going to drag in the hotel staff from 200+ hotels so that each hotel can handle one or two doctors or nurses. Having hundreds of staff fawning over people who are spending their entire day surrounded by people sick with Covid19.

        BTW I highly doubt that Trump international Las Vegas is the only hotel not providing services to visiting doctors.

        Because there is no sane reason that almost any hotels in las vegas should remain open.

        But rational thought is nto permitted in those suffering from TDS.

      • John Say permalink
        April 9, 2020 11:39 pm

        Biden is more rational.

    • John Say permalink
      April 9, 2020 11:09 pm

      To answer Stephen Kings question.

      I do not know, but it is much easier to find out who owns the Trump international Las Vegas.

      From Wikipedia
      “In September 2012, the Trump Organization announced that it sold roughly 300 condominium units in Trump International Hotel Las Vegas to Hilton Worldwide’s timeshare division, Hilton Grand Vacations.”

      Or you could got to Forbes where they list individually each property that Trump owns.
      The Trump International Las Vegas is not on the list.

      So once again you – and apparently Stephen King are spreading “fake news”.

      My guess is that if you had actually bothered to check Kings twitter feed,
      Someone has corrected him.

      But I doubt you actually care.

      I doubt you give a fork about being accurate.

      I doubt you care if false information influences others to form false oppinions.

      If you can inspire another person to hatred – I doubt you care if you did so truthfully.

      But you can prove I am wrong. I would be very happy to see you prove I am wrong.

      It is easy – CHECK the crap you post before posting it.

      • April 9, 2020 11:56 pm

        From what I know, the Trump property has two towers, one with 12+ rooms that are basically condos and the other that is basically hotel rooms.

      • April 9, 2020 11:57 pm

        1200+ rppms not 12.

  47. April 9, 2020 9:17 pm

    Roby heard something about Vermont. Is it true you can go into Walmart or other stores and buy certain items, but while you are in there buying groceries or at a drug store getting meds, you can not buy vegetable seeds for a garden?

  48. April 9, 2020 9:36 pm

    Everyone, I have no idea what Word Press is doing from my computers. Desk top, tablets, etc. I write, I post, it hangs up with the home screen, I search for my comment, nothing there. I go back, change the wording slightly, post, its posts correctly and also posts the original comment. So when you see duplicate, that is why.

  49. John Say permalink
    April 10, 2020 7:20 am

    • April 10, 2020 11:35 am

      No video

      • John Say permalink
        April 10, 2020 2:59 pm

        More nonsense from Youtube.

        This was a PragerU video.

        They interviewed people in new york city asking them to choose between Trump getting re-elected and Corona getting worse.

        Almost all prefered that Trump not be re-elected even if it meant more people died from Covid19.

        I am getting fed up with this youtube censorhip.

        Taking something down because the truth is unpleasant is really vile.
        Actually immoral.

      • April 10, 2020 3:29 pm

        So there has to be millions like you and I that believe there should be an open forum for things like that.

        I dont understand why some billionaires like Koch Brothers or someone with a more moderate Libertarian leaning like Mark Cuban does not start an internet social site where anything posted stays. And have fact checkers who dont take things down, except for terrorist identified posts promoting violence, but flagging them with labels and linking truth linked sites so other can see why they post is fake.

        Why is all social media controlled by liberals blocking conservative items.

      • John Say permalink
        April 10, 2020 5:32 pm

        “I dont understand why some billionaires like Koch Brothers or someone with a more moderate Libertarian leaning like Mark Cuban does not start an internet social site where anything posted stays.”

        David Koch is dead, Charles is 84. Mark Cuban is only libertarianish.

        There are only a few people in the world willing to stand up for the right of a nazi, a homophobe to speak revolting garbage.

        And the bright line for free speach is at the far extreme.

        Once you ban Der Sturmer, it is only a question of time before you ban PragerU or Laura Loomer.

        You are prepared to take down the posts of terrorists – I am not.
        Not even those promoting violence.

        Let people speak, then judge them and their ideas based on that speech and their actions.

        Absolutely fringe groups will ALWAYS manage to appeal to small numbers of the broken and vulnerable. But supressing them does not make them less appealing.

        The overwhelming majority of us are able to judge a group correctly by their OWN speech.

        We are not quite there yet – though this election may prove the tipping point. But I think a backlash is coming.

        There is this great rant about the polarization of the country right now.
        This is part of what is polarizing the country.

        Censorship – even censorship by private parties such as Youtube does, ultimately undermines the trust in those who do the censoring. Especially as the basis for the censorship is not absolutely clear and broadly supported.

        I posted a link to a Covid19 article published on Medium. Within hours of publishing that link the article was taken down. The article was very long. But it posted not only everything we knew or thought we knew about Covid19, but the studdies supporting that informant AND the studies contradicting it, both the malthusian positions and the claims that much was over-reaction.

        Maybe we are being fooled at the moment and Covid19 is about to jump to another level.
        But if it does not, the less panicked assessments in that article are mostly going to have proven True.

        So how is it that you think many people are going to respond as they learn that various media sources they trusted made a concerted effort to block all but the worst case scenarios ?

        If things actually went completely to hell – anyone saying “don’t panic” would be justifiably excoriated for eons. And that remains possible. But increasingly it is likely this is going to be a fizzle. That the worst part of Covid19 will be what we did to ourselves. Not what it did to us.

        In that instance it is those who censored the less panicked and now self-evidently correct positions whose credibility is under question.

        I have been pushing the fact that there is a difference between saying you are wrong about an issue, and saying you are lying.

        Being wrong undermines your credibilty. Being wrong about someone else’s purported error also undermines your credibility. But none of us are right always or wrong always.
        We win some, we lose some. We should be measured by the frequency with which we prove right especially about controversial issues and especially when we are standing alone.

        Or more simply our credibility is not EQUAL – once again we are not equal.
        Equality is a trojan horse.

        But credibility is not integrity.

        There is a difference between being wrong and lying.

        There is a difference between an error of fact and a moral error.

        Misstating a fact is an error of fact. It undermines credibility.

        Lying, or calling someone a liar are moral acts. Being wrong undermines integrity as well as credibility.

        Censorship is a moral act. And like all moral acts – you had better be right.

        I am less concerned about Youtube and social media censorship than you are.

        We KNOW it is going on. We also KNOW it is tilted. We are more cognizant than ever that one viewpoint is actively supressing the expression of others – and in many forums successfully.

        The left beleives that silencing dissent somehow positively changes the world.

        It does not. Bad ideas remain bad even when critique is forbidded.
        And people are not so stupid as we attribute to them.

        It is possible, even probable that censored viewpoints will move elsewhere. The market correcting the problem in one way.

        It is also possible that we fill in the void on our own. We know that what is provided is tilted.
        We adjust accordingly.

        Regardless I am angered by this censorship.
        I am not worried by it.

        It is self defeating.

      • April 10, 2020 7:32 pm

        OK Stpped reading at your response about Koch / Cuban. Way to long.

        So I will rephase.

        I dont understand why someone who is a rich conservative/ Libertarian who is concerned about our country creating a social media website for those that would support a site that did not censure any political post regardless of position.

        Not comment required. It will do no good to change my thoughts on that thinking unless it comes from someone rich enough to do that and promote it and they say why it would not work.

      • John Say permalink
        April 11, 2020 2:08 am

        So you beleive you are personally powerless and that unless some rich (and dead) guy comes to your aide you are doomed.

        Sounds like the plot to Batman.

        Short enough ?

      • April 11, 2020 11:44 am

        Well powerless due to lack of funds and expertise to create and open, balanced and fair social media site that would provide all aspects of an issue.

        Not powerless since I dont believe one iota of information presented anywhere, especially the cable news or print media without verification, unlike 90% of America that drinks the kool-aide widespread for dimwits to buy without thinking for themselves.

      • John Say permalink
        April 11, 2020 7:39 pm

        “Not powerless since I dont believe one iota of information presented anywhere, especially the cable news or print media without verification,”
        Good for you.

        ” unlike 90% of America that drinks the kool-aide widespread for dimwits to buy without thinking for themselves.”
        Current evidence suggests that the portion of people who “drink the kool aide” is quite small.
        Our regard for media is at an all time low.

        Our disbeleif of media does not unfortunately overcome our own personal confirmation biases.

      • John Say permalink
        April 10, 2020 5:39 pm

        The skills needed to create and innovate and take big risks are not attributes of conservative personalities. They are found most commonly in progressives and to a lessor extent libertarians.

        Conversely the skills needed to sustain most anything over the long run are fundimentally conservative.

        I know of extremely few enormously successful startups created by conservatives.
        There are some libertarians – a disproportionate number in comparison to the population. But most innovators are progressive, or atleast liberal. Conservative risk takers are extremely rare. that is BTW one of the very odd aspects of Trump. That is also a part of why I note that his tactics are inherently those of the left. Trump is NOT by personality conservative. He is by personality on the left. Frankly he is not by ideology conservative. His ideology is inherently populist. He has enough conservative and libertarian views to succeed, and enough populist ones to win elections.

      • John Say permalink
        April 10, 2020 4:21 pm

        Somewhat on point.

        The left has been aggressively moving to defund anything that offends them.

        It appears they have been successful – but not in the way they had imagined. Advertisers are now providing blacklists along with their add campaigns. these are topical keywords that they do not want their advertisements running concurrently with.

        Rather than these blacklists specifically targeting conservative content, they are targeting ALL controversial content. The keyword blacklists include not just conservative issues, but progressive issues.

        The net effect is that they are defunding the news.

  50. John Say permalink
    April 10, 2020 3:37 pm

    Evidence is increasing that the Steele Dossier was a deliberate Russian Disinformation campaign. Further that the FBI in particular and the Intelligence Community more generally were aware of that evidence and that possibility at the time.

    This not merely seriously undermines CrossFire Hurricane

    It also undermines the Intelligence community assessment that those on the left constantly fixate on.

    That assessment claims the Russians interfered in the Election to help Trump.

    Yet that is completely inconsistent with the fact that the false information in the Steele Dossier came from Russian government sources.

    • Jay permalink
      April 10, 2020 7:28 pm

      “ Evidence is increasing that the Steele Dossier was a deliberate Russian Disinformation campaign”

      Naivety or knuckleheadness?
      You suggesting the Russians wanted Hillary elected?
      Really? They provided Steele with negative tales about Trump to elect her?
      (Laughing into my Costco Kirkland Canadian Whisky $18 a bottle delivered)

      Trump loves Putin, and Putin love Trump.
      They’re fond of fondling each other’s balls…,1280&quality=90

      • John Say permalink
        April 11, 2020 2:06 am

        “You suggesting the Russians wanted Hillary elected?”
        I am not suggesting anything specific beyond that anyone who claims to know what Putin or Russia want is lying to themselves.

        MIGHT Russia want Hillary over Trump ?
        I can think of myriads of reasons that could be the case.
        Clinton is far more maleable. For every claimed tied between Trump and Russia you can find there are 10 involving Hillary, There were actual news articles in 2016 suggesting that Hillary was deliberately attacking Trump regarding Russia, because HER links to russia were possibly the weakest part of her candacy.

        Russia did not give $140M to the Trump foundation.
        They did not give $500K to Melania.
        They did not borker a deal with the Trump administration for control of 20% of US uranium – which Hillary was part of.
        Obama was elected in the midst of a war between Russia and Georgia where the US supported Georgia. Yet CLINTON negotiated the “Russian Reset” to end the hostility between the US and Russia.
        Then Clinton fomented a coup in the Ukraine that replace corrupt pro Russian paws with corrupt anti russia pawns and had to impliment “Russia Reset II”

        The Obama adminstration was practically sleeping with Russia – and Clinton orchestrated that.
        On policy issue after policy issue the US under Obama was friendly to Russia – with Clinton up to here ears in it. Clinton expected top be hit hard by candidate Rubio or Candidate Cruz on her ties to Russia. She got fortunate that Trump was not a cold warrior overtly hostile to Russia.
        Obama/Clinton and the whole democratic party is anti-fracking, that is quite litterally billions of dollars in russian pockets and out of those of americans.
        The Obama/Clinton mideast policy was overtly pro russia. Shifting to Iran was pro-russia, staying in conflict anywhere in the mideast was pro russia.
        Russia is the worlds third largest produce of oil today – behind #2 Saudi Arabian and ….. #1 the US. anything that weakens SA strengthens Russia.

        So yes there are far more reasons to beleive that Putin might prefer Clinton to Trump.
        And there still are.
        It is highly likely Putin prefers Biden or any generic democrat to Trump.

        “Really? They provided Steele with negative tales about Trump to elect her?
        (Laughing into my Costco Kirkland Canadian Whisky $18 a bottle delivered)”
        Laugh all you want that is more plausible than Putin actually wanted Trump.

        “Trump loves Putin, and Putin love Trump.
        They’re fond of fondling each other’s balls…”
        Why ? Because you say so ?
        How exactly is it that Putin benefits from Trump as president ?
        Is it because Trump is forcing Nato to start to defend itself ?
        Is it because Trump guaranteed Europes energy supplies when Putin tried to blackmail Europe ?
        Is it because Trump has not dropped or relaxed sanctions against Russia, While Obama imposed sanctions and dropped them repeatedly ?
        Is it because Trump is friendly to Saudi Arabia while Russia is a major competitor ?
        Is it because Trump loves Fracking ?

        How about some actual meaningful way in which Trump has not made life more difficult for Russia than Obama did or Clinton would ?

        Absolutely Trump says nice things about Putin sometimes.
        And Xi, and Kim Un and ……

        Do you think Trump is Fondling Xi’s balls ?

        Grow up Jay.

        Putin is the leader of Russia. His goal is amplifying Russian Power.
        He does not give a shit about the nice things Trump might say about him.
        Just as Trump does not give a shit about the nice things Putin might say about him.

        They are BOTH looking after the interests of their country.

        SOMETIMES US and Russian interests align.
        Sometimes they do not.

        Trump changed the rules of engagement for US forces in Syria to – if Russian forces get in your way – shoot them. Really friendly.

        The Russian’s sent a state of the art (for Russia) Frigate to challenge Two US destroyers that were used to attack Syria. Trump order the US Destroyers to turn the Russians away – even if that meant conflict. There is footage on Youtube of the confrontation. And for those who are clueless it also demonstrates the difference between a navy with a 250 year tradition – and a maritime tradition almost twice that long. And a country who has never managed a competent surface navy. The US commander was far more skilled than the Russian and forced The russian into a position he had to yeild or fight, and where he was going to be the perceived aggressor in a fight that he was certain to lose.

        Trump has used the US Navy aggressively – both against Russia and against China.

        Part of the context of the Crozier mess that you are oblivious to is that The Roosevelt was part of an agressive naval stance towards China that started the moment Trump took office – that was a REVERSAL of Obama.
        I keep telling you that Croziers actions had a negative US national security impact.
        Roosevelt played a significant role in that aggressive posture towards China.

        Yet I am sure you can find plenty of clips of Trump saying nice things about Xi.
        In fact I can find a few recently where he talks about the fact that he really did not want to close travel to China at a time when the US had just completed a major Trade deal, and even now attacking China comes at risk to the trade deal and other American interests.
        But still Trump is willing to confront Xi.

        Just as he does Putin all the time, except that you do not see it.

        So please tell me WHY it is that you think Putin wanted or wants Trump ?

        What US policies under Trump are in russia’s interests ?

        The single most damaging US policy with respect to Russia is unrestricted US fracking.
        That alone alters the balance of power throughout the world in favor of the US and to the harm of both Russia and to a lessor extent China.

        The next most damaging policy is guarenteeing European energy – which could not be done without Fracking.

        And the next is pushing Nato to build up its own defenses.

        Today the Russian army is a paper tiger. But for their nukes they are not a serious threat.
        It is within the power of the EU to contain Russia with very little US help.
        It is within the power of the EU to prevent Russia from threatening its neghbors.

        It is NOT within the power of the US to do so. We do not have an actual dog in those conflicts. And we have no land border with Russia. All US european bases rest on the political whim of the nations they reside in. It is actually critical to peace and security in the world to assure that Nato is able to defend itself with minimal help from the US and more importantly BELEIVES it can. Otherwise we have Hitler and the 30’s all over again.

        Hitler could easily have been stopped had the europeans stood up to Germany any time before Poland. Even at that late date, had the french come out from behind the magninot Line and driven their forces toward Berlin Hitler would have been defeated.

        Hitler correctly beleived the Eurpoeans would not be willing to stand up for themselves until it was too late.
        If you want to contain Russia the Europeans must not repeat that mistake.
        Trump is the first US president since WWII that has expected the Europeans to address their own weakness BEFORE Putin tries to exploit it.

        And you think Putin likes Trump ?

  51. John Say permalink
    April 10, 2020 3:59 pm

    And here you have another problem. We now have the transcript of Papadoulis’s conversation with a “Confidential Human Source”.

    Note, Papasoulis beleives he is communicating with a friend not being interviewed by a hostile FBI agent.

    Papadoulis explicity denies that the he or the Trump campaign were involved with Russian in any way. That he or anyone else he knows was involved in the DNC hacking, or even that it is known that Russia was responsible for the leak saying that China, Anonymous, or even a bernie supporter could have been responsible.

    This is exculpatory, and it was required that the FBI disclose this to the FISA court.

    The FBI did not beleive Papadoulis’s denials which turns out to be poor judgement on their part. But that is not the critical point.

    A warrant application is in legal terms “ex parte” that means there is no one representing the target. There is no opposing party. Ex parte procedings are highly discouraged, but sometimes as in warrant applications necescary. Because of that the law, the rules and ethics require the moving party to present all evidence that might be exculpatory.
    The requirement to provide that evidence is NOT condictioned on there personal assessment of its importance or credibility. i.e. it is irrelevant whether the FBI “beleived” Papadoulis, if his remarks were exculpatory – which clearly they were, it was required that the FBI include them, which they did not.

  52. Jay permalink
    April 10, 2020 4:31 pm

    Priscilla- this is a comprehensive article about what to expect to see from the covid virus going forward.

    This observation should interest you:

    “ Second: duration of immunity. When people are infected by the milder human coronaviruses that cause cold-like symptoms, they remain immune for less than a year. By contrast, the few who were infected by the original SARS virus, which was far more severe, stayed immune for much longer. Assuming that SARS-CoV-2 lies somewhere in the middle, people who recover from their encounters might be protected for a couple of years. ”

    • John Say permalink
      April 10, 2020 6:12 pm


      It is possible the assertions in this article may be true.

      But the FACTS are WE DO NOT KNOW.

      There are lots and lots of “factlets” bits of information – that is either absolutely true or true with a reasonable degree of certainty, that we have available to us, in addition we have LOTS of information with far less degree of certainty. And among all of that we have LOTS of conflicts and contradictions.

      Several sources are claiming that Covid19 is not likely to be Seasonal – i.e. the Summer may not bring us respite.

      There is some evidence that is correct. But there is also lots of evidence it is incorrect.
      At this moment anyone saying one way or the other is making an educated guess.

      I am not especially interested in debating each individual point – atleast not as more than an effort to better understand Covid19.

      I am certainly not interested in trying to make political Hay of Covid19.
      It is a virus – it does not have a political agenda.

      My fundimetal position regarding Covid19 is based on a single very important generalization.

      “Systems that are so fragile they easily self destruct, do not exist for long.”

      Global highly fatal pandemics are extremely rare. If they were not life could not and would not exist.

      That single bit of information means that Given a list of 20 points of contention regarding any global threat – including Covid19, The results are NOT going to distribute on a bell curve.
      They are going to weigh HEAVILY towards the least devastating consequence.

      That does not mean pandemics killing millions are not possible. Just that they are incredibly rare.

      That means that of every 10 “facts” that are uncertain regarding Covid19 the ODDS are that atleast 7 will be on the benign rather than malignant side. Further that will ALWAYS be true of every bit of uncertain information we might have.

      As we are able to be more and more certain about Some “factlets”, no matter how begnign or malignant each may turn out to be, the odds are still that the remaining unknows distribute more heavily to begnign that malignant.

      But not – I am still talking about probability, Not certainty.
      Covid19 could defy the odds. Global murderous pandemics do occur, but they are very very very rare.

      Sometimes viral immunity is short – sometimes it is incredibly long. In very rare instances immunity is even passed on genetically.

      Small Pox hit the Faroe Islands about a century ago. 65 years later it hit again. Not a single person over 65 got it. Even people who did not catch small pox 65 years before did not get it. people who did not “catch” small pox had still been sufficiently exposed and developed sufficient immunity that 65 years later they did not catch it.

      H1N1 immunity seems to last about 35 years. we have had Spikes of H1N1 about 35 years apart since the 1918 flu. Further the immunity seems to be somewhat generic – if you get one H1N1 flu you are highly unlikely to get others.

      The most promising work on Covid19 seems to be based on ongoing work with SARS and MERS which are closely related.

      A biolab that was developing antibodies to fight SARS has found that every antibody they have developed to fight SARS is effective against Covid19 in vitro.

      We do not really KNOW what is limiting the current Covid19 spread.
      It could be the shutdown, it could be social distancing.
      It also could be that many of us have had corona virus colds in the past – 40% of all colds are caused by corona viruses and there may be an unknown sized pre-existing pool of immune or partially immune people.

      Further Immunity is not binary. Prior infections might protect heathy people but prove insufficient to protect those whose immune systems are weaker. Or prior immunity may not be absolute – it may protect you from casual exposure that would effect others, but not spending 6 hours with someone shedding the virus.

      But all the above – and most everything in your article is SPECULATION.

      Some of it will prove to be true, alot of it will not.

    • John Say permalink
      April 10, 2020 6:58 pm

      Your article claims that the US failed regarding Covid19.

      What is the basis for that ? What are the criteria ?

      At this time the US has among the lowest # of deaths per million of population.
      That number will almost certainly be revised even lower as the US is counting every death of someone infected with Covid19 as a Covid19 death and that is not standard, or standard throughout the world – Some other nations will similarly revise deaths downward.
      But many nations with lower rates will be revising them upward.

      Increasingly the projected US deaths are going to be about the same as the upper end of a normal flu outbreak.

      There are specific areas in which the US has failed:

      Like almost every single other country on the planet we failed to stop this from getting into the general population. That is a real failure, and it needs to be addressed in the future.
      The US failed DESPITE taking more agressive measures than any other developed country.

      It is increasingly evident that we failed – because despite acting earlier than anywhere else it was already here – particularly on the west coast were it appears to have arrived in early january – long before it was expected.

      Interestingly the east coast cases appear to have primarily come from Europe – not China.
      So again we failed to restrict travel from europe soon enough.

      CDC failed with regard to developing an effective test. Despite having tests already developed by the Chinese, South Koreans and WHO, the CDC insisted on developing its own test – it failed twice, and ultimately fobbed off testing to …. The private sector.

      It is absolutely true that if this had been an order of magnitude worse our health care system would have been strained beyond capacity – but it was not.
      And the “it could have been worse” – is ALWAYS true. The spanish flu could have been worse. Regardless are you looking to produce and stockpile enough ventalators and respirators, and … for 100% of the population for 6 months ? Ultimately you MUST scale preparedness against the probability, and that means that once a century or so you will be “unprepared”.

      The same is true of shortages out side the healthcare system. There is nothing that americans have been short of to crisis levels throughout this. Whatever it is that we want – has aside from brief shortages ultimately been made available to us.

      The only shortage that the free markets can not address is the government imposed shortage of freedom.

      The other clear failure is with our regulatory system. It has been self evident from the start that big and little Pharma has been able to deliver whatever we needed. What they can not do is make the regulatory process they do not control move faster.

      It is self evident that our regulatory system has ZERO ability to “triage” – to do actual cost benefit analysis – not regarding drugs, or vaccines, or the economy.

      That the CDC, NIH and FDA in the US will strive for perfect safety no matter how long that takes and how many people have to die before we can meet their requirements.

      Regardless, what constitutes failure ? What constittues success ?

    • John Say permalink
      April 10, 2020 7:00 pm

      Thus far there appears to be small differences between SARS and SARS-Cov-2.
      SARS appears to have a higher fatality rate, but a lower spread rate.

      But the antibodies for SARS appear to work against SARS-Cov-2, and the drugs that we were working on to fight SARS probably work against SARS-Cov-2.

  53. John Say permalink
    April 10, 2020 4:42 pm

    Increasingly nearly all “experts” are predicting that we are at or near the peak.

    If US Covid19 deaths tripple before the end of this – they will still be below a bad flu season.

    Further we have not yet accurately assessed deaths. 2/3 of all Covid19 deaths are of people who likely would have died in the next 6 months.

    We do not attribute deaths involving the flu or pneumonia to those diseases where there are underlying conditions that would ultimately prove fatal.

    Current Covid19 deaths are less than equivalent of 2 days of US deaths from all other causes.

    The information the “experts” have provided us with – the projections, the models, their best guesses have all been extremely important. It is their job to ADVISE us. But no amount of expertise can create certainty from uncertainty. There has been almost no “fact” regarding Covid19 that we will actually know for certain until long after this is over.

    We still do not reliably know the number of people infected, which means we do not know the actual R0 or degree of infectuousness or the actual mortality rate. It is absolutely certain that the adjustments we make as we learn more will substantially reduce Covid19’s mortality rate.
    It is possible though unlikely that it will be less than that of the Flu.

    We are currently crediting lockdowns and social distancing for gaining control of this. But models predict those measures prevent overwhelming the healthcare system. They do not reduces cases, and probably do not reduce deaths.

    Further countries that did NOT shutdown their economies do not appear to be doing worse than the US.

    We will eventually know what worked – if anything and what did not. but we did not at the time we made decisions, and we do not now.

    • Jay permalink
      April 10, 2020 7:38 pm

      I hope the more optimistic projections prove correct.

      However, so far previous early optimistic projections have not materialized (please, no cherry picked exceptions).

      Whose opinions are you going to trust as more reliable going forward – experienced experts like the guy who wrote the Atlantic article, or opinions emanating from Trump’s gut and Hannity’s asshole?

      • John Say permalink
        April 11, 2020 2:48 am

        “However, so far previous early optimistic projections have not materialized (please, no cherry picked exceptions).”

        There is infinite room between “the end of the world” and “this is nothing”

        This has not turned out to be nothing.
        Right now it is on track to being about the same as the flu.

        There will be alot of post mortem fighting over whether it is the same as the flu BECAUSE of all the actions we took, or whether that is what it would have been anyway.

        “Whose opinions are you going to trust as more reliable going forward – experienced experts”

        The BEST information so far has come from people who work with economic models – investors. Who have the best understanding of statistics.

        These are the people who have told us from the very begining that this was being radically overhyped and that based on the actual data the probabilty of the end of the world predictions coming true were highly unlikely.

        These were NOT the medical experts. They were also not right wing talking heads.
        They were just people who understood probability and statistics – because that was what they work with all the time. People who make LOTS of money being right about probability and statistics.

        While there expertise was important. It was not the determining factor. The key factor – something you completely miss all the time, the factor that is huge in why government – including government experts screw up all the time.

        Is the people who were RIGHT are the people who have “skin in the game” – who had something to lose if they were wrong.

        I like Faucci and Brix – but honestly – THEY have been wrong – More than Trump, More than even Hannity. They do not have “skin in the game”
        People in government do not lose when they are wrong.
        Almost everyone in the VA today was there before they Forked up.
        And they are still forked up under Trump.

        Trump BTW faces serious consequences if he is wrong – he faces an election soon.

        Faucci and Brix are career public servants. Even if they lose their current positions, they are not “gone”. It is unlikely they can be fired.

        I like Faucci and Brix, and I would agree they are the “experts” – but they have actually been wrong pretty much by the numbers from day one.

        And I am using Faucci and Brix as standins for pretty much every expert you might wish to cite – IHME, Imperial College, Los Almos, …. Even your Atlantic writer.

        The guy who wrote the article for Medium – the one that was cancelled because he is not a biologist, was very close to entirely right.

        Trump has been right more than Faucci or Brix or any of your “experts”.

        I strongly suspect that nothing that the government – state or federal has done beyond advise people on measures to reduce the spread of viruses has had any consequential effect.

        We will not know that for a while, and if as I suspect that is true you are only barely going to here that leak out. Because the “experts” have a vested interest in hiding the fact they were wrong.

        Despite the fact that their predictions were several orders of magnitude off. they are going to declare victory and tell us all that but for taking the measures they recomended BY FORCE, and killing the economy it would have been much worse.

        But my guess is that a really good cost benefit analysis would find that with less consequential economic disruption, even if that resulted in 4 Times the Covid19 deaths that the net deaths would be LESS. Covid19 is not the only way people die.
        Drugs, suicide, crime, all impact mortality.

        You have told me that I am an idiot because I claim that preventive medicine is relatively ineffective in increasing life expectancy (more accurately health insurance, some forms of prevention are effective).

        Yet we have shut down all but absolutely critical medical care.
        People are unable to go to the dentist unless there is an emergency – yet Dentistry might be the single largest area of medical care that has increased life expectance.

        How many people are going to die because routine dental care was delayed ?

        There are dozens and dozens of ways a shutdown economy substantially negatively impacts us – including health and life expectance.

        It is unlikely I am going to be able to prove my claims to your satisfaction – because shortly the same experts who screwed up are going to tbe doing the post mortem – with the objective of proving that things would have been worse without them.

        Even Trump, Pelosi, Schumer McConnel.. all have a vested interest in a post mortem that plays up how important what they did was, and how worse it would have been but for them.

        My hope for the post mortem is SMALL truths, not big one.

        Understanding that the CDC/FDA can not move fast enough and that if we want beneficial drugs and vaccines if something like this happens again we must reduce the power of government.

        That we could have had testing available to anyone who wanted it in the US by mid january – but for CDC.

        That we could have antibody treatments today or maybe in a few weeks but for the FDA.
        That we could have experimental vaccines in a month or two, But for FDA and reasonably safe ones available for most everyone by the end of Summer – but for the FDA.

        I would further note that the “experts” are going to analysze this to find not only were they instrumental, but if we give them more power they will be able to prevent this in the future.

        But that is factually 180 off. the “experts” were SLOW to react. Trump was fast, just not fast enough.

        Further what I see is evidence that we are VERY NEAR being able to END airborne virus’s.

        I see Covid19 as the last gasp.

        Maybe it is NOT possible today to develop a safe vaccine in 2 months.
        But what i have seen demonstrates to me that there is no reason that must be impossible.
        that we have or are very close to the technology to do so.

        Biohackers can develop low risk vaccines in 4-6 weeks for about $50K.

        Would that have worked against Covid19 ? Maybe, maybe not.

        But give them sufficient freedom from FDA and in a few years that is CERTAINTY.

        The same is true of antibodies.

        We will find out soon enough if Hydroxychloroquine actually has consequential antiviral properties. Maybe it does, maybe it does not.

        But I saw enough to know that the biotech industry is at worst a few years from developing a safe antiviral to fight ANY virus in a few months – given the FDA stays out of their way.

        What i saw tells me that in the future STARTING NOW, we need to treat the “experts” as the impediment. Not our saviors.

        We have or soon will have the capability of wiping out diseases like Covid19 QUICKLY.
        If we can get the experts out of the way of preventing that.

        I think that is pretty clear.

        But I doubt you saw that.

      • John Say permalink
        April 11, 2020 3:11 am

        What have I gotten from this ?

        Experts – especially those who do not have “skin in the game” are ridiculously bad at forecasting anything. Do I trust Trump more than those experts ? I do not know. I have no good reason to Trust Trump – he is not an expert. But though he was periodically wrong, he was right more than “the experts”. I can not speak to Hannity, I do not pay attention to him.

        Free markets work. I have all the toilet paper, hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, Zinc Lozenges, soap, gloves, and N95 masks I need. No more nor less. Nothing was permanently in short supply. I could get anything I wanted at reasonable prices in a few days from Amazon. And I even got alot of things – including masks FROM CHINA in the middle of this. Slow, but still before I needed them.

        Hundreds of companies were ready to construct the magic bullet to kill this. It is near certain that one of these will work. It is also near certain that but for the FDA we would have dozens to try RIGHT NOW.

        Dozens of companies were ready with vaccines within a little more than a month. Many of those will fail. But the time to market for the atleast one that is certain to succeed is solely determined by the FDA which is completely unable to grasp the concept of SAFE ENOUGH in a crisis.

        It is increasingly appearing that Ventalators for Covid19 are actually a mistake and may make the disease worse. But that is NOT true of all possible future diseases.
        Regardless, if Ventalators were the answer – free markets can deliver them rapidly.

        While people were ranting that all our medical supplies were being made in China and we were all going to die. US Manufacurers produced MILLIONS of medical supplies. So much that we switched to fighting because US made masks and ventalators were being shipped to Canada and Germany.

        Anyone who missed the fact that US producers can ramp up FAST is blind.
        Not instantly, but incredibly fast.

        3M was there for us, Ford, GM even My Pillow. As well as myriads of other businesses of all scales.

        After our government repeatedly botched developing a reliable test – private tests were available – and would have been available faster and more plentifully but for Government.

        What I saw was that everything I have been saying about free markets and regulation for years is completely true.

        What I saw was those evil businesses that are going to poison you to make a buck, were giving it everything they had to save your life – and often for free or very low cost.
        And they did so despite government trying to kill us all.

      • Jay permalink
        April 11, 2020 9:58 am

        Jackass Say says: “ This has not turned out to be nothing.
        Right now it is on track to being about the same as the flu.”

        Tell that to the New Yorkers dying in record numbers

  54. John Say permalink
    April 11, 2020 1:20 am

    Understanding the news – a objectivish approach.

  55. Jay permalink
    April 11, 2020 9:50 am


    (Bloomberg): “ Gilead Sciences Inc.’s experimental drug for patients with severe Covid-19 infections showed promise in an early analysis, raising tentative hope that the first treatment for the novel virus may be on the horizon.

    The report published in the New England Journal of Medicine tracked 53 people in the U.S., Europe and Canada who needed respiratory support, with about half receiving mechanical ventilation and four on a heart-lung by-pass machine. Eight additional patients were left out of the analysis: one due to a dosing error and seven because no information was available on how they fared.

    All received remdesivir for up to 10 days on a compassionate use basis, a program that allows people to use unapproved medicines when no other treatment options are available. Over 18 days, 68% of the patients improved, with 17 of the 30 patients on mechanical ventilation being able to get off the breathing device. Almost half of the patients studied were ultimately discharged, while 13% died. Mortality was highest among those who were on a ventilator, with 18% of them dying.”

    • John Say permalink
      April 11, 2020 7:28 pm

      The data I am seeing is that 2/3 of patients who end up on ventalators die.

      If that is the case, remdesivir looks excellent.

      Regardless, there are many things we have available to try. There are drugs that worked on other coronaviruses, there are drugs that showed promise with aids.

      There is one biotech firm that is trying pretty much every drug in the FDA’s list of something like 200,000 approved medications – anything that appears to work from that list can be tried by doctors on humans without prior FDA approvals.

      I beleive Remdesivir is not yet approved for anything. that is why it can only be used “compassionate use” – i.e. for a critically ill patient.

      I and not in detail familiar with the published results but there are large scale uses of hydroxychloroquine now, and these look promising. The prior french study was scaled up to 1000 severely ill patients and had a 97% success rate.

      New York is using it both propholactically for first responders and as treatment with rumours of good results.

      i would note that these and many other efforts are essentially going arround the FDA.
      Because the FDA can not move fast enough.

      At this time there are more than 100 potential medications that have shown promise.
      But only those that have been previously approved for SOME use can be dispensed by doctors without FDA approval.

      Everything else that is promising must get past FDA, that means it must atleast get FDA compassionate use approval – which until now has been hard to get.

      • April 11, 2020 8:09 pm

        Does it really matter? Who the hell wants to live like this for the next 18-24 months before a vaccine is approved.

        And with a 30%+ unemployment rate, the economy is screwed for years. Every day that goes by now just makes that worse. This is going to make the 30’s look like boom times compared to what we have coming. And nothing government has done or will can stop the depression train because the whole world is in the crapper.

        With governors closing stores to vegetable seeds and plants, people out of a job cant even plant a garden to help feed themselves. That only puts more pressure on food banks like in Texas that had over 3000 lined up the first week and over 10,000 lined up in a parking lot this week.

        I am too old to live 20% or more of my expected life span left hold up in something close to home imprisonment while our government argues over what the hell doctors can use to treat this disease.

        And at some point, I would expect many more to begin thinking like me, especially those older that want to have some relationship with grand kids.

        And that doesnt even touch the problems like depression, because once that begins to set in your whole outlook on life, your attitude toward others and your desire to look to the future is severely impacted.

      • John Say permalink
        April 11, 2020 11:24 pm

        i do not like alot of what has been done – by Trump, by democrats, by republicans.
        There will be some negative consequences of this that are permanent or near permanent.

        But the world is not coming to an end. Most of the economy is likely to recover very quickly – once let off the leash. But a few areas – movies, sports, theater, resturaunts will take a long time to recover – and some will fail.

        There will of course be winners. Amazon – hugely. Biotech, GM, Ford, Mypillow, 3M.

        As politely as I can I might suggest that you have a small dose of that depression you noted.

        For all my rants here. I am an optomist.
        Alot of bad things have happened, but we will get past it.
        We will move on.
        We will thrive.

        Unfortunately I doubt this will change many of the things that need changed significantly – but I suspect there will be some small changes.
        I suspect the FDA might be reigned in a little bit.

  56. Jay permalink
    April 11, 2020 9:53 am

    New California antibody study could point to possible herd immunity to COVID-19:

    • John Say permalink
      April 11, 2020 7:36 pm

      Wow, Jay, a link to an article citing VDH in a favorable light ?

      You do know that VDH is a pro-trump conservative ?

      • Jay permalink
        April 12, 2020 9:17 am

        I’ve followed Victor for years- back before his brain started to scramble.

        But that doesn’t mean everything he says now shouldn’t be considered as possibly relevant.

      • John Say permalink
        April 12, 2020 1:24 pm

        There is no one you should assume is always right
        No one you should assume is always wrong.

        VDH is too much of a neocon for me.

        He is a good historian and nearly always worth reading.

        I would prefer what he wrote directly rather that some reporters construal of it.

        But there is a growing body of evidence this arrived in the US sometime between late Nov. and early January.

        While late Nov. seems to me to be a big reach.

        I was flying home from Asia with my family in late Dec. many on the plane with me were from China.

      • April 12, 2020 2:11 pm

        Its also going to be of interest when Stanford University finishes it study of California and the number of cases that might have been active well before this hit the country.

        Hopefully along with this, a recent leak of intelligent information indicating China recognized this in october will be investigated and reported. Supposedly China began hoarding PPE as well as not wanting to jeopardize the trade negotiations at that time leading them to hide for months what was happening.

        But with an election coming up, I have no faith in our system or media to take the time to really figure out what happened so it might not happen again.
        Election …Aug-Nov
        GOP congress scrambles to pass last ditch Trump agenda…..Dec.
        Transition Govt info coverage….Dec-Jan
        Democrat first 120 day legislative agenda…late Jan-Mid May
        And that assumes no recurrences of current govt lockdowns.

      • John Say permalink
        April 12, 2020 5:53 pm

        Will all the media give various stories the attention they deserve as they become public ?

        But the stories will become public and many people will learn about them.

      • April 12, 2020 6:25 pm

        Like we have said many times, you have much more faith in the voters than I do. Once the stories become known, no one will be interested in them because we moved on. Once they are know there will be a huge brouhaha going on win Washington with the GOP senators blocking a new healthcare initiative by the democrats and Shumer threatening a full blown nuclear option in the senate to pass legislation with a one vote margin.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 2:30 am

        “you have much more faith in the voters than I do.”

        To some extent, because there is no other choice.

        Who are you going to substitute ? If you do not trust people to govern themselves, who shall do it ?

        There are plenty on the left and right who would happily direct everything.

        I prefer to see the people govern themselves – constrained by a constitution that limits the power of government. But even that constraint is ultimately the choice of the people.

      • April 13, 2020 10:14 am

        Well Dave, when a law is written and states someone will have to pay a fine or fee, that law goes to SCOTUS, and to make the law legal, the Chief Justice states that the word “fine” or “fee” is really a tax gives me cause to question the future based on a constitution where made up facts create law.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 2:04 pm

        No amount of wordsmithing on the part of the courts can alter the fact that limited government not merely works best, but that as government scales larger it increasingly works worse, ultimately to the point of failure.

        Neither the people, the voters, the politiicans, the courts can change what is essentially a law of nature. Life is way too complicated to manage top down.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 2:46 am

        I can not see the future, I can only guess – but you sure are a pessimist.

        But I would ask you consider something else.

        Government does not scale well – anywhere ever.
        There are innumerable reasons that socialism fails.
        But ONE of those is that it requires extremely broad and deep government.
        And that has not worked anywhere, ever, in any form.

        The core problem is one of nature, managing complexity is incredibly difficult, and life gets ever more complex as our standard of living improves.

        The bigger government gets the more it fails.

        You are pessimistic enough that you see the consequences of future government failures.
        But you do not seem to grasp that we learn from failure.

        In innumerable ways Trump is the consequence of Obama’s failures.

        I would greatly prefer we could find the answers without having to learn through failure.

        But whether is it Sanders or Robby, or Clinton or Obama, Top down does not scale very far.
        That can not be changed by magic.

  57. John Say permalink
    April 12, 2020 12:06 am

  58. John Say permalink
    April 12, 2020 12:24 am

  59. John Say permalink
    April 12, 2020 12:25 am
    • John Say permalink
      April 12, 2020 12:27 am

      Sorry wrong link

    • April 13, 2020 1:06 pm

      I can understand some of the orders, but when they get to the point that people are in a store, walk past an item and can not put it in their cart, “common sense” (which you do not believe in, I know) is totally missing. When you can not go to a golf course, one person per cart and play golf which is something that few can hit a ball close to their playing partner, commons sense is missing. Here in our state, hiking trails have been closed. Why? Tennis courts have been closed. Why? Moms, dads, kids living in the same house can’t play tennis? Stupidity.

      But dang, we can still go to the liquor store and buy booze, We can go to the local Jiffy mart and buy Lotto tickets. Tjose are essential to state tax revenues.We can go to Walmart and buy beer, wine, candy, chips, those are essential. But buying vegetable seeds to feed your family when your out of a job, no way Jose’. Not essential.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 2:42 pm

        If you think that “common sense” is the basis for your personal decisions – that is fine with me. i do not care if you consult ouija boards to make your own decisions.

        But government is FORCE. When you use FORCE, you MUST justify the use of force.

        Force must be justified EXPLICITLY – saying “its common sense” is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

        I can not kill you claiming that its “common sense” that you were going to kill me.
        I must justify that use of force explicitly – with clear specific facts – you had a gun, you pointed it at me, you were in my house, you used the threat of force to make demands …..

        “Common sense” has no place in government or law. If you can not explain clearly precisely why the use of force is justified without hiding behind vague generalizations like common sense. You may not use force.

        But you are free to rely on “common sense” regarding cooking your food, painting your house or myriads of activities you engage in all the time that do not involve the use of force against others, nor result in harm to others.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 6:06 pm

        You keep telling me that the media will not report stories that do not fit their narrative – and yet here you are repeating stories of government tyranny.

        Yes, some stories get disporortionately more coverage than others, and way to much of what is reported is opinion rather than facts. But these stories still get out.

        They BEG to get out, and the media can not help themselves, somebody with a national voice will report most anything.

        If parks maintance somewhere in the US takes down a basketball net that a lone teen was playing basketball with – we will all read about it.

        It may not get the same amplification as Trump’s latest tweet. But it will get our eyeballs.

        40 years ago that would not be the case.

      • April 13, 2020 6:29 pm

        Well I cant fond the original comment, so don’t know where it came from. I doubt it was any media that has many readers, but I could be worng.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 7:22 pm

        I would also note that thought there are a few winners, the common thread of most of the Covid19 public health and government stories is one of failure.

        And not for the most part failure by Trump.

        Failure by many governors and mayors. But public health officials, by an assortment of people in government behaving like petty tyrants and behaving badly.

        It is also a pretty clear story that these people can not figure out what is important and what is not. That government does no better (much worse) at deciding what each of us should be free to do and what we should not, what should be for sale and what should not, what businesses are essential and which are not.

        The fact is everything is essential.

        While there are some partisan aspects to this – republican governors have in general been less likely to over react and push draconian measures. At the same time this is not mostly partisan. It is mostly just a tale of govenrment failure.

        At this moment we appear slightly past the peak.

        That appears to be true for much of the world, for much of the US, and for nearly all states.

        We are warned that relaxing the rules will cause things to spike, yet even sweden which did NOTHING officially, except ask its citizens to take care appears to have peaked.

        No nation or area that has peaked and relaxed as had a relapse yet.

        Our leaders are celebrating claiming THEIR actions saved lives.
        But it is increasingly likely that nothing they have done mattered at all.

  60. April 13, 2020 12:13 pm

    This goes right to the heart of Rick’s “tribalism”. When medical decisions using drugs for life and death are based on your politics, can tribalism be much more.impactful?–Af_N7eLGSQq-BOZuyL76hUmjM

    • John Say permalink
      April 13, 2020 2:12 pm

      Each of us are free to take whatever we want, if you do not wish to take this drug or that – then don’t.

      I would likely take Hydroxychlorquine right now as a prophylactic if I could actually get it.
      But if you would not, that should be your free choice.

      Blacks are highly inclined to distrust government and to distrust medicine – that is a result of centuries of government and medicine being weaponized against blacks. Presumably you have read of the Tuskegee experiments ?

      • April 13, 2020 3:42 pm

        Dave, I am free to do whatever I want short of harming others.

        GOP conservatives more likely to take this drug.

        Anti-Trump democrats most likely not to because Trump supports it.

        Tribalism? Thats my take. They would choose death if it meant not taking something Trump supports.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 7:24 pm

        If some people do not wish to take a drug that might help them because of politics – that is their choice.

        But they act immorally if they prevent my taking that drug.

        I do not care much about what I deem the bad judgements of others so long as they do not infringe on my liberty.

      • Jay permalink
        April 13, 2020 7:49 pm

        Why can’t you get your doctor to write a prescription?

        Hydroxychloroquine is available as the brand-name drug Plaquenil. And also available in a generic version.

        But if you took it as a preventative, you’d be taking it from fall thru winter- maybe year round as the covid infection time frame hasn’t been established.

        Here’s Plaquenil’s recommended dosage for Malaria Prophylaxis:
        Adults: 400 mg (310 mg base) once weekly on the same day of each week starting 2 weeks prior to exposure, and continued for 4 weeks after leaving the endemic area.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 10:33 pm

        Why should I need to have a persciption ?

        Even if you presume – falsely that a doctor must be involved – why must the state be involved ?

        It should be readily apparent by now that the government is completely clueless.

        Whether it is those who want to shut everything down for years, or those who want ot spend all the money on earth, or ….

        It should be obvious even to you that no one in government is capable of making a rational risk/benefit decision. That is avoiding such nuances as that the risks and benefits are not the same for each of us.

        Things like there is no sane reason to take the basketball goal from a girl in Denver playing alone in an obscure park. But it is probably unwise for crowds of unrelated people to play in harlem.

        In the end people have to make these choices for themselves.

        You whigged out over the couple that took fish tank cleaner. Yet it turns out they were both virulent anti-trump democrats.

        Regardless, if you give people freedom – some of them will make mistakes, and some of them will pay the consequences.
        If you take it away you can be sure government will make a mistake and all of us will pay the consequences.

      • Jay permalink
        April 14, 2020 4:29 pm

        Yeah let’s get the government out of medicine and doctoring…

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 5:15 pm

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 10:36 pm

        Chloraquine is atleast 200 years old as a drug.
        Hyrdroxycholoquine might be more like 70.

        While it has risks they are little different from aspirin.
        In much of the world it is OTC and handed out like candy.

        “But if you took it as a preventative, you’d be taking it from fall thru winter- maybe year round as the covid infection time frame hasn’t been established.”

        So what ? Why don’t I get to choose ? The stuff is $0.04/dose. It is not like it is expensive.
        It is so old it is not patented 5 times over – NO ONE owns it.
        Part of why so little research has been done with it.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 11:03 pm

        How long ? Who knows ?

        Why do you assume it will be long ?

        Todate no country has seen a resurgence, I know that is early, and China of course can not be trusted. but still even Xi could not be hiding 1,000,000 new cases and 30,000 new deaths.

        Sweden did nothing – and just like the countries that shutdown their economy they appear past the peak.

        Why does the flu stop ? Why do colds stop ?

        Why doesn’t every human get every communicable disease ?

        Small pox and measles are 10* more contagious than this, and they NEVER infected everyone, or even most people.

        I am guessing we are at the peak and in a couple of months we will not see this again.
        Could I be wrong ? Sure. But i am no more likely to be wrong than the “experts”.

        I am not beating them up – I respect them more than you. But I do not deify them.
        I expect them to give us their best advice. i also expect them to be wrong most of the time – as they have been.

        But you seem STILL to be certain that we will hit the worst case.

        I offered to leave this blog forever if there were 7M deaths in the US.
        There are probably not going to be 7M confirmed cases in the world – though my guess is that there are somewhere between a factor of 2 and 10 cases that never went diagnosed.

        I expect that in the end when they adjust for the number of cases that we really have, and correct deaths from died WITH covid19 to died FROM covid19 that the CFR will be less than the flu.

        That’s just my guess. but that is the way things appear to be headed.

        Give or take a week outside of asia most of the world has peaked at nearly the same time.
        Despite different nations using different approaches.

        It is unlikely that is an accident. That also means it is unlikely to have anything to do with anything we have done.

        This appears to be going away. It is not likely it is doing so because we beat it.

        It is either doing so because it has spread as far as it reasonably can. That either by prior genetic resistance, or because it does not like the changing weather that this is dying NATURALLY.

        If the later – it will probably be back in the fall. That gives us several months to learn to kill it.
        But i am betting on natural immunity. It already appears that SARS and MERS antibodies work against Covid19. I am guessing that immunity to OTHER corona viruses convey’s immunity to Covid19 – just like getting CowPox protects you from smallpox.
        20-40% of all colds are corona viruses. My guess is that people who have had a corona virus cold in the past several years are immune.

        But that is just a guess. What is not a guess is this is fizzling now. What is also not likely is that it is fizzling because of something we have done.

        To those in the health comunity who want to terrify us by suggesting this will happen again.

        Absolutely. But as dismissive as I am about our responsibility in defeating this. We have learned alot. There is no obstacle to the rapid development of anti-virals and vaccines EXCEPT our governments. It is also probably wise to do health checks of people entering the country. At the very least take peoples temperatures and ask them to voluntarily quarantine if they are elevated. Further take down their information – so that if there is some pandemic a few weeks later we can go back and trace every sick person that entered in the past month, and isolate them and their contacts.

        Voluntary social distancing – we will all probably practice some more of that in the future, and old folks homes will be more careful about letting people with symptoms visit.
        But the odds of manditory measures again are slim. That has gone badly. clearly government is clueless. And the left wing media has been very helpful in pointing all this out. They can not help themselves but point out all the cases of police and others in authority behaving badly or stupidly or both.

        We have learned – our government does not know what it is doing – not Faucci, not Brix, not the WHO, not IHME not the imperial college, not Trump.

        Not because they are bad people – but because much of the time we just do not have enough facts. And because there is little penalty in government for overreacting, but lots for underreacting..

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 11:04 pm

        You do understand you are talking about a drug that costs $0.04/dose and is easily made ?

    • John Say permalink
      April 13, 2020 2:17 pm

      The PragerU video that got censored by YouTube interviewed people in NYC asking them if they would be willing to see Covid19 get worse if that would mean Trump would lose the election.

      It essentially presented them with a choice – they could have a world without Trump – but more people would have to die, or they could have fewer deaths but be stuck with Trump in 2020.

      They were also asked if they were democrat or republican.
      There are very few republicans in NYC. The choice was trivial for them. get rid of Covid19 whatever the political effects.

      There were a small number of democrats interviewed who responded the same as the republicans.

      Near universally the democrats from NYC picked things getting worse if that would get rid of Trump,. atleast one person was very clear that millions of deaths and the destruction fo the economy for decades was acceptable to her, if it meant Trump was gone.

      • April 13, 2020 4:09 pm

        Its avaible on their website 5 minute videos.

  61. April 13, 2020 12:22 pm

    Dave, so here is some more Chinese crap people put their lives at stake thinking they were protected. So tell me again when someone working in healthcare contracts this virus and passes it on before they become symptomatic, others get sick and die ( like so many in nursing homes), what recourse does the death family have against the Chinese co?

    • John Say permalink
      April 13, 2020 2:33 pm

      Clearly we read the opposite from the same article.

      The article plainly has the chinese government cracking down – something you claim to support and I do not and you use that as a basis to presume not merely shoddy products by justification for govenrment restraints.

      What I see is:

      Chinese producers being slowed down at a time we need their products most, by government.

      Which would you prefer – 100M masks a week with 10% of them only 50% effective ?
      Or 25M masks a week that are 100% effective ?

      We have people on YouTube telling you have to make masks from baby diapers – how effective do you think these are ? We have the Surgeon general now saying that even a bandana offers some protection.

      I would rather much more masks – quality be damned, than fewer perfect masks.

      But guess what – in an actual free market you get your way AND I get mine.

      Your article notes that some masks failed testing.
      So do not buy masks from those sources that do not meet your quality control standards.

      And others will buy those same masks knowing they are less effective at a discount.

      BTW there is no difference between the US and China in this regard.

      3M and others have massively scaled up US PPE production.
      That can not be done quickly without some sacrifice of quality.

      It is near certain that the failure rate of US masks is much higher than it was before Covid19.

      If i were responsible for 3M production and I was being told I had a choice between making substantially more with a higher rate of quality control failures or less masks and fewer failures. Right now I would pick more failures.

      The masks are only 61% effective on there own. Having far more that are only 50% effective is better than having fewer or none.

      For me this is a simple math problem. More masks of lower quality will be more effective at thwarting this disease than fewer better masks.

      But if you feel different – pay a premium for a known perfect mask and accept that there will be fewer because of your choice.

      • April 13, 2020 4:11 pm

        Why are they cracking down? BECAUSE THEY WERE PRODUCING CRAP AND GOT CAUGHT!

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 7:30 pm

        “Why are they cracking down? BECAUSE THEY WERE PRODUCING CRAP AND GOT CAUGHT!”

        So ? If you do not want a chinese N95 mask do not buy one.

        Personally given a choice, I would rather see more masks produced even if they are less effective, that fewer that are perfect.

        But you are free to ask for whatever you want.

      • Jay permalink
        April 13, 2020 8:01 pm

        “ diapers – how effective do you think these are ? We have the Surgeon general now saying that even a bandana offers some protection.”

        Diapers and home made masks are effective in preventing those of unknowingly affected from spreading the disease. Standards for those masks to be effective much lower than masks needed in confined medical areas.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 11:12 pm

        “Diapers and home made masks are effective in preventing those of unknowingly affected from spreading the disease. Standards for those masks to be effective much lower than masks needed in confined medical areas.”

        If you are working in a hospital exposed to lots of critically ill covi19 patients. Even a 90% effective outfit – excellent mask, gloves, goggles, is not going to prevent you from getting Covid19 if you are not immune and you work with it long enough.

        It is simple math. 90% prevention times enough exposure is 100% certainty of catching it.

        The only difference between a bandana and full out PPE is how long it will take before you are infected.

        Conversely for ordinary people whose exposure is infrequent a 40% reduction will reduce this to an R0 sufficiently low it will die on its own.

        Once a disease has truly gotten past the borders, widespread use of even weak measure is far more important than medical personel having access to strong measures.

        It is just math.

        Regardless, one of the things about an actual free market is you can have the degree of protection you are willing to pay for. And the cost difference between the worst and best is relatively small.

  62. Jay permalink
    April 13, 2020 3:49 pm

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
    Prez Bozo at Work!

    • April 13, 2020 4:35 pm

      With expert advice like this what could go wrong?

      And Jay, dont forget what the democrats were focused on 100% during this time period, taking energies needed elsewhere. If you were president, your expert told you there was nothing to worry about and you were being impeached, where would you focus?

      I think mine would be trusting F’up Fauci and concentrating on the fake new s impeachment.

      • Jay permalink
        April 14, 2020 10:13 am

        Really Ron, you’re becoming more Trump zombified day by day.
        Fauci said in January there was no serious danger from covid to Americans, prefacing it first that it had to be taken seriously. Did you hear that part?

        And he was telling that to Trump then: take it seriously; advice Trump IGNORED. By February Fauci was warning preventative steps needed to be taken. Trump didn’t heed those warnings. He was instead on his usual masterbatory Twitter rants against the press (Fox was still his pal), dragging his lard ass to reacting to a hoard of advice he was getting from numerous sources of the dangers ahead.

        In early March Fauci’ s was alerting the public in no uncertain terms:

        “The government’s top infectious disease expert on Sunday said that the coronavirus outbreak is getting worse and warned elderly and sick people to avoid traveling or circulating in crowds .”

        At the same time Dumbbell Donnie was announcing on Fox there were only “a handful of cases, but that would soon be down to zero.”

        Did that not penetrate your Trump-zombified-to-facts trance?

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 5:00 pm

        So when Trump restricted travel – first from China, and later from Europe – over the objections of pretty much all democrats and every healthcare expert in the world he was “unserious” about covid19 ?

        Jay, this argument does not fly. Absolutely positively EVERYONE failed to grasp the problem with Covid19 early on. Trump, Faucci, the Media, Democrats, ….
        Trump was one of the first world leaders to ACT.

        If you want to claim he should have acted sooner – arguably true.
        But he was already acting BEFORE and AGAINST the “experts”.

        This argument is not going to fly.

        From the begining through to today the data we have on Covid19 is poor (as is true of most public health data) and still debateable.

        Can you assert that the number of cases in the US (or anywhere) is accurate ? +-10% ?
        +-100% ? +- 1000% ?

        I can’t. About the only “fact” regarding Covid19 that is not still subject to enormous variability is the number of dead – and even that is likely to be adjusted downward by 2/3 when we shift from measuring died WITH Covid19 to died FROM Covid19 as we do with all other infectuous diseases.

        So Trump was wrong in early march.

        EVERYONE was wrong.

        Who is more wrong those claiming there will be 4M dead in the US in early march, or those claiming there will only be a few ?

        Just today the head of the Israeli task force on Covid19 said he expect the epidemic in Israel to end in the next two weeks.

        Because the epidemic has lasted 6-8 weeks in every single country in the world it has hit, regardless of the measures they have taken. The life cycle of the epidemic in each country appears to be much the same NO MATTER WHAT.

        So atleast this Israeli expert is saying there really was nothing that anyone ever could have done.

        Does it matter whether Trump or anyone else was right or wrong, if that mistake had no impact ?

        The US has had lower deaths per million in population than most of Europe.

        With france, belgium, the UK having 3-5 times the death rate of the US.
        And then there is Spain and Italy

        You can not easily claim Trump screwed up without admitting that EVERYONE screwed up.

      • Jay permalink
        April 14, 2020 5:33 pm

        “So when Trump restricted travel – first from China, and later from Europe – over the objections of pretty much all democrats and every healthcare expert in the world he was “unserious” about covid19 ?”

        I dare you to show proof that any Democrat of importance at the time – including any of those campaigning during the primaries – objected to Trump’s China ban to prevent the virus from entering the US.

        Trump’s initial China restrictions were to prod China to respond to his tariff negotiation,and because right wing Republican conspiracy theorists like nationalistic radio hosts Mike Cernivich and Michael Savage were agitating for it. Trump ADMITTED he didn’t think it was a serious threat at the time. And he surely didn’t follow through on the Chinese no-fly ban: I can’t believe you’re addle-brained enough NOT to understand that.

        “ 430,000 People Have Traveled From China to U.S. Since Coronavirus Surfaced
        There were 1,300 direct flights to 17 cities before President Trump’s travel restrictions. Since then, nearly 40,000 Americans and other authorized travelers have made the trip, some this past week and many with spotty screening.”

        That was April 4th NYT. As usual, Donnie’s all hat no cattle.

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 6:00 pm

        So will Pelosi’s excoriation of the travel ban on 1/31/2020 in a statment posted on the official web page of the speaker of the house do ?

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 6:05 pm

        You do realize that immediate after Trump’s travel restrictions were inposed the house judiciary commited voted in favor of the “No BAN Act” to reverse the ban ?

        And that there are tweets from Sen. Warren opposing the travel restrictions ?

        Even Daily KOS reported favorably on that.

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 6:46 pm

        “Trump’s initial China restrictions were to prod China to respond to his tariff negotiation,and because right wing Republican conspiracy theorists like nationalistic radio hosts Mike Cernivich and Michael Savage were agitating for it. Trump ADMITTED he didn’t think it was a serious threat at the time. And he surely didn’t follow through on the Chinese no-fly ban: I can’t believe you’re addle-brained enough NOT to understand that.”

        So once again we are supposed to take you word for assertions that have no support, mind reading and claims that Cernocich and Savage are Trump whisperers.
        This would be the Micheal Savage that was brutally beaten along with his dog by leftists in San Francisco ?

        Regardless, Covid19 would not have been a serious threat to the US had the travel restriction for both China and the world gone in place sooner.

        The easiest place to stop these things is at the borders.

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 6:52 pm

        Can you read ? The article may have been April 4th but the text explicitly states the travel listed was BEFORE the restrictions.

        Further the travel order was not a litteral ban. It was restrictions and scrutiny.

        And it would have worked had it been broader and imposed sooner – apparently much sooner.

        On Dec 23. 2019 I and my family were on a plane from Haneda international airport to Milwaukee. Probably one quarter of the passengers were from connecting flights originating in China. As more information is coming out, it is now likely that atleast one person on that plane probably had Covid19.

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 5:13 pm

        We measure the effectiveness of various actions by actual outcome. Not by words.

        You are constantly fixated on Trump’s words.
        Worse still you try to micro-parse them, as if you will somehow create a crime against humanity by careful editing.

        Acts are far more important than words.
        But even the significance of actions is constrained by results.

        Standing in front of a Tsunami yelling stop, is brave, but inconsequential.
        Telling everyone there is no Tsunami is stupid, but inconsequential as the Tsunami is going to obliterate everything regardless.

    • John Say permalink
      April 13, 2020 7:26 pm

      Looks good to me.

      People who might actually get things going.

  63. Jay permalink
    April 13, 2020 4:02 pm

    So: how do libertarians feel about Trump colluding with other world oil producers to lower the supplies of oil pumped to raise the cost to consumers?

    • April 13, 2020 4:44 pm

      I support it 100% because it is a national security issue. Put us in the position we were in during the 70’s when we were dependant on ME oil, add in the pandemic and most of our PPE and meds coming from China and tell me how secure this country would be. We have to be energy independent and we cant be if the world manipulates the cost of oil to bankrupt shale oil producers that need about $40.00 a barrel. But no one with TDS will understand national security issues if the decision was Trump originated.

      So Biden coming, shale oil will be driven out of business, so dont have stroke because the saudis will finally be able to get back to $100 oil.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 7:32 pm

        But it is not a national security issue.
        The US produces more fossil fuels than we consume.

      • April 13, 2020 9:37 pm

        Dave, do some research. Learn about oil production cost in America. Learn about orofit and loss. Then tell us with documented information if we can continue producing at the self sustaining levels at the current price for oil.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 11:23 pm

        “Dave, do some research. Learn about oil production cost in America. Learn about orofit and loss. Then tell us with documented information if we can continue producing at the self sustaining levels at the current price for oil.”

        I actually have – though none of that matters.

        When the Saudi’s tried the Oil war a couple of years ago, SA’s cost from the ground as $6/BBL. Add to that transportation by tanker.

        The Saudi’s estimated US frackers would go bankrupt at $80/BBL.
        Most Frackers were still in business at $19/BBL (not all).
        When prices rose again – those that had stopped – mostly came back.
        Further the “war” drove frackers to learn how to produce ever cheaper.

        The actual costs at any given time do not matter.
        What matters is what when push comes to shove costs can be driven down to.
        We do not know that until it happens.

        Further last time this happened frackers were at a disadvantage.

        Refineries were all at the gulf coast – where the super tankers docked. The US was transporting oil by rail from the Dakota’s to the Gulf to get it refined.

        This is why the fight over the pipelines. Transport of oil by rail is more expensive than by super tanker to a port. But nothing is as cheap as a pipeline (nor as environmentally safe).
        Further there are refineries going up near where the oil is coming out of the ground.

        So if US frackers were able to hold out a could of years ago to $19/BBL.
        I would expect they can do better now.

        And you seem to think that a price war does not harm SA or Russia.

        Russia’s transport problems make those of frackers look small. Further they are just not a s good as US oilmen.

        And the entire mideast is a uninteresting backwater, but for oil. And cheap oil means no one gives a shit about the mideast.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 11:24 pm

        I would suggest contemplating something else.

        The free market has worked. It has turned oild shortage into oil surplus and the price war Trump interfered in was just the natural process of prices adjusting in a free market.

      • John Say permalink
        April 13, 2020 7:36 pm

        They have tried to bankrupt the shale oil producers before. They failed, or more accurately most of those who shut down when priced dropped re-opened when they rose again.

        This is one of the disproven thesis of anti-trust law.
        Predatory pricing does not work.
        Even if you lower prices to drive out competitors, you must keep them low or the competitors come rushing back.

        If Russia and SA wish to drive the price down so much that Shale Oil producers can not compete – I am OK with that. The moment prices rise they will come back.

        In the meantime we get lower prices.

    • John Say permalink
      April 13, 2020 7:28 pm

      “So: how do libertarians feel about Trump colluding with other world oil producers to lower the supplies of oil pumped to raise the cost to consumers?”

      Like much of what Trump does regarding Trade I am opposed.

      Trump should have stayed out of it. The markets work these things out on their own.

      But as damage goes – again like most of Trump’s trade screw ups, this is still small potatoes.

      • Jay permalink
        April 14, 2020 9:48 am

        How ‘bout that; agreement; another in a long list of Trump screw-ups; those small potatoes in a massive stew of screw-ups

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 4:39 pm


        You do not seem to be listening to anyone else.
        You keep trying to divide the world binary into Trumpanzee’s and those who hate Trump.

        Everyone here find’s fault with Trump. Which should not be surprising. What are the odds that one person would agree completely with any other person on everything ?

        The weight each of us gives to what each or us sees as the failings of the current president – whether that is Trump or Obama or Bush or …. is an individual choice.

        One of the many reasons Trump was elected in 2016 was that he was the lessor evil.
        Many Trump voters were unhappy about that choice at the time.

        Honestly, Trump has been a much better president than I expected.
        He has made lots of mistakes – every president does.

        Further there are things he does that work politically that are inferior choices economically or practically.

        But for the most part the bad choices he makes are not nearly so bad as his immediate predecessors, and the good choices he makes more frequent and more significant than his predecessors.

        I disagree vigorously with pretty much all his trade policies.
        But he has carefully avoided engaging in protectionism in a way that would do significant harm to the economy. And frankly he is not a protectionist. He is a type of free trader, he uses protectionism to leverage freer trade deals.
        I still think that is a mistake. but it works for him politically and the economic damage is small and he appears to be very careful about that.

        We can go through a long list of Trump’s flaws, but most of them are similar to his trade flaws. The damage is small and in most instances it is less that whatever the policies of his predecessors were.

      • Jay permalink
        April 14, 2020 5:04 pm

        We see it differently; no additional word spillage will change that.

        He’s a divisive undignified buffoon.

        The damage he’s already done to the soul/character of this nation far surpasses any of his minor accomplishments.

        Character is destiny: though neither of us will be around to see it, history will mark him with contemptuous scorn.

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 5:34 pm

        “He’s a divisive undignified buffoon.”

        We were divided long before Trump. We have been becoming more divided for a long time.
        But the greatest shift occured while Obama was president.
        Further the Pew data shows the most fundimental change was the hollowing out of the center left. Republicans/Conservatives shifted slightly to the right during Obama’s tenure, but the center left was pretty much destroyed. This is pretty much self evident by our political debates. At the start of the Obama administration those calling democrats and Obama socialist were excoriated – that was like calling them Nazi’s, it was untrue and unfair. But over the course of the Obama administration those on the left slowly embraced the notion and label of socialism.

        All this occurred long before Trump was involved.

        Obama divided the country more than any other president. Trump inherited that division he did not create it. Do you think that Hillary would have united the country ? Biden ? Sanders ?

        The country will not be reunited until a majority of democrats shift back towards the center.

        That is not happening so long as a substantial portion of democrats have no problems calling almost half the country hateful, hating haters.

        Again Trump has nothing to do with that.

        This country as a whole is NOT going to embrace socialism.
        The Obama experiments – such as PPACA have actually quelled the taste of myriads of americans for big experiments with government. It will be a long time before you can get broad popular support for such experiements – when you are even halfway honest with people regarding the cost.

        PPACA has been a failure. Not because it destroyed the economy, but because very very few people can claim to have benefited, very few know someone who has benefitted,
        But we have all seen the cost – both inside of government and out.

        Again none of this has anything to do with Trump.

        “The damage he’s already done to the soul/character of this nation”
        The character of the nation is its people. Those destroying that character are those who are calling almost half the country hateful hating haters.

        Again that greatly predates Trump.

        “far surpasses any of his minor accomplishments.”
        What had Obama accomplished ?
        He certainly did not unite the country.

        “Character is destiny: though neither of us will be around to see it, history will mark him with contemptuous scorn.”

        I have no idea what History will say. The New York Times 1619 project is now telling me that the entire history of the US is about slavery and racial hatred and oppression.
        That the US should be remembered with Scorn in comparison to other countries – like China or Cambodia, or the USSR.

        Do I trust historians like that to write honestly about Trump ?
        Do I even care ?

  64. April 14, 2020 6:48 pm

    This bug is something from a sci-fi movie.

    How does it get on a ship almost three weeks after sailors isolated and none their patients were infected.

    Our local news covered a story, young lady, afraid of illness, not leaving home for over 3 weeks, no contact with anyone, groceries delivered, left on porch, packages left on porch, all brought into home with gloves, containers cleaned, hands washed. She just came down with covid-19, positive test.

    How does someone get sick, never talking with anyone, separate home, not apartment, cleaning food containers and doing much more than most?


  65. Jay permalink
    April 14, 2020 8:17 pm

    Ralph Waldo Emerson Anticipating Dufus Donnie:

    “Great men, great nations, have not been boasters and buffoons, but perceivers of the terror of life, and have manned themselves to face it.”

    He’s a liar and shirker and incapable of sincerity or veracity.

    Now he’s on TV today, blaming China and the WHO, for believing what the Chinese told them, for the serious consequences that followed. But Despicable Don was PRAISING the Chinese at that time. So, isn’t that a shit-assed way for him to act?

    • Jay permalink
      April 14, 2020 8:20 pm

      Keep saying he never lies, Dave.
      That gets you the same amount of credibility’s energy gets; zilch.

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 11:50 pm

        I do not recall saying Trump never lies.

        I have said that so far none of the lies Trump has told are of near the consequence of those of Obama or Bush or Pelosi or Schiff.

        I have also said that most of the examples you produce of Trump lying ARE NOT.
        In fact most of them are examples of the press, the left or YOU lying about Trump.

        Please tell me once again that Carter Page is a russian asset ! Tulsi Gabbard too ?

        Please tell me once again that Trump was not spied on !

        Please tell me once again which of the gazillions of Press stories that Trump was colluding with the Russians are actually True ? Which of the gazillions of stories that “the walls are closing in” have proved true ? Jim Acosta is claiming exactly that right now.

        Which walls would those be Jay ?

        The PragerU video interviewing democrats in New York nearly all of whom would prefer to see this pandemic be worse – even much worse rather than see Trump re-elected are pretty telling.

        From the start, it is not just that you have falsely accused Trump and others of things that were obviously horseshit. But that the only reason that any of this got any airplay is because you actually WANT this nonsense to be true. You WANT page to have been a russian asset, you WANT things to go to hell because of Trump.

        I will say this once again.

        In Nov. 2008 when Obama won the election I prayed two things.
        That either everything I knew to be true about economics and big government would prove to be false and the steps that Obama took that everything I knew cried out would warm us would prove false, or in the alternative that Obama would grow to fill the shoes he was stepping into, and actually fix our problems.

        Both prayers were left unanswered. Obama proved to be a very poor president.
        Maybe a nice guy – though I am less sure about that.
        But a lousy president.

        From election day 2016 forward you and most of the left have been praying for Trump’s failure – no matter how many people that might harm. Now many of you are praying for peoples DEATHS – if that will get rid of Trump.

    • Jay permalink
      April 14, 2020 9:44 pm

      By January WHO was publicly urging countries to prepare for “containment, active surveillance, early detection, isolation, case management and contact tracing.”

      Trump was telling us wrongly the virus would “work out well” and offering virus assistance to North Korea. That was a wishful misreading of the warnings he was getting from his own people.

      Why does he keep putting his head up his butt? Yesterday he said he has “total” authority to decide how and when to reopen the economy. Today he said he PERSONALLY was going to call every governor of every state to give them authority to reopen. Isn’t that a lie in the making? Can you see him personally call 50 governors? 20? 10? Last month he instructed VP Pence not to reach out and call governor’s who aren’t appreciative of his efforts to fight the spread of the virus. Will Donnie only call those who kiss his ass, but now order the VP to call recalcitrants?

      • April 14, 2020 10:38 pm

        I just want to see factual reporting on him following up on his future try at a constitutional grab trying to force governors to open their economies when they dont feel confident to do so and have them take it to SCOTUS.

        I could care less what Fox, MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC ,NPR, New York Times, Wash Post, AP, UP, Facebook or the twit reports. When it happens and facts reported, not their news.

        It is amazing the ignorance of the American public, including our president, when it comes to constitutional rights. I have been debating Trump supporters in N. C. that say he has complete authority to order our governor to lift all orders to close. The tenth amendment states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Although the federal government has attempted to take control of various activities of the states in the past, SCOTUS rulings have for the most part limited the authority of the federal government, particularly with regard to regulating commerce and taxes. Congress can change some things when it comes to interstate commerce, but that has not taken place to allow the president to force states to reopen.

        If and when that happens, Trump get SCOTUS support or their decision overrides his open up orders, then that is fact. No social media comments, no tweets by twits, no media political manipulation.

        No political arguments by people using their own facts.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 12:32 am

        This is going to be resolved fairly quickly.

        It is not going to court.

        Many governors have NOT shutdown their economies, many are talking about easing things already.

        Trump and the people will put pressure on govenors and that pressure will build over time.

        Further circumstances in each state are unique. New York is likely to be the last to re-open.
        And that is appropriate.

      • April 15, 2020 11:29 am

        To bad. Would love to witness SCOTUS taking Trump to the woodshed.

        His stupidity of the constitution is unacceptable. How can he swear to uphold something he has no idea whats in it. The bill of rights, adding in the 14th is basic info.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 6:33 pm

        The law – and therefore the courts punish ACTS not words.

        SCOTUS will absolutely take Trump to the woodshed for unconstitutional ACTS.

        There is no such thing as unconstitutional words.

        In terms of ACTS, Trump is probably the most constitutionally conforming president in the past 100 years. That is why he rarely loses at SCOTUS and never 9-0 which was Common for Obama.

        In terms of words – Trump is imprecise and inarticulate – in the constitutional and legal sense.

        Many of us fault him on that – sometimes myself included.

        But I am increasingly of the view that is not important.

        I very much like what reporter Saleno Zito noted prior to the 2016 election.
        Trump’s supporters take him seriously but not literally, Trump’s opponents take him literally but not seriously.

        I do not think Trump cares alot about the type of legalistic precision in speech that Jay and the media and the left fixate on.

        He quite bluntly refuses to get into those kinds of games with the press.
        He does not “walk back” imprecise statements with the press. He does not engage in their word games, or try to explain or clarify.

        As in the instance you are addressing. We can gather Trump’s understanding of his constitutional powers as president by his ACTIONS..

        The purpose of his words was NOT to lay out some detailed plan. It was to communicate that it is important to move to safely restarting the economy and that he is going to do so ASAP balancing force and safety. Trump can not ORDER governors to do anything. But he has myriads of levers as president to persuade them to act. Is it absolutely necescary for Trump to spend 5 paragraphs telling reporters that have the constitutional authority to do something, but that he still has an enormous amount of leverage to persuade those who do have that authority to do as he wants ? Do we need to know in detail ahead of time exactly how he will negotiate with each individual governor ? Many of whom are likely in near full agreement with him, and even the rest only disagree as to timing ?

        When Trump ACTS to defy the constitution – I am concerned. Thus far he rarely has, and never even close to outside the scope of conduct presidents since Washington have felt they were able to.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 4:38 am

        Pretty much everyone grasps that Trump is imprecise in his remarks – possibly deliberately so.

        Further alot of what he says is for effect, more than a plan of action.

        Does Trump know he does not have the authority to order governors to do anything ?
        Probably – but if he does not – someone will tell him.

        Regardless, I highly doubt that he is going to try.

        I do not think there is much of a question here. If he actually tried – which I think there is close to zero chance of, the courts would shut him down near instantly.

        What is more likely is that he IS going to call the 50 governors and try to persuade each to reopen.

        I do not expect that process will be the same with each governor or in each state.
        Nor do I think it will be binary.

        Trump is going to spend the next several weeks trying to persuade 50 governors to take SOME steps towards undoing the shutdown.

        Some states will move faster than others. Given that the conditions in each state are not the same that should not be surprising. Republicans are likely to move faster than democrats and less populous states faster than more populous one and states with less Covid19 faster than those with more.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 5:01 am

        If Trump said “he was brighter than the sun” the media would spend the next news cycle shouting “liar, liar pants on fire, experts say trump is only 80% as bright as the sun”

        Can anyone here name a single major Trump directive of any kind that Trump lost 9:0 in the supreme court ?

        There might be one, but I do not recall any. In fact that only SCOTUS loss I know of Trump was when he continued an Obama DOJ case that he could have dropped to SCOTUS and deliberately lost it

        My point is that you can like or dislike Trumps actions, you can even claim some are unconstitutional – and I might agree.
        But nothing that Trump has actually done is so egregious that SCOTUS thoroughly rebuked him – as they did Obama about a dozen times.

        Fanned by the media, the left and Jay, we waste a great deal of time fretting and debating over nonsensically over broad interpretations of some quip Trump made presuming it is the equivalent of an executive order already on his desk that he has already signed.

        Trump is going to be pushing to reopen the economy shortly.
        There is going to be lots of pushing and shoving and politics.
        It is going to happen.
        It is going to take longer than it should.
        But less time that healthcare experts would prefer.

        Were are going to have all kinds of people on the left and the media telling us “he is killing people”, and we are likely to have some governors move slower than others.

        We are not going to have a court case over this – atleast not some big constitutional crisis case.

        I would also suggest that it is politically expedient for Trump to be pushing hard to reopen the economy – even if lots of health experts are opposed. And even if he does not succeed as fast as he wants.

        The best political case for Trump is to be pushing ASAP. While facing lots of resistance,
        Trump wins politically if things take more time that he wants and he has resistance, but Covid19 does not reflare up.

        Trump is going to be painting himself as the savior of the working man, of minorities, and he is going to push democrats to oppose him. To pick safety over jobs.

        And he wins politically even if he can not force governors and democrats to go as fast as he wants.

        He may even push to go faster then we should – just to get democrats to oppose him.

        The most significant aspect of the 2016 election was Trump flipped blue collar voters in a way no republican has ever done.

        He has spent alot of his presidency flipping an ancient political narative – that Republicans are pro business and democrats are pro labor.

        Immigration and trade are not left right issues. But they ARE labor/affluent issues.
        And Trump has taken the side of labor and democrats have let him.

        And all this nonsense of permanent democratic majorities goes down the tubes if Republicans pick up even and additional 10% of the minority vote.

        And Trump is doing this right out in the open, and democrats are letting him.

        Not only are they letting him. But they are letting him drag them into fights that are not in their interests.

      • John Say permalink
        April 14, 2020 11:59 pm

        Again please cite the specific remarks.

        And I am looking for a consistent pattern.
        You are making specific claims regarding WHO and Trump.
        Who at WHO was saying these things ?

        Taiwan, not the PRC seems to have been the first to inform the WHO of Covid19 in very late December.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 12:08 am

        BTW not only did Taiwan inform the WHO that Covid19 was in China in late December, but that is was passing Human to Human.

        On January 14 2020 WHO tells all of us that it is not contagious.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 12:11 am

        Here is Wikipedia’s timeline for Covid19 – it is filled from begining to end with bad information form WHO.

        It is pretty clear that Covid19 was already spreading throughout the world before WHO even sent anyone to China to gain information.

        Someone in Jaoan was diagnosed with Covid19 in early January when China and WHO were claiming there were only 41 cases all in Wuhan.

        it is also pretty self evident from this that none of the earliest cases have any connection to the “wet markets”.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 12:14 am

        Yes, on January 24th after almost a month of completely bogus statements by China and WHO, Trump having been told that China had contained this said that it would work out well.

        Should Trump have beleived WHO and China ? Didn;t you ?

        Aren’t you constantly trying to sell the rest of us that we shoudl “trust the experts”.

        So you are pissing on Trump because he did ?

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 12:22 am

        As to Trump’s authority.

        I will agree – Trump does not have all that much authority.
        The largest authority in this type of situation resides with states.

        So why are you constantly trying to blame Trump ?

        Regardless, once again you fixate on words not actions.
        But as is typical you conflate inaccuracy, or error or imprecision with malice.

        Do you think Cuomo is going to do what Trump says just because he is president ?

        What is your point here ?

        What in the world is going to occur differently because of Trump’s remarks ?

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 12:24 am

        “Isn’t that a lie in the making?”
        There is no such thing.
        If you take what he said as a promise, then in a few weeks it could prove to be a broken promise. But as of this moment it is nothing more than a small promise.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 12:25 am

        “Can you see him personally call 50 governors ?”


      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 12:28 am

        “Last month he instructed VP Pence not to reach out and call governor’s who aren’t appreciative of his efforts to fight the spread of the virus. ”

        Source ?

        You still do not get that you have no credibility.

        Just today you told me that no prominent democrats opposed Trump’s travel restrictions.
        Yes the house judicary committee pass a bill condemning them.
        Numerous “prominent” democrats attacked the Travel restrictions – until they started hiding from that.

        There is a public statement by Pelosi condemning the travel restrictions on the web site.

        Why should anyone beleive your assertions ?

    • John Say permalink
      April 14, 2020 11:30 pm

      Trump has been pummeling the cbhbinese since before he took office – you and your ilk have repeatedly and are even now calling him racist for continuing the pummel the chinese, and NOW you have the termidity to complain because he made a few pleasant remarks about China in the context of the trade deal ?

      Did you pay the slightest attention to your Emerson quote ?

      My daughter is chinese. You could not possibly have the degree of empathy for China that I have.

      That does not excuse the fact that the chinese government did precisely what government – especially big ACTUALLY authoratarian governments do and tried to stupidly supress information that would cast them in an unfavorable light, hoping against hope that some miracle would not result in that making things worse.

      As to the WHO – it is pretty much THEIR JOB to get exactly this right.
      We might expect countries like China to hide the truth.
      The WHO exists both to help where help is needed and to assure that the world actually knows what is going on when some regime tries to bury a risk to the entire planet.

      I have far more problems with the WHO than China. I do not expect much from China.

      If Trump is chastizing the WHO – they deserve it. As does Xi and the chinese government.

      As to your criticism of Trump – what part of that does not apply to every single other world leader ? And every single national disease control administration ?

      You are absolutely correct, Trump beleived the WHO and Chinese when he should not have.
      But you seem to miss the fact that weeks before anyone else, the scales fell from Trump’s eyes.

      Is it possible that a different leader would have done better than Trump ?
      Sure. Biden ? Sanders ? Clinton ? Obama ? Bush ? Please name the person who would have done better ? Even all these health experts you love so much – whether they are Trump’s experts – Faucci and Brix or the IHME or Imperial College or WHO or …..
      ALL were universally BEHIND Trump is recognizing this problem.

      So yes, maybe there is one in a thousand people who would have responded better than Trump. But you can not name a single one, and none of them are or were presidents or candidates for president.

      We can debate PRECISELY what Biden meant in mid March when he called Trump a xenophobe in the context of the travel restrictions.
      But there is no context in which is does not make Biden even more of a dupe than you claim Trump is.

      And yes world leaders (and lots of other people) praise people in one breath and act against them with the next.

      You fixate on the fact that Trump often says nice things about Putin.
      But you are completely blind to the fact that Trump’s policies are nearly universally contrary to russian interests, while Obama and Clinton’s policies were favorable to Russia – whether they were pissing on Russia or sucking up to Putin depending on the moment.

    • John Say permalink
      April 14, 2020 11:38 pm

      Griffin’s question is a typical reporters gotcha.

      It serves no purpose. At the time it was to Trump AND the countries benefit to praise china. It is not now. It likely will be again in the future.

      In the real world there is not just black and white.
      In the real world China could both have worked well with Trump on a trade deal AND been deceptive about Covid19. Real people understand that.

      People who are honest with themselves also understand that China is a totalitarian regime.
      But one that we have to work with. That the Chinese govenment will lie.

      Presumably you are atleast familiar enough with the afghan papers to know that OUR government has been lying to us about the mideast. Of course they have also been lying about CrossFire Huricane, and the SC investigation. And lots of other things.

      Governments lie alot. We should change that.
      But it is incredibly disingenuous to pretend that is new.
      The Afghan papers are from the Bush and Obama administrations, the Pentagon papers are from Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson.

      I have little doubt that our government lies far less than China – do you disagree ?
      Yet I can write a long list of really big lies our government has told us.

    • April 15, 2020 12:04 pm

      North Carolina is going to be interesting when it comes to reopening processes. We have 100 counties and 20 of those have 60%+ of the total cases. One county alone has 20% (Charlotte and surrounding area), another has 10% (Raleign and surrounding area). 50 of the counties or 50% have 20 cases or less. 26 of those have less than 10. The county i live in has had 123 total cases, with 87 either recovered or death, leaving 36 known active cases. Translating that to some factor like 5 times more people have or have had it means less than 200 in a county of 1M would be active. Compare that to Charlotte where thousands would still be active.

      So how we reopen N.C. with a handful of large met. areas compared to California where people are crambed in like sardines in the majority of the state is very different. Even residential areas here have large lots for the most part, where many homes in California when I left southern California years age you could spit out you window into the house next door.

      but even given that, most mayors and county commissioners here have extended stay at home regulations to mid May. I suspect that with cases continuing to rise in Charlotte and Raleigh, that will become statewide for all the state and probably through May 31. Our Gov. is one that was in the first to act and given his actions, will be one of the last to act.

      Hopefully we can rectify that come Nov.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 15, 2020 1:10 pm

        Ron, I looked it up, lumber and hardware stores are open for business in NC. You have said that you can make anything out of wood (perhaps you can make a nice end table out of The Donald’s uncluttered wooden head since he is not using it for anything useful). Now is your chance to go on a spree! Stock up on lumber and tools and start the creative forces flowing. Rebuild or build new cabinets, a shed, make furniture! A canoe, you ever done one of those? Now is the time! My good friend, who is the CEO of a company that makes famous wood stoves, built himself a very beautiful classic wooden motor boat brought the 40s-50s back to life. Extremely impressive.

        Try something like that.

        All this kvetching that you are being restricted by the Governor (and after posting the story of the young lady living in isolation who still got COVID). The person who is most restricting you is yourself, you have restricted yourself to bitchin about realities that are much larger than your powers.

        Some people will find an opportunity in this time, others will resent everything.
        Which type would I want on my side in a tough time?

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 6:53 pm

        So people should not be allowed to protest government.
        Should not be allowed to run alone on the beach ?
        Should not be allowed to shoot hoops alone ?
        Should not be allowed to play softball alone with their daughter ?

        All because some woman in isolation managed to get Covid19 ?

        Grow up, perfect safety is not possible.

        You are free to live in fear for yourself.
        You can not constrain the choices of others – because of your fears – not even your REASONABLE fears.

        I am pretty well off. I mostly work from home. I also have health and age issues sufficient to make me more cautious than a 20 year old should be.
        The impact of this on me has been an INCREASE in my productivity.

        But my tenants as an example are not as well off as I, they are younger, healthier, and they have jobs that can not be done from their home. They are being hit hard by this – harder by the shutdown than by the disease.

        Why do you insist that the choices that you and I make freely for ourselves – with little negative impact, MUST be the law that applies to others ?

        You are confusing safety with narcissism, possibly even malignant narcisism.

        Ultimately the govenrment is not capable of finding the measures each of us needs to balance our safety with our other needs. It can not do that because one size does not fit all.

        As I noted in another post – my governor just issued a bunch of draconian new rules.
        I commend him – in that the purpose is to get Businesses ReOpened.

        but from before the shutdown, in my community most businesses were ALREADY doing many of the things the governor has just made rules.

        Further they did so commensurate with the resources available at the moment.
        Changing what they did as resources became available.

        Nearly every store in my country that is open complies with every new rule the govenor has announced – and has for atleast 2 weeks. Many of them have done even MORE.

        One of the reasons that I consider you a lefty is that you do not seem to beleive that people, stores, businesses, customers will work our for themselves reasonable choices regarding there conflicting values and threats.

        We all want to keep safe. We also want to eat. There are an infinite number of things we want, and we can not have them all. But we can decide as individuals what is important to us AT THIS MOMENT – and that includes safety.

        There are no one size fits all solutions to these problems.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 6:58 pm

        Just to be clear – in order to fail to protect some woman living in isolation, you are fully prepared to prevent the entire country from engaging in activities that there is not a single expert that thinks have any consequential risk.

        I Robby world it is OK to stop people from running alone on the beach – not because that has any effect at all. But just because “rules are rules” and “people might die”.

        You want each of us to be happy because never mind that some of us may soon be unable to feed ourselves, we are still all free to build boats in our free time at home. Or atleast those of us who have the resources and skills and space to build a boat. Just screw the rest.

        Just to be clear – no one is saying that people should not take care of themselves.
        Only that decisions regarding how should be left to individuals not government.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 7:11 pm

        “Which type would I want on my side in a tough time?”

        No one will be on your side. They will be six feet away.

        Beyond that you do not seem to grasp that everyone does not have the opportunities you do.

        Read your own remarks – you are like Marie Antoinette telling the french peasants when the bread has run out (because of stupid laws limiting the price of bread) to “let them eat cake”.

        My tenants should take this time when they are confined to apartments that are a couple of hundred square foot at most, to listen to opera, paint, engage in woodworking.

        You and those on the left spend their lives smearing “greedy business people”.

        But one thing that most people in business – particularly those businesses that deal with ordinary people learn quickly, is to figure out what OTHER PEOPLE want and need.
        Because it is hard to sell others on YOUR needs. That businesses succeed by figuring out the wants and needs of their customers and meeting those better and cheaper than anyone else. The fundimental paradigm of business is the ability to grasp the wants and needs of others.

        I would suggest that there is a reason that the vast majority of people are not in business.
        Because among the myriads of skills necescary to succeed – HIGH on the list of manditory skills is being sensitive to the ACTUAL wants and needs of others.

        Not presuming everyone is the same as you are.

        I am glad you are fortunate. That this is not impacting you much.
        I am similarly fortunate.

        But i am fundimentally different in a very important way.
        I do not presume that everyone else is me. That everyone has the same talents, skills, interests, to thrive under constraints that favor me.

        Think of how this impacts others besides yourself.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 15, 2020 1:12 pm

        For clarity my friend is not that Gouda fellow, the boats on pinterest were just an example.

      • John Say permalink
        April 15, 2020 6:37 pm

        “How do we …?”

        It should be obvious that what is needed in NYC is not the same as the rest of the country.
        That what is needed in Raleigh is not the same as the rest of the state,
        That what is needed in some country seat is not the same as the rest of the county.

        Put simply the president, the governor, the mayor can not concoct rules that will work broadly.

        Ultimately we have to start to trust people to make good choices.
        We can provide them with guidance, but we can not make binding rules that will work – even in a single town, much less the country.

  66. April 15, 2020 6:06 pm

    Today the benchmark price for oil hit $19.82 mid day. With that news, Exxon Mobil announced they were laying off 242 House members and 43 Senators. They stated more could come if the prices did not improve.😈😂😂

  67. John Say permalink
    April 15, 2020 6:19 pm

    Rights are something that you have NO MATTER WHAT!.
    To the extent that under any circumstances government is allowed to infringe on those rights.
    That infringement MUST be the lease infringing possible – even if that means that the work of government is harder, and it MUST be neutral.

    So Government can not shutdown protests against government EVER.

    Ultimately we MUST eventually come to the understanding that Govenrment is NOT their to protect people from themselves. It is exists only to protect individuals from OTHERS.

    If people make choices that “experts” or “government” beleive are unwise or dangerous – whether that is a few individuals or large groups. That is their right.

    It is always going to be the case that a small portion of people make stupid choices, and some of them are harmed by those.
    Nothing can actually be done about that. Making bad choices illegal does little to stop people from making bad choices – 10’s of thousands of people committ suicide each year – even though it is illegal. Millions of people take drugs illegally everyday.
    We can not afford the amount of law enforcement it would take to stop that, and we can not afford the loss of liberty that would be required.

    Laws and regulations have near zero preventive effects unless they are vigorously enforced.
    And zero tolerance enforcement of ALL existing laws would turn the US into the most draconian police state that ever existed overnight – if we could afford the taxes to pay for and find the number of people needed to vigorously enforce all laws.

    The massive regulatory state depends on voluntary compliance. Worse it depends on voluntary compliance with laws most of us do not even know exist.

    We STILL have very good compliance – not because people are inherently law abiding.
    But because the majority of us are NOT stupid. We comply with environmental laws NOT because we know the law, or because it is vigorously enforced. but because we actually care about the quality of our environment. We make out workplaces safer – because we care about the people who work with us and for us. Not because our bosses are afraid of OSHA.

    Any law that is disregarded by more than a tiny portion of people SHOULD NOT EXIST.
    Even if it otherwise seems reasonable. No law should exist if we are unwilling to require government to vigorously enforce it. Discretion does NOT belong with government or the police or prosecutors. It belongs to PEOPLE. If a law requires applying it with discretion – it should not exist.

    My state has just issued a revised set of Covid19 response rules. Nearly all of these are reasonable. But the overwhelming majority are things that ordinary people and businesses are ALREADY DOING. Further these new rules suffer from multiple problems – the first being micromanagement – it is not truly possible to specify in minute detail the way that a retail sale should safely take place. Ron likes to talk about “common sense”. I constantly point out that there is no “common” agreement on what common sense is.

    The most effective way to determine what is “safe” as an example in a retail transaction is what the customer and clerks choose to do voluntarily.

    My daughter worked at Target, she came home each day to 2 older parents in the moderate risk group, and a fiancee that is a cancer survivor. She repeatedly asked Target for permission to wear gloves, frequently sanitize her hands, and to be allowed to wear a mask when dealing with customers. Each of these is things that the local Costco – and numerous other retailers had already done. Target refused. Now the Governor has ordered what she wanted. BUT before the governor’s order, my daughter told Target that as they would not allow her to work safely that she was taking a leave of absence.

    What Ron calls “common sense” is what Common people work out on their own – without government.

    As a customer – I can choose not to go to checkouts where the clerk does not have a shield and face masks. As a clerk I can choose not to work in places where I am not allowed to do what I personally beleive I need to be safe. As a store I need to balance making the store safe for customers, safe for staff, and also able to effectively conduct business under whatever the current circumstances. And if I make the wrong choices – customers might go to walmart or Costco.

    I do not want to piss over my governor – though he is on the wrong side of things – his new rules are closing the door after the cow is out of the barn.

    These things needed to be done long ago – and by most people WERE DONE AS SOON AS THEY WERE POSSIBLE.

    Government can not respond fast enough, and it can not tailor rules to the specifics of every problem and every situation.

    Good intentions on the part of government do not make complex problems that must be addressed case by case become amenable to broad sweeping rules.

  68. John Say permalink
    April 16, 2020 12:42 am

    Excellent story by Turley,

    The point of which is NOT that Covid19 originated from Chinese laboratories,
    But that we have seen the media – and purported fact check organizations completely dismissive of ANYTHING that does not fit their narative.

    Reporters do not report the facts. They pick and choose what fits their world view, and dismiss ANYTHING that is at odds with that as “debunked”.

    On issue after issue, in the past several years right wing conspiracy theorists have proven to be correct – or at the very least credible.

    At this time there is no clear evidence of precisely where Covid19 came from.
    It may have come from the “wet markets” – though that is increasingly unlikely as the earliest known patients had no connection to the market.
    It might have come from bats.
    It might have come from pangolins.
    It might have come from Labs in Wuhan.

    But those call bat shit crazy because they did not beleive whatever the media picked as a narative are owed an appology.

    We do not know enough to say they were right.
    But we do know enough to say they were not crazy or that their propositions were no “debunked”

    Given all the issues the media and the left has been wrong about that were purportedly “debunked” aparently “debunked” means TRUE.

    But this just goes to support the other argument I have made that the left engages in word games.

    When you mangle the meaning of words – like “debunked” you destroy our ability to communicate.

  69. John Say permalink
    April 16, 2020 2:01 am

    The free market strikes again with a way to reuse all PPE up to 20 times.

    This is a near perfect example of the appropriate thinking in times of crisis.

    As CDC notes – it is a bad idea to re-use PPE. Modern medical technology is pretty much designed arround the concept of throwing things away. To that end we produce myriads of medical supplies far cheaper than ever before and intended for only a single use.
    And normally that is extremely wise. It is safer and healthier.

    But extremely rare events call for different approaches.
    It is also unwise to stockpile massive amounts of supplies for a crisis.
    These supplies have a short shelf life and The stockpile would possibly be larger than the yearly normal use for the country – and it would have to be replaced every 18 months.

    Re-using something not designed for reuse is an excellent temporary solution.
    The cleaned disposable equipment is a poor choice when new replacements are available.
    But an excellent choice to deal with short term surges.
    If masks can be cleaned 20times before failure that reduces the consumption of masks by a factor of more than 10.

    These Trailers have been made and are being used. This crisis will end.
    When it does they can be stored and the cleaning trailers maintained for much lower cost than storing 100M masks, and they will be available again on short notice for the next crisis should one come.

  70. John Say permalink
    April 16, 2020 2:22 am


    Here is a newsweek article – did newsweek get bought by Breitbart or Murdock ?

    Regardless the article ends with Observations about how incredibly difficult it will be to fix the WHO. Missing the blantantly obvious. Start something new.

    The US and european nations can form a new global health organization. They can easily fund it from money they give to WHO now, and they can trivially destroy WHO by allowing this new organization to propose reporting and transparency standards that nations must comply with in order to have access to unrestricted travel within the US and european countries.

  71. John Say permalink
    April 16, 2020 2:35 am


    Trump has suspended funding to WHO for 60-90 days demanding that Beijing and WHO come clean about what they knew when they knew it and why this was not caught earlier.

    And democrats and Pelosi are actually threatening to take this to court and fight it ?
    Others are comparing this the Ukraine mess.

    You constantly tell me that Trump is stupid. Are democrats FAR STUPIDER ?

    You tried this nonsense that WHO had NOT botched this earlier.
    I dumped on you a SMALL portion of the evidence to the contrary – as well as that democrats had OPPOSSED even the few measures Trump actually took.

    Is there someone out there that really thinks it is a bad idea for Trump to demand answers from Xi and WHO ?

    Whether you like Trump or not, whether you think Trump screwed up with Covid19 or not, it should be crystal clear to anyone that we got bad information from the start from WHO and China. And the reasons for that need investigated.

    I have read atleast one analysis that suggests that if Trump had restricted Travel 6 days earlier it is likely we would have been able to stop this.
    I am not so sure that is true. There is increasing evidence this got to the US in late December or Early January.

    Regardless, I have zero problem with Pelosi investigating the Trump administrations handling of this – oversight is congresses job. I suspect that Pelosi will be more interested in scoring political points than finding what went wrong (and what went right). but oversight is still congresses job. And they should be judged on how they do it.

    But it is also important to determine how things went wrong with Beijing and WHO so that we do not repeat the same mistakes.

    I think what I have seen through this is that we can handle crisises like this. That we also can probably figure out how to avoid or mitigate them in the future.

    But we have to examine what has been done. What worked, What did not. What could be better.

    Regardless where are YOU Jay ?

    Should we trust the WHO ? Should it police itself ?

  72. John Say permalink
    April 16, 2020 2:38 am

    There was another interesting bit in the NewsWeek WHO article.

    The WHO is secretive and claims that providing more data in real time is bad for science.

    Where have we heard this nonsense before ?

    Oh, the CAGW nonsense.

    Real Science is the result of publishing methods, and data so that the results can be analyzed and replicated, and if they can not be replicated the claims are invalid.

    Real Science is not the concensus of experts – that is religion not science.

  73. John Say permalink
    April 16, 2020 6:18 am

    Here is that neo-nazi alt-right group reason on the WHO

  74. John Say permalink
    April 16, 2020 4:53 pm

    Child abuse reports have dropped by 50% – but there is good reason to beleive that actual child abuse is on the rise due to the “shutdown”.

    Reports are likely down because children are isolated from doctors nurses, teachers, and people who would report signs of abuse.

  75. John Say permalink
    April 16, 2020 5:20 pm

    We wasted thousands of posts here debating Whether Kavanaugh should be confirmed for the Supreme Court based on Dr, Ford’s allegations.
    Now Biden faces an allegation distinguishable from that facing Kavanaugh only in that the Biden allegation is newer and the misconduct alleged against Biden was not that of a Drunk college student but a middle aged adult engaged in a political campaign.

    I personally react to Biden and his accuser int he same way as Trump and his accusers and Kavanaugh and his accuser.

    I choose to impossibly beleive everyone. It is probable that in all these instances someone is either lying or confused. But it is impossible to determine who.

    Biden absolutely deserves the benefit of the doubt regarding these allegations.
    But so do Trump and Kavanaugh.

    At the same time as this article points out – Biden was the lead person for Obama’s disasterous Title XI reforms. And for that hypocracy he absolutely should be judged badly.

    As Justice Hale noted in 1734
    “it must be remembered, that it is an accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused, tho never so innocent”

    We have due process because it is ultimately better that 10 guilty go free than one innocent is punished.

    Biden is entitled to the benefit of the doubt regarding the allegations against him.
    But he and the press and the left should all be held to account for their hypocracy.

    As well as anyone here who would treat Biden or his accuser differently from Trump and his accusers or Kavanaugh and his accusers.

  76. John Say permalink
    April 16, 2020 5:59 pm

  77. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    April 16, 2020 6:20 pm

    You out there Priscilla? I hope all is well?

    • Jay permalink
      April 17, 2020 4:01 pm

      She posted here last week; said she was ok…

  78. John Say permalink
    April 17, 2020 1:02 pm

    I do not know why it is so hard for so many to understand – but the health of the economy is quite LITERALLY a matter of life and death.

    There is no magic bullet that will kill off Covid19 and save lives, that will not also result in not just massive suffering inflicted on millions of people – but even actual deaths, and probably much more than from Covid19 itself.

    It is becoming increasingly evident that ALL governments have “screwed up”.
    That a much better approach was to protect the most vulnerable.
    There are more deaths among people over 100 globally than under 30, there are more deaths among people over 90 than those under 50.
    For the vast majority of people Covid19 is either the same or even LESS consequential than the flu. But to a very small portion of people – those with diabetes, high blood pressure an assortment of serious pre-existing conditons that are especially common in older people, Covid19 is a very serious threat to their lives. The same is also true of the flue and colds, but it appears to be much worse for Covid19.

    We would have been far better off instead of quasi quarantining the entire population, much more rigidly quarantining two groups – those actually sick, and those at risk.

    That MIGHT have resulted in more Covid19 deaths – though done well it might have resulted in LESS. But it would have resulted in far less overall harm – including deaths from other causes.

    To Jay and others who want to blame Trump for everything – Go for it!!!
    But lets not be hypocritical – we can also blame the left, the media, the experts, democrats, and absolutely – LOTS of republicans.

    Regardless, we have failed. It is likely that we have done more harm than good in our Covid19 forced shutdown.

    Maybe some of us will learn from this, that you can rant all you want about “saving lives”
    but the 2nd and third and 4th order effects of almost every good thing you do through government are nearly always negative, much harder to clearly see, but also larger than the first order positive effects.

    I have very little doubt that the aggressive response by governments arround the world though late still resulted in less Covid19 deaths than doing nothing.
    At the same time, it is likely that that same response resulted in MORE total deaths over the long run, and possibly the short run. and came with significant costs beyond just killing people.

    I expect a quick recovery. But we will never get back the losses that occured during the shutdown. And no matter how much government money you dump into the economy – it is only Money. The health of the economy is how much of what we want and need that we produce. No amount of money will ever change that. Further we have erased 10 years of job gains in a few weeks and we are not done yet.
    A quick recovery will put many of those back to work. BUT NOT ALL, further the hardest hit will be the last hired, the ones who were unemployed most of the past decade and only recently were able to get work. The previously hopeless are hopeless again.

    And we did this to ourselves – not Covid19

    I do not know what it takes for people to grasp that government is really pretty bad at all this.
    It is bad at healthcare in all forms. It is bad at everything having to do with the economy.
    Honestly even the few things that government is essential for – such as law enforment, it is still bad at. It is never a good idea to expand the scope of government into things people can do for themselves. There are very very few instances where no matter how badly free individuals perform on their own, the net harm when government takes over is not much worse.

    • April 17, 2020 1:32 pm

      A couple short comments.
      1. If the politician in office takes minimal action, they don’t get reelected.
      2. No one knows how many people have had this. We will never know how many had it. I have heard from family that many friends of their’s who have had the symptoms such as loss of taste and then a husband catching it from that wife having high fever and shortness of breath just stayed home, recovered and never reported anything. My county, almost 1M in population has 125 reported cases. Who the heck believes that govt figure. Just using the state average per million we should have at least 575 reported cases. And the state average is severely understated. In a couple years after many months of research, I would not be surprised of 100M already had this stuff when its over (if that happens).
      3. Testing will be a Trump failure, but anyone with half a brain cell should understand the President does not run the daily operations of the CDC. Maybe if he had had someone better than f’up Fauci, CDC would have tested their test kits and found that the crap they bought did not work. Is that on trump or the CDC?
      4. Now for the anti-Trump comment. Trump had these governors by the crotch. he said he had complete authority to open up business. everyone screamed and hollered “no he does not, states rights”. He backs off, now anything that could go wrong is on the governors if they open too early. He reeled them in like a fishing boat captain. Now governors are saying may 15th, etc. He can’t shut the ___ up. So if one opens Apriil 30th and their cases explode, all they need to do is say “Trump put pressure on us to open”

      Time for the peace and quite of Sleepy Joe.

      • Jay permalink
        April 17, 2020 3:50 pm

        What the F does Fauci have to do with the CDC, Ron?

        You have something against Italians from Brooklyn?

        We sane Centrists like and respect him.

      • April 17, 2020 4:07 pm

        OK, who is that guy that comes out with the Trump Show and gives updates on where we are each day? Who gives interviews on all the news programs? So maybe I should have said some other gov’t agency and not CDC. It aint W.H.O. so maybe its N.I.H.

        So maybe its not Fauci, maybe its someone else. But some lifer at some agency that had test kits did not insure the test kits worked. Thats on them! Lifers, not politicians.

        And I am not positive, but I would be willing to wager most test kits came from China.

      • John Say permalink
        April 17, 2020 6:05 pm

        Test kits are cotton balls on a stick, with a sealed tube to stuff them into.

        The test failure was at the CDC. The Test kits are a straw man and have nothing to do with the problem. A couple of qtips and a test tube make up a test kit.

      • April 18, 2020 12:15 am

        Also included in the test kits were reagents that go into the machines. From an article attached.

        “New York State lab officials also passed on the news, according to documents and interviews. “There is a technical problem in one of the reagents which invalidates the assay and will not allow us to perform the assay,” the lab director of New York State’s Wadsworth Center, Jill Taylor, wrote to state health officials in an email that same night.”

        My question. Who was in charge and who did not run quality control on these test kits to find the reagents gave inaccurate data.

        Jay is going to say that is Trumps responsibility. I say the buck stops there, but the problem is at the CDC and FDA and the lifer employees that created the monster that has so much red tape nothing gets done. Someone ASS should be fired! (At the CDC or FDA, voters can fire Trump in November)

        This is a very good recap of the crap that goes on in government (outside politics) today.

        But then, this comes from the Complainer-In-chief” when it comes to anything civil service, so take it with what ever grain of salt you wish.

      • John Say permalink
        April 18, 2020 12:47 am

        Did government screw up ? Absolutely – they always do.

        I am not sure that your article is on point though – a complaint by a state lab is about a test done by the state. CDC has not been doing many tests in a long time.

        I have no idea whether your reagent issue was a state test kit or a federally provided test kit. I assume the former.

        I also have no idea why there would be reagents int he test kit.
        The samples need to be taken and they need put into a sterile container. You do not want to put ANYTHING else with them unless you must. There are already multiple different tests.
        As there should be. Anything that you mix with the sample that MIGHT make sense for one lab test is near certain to interfere or preclude others.

        Regardless, if you want or need widespread testing – go completely private – get DC and NYC as far out of it as possible.

        Private businesses make mistakes. But they fix them FAST. Government is incredibly slow to do anything – even doing things right. Private actors can usually screw up 3 times before getting something right and STILL beat government to better results.

      • John Say permalink
        April 18, 2020 12:49 am

        I am not going to touch the regent question – there are too many facts we do not know, and adding reagents to test kits is almost certainly a bad idea.

        Just open up private testing even further.
        If they screw up atleast you can hold them accountable.

        Good luck holding government accountable ever.

        Trump ? CDC ? New York ? Who knows ? All of the above ?
        Does it matter ? No one will be held accountable.

      • John Say permalink
        April 17, 2020 5:57 pm

        I would hardly call you sane and centrist.

        But more pigs are flying.

        I like Faucci too. But I have different expectations than you. I want an expert like him providing me with ADVICE. I would not ever give him or anyone like him actual CONTROL over anything.

        I can like and respect people who provide me advice.
        I can choice to follow their advice.
        But change it from advice to control – and they are tyrants.

        I do not expect my advisors to be perfect – and Faucci has made plenty of mistakes.

        But if you take control of other peoples lives – you must be perfect – even that is not enough.

      • John Say permalink
        April 17, 2020 5:40 pm

        While I backpedaled on Testing, I did not back over a cliff.

        Testing is only a tool for prevention in Very narrow cases.

        1). Early on as a means of identifying people you missed at the border.
        2). Slightly later as a means of identifying people who might have come in contact with an infected person.

        Once you lose control of the border, testing rapidly becomes a useless prevention tool.

        If you have symptoms – STAY HOME, it does not matter what you have. Flu, Cold, Covid19.

        Once you have 10’s of thousands of people with this. Testing is merely about statistics. It is not about treatment. It is not about prevention.

        Better testing right now would tell us ONE thing. Is the mortality rate 1.3% or is it 0.05% or somewhere between. It would answer whether 1% of the country got this without symptoms, or 5% or 15%.

        It it is 15% then this is just the flu. and it is not fading because we locked down the country, it is fading because it has gone as far as it can.

        Did Trump F’up testing ? Well the CDC did, and the buck stops at the resolute desk and that is Trump.

        Did it matter ? Probably not. It MIGHT have mattered had “the experts” not trusted WHO, and China and acted more quickly.

        regardless, you can stop these things if you can get them early. We did not k now about this early enough to act.

      • John Say permalink
        April 17, 2020 5:52 pm

        I will agree that Trump set the governor’s up.

        But I do not see it playing out as you do.

        First. MAYBE there is a 2nd wave in august. We shall see. There is too much we do not know.

        But today there are pretty good indications that the “shutdown” was little more than a “feel good” measure.
        Sweden did not lock down the country, they made recomendations, which the swedes have LOOSELY followed and they are on the same trajectory as we are. As are numerous other countries that either had no shutdown or where government can issue edicts but the people will do as they please. Put simply this has gone through most of the world in much the same way – regardless of the measures that different countries have taken.

        There is some good youtube videos modeling the effects of different measures.

        Shutdowns do not work. they do not change the area under the curve, they just change the time that the disease takes to spread through the country.

        It is likely we could have done no more than voluntary measures and already be past this now, without having destroyed the economy.

        Regardless, you do not have to believe what I have said above.

        Politically there is only one outcome Trump loses, and probably he can manage that.

        Different states are going to start opening up – starting now.

        If that does not prove disasterous, it is the governors that stay locked down the longest who look the worst. And Trump will go into the summer and the fall as the person who wanted to move more agressively to reopen, faster.

  79. Jay permalink
    April 17, 2020 4:00 pm

    A total of 60% of 600 confirmed sailors testing positive for Covid aboard the USS Roosevelt have not shown any symptoms yet, the Navy found: young asymptomatic carriers, ticking time bombs?

    • John Say permalink
      April 17, 2020 6:03 pm

      Please re-read what you wrote. It makes no sense.

      Are there 600 confirmed sailors ? I beleive everyone on Roosevelt was a confirmed sailor.

      As to 60% having no symptoms. That is fully consistent with information we are getting elsewhere. That does not mean they are “‘ticking time bombs”. It does not alter the spread of the disease at all. It does not represent a change in the nature of the disease.

      What is suggests is there are 1.5M cases of Covid19 in the US not 689K.

      What it suggests is the mortality rate is far lower.
      What it suggests is that this is far more like the flu and far less like Ebola or SARS.

      What it suggests is that Crozier would have had no problems maintaining the rediness of Roosevelt, that he paniced over nothing.

  80. Jay permalink
    April 17, 2020 4:27 pm

    Feds charge doctor who cited Trump to push hydroxychloroquine ‘miracle cure’

    Dave-John: should we start up a Go-Fund-Me site to raise money for this guy’s defense? If we get him free of the charges you can buy a kit to test your preventative assertions about the meds.

    “Staley’s purported medical package included dosages of hydroxychloroquine, antibacterial drug Azithromycin, antianxiety treatments, intravenous drips, and the use of a medical hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Staley offered to sell the items as a family pack for $3,995, according to the criminal complaint.’

    He was also ready to throw in some Viagra and Xanax, for a few bucks more…
    I know your response will reek with indignation at government interfering with citizens’ right to buy and use whatever medication they want. And I agree – Viagra & Xanax should be available across the counter, definitely now with forced stay at home pressures bubbling up repressed sexuality and anxiety/

  81. April 18, 2020 12:35 am

    Extract from our local PBS station WFDD.FM. Very interesting.

    “Prison officials say a COVID-19 outbreak at a North Carolina state prison has spread to more than 250 inmates. State prisons Commissioner Todd Ishee said during a media briefing that 259 inmates had tested positive as of Friday afternoon at Neuse Correctional Institution, a state prison in Goldsboro. He said none were hospitalized and that 98% of those testing positive were asymptomatic. All 700 inmates have been tested but some test results are pending. Newly positive inmates are being put into isolation, and the state is sending additional medical and security staff to the facility.”

    So this indicates that the asymptomatic population can be far greater than anything already suggested. And if that is the case, just how many people have had this stuff? NY City could have a million+ and not even know it.

    • John Say permalink
      April 18, 2020 12:51 am

      The larger the number of asymptomatic people the lower the mortality rate and the more this looks like the flu. It also means the less effective were the measures we have taken.

  82. John Say permalink
    April 18, 2020 12:54 am

    Reason guide to making your own mask. Pretty funny.

    • April 18, 2020 1:04 am

      Any idea why I get so many “unavailable” when clicking your posts?

      • John Say permalink
        April 18, 2020 7:22 am

        I can click on the link in your reply and it brings up the video in youtube, so I do not know why.

        Youtube has been know to play games with PragerU video’s and I am pretty sure they blocked on of those I linked sometime ago.

        But the one you are having trouble with is a tongue in cheek short from reason that should offend no one and get a few laughs.

        Further the link is working for me.

      • April 18, 2020 11:57 am

        Interesting, when I click from the e-mail or from the actual WordPress thread I get unavailable. I have no reason to think they would be blocking me. I never go to that site.

      • John Say permalink
        April 18, 2020 1:14 pm

        I do not beleive reason is being blocked, further there is nothing about this video that should offend anyone. It is barely political, and certainly not left right. It is libertarians showing they hav e a sense of humor about themselves.

        I think this is a technical problem. I was able to click on the link in the email that WP sent me with your reply that the video was unavailable and it took me straight to the video.
        I do not know what to tell you.

        I do not put it past google and youtube to be stupid. I just do not hink in this instance they are.

    • John Say permalink
      April 18, 2020 7:54 am

      Every single report indicated very large numbers of otherwise unreported cases should be taken as a very good sign.

      It means that: This virus has a far lower mortality than current statistics indicate.

      If there are twice as many people who test positive in random tests as are reported in the GP, then the mortality is 1/2 what the statistics show. If there are 10 times as many positive tests then the mortality is 1/10 as high.

      There have been large numbers of random tests, As well as a few other sources of peak infections rates. Current JHU Data has US infections at 0.2% of the population.
      A large block of randomized testing are producing consisten results globally that in most places just under 4% of the population gets infected – that is a factor of 20 difference.
      Would radically reduce the mortality rate. BUT there are a smaller number of ranomized tests that are coming up with a 15% infection rate. That is just under a factor of 100 difference. We also know from the assorted cruise ships and now some navy data that under near optimal conditions for spreading Covid19 that at most 20% of people ulimately test positive. There does not seem to be any evidence from anywhere showing an infection rate of even a contained population of greater than 20%.

      That strongly suggests there are natural barriers – either a significant portion of people have some natural immunity or there are other factors that preclude extremely widespread infection.

      This has been a problem with many of the models from the start. There is no disease anywhere ever that infects 100% of the population. The peak infection rate from the flu is about 27% – that was the 1918 H1N1 flu. That also had unusually high mortality and was unusual in that it killed people with strong immune systems not weak ones – it killed more 20 year old men than 60 year olds.

      Regardless, for reasons that we do not understand very very few infectious diseases of any kind – even ones FAR more infectuous than Covid19 ever hit much more than 20% of the population.

      Distributions are also different in different environments – Cruise ships and Naval vessels have the maximum infection rate. Which for Covid19 appears to be about 20%.
      Large cities with dense populations will have much higher infection rates than elsewhere.
      This also appears to flash through elderly populations in nursing homes like wildfire and kills a disproptionate number of elderly patients.

      At the same time its spread in small towns and rural areas is much lower.

      All of these are to be expected.

      I expect that as we learn more in the post mortem the conclusions are going to be that the “shutdown” did little or no good. I doubt we will see significant differences in mortality or infection from countries that shutdown and those that did not. It will be particularly interesting to see differences between Sweden where there are NO government mandated changes, but the government is making much the same social distancing recomendations as the CDC, and the Swedes are somewhat compliant. So far they are no seeing much difference from the US.

      Other things to look for is how this hits less developed countries. Death rates will be higher due to poorer medical facilities. But thus far we do not seem to be seeing high infection rates in places like Africa. One thesis is that Chloroquines are regularly taken in those countries as malaria preventives. Another is that the Southern hemisphere is exiting Summer, and the virus is seasonal.

      We also know this thing targets men – I think 70% of the deaths are men.
      There is some hints that blood type may be a factor.
      There are also increasing suggestions this is more of a blood disease than a respiratory disease – that Ventalators are probably the wrong choice as the issue is not failure of oxygen to get from the lungs into the blood, but reduction in the ability of the blood to carry oxygen.

      We are seeing Covid19 patients with blood oxygen levels that are supposed to be near death, who are NOT having physical difficulty breathing. We are putting them on Ventalators when they do not have trouble breathing because they have the very low blood oxygen levels of ARDS patients but they do not have the impaired lung function of ARDS patients.

      • April 18, 2020 12:06 pm

        Dave, “Other things to look for is how this hits less developed countries. Death rates will be higher due to poorer medical facilities. But thus far we do not seem to be seeing high infection rates in places like Africa. One thesis is that Chloroquines are regularly taken in those countries as malaria preventives. Another is that the Southern hemisphere is exiting Summer, and the virus is seasonal”

        Interesting. Guess the Africans are much stronger than white Americans.We keep hearing from the MSM that taking hydroxychloroquine is bad for your health long term and should not be taken. That would be a good scientific study. What does the black race have genetically that precludes them from long term damage that whites do not have. Maybe their skin pigmentations? (Sarcasm, don’t reply)

      • John Say permalink
        April 18, 2020 1:34 pm

        If the MSM is saying Hoxcl is bad for you – they are full of it.

        This is possibly one of the most widely used medications in the world. It is as safe as aspirin.

        With the caveat that if aspirin were developed today it would be a persciption drug.

        There are a few know side effects of hoxcl. They are incredibly rare, but for A FEW specific patients they should be taken into account.

        Yes you can kill yourself by overdosing on hoxcl – you can overdose on ANYTHING – including water.

        It also appears the propholactic dose is incredibly low, something like 400mg PER MONTH.

        I think there is more than enough data at this point to say hoxcl provides a benefit to Covid19 patients. But it is way too early to claim it is a “cure”.

        We are also starting to see preliminary results from Remedsivir. Again these are not controled studies. They loook very very similar to the hoxcl studies – same type of trial same scale same ways to measure results. I beleive that remedsivir appears to be more effective than hoxcl based on my non expert comparisons of youtube videos of research doctors exploring the results of these studies. Remedsivir appears to have immediate positive effects on severe patients – within 2 hours of taking the drug. Otherwise the results are much like Hoxcl – except probably 50% faster.

        But hoxcl is readily available throughout the world, easy to make and cheap.
        Remedsivir is almost certainly expensive and likely not available in enormous quantities.

        The long term use claims are stupid.

        No one is going to suffer any of the long term use side effects from a 5-10 day regime used to fight Covid19. Retinopathy is a rare side effect after months of use.

        Further the does for propholactic – long term use is incredibly low. I beleive it is 400mg per month. That is the dose for malaria prevention.

        hoxcl is also used against Lupus – and the fact that noone in China suffering from lupus got covid19 is one of the reasons that the Chinese tried hoxcl. It is also used for some forms of arthitis. I beleive those doses are more frequent. but again there is massive amounts of really long term experience and the side effects are VERY RARE.

        The MSM claims of shortages are the same is the stuff about hand sanitizer – people panic and clear out readily available supplies. But this is not a difficult to make or expensive drug.

        It is so cheap and easily made it is used as pool cleaner. No people probably should not be taking pool cleaner, but supply problems will get worked out quickly.

      • April 18, 2020 2:58 pm

        Well Remdesivir has been in test and was used in “compassionate use” when no other options except death were viable. Now as of March 28th, Gilead is no longer supplyiing that to any provider other than government approved clinical trial hospitals.

        So like all other big government supporters, those controlling these drugs are playing god.

        I think there needs to be a ” Last Person Memorial” in Washington D.C. honoring the last man/woman to die in government wars, last person to die due to government blocking use of drugs under a compassionate use basis, and anyone dying due to government interference in personal decisions, medical or otherwise.

        If there is a 99% chance you will die without a drug not approved or a 20% chance you will live taking the drug, but there might be side affects, even serious, I would want the second option to address the side effects later. I just dont understand those choosing death or supporting death unless they are suicidal.

        But again, that more of a Libertarian thinking.

      • John Say permalink
        April 18, 2020 3:11 pm

        Or individuals should be free to make their own choices.

        If you want to consult “experts” such as doctors – you are free to do so. I certainly will.
        But absent direct harm to others my choices are ultimately my own.
        They are not your business, or governments.

      • April 18, 2020 3:34 pm

        Not enough people think like we do. Too many wanting control over lives.

        You are much more libertarian in your thinking about business and business will never do anything to harm customers. I am not that far. But once something has been introduced and someone is on deaths door, using something unapproved should be an option with one stipulation. The company providing the drug can not be held responsible for any adverse affects.

        Your decision, your consequences.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 12:35 am

        You keep asserting I do not beleive businesses will ever do anything wrong.

        That is false.

        Businesses are made of humans and humans make mistakes – sometimes with malice.

        I have no problem with laws. But legitimate laws punish acts AFTER actual harm has occured. If there is no harm – there is no justification for the use of force AKA government.

        Government can say “if you kill people, you will spend decades in jail”.

        You are free to do as you please. Government can send you to jail when they prove you have murdered someone.

        We already have criminal law, contract law, tort law.
        Those cover all possible harms you can do to another.
        Any regulation – a priori constraint is either redundant or in error.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 12:36 am

        Of course using something unapproved should be an option.
        There should be no requirement for government to approve.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 6:18 am

        I think the vast majority of people are libertarian with respect to themselves.

        Especially when they are the ones having to decide to close their business, lay off employees, or take risky drugs when facing potentially terminal illness.

        Unfortunately the same people seem to believe that their opinion regarding the same decisions when they apply to OTHERS should have the force of law.

      • John Say permalink
        April 18, 2020 1:39 pm

        The racial question is relevant. I do not know that there is a racial profile to Covid19.
        There are plenty of diseases and drugs that do not work the same accross different races.

        We do know that women are much less likely to get the severe versions of Covid19,
        Estrogen is suspected as a mitigator.

        We shuould try to learn these things.

        We also know that certain genetic traits make this worse and others make it better.

        There is also a class of drugs that does nothing to the virus at all, but there are strong indications that it mitigates the cytokine storms in the severe patients.

  83. John Say permalink
    April 18, 2020 9:07 am

    Pretty good article on china.

    I think that the article seriously underestimates the blowback against China of Covid19.
    Part of that is that Covid19 is just a trojan horse that allows myriads of people and governments across the world to re-assess their relationship with China.

    This has been coming for a long time. US foreign policy has been shifting from Russia focused to Chinese focused for decades. Buried in the “Deep State” opposition to Trump is
    a last ditch stand against the loss of political power and influence by the “Russia” crowd in Foreign policy. The shift of focus to Asia was inevitable regardless of Trump. But Clinton took her greatest weakness, and converted it to an asset by taking advantage of the intragovernmental power struggle over the decline in significance of Russia and Trump’s quite open shift to China.

    Trump’s trade war with China, the assorted human rights violations the reversal of Xi towards a more Mao like authoritarian regime, and the conflict with Hong Kong as well as the fact that China is over extended and economically far more fragile than in a long time, all are likely to quietly or less quietly drive a move of production from China. My expectation is this will advantage other asian countries – vietnam, Thailand, Malasia, the Philipines. And have less of a domestic impact.

    • April 18, 2020 12:16 pm

      OK is tis another paywall site. I went through the ‘Register for free” and it signed me up, and took me back to the article which provided 2 paragraghs, then said “you have read all your free articles”

      What’s up?

      • John Say permalink
        April 18, 2020 1:41 pm

        I did not register. I just went there. I read the entire article. It is very long and thorough.

        I do not pay for any of these paywall sites. So if I link to an article it must be available for free.

  84. April 18, 2020 12:44 pm

    This morning I turned on the local news to get the weather report since it had been raining early on. The first 5-7 minutes on TV was a story being reported about covid-19 testing, Trump administration problems getting the test kits, how the reagents are the part of the process that is taking time getting enough of that supply, etc, etc. Then I read an article in the paper concerning the same issue, how the states want the federal government ordering those supplies, taking control of the supply chain, increasing the numbers etc,etc.

    In both presentations, the “Trump administration” was the one being blamed.

    But when is the American public going to get their heads out of their asses and understand the federal government is like the USS Kennedy Aircraft carrier trying to turn around and head the other direction.

    Biden could be elected in November, take office in January, order every agency in the government to do a “stress test”, make recommendations that would cut response time to any crisis or need by 25% without increasing staff (just about the same as the test kits fiasco) and he could be reelected in 2024 and this process and all improvements might be completed before he left office in 2028.

    The federal government is not like a ski boat that can turn on a dime. You dont say “do this” and have years of red tape and incompetence removed in a few days, a few months or even a few years. From the time the president sends a directive down the chain of command, it can take months before the lifers in civil service begin making changes.

    First they receive the order. Once they get the order they have to analyze the current procedures to complete the current process. After that, they have to change the procedures and write new guidelines for all of their employees. Once those guidelines are written, they then go through a myriad of supervisory levels getting approvals, inputs and suggestions. They are then revised and the review process is repeated and then the new procedures are tested. Once proven effective they are put into place. Now the employee training takes place to start the change in the way things are done. Then and only then will the “ship” begin its turn in another direction (process) and head to a different outcome.

    It Boeing, much smaller in corporate red tape than the government, can not update and replace software in its new jumbo jets and get them flying before 18 months (and they are still not approved to fly), how does anyone think the federal government is going to change processes to obtain enough test kits to meet NIH’s recommended procedures? And how can the government create processes in private companies to make sure the quantities off the reagents needed to do testing is available.

    If this crisis does not wake people up about the federal governments inability to functions quickly, I doubt nothing ever will.

    What I fear is the opposite will happen. More people believing the answer is more government, not government being the problem.

    • John Say permalink
      April 18, 2020 1:49 pm

      I know of know sane reason that a reagent should be part of a test kit.
      You want samples – qtips will work. Then you want a sterile means of sending them to a lab,
      and probably you want UV protection – so an opaque container.

      Reagents will be used in labs. But different tests are likely to use different reagants, and exposing the samples to one reagant when taking the sample probably limits you to using a specific test, and there are multiple different tests today.

      I am hard pressed to think of any reagant that can not have its supply ramped up quickly.

      I strongly suspect there are other things going on here.

      Federalism actually dictates the responsibility for all of this falls with the states.

      But many states are in bad financial straights before this, and this is pillaging state budgets.

      Govenor’s like Whitmer want total control, and they want to bash Trump,
      But they do not want to have to pay for anything.

      Further no state can do what the federal government does and just print money.
      Addressing why that is a bad idea is a huge topic. But it is a trivially available option to the federal government and not states.

      • April 18, 2020 3:17 pm

        Reason( not common sense for you) tells one that if tests failed and they were getting false positives, then there was something wrong with the test. And if the tests kits
        were cotton on the end of a long stick like a Qtip and they were not leaving cotton in the nose or breaking sticks, then something after the swab was failing. That means failure of the container housing the swab, something used to remove the sample from the cotton, something getting the sample into the kit or the machine processing the sample.

        So according to multiple articles I read, the reagents are new, specialized and even returned false positives when introduced to sterile solutions. That meant thousands of kits ( the items with the reagents where multiple samples were introduced for processing in the lab clinical machine) could not be used, the company producing the reagent had to identify why it failed and fix that and then replace the thousands that had to be descarded.

        So you can do your own research, but that is what I found.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 12:21 am

        “Reason tells one that if tests failed and they were getting false positives, then there was something wrong with the test”

        Nope, even inside of science nothing is absolute everything is probabilistic.

        All tests have false positives and false negatives.
        The question is the extent of those, or more accurately how precise is the test – what is the error rate. There is no such thing as a zero error rate. What is the error rate that is acceptable.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 12:24 am

        I am not arguing there was no reagent issue – I do not know.
        I was just arguing that a test kit does not require a reagent and that if one is used that will convert a test kit from being generic to being specific to one particular test.

      • April 19, 2020 1:08 am

        All I know is after they took samples using the first test, they had to use a reagent specific for that test. The sample was introduced to the reagent, something like 20 different test were enclosed in a cassette that was then inserted into the lab processor.

        The chemicals creating what they refer to as a reagent was the problem and not until that was fixed could more tests be completed.

        Here again, failures at CDC led to this problem. How many failures equal a termination?

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 7:25 am

        Part of the problem – even with our discussion is that you are presuming a top down approach to testing.

        Most countries – including the US either did that initially or tried to.

        That has a limited window for success. While it does not require top to bottom perfection in decision making, there are lots of “all eggs in one basket” issues.

        In the real world. China developed their own test. WHO developed their own test, many nations developed their own test or chose China’s test or WHO’s test or that of another country.

        In the US the CDC developed their own test – and they botched that (several times)
        Just to be clear the Chinese and WHO tests have their own flaws – there was good reason for the CDC to want to do better.

        In the US the real testing problem did not “mostly” go away until Trump essentially pushed CDC to let go of testing, and let private labs and the states work this out.

        That resulted in myriads of different labs coming up with their own ways to test.
        Some used the Chinese test, some the WHO, many developed their own.

        We are already aware that South Korea managed to do drive through 15 minute tests.

        US companies have developed in home tests. Just read the news there are numerous obviously unique forms of Covid19 testing that are competing.

        These each come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

        In 18months the entire world will likely have figured out exactly what the best test is, and most governments will have standardized on that. Though we will still see inovation in private testing – so long as people remain interested in it.

        Bottom up arrangements (free markets) make more mistakes that top down solutions. But those mistakes are far less consequential and possibly more important they are corrected rapidly.

        I am sure that Musk and his team made many mistakes in their rapid development of a Ventalator from car parts. But no one pays attention to the mistakes – because they have gotten to an excellent working solution rapidly.

        Returning to testing.

        It should be clear that there is not one universally accepted set of criteria for a Covid19 test.

        Toward the begining – when CDC was dealing with a very small infected population and seeking to contain this at the borders, the expectations would have been different than now.

        False negative would be a serious flaw, false positives not so much. speed and cost would not be so important – so long as the numbers being tested were small. However having a minimally capable working test right away was critical – and that is what CDC botched.

        The criteria for testing millions of people is quite different, the speed of the test, the ease of the test, and the cost of the test are important.
        Right now we could deal with a several day delay if that resulted in a cheaper, faster more reliable test.

        Back in February they needed a basically working test with a low probability fo a false negative ASAP. They should have used the WHO or Chinese test until they had something better.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 12:26 am

        Again a test kit that does nto use a reagent at the time the sample is taken can be used by any test by any vendor.

        Once a reagent is introduced only tests that reagent does not interfere with are possible.

    • John Say permalink
      April 18, 2020 2:26 pm

      Biden is not getting elected, and in the unlikely event he is, He is going to be a caretaker.

      His presidency will be managed by underlings. Anyone who has not figured out that Biden is not up to this is blind. I would not be happy with underlings controlling the president. But that substantially limits the ability to exercise power.

      You are correct that the federal government is sluggish – and states are only a little better.


      We do not want the people with power and guns to be able to act rapidly without lots of forethought.

      • April 18, 2020 3:24 pm

        “You are correct that the federal government is sluggish – and states are only a little better.


        So you are fine with people dying due to FDA regulations. You’re fine with government telling providers who could or could not get tested.

        I am not!

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 12:29 am

        I am not fine with the existance of the FDA.

        Government is not there to solve problems that do not require force.
        When force is required inefficiency is the cost to avoid tyranny.

    • John Say permalink
      April 18, 2020 2:29 pm

      I watched a review by an austrailian nurse of the Musk/Tesla ventalator.

      He was very impressed. With a few tweaks it would be superior to most existing high end hospital units. Yet, musk and his people made it from 75% car parts and had a full featured working design with battery backup in a few weeks.

      Government can not do this.

      • April 18, 2020 3:28 pm

        I would think the longest part of design was the case and where controls were located for ease of use. All the internal regulators are already part of car computers regulating fuel/air mixtures and the fuel injection systems.

        Has it geen approved for use in USA?

    • April 18, 2020 11:29 pm

      Would be interesting to see a study of the differences between Swedish youth and American youth, up to the age of about 30. But the teens into the mid twenties mainly.

      From what I have read, the Swedish young generation are more mature than the American counterparts. When looking at Jacksonville beach (or somewhere close) that just reopened, would the Swedish youth be running to the beach and ignoring the separation requirements like the picture on TV of that beach.

      Seems to me that the article supports a more rules oriented society.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 6:34 am

        Yes, I would like to see the comparison.

        At the same time, the problems of “american youth” are the responsibility of their parents.

        There has been a substantial amount of research on this.

        We know that the very real spike in peanut allergies occured because infants were increasingly protected from not just nuts, but “dirt” of all forms.

        We know that similar process produced today’s “snowflake” young adults.
        When kids grow up with adults arround ALWAYS. Where conflict is not allowed, and where if it occurs an adult always steps in and resolves it, those kids never develop the skills necescary to resolve conflicts with others.

        We have trigger warnings and safe spaces for young adults today – because growing up they were protected from all unpleasantness by adults and now as young adults themselves they expect this to continue.

        Our parenting and our schools produce young adults of exactly the kind we see today.

        I would further note that these problems are NOT universal. These problems are worst among affluent and upper middle class kids. Minority and working class kids get crappy schools, but not so ideologically warped. They are more likely to get parents that left them alone and expected them to fend for themselves. Rural parents and many suburban parents also produce more kids who are more independently capable and less ideologically broken as adults.

        Put simply an awful lot of what so bitterly divides the country today is broken education and parenting.

      • April 19, 2020 12:58 pm

        We have probably read some of the same things. It has been noted that Swedish parents give their kids much more leeway while growing up, but at the same time know much more about what their kids do than the American counterparts.

        Could be that is why Swedish youth and younger generations are more socially aware of their actions and not so self centered.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 2:53 pm

        I consider diversity to be an important value – but it does not come for free.

        One of the many flaws of left ideology is that they concurrently value diversity and conformity.
        Those are not compatible.

        We are really dealing with a Ying/Yang – Chaos vs. Order. An issue that we deal with constantly.

        Optimal society balances chaos and order.

        As Reagan wrote
        “Up to man’s age-old dream – the maximum of individual freedom consistent with law and order”

        The objective is freedom. But total freedom is chaos and is failure. We want the most freedom possible – Order is NOT the goal. But SOME order is a requirement for freedom.

        I do not oppose fundimental law – criminal, contract and tort law. While I reserve the right to challenge specific current provisions of criminal, contract or tort law. I support them completely as a construct.

        But regulation is not criminal, contract or tort law, it is redundant with, often contradictory with justifiable laws. And most importantly it disrupts the balance between order and freedom.

        Our education system has always had flaws, but there are some very specific ways the US has driven our education system towards failure in the past 40 years, and the consequences are evident in young adults today.

        The Swedes have not made all the same mistakes. Further they have different problems of their own.

        I do not consider the higher degree of conformity in sweden and other more monocultural societies to be net positive.

        That does NOT mean that it has no benefits. I strongly suspect the swedes are more voluntarily compliant with good advice for dealing with Covid19. But that some compliance does not always manifest itself positively.

        And much of my problems with many modern young adults is that they are sheepishly compliant. More so that Swedes.

        A significant part of the political divide at the moment is that way too many of us want to be sweden – not the real sweden, but a mythical one of their own imagining.
        While a similarly large portion of us most definitely does not want to be either the real sweden or the imaginary one.

        This gap is one of core values, and it is not bridgeable, and not compromiseable.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 7:02 am

        Specifically related to differences between swedish young adults and americans,

        There are myriads of factors driving differences.

        Very few countries have the breadth of diversity the US has.

        Myriads of things become radically different based on the degree of diversity.

        We are having a debate about Tribalism today.

        But Humans are inherently “tribal”.

        Blood is thicker than water. In prior era’s Clan – family in the croader sense was critical, then community, then nation, then race.

        Put simply ALL OF US are innately more trusting and more bonded to those we are physically closer to (mostly).

        In Sweden most everyone is the same race, religion, …..

        The social pressures for conformity are orders of magnitude stronger.
        Europe – including Sweden has been facing a massive inrush of immigrants – at least partly out of necessity as lower birth rates create a shortage of people – particularly at the bottom.
        This is stressing European countries in ways they have not seen before.
        Eurpoeans are finding themselves behave in the same “racist” ways that americans did generations ago.

        Regardless, it is innate that we have far higher degrees of trust of those who are closer to us.
        We also have higher degrees of charity toward those more similar to us.

        When I adopted my daughter from China it entirely reshaped my view of the world.

        Not in an intellectual sense. But in the sense that my “tribe” changed.

        Most of us care far more about the homeless, the poor, in our country than elsewhere in the world.

        All I am saying – is again we both trust and care more about what is more familiar to us.

        Suddenly, this 2 year old child who was malnourished and by american terms severely deprived became part of my immediate family – my daughter.

        I had to stop watching late night TV because “save the children” commercials were emotionally gutting me. Suddenly the children in those commercials were my daughter. They were now connected to me, close to me in a way that they had never been before.

        The point I am trying to make is that the degree of actual diversity in a society have consequences that we are often completely unaware of.

        I would expect that any highly monolithic homogenous society will have much greater conformity.

        Sometimes – as in Sweden and social distancing that has positive results,
        other times as in Iran with people licking relics the consequences are negative.

        Regardless conformity is far higher the more homogenous society is.

        I would further note that there are substantial benefits to diversity. But conforming to societal expectations absent law is not one of those.

        A major facet of “american exceptionalism”, is the innovation, creativity, that diversity and the reduced force of conformity allow. This is a major part of why we can take in immigrants from other nations and have them become far more successful than in their own country.

        American exceptionalism is not racial. or genetic, it is a consequence of the degree of freedom and diversity in this country.

      • April 19, 2020 1:03 pm

        And the conformity of Europeans is a result of the small “states” that exist in Europe. One might compare Sweden and its differences with Spain to New York and its differences with Texas.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 3:03 pm

        Both NY and TX each by themselves have greater internal diversity than if you merged Sweden and Spain.

        The diversity in the US exists because of and requires a great deal of individual liberty.
        The consequences of that symbiotic relationship between diversity and freedom is “american exceptionalism”

        I want to be careful here – because Sweden specifically (and the nordic nations more broadly) have a long tradition of economic liberty – going back to the 18th century. One that evolved similarly but almost independently of the rest of the west.

        But they DO NOT have the Anglo traditions of diversity. about 2 decades ago Sweden was 98% homogeous. Today they are an order of magnitude less diverse than the US. Further they are having massive problems with that new diversity. While the swedes claim to respect diversity on an intellectual plane. They have for centuries not had to deal with any of the problems and costs of diversity and they are having a hard time with those today.

        Conversely the modern left is trying to force on the country swedish levels of conformity, while failing to grasp the fundimental conflict that has with diversity which they also claim to prize.

  85. John Say permalink
    April 19, 2020 11:58 am

    We appear to be getting a serious lesson in exactly what is wrong with the socalled “precautionary principle” that is the core of much of progressivism today.

    The precautionary principle argues that even if the odds of some catastrophic disaster are low we should still act to thwart it because the cost if it happened would be monumental.

    What the precaustionary principle ignores is that acting to thwart a low probability hypothetical has a cost too – frequently a high cost, sometimes a higher cost than the disaster we seek to avert.

    No economic analysis of Global Warming produces a result that favors reducing CO2 without using highly unusual discount rates for the future value of present money.
    What does this mean ? As a rule of thumb an investment today to reduce future costs does not make economic sense unless the amount saved over 7 years exceeds the required investment.

    Now we are seeing a different version of the failure of the precautionary principle with Covid19.

    The draconian steps that government has taking to thwart Covid19 are only reasonable if the cost of failing to do them is far higher.

    The larger the portion of the population that has already been infected the less reasonable and the less effective the measures we have taken to thwart Covid19 are.

    The Santa Clara study is suggesting that we are undercounting the number of infections by 2 orders of magnitude.

    If that is true that means several things:
    Most if not all of our efforts to contain Covid19 have done little or nothing.
    That bears repeating multiple times.

    Covid19 is much less deadly than we have been told.

    The vast majority of people infected show either no symptoms or very few.

    Potentially more than 60M people in the US have already been infected by Covid19 – that would be very similar to the high number that are infected by the flu each year.

    This is “burning out” not because we have defeated it, but because it has gone about as far as it can go. As I have noted repeatedly it is very rare that more than 25% of a population are infected by ANYTHING.

    That not only is what we have done ineffective, but it is the WRONG thing.
    That we should have focused on protecting the most vulnerable – which is a pretty clearly identifiable group. Rather than the general population.

    Personally i think that an infection rate 2 orders of magnitude higher than we have assumed is unlikely. But a rate one order of magnitude higher is increasingly likely.

    And most of the conclusions I listed for a rate 2 orders of magnitude higher are also true of one order of magnitude higher.

  86. John Say permalink
    April 19, 2020 12:11 pm

  87. John Say permalink
    April 19, 2020 12:12 pm

    Doesn’t DeBlasio realize he is channeling Mao ?

    • April 19, 2020 1:24 pm

      People are fine with this.

      Germany had over 150,000 informants that were Nazi supporters that would “rat” on neighbors. Germans did not care or rebel. When they did care it was too late.

      Why should a few of use Libertarians worry when the majority is not paying attention living in their own little caccoon?

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 3:08 pm

        Some people are fine with this. Many are not.

        Right now we are at the early end of a revolt against this.
        Many of the “revolutionaries” are near the fringes.

        But barring an unlikely spike in Covid19 deaths, with each passing day more and more people who are not so fringe are going to join the assorted protestors.

  88. Jay permalink
    April 19, 2020 3:41 pm

    Trump Concubine Spins Covid Testing Playing Politics With Data:

    4 million tests for 330 million people? That’s only 1.2% of our population. Of the top five countries with the highest cases of COVID-19, we rank second to last in testing per capita.

    • Jay permalink
      April 19, 2020 3:52 pm

      Reminder: Trump’s prescient new Sweetie said this on Fox News in Feb:

      “We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here, and isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?”

      • April 19, 2020 4:26 pm

        So did Fauci, So did Pelosi, So did others in leadership.

        I already shared many links that you made some comment questioning my thinking in doing so

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 7:05 pm

        Jay has no interest in the actual facts.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 5:52 pm

        Rather than using private derogatory pet names. Can you give people the minimal respect they deserve and refer to them by their actual name.

        No one here calls you rude names despite the fact that you have been pretty much wrong by the numbers from day one.

        I doubt you have been paying attention, but we have now learned that the FBI had assesses Steele in 2015 – Before the Steele Dossier, and determined that it was more likely than not that he was being feed russian disinformation.

        There was no reason for that assessment to have changed. There was discussion about the probability that the information being fed to Steele about Trump was deliberate Putin Sourced disinformation.

        That assessment now seems increasingly likely. And more important that information was NOT provided the FISA court.

        So there is a very high probability that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election – AGAINST TRUMP AND FAVORING CLINTON.

        So what is it that you have been right about the past 3 years ?

        Why would someone who should be hanging their head in shame for slandering others still be engaged in that same slander ?

    • April 19, 2020 4:21 pm

      Read Dave and my comment thread about testing.

      Yes CDC screwed up. No argument there. Lifers in government incompetence.

      So given your thoughts on this issue, you are representative of those believing in government taking the lead in most everything. So provide some insight.

      1.Do you believe those working at CDC creating the testing procedures, developing a system that provided false data were responsible for the failure that delayed testing for weeks?
      2. Do you believe the CDC and FDA regulations delaying private labs from using their own tests delayed testing for weeks?
      3. Do you believe Trump had any direct input into the development of faulty test system from CDC?
      4. What changes, if any, would you have made to eliminate a faulty test system?

      And please avoid the “Trump lies” talking points. I know that, but that does not bother me. I have known shown since 1968 that politicians lie. Those lies cost 50,000+ american lives along with lies 43 used to prosecute “finishing daddy’s” war that cost thousands more. Anyone that does not know politicians lie to get into office, lie to stay in office and lie to maintain policy support have their head up their asses.

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 7:04 pm

        All the early tests were unreliable. The issue with the CDC is that they choose to develoop their own at a time when it was critical to have something ASAP, and they failed 3 times.

        Separately from that they prohibited any other labs from doing Covid19 testing.
        University’s were capable of putting a swab under an electron microscope and looking for the actual virus. That is a time consuming and inefficient way to test, but it is highly accurate and For a couple of thousand tests it is acceptable.

        The government should NEVER EVER stop third parties from doing something that does not involve harm.

        I doubt Trump gave a shit about CDC/NIH/FDA until 2020.
        Regardless, mistakes were made, and he or people appointed by him are responsible.
        None of those mistakes were unusual. Obama made the same mistakes.

        That said, Trump was elected promising to do better. In this area he did not.

        Changes ?
        Eliminate FDA. Eliminate government drug regulation – whether narcotics or perscriptions – wipe it all out.

        Merge CDC and NIH and eliminate all other responsibilities except border related health testing, and stopping epidemics at the border.

        Everything else is the responsibility of the state.

        At the state level – the states have the power to make recomendations.
        They do not have the power to use force outside of:
        Quarantining people who are actually sick and contageous.
        Isolating the most vulnerable portions of the population from the rest of us.
        There is no government power to abridge the rights of healthy people.

    • John Say permalink
      April 19, 2020 5:35 pm

      When you have counted to 4,000,000 You can complain.
      That would require every employee of the federal government to perform one test.

      Regardless CDC/NIH are responsible for testing people crossing our borders.
      Testing inside the border is the responsibility of each state.
      You made the big rant that Trump did not understand the limits of his authority.
      Now you are botching it.

      CDC improperly interfered with state (and private) testing early on – I will completely give you that.

      Separately I strongly suspect your claim is wrong – please provide as source.
      The US has done almost half of all the testing in the world.
      To match the US Italy, Spain, Germany and France would have to have done about 1.3M tests between them. I doubt it.

      Last, we are honestly past the point at which testing for infection matters much.
      If a patient shows up at an ER with the symptoms they are going to get treated for Covid19.

      What we now need to do more of is Antibody testing. That is a completely different kind of testing.

      What we need to know is the true infection rate for the disease.
      It is pretty well established at this point that we are undercounting infections world wide by atleast a factor of 2. It is likely that we are undercounting them by a factor of 10, It is possible we are undercounting them by nearly a factor of 100.

      If there are 70M people in the US with Covid19 antibodies we have just waster several trillion dollars to fight something that is less consequential than the flu.
      Further, the larger the denominator is the less likely it is that all these measures we have taken had any effect.
      And finally the larger the denominator is the more certain we can be that if there is a fall resurgence it will be small.

      Even if the number of infected is only 7M the same thing are probably true.

      • April 19, 2020 6:10 pm

        Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure. So one can look at any data, calculate a number and then present that number as fact. Its just the way its interpreted.

        So there is one very good website that provides good analytical data. Not some tweet from some twit on twitter.

        Please note that in this graph it presents each country’s test data per million population compared to confirmed cases per million population. Only Italy, Switzerland, Luxumberg and Iceland exceed the United States in Test per million population and test per confirmed case per million.

        And there is other data that would need to be analyzed such as population for each country and how total population might impact the need for testing ,etc. Who made the testing system for each country? Private of government? Did they have problems with their tests like our CDC developed tests?

      • John Say permalink
        April 19, 2020 7:11 pm

        Interesting site.
        I further noted that there is the ability to look backwards in time.
        From what I can see the US Tests/M versus Cases/M was comensurate or better than other developed countries from Jan. 21, 2020 forward.

    • John Say permalink
      April 19, 2020 5:45 pm

      The relevant criteria right now is antibody testing.

      We are well past the point where infection testing is meaningful.

      Probably 68M people got the Flu in the US last year.
      We did 247,000 tests for the flu.

      Testing for the disease only matters if you still beleive you can contain it, and you are looking to identify asymptomatic people to quarantine.
      We lost containment weeks ago.

      At this time if you are sick WITH ANYTHING, you should self quarantine.
      No test necescary – PERIOD.

      I had a long discussion with Ron about testing early on.

      I argued that testing had nothing to do with containment (or treatment).
      I was wrong. You can use testing as a tool for containment with a small enough population if you can act while the portion of the population infected is still very small and it is reasonable to assume it is localized.

      But testing has very little utility if you are trying to stop this at the borders. You must quarantine by default anyone who came from the infected region, and anyone who they have come in contact with. You do not need testing for that.
      Testing has no utility at all once this is into the GP.

  89. Anonymous permalink
    April 19, 2020 4:08 pm

    Even Piers Morgan has awoken:

  90. Vermonta permalink
    April 20, 2020 11:07 am

    Science does amazing things, medical science being a prime example. We have made tremendous progress in treating cancer, it has not yet nearly completely triumphed and we have been on the right track since Watson and crick found the structure of and worked out the dna–rna–protein paradigm. That was mid 50s. Nearly 70 years later we are perhaps halfway there on treating all cancers.

    Treating a virus has been an elusive goal. It’s not alive so you can’t kill it. Only the body can eliminate it, if it lives long enough. And somevirusesare never eliminated, herpes, aids for example.

    Aids led to a giant leap forward on our understanding of the immune system and today aids can be repressed but not eliminated. If the drugs suddenly were not available aids patients would be back in the same boat.

    I believe that covid will lead to a great leap forward in virology, but on the same time scale as aids research remade immunology. Decades. It’s nice that there is already one truly promising treatment drug remdesivir. That is due to the fact that private and publically funded research has already long been working on virology and immunology. The private research, by drug companies is built on a mountain of public research, University research funded by government grants. We need both and both deserve the credit.

    • April 20, 2020 11:24 am

      Roby, very good comment. I agree 100%, especially with your last two sentences because there is a need for what each sector does best.

      But on the other hand, when one screws up, everyone giving the accolades should be willing to criticize when things go wrong.

      Politics should remain on the sideline in both instances.

      That is the problem today. Both sides quick to praise, but doublely quick to defend no matter how bad the outcome.

      No one wants to accept responsibility in negative outcomes.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 20, 2020 12:36 pm

        Once upon a time I was an environmental engineer (so called) working for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, we were in a section that oversaw groundwater studies around landfills and hazardous sites. I did a lot of talking to officials and citizens on the phone as part of it. At some point I discovered that it was very easy to say, I screwed up, to people, simply saying that I made a mistake was much easier than trying to escape from that. My balls did not fall off and no one killed me, in fact it made people more sympathetic and they quickly forgave.

        But not when the stakes are high, they just kill you if you are wrong, so who wants to be wrong?

        When people fail in many fields at a high level their life is all but over, at least in their field.

        I am more forgiving than most, many of these things are complicated, difficult, and its easy to jump on mistakes in hindsight. Humans are fallible. If infallibility is the standard no one can have a responsible job.

        Politicians who have a cult following can get away with a lot of shit though, sometimes much, much more than they should. Few politicians have such a cult following but those that do are more dangerous. Bernie is one, trump is another, and the politicians from safe districts or states are immune nearly to repercussions. Like Leahy or Graham could ever have to answer for anything, they have lifetime employment no matter what.

        But as far as the “lifers” in the bureaucracy, or scientists they are not safe when they screw up (as humans will) so they are not eager to say when they were wrong.

        I knew a very brilliant asian lady who had a golden career at the top of everything and then she made a technical mistake handling AIDS virus and her career was over that day. Her mistake had harmed no one.

      • April 20, 2020 1:05 pm

        Roby, yes, careers are ended by bad decisions. But not everyone is held responsible for bad decisions. Those are the ones I am addressing.

        The captain on the Roosevelt made a mistake. Almost immediately he was relieved of command. Held responsible.

        CDC created a test kit, did not insure it worked, distributed it, delayed testing for weeks getting another developed, all while. the FDA was blocking private labs from using ones they created.

        Was anyone held responsible? Was the media blaming anyone in CDC for the botched test? Who accepted responsibility for the bad test? Who is the media blaming? Anyone with direct involvement in the development?

        This is the perfect example of our comments. Due to a project being one that would probably not provide a profit, gov’t provides grants to companies to create tests. If they fail, the companies are held responsible. Then they quietly hold individuals responsible in their company.

      • John Say permalink
        April 20, 2020 5:26 pm

        Please make a list of the things you think that govenrment has done right in this.

        To be clear, I am not saying that government has no role at all.

        But I think if you make such a list you will quickly have a good idea of the relatively limited role and scope that government has.

        Next list all the screwups. I think you will find nearly all of those are government.

        Finally list private and govenrment actions that have place OTHERS at risk.

        The mega church that wants to bring 5000 parishoners to a crowed easter service in person is stupid as hell, but does not pose a risk to people who do not choose to accept that risk.

        While all the actions of govenrment impose one risk or another, on harm or another on people.

        Is there a need for govenrment ? Absolutely. I agree with much of the criticism of Trump’s daily cheerleading sessions. At the same time they are critical.

        We do not actually need anything from those briefings. At the same time without them we will lose hope or choose to act stupid.

        At the same time the things that are actually being done are mostly not being done by government.

      • April 20, 2020 7:59 pm

        I dont need to make lists. I have already said govt screwed up. Ask Jay and Roby to do that.

        I have said govt never does anything right short of the military.

        What I said is I agreed with Roby that govt’s role should be in grants funding research. Private enterprise should create to final product. GPS was a government project that made its way to commercial use. The internet was another gov’t project ending in commercial setting.

      • John Say permalink
        April 20, 2020 11:17 pm

        I did not ask you to list government screwups.

        You said there was a roll for both and shared credit.

        I asked you what has government succeeded at that is deserving of credit ?

        There are some things. Regardless, my point was not to continue the attack on Trump or the government. But it was to identify what role government actually plays. What is can do or has done that is effective.

        There is little need for sharing.

        There is an interview on Youtube and Real Clear Politics by the Swede responsible for the Swedish Covid19 response. He was not a politician, but he was quite interesting.
        Je pointed out CORRECTLY, that the measures various governments have taken are for the purpose of protecting the healthcare system. So long as the healthcare system is fully functional the number of total deaths will be the same – regardless of the lockdowns.

        For those nations that can cope with a sudden influx of critical Covid19 patients locking things down merely prolongs the economic damage. The same total number of people will get infected, the same total number of people will die. But they will do so over a significantly longer time period. Avoiding overwhelming the health care system only make sense – if in fact the disease is going to overwhelm the healthcare system.

        Aside from Italy and Spain – which have an aged population and an inadequate health care system, this has not occured in the west. Even NYC which is by far the hardest hit in the US could have continued to function with almost an order of magnitude more cases.
        Sweden is running at far below their capacity. Both Sweden and the US have substantially higher than average numbers of ICU beds per capita. Further Both countries have an enormous surge capacity. The official number of ICU beds in US hospitials is less than 1/3 of the actual ICU care capability of those hospitals in a crisis.

        Sweden has a slightly higher mortality rate than much of europe and its neighbors. He noted several factors in that. Sweden has significantly larger nursing homes than most of Europe, and Sweden was slow to stop visitors to nursing homes, as a result they had a large number of early deaths in nursing homes. That problem is now resolved. Next Sweden is not lockdown, as a result it will see a higher peak number of infections BUT it will also get through this much faster, and so long as that peak does not overwhelm the healthcare system, that is the best possible outcome. Sweden appears to be past the peak now.

        But Sweden faces much easier choices moving forward than lockdown countries.
        The government has no orders to rollback or not, There is no reason for the government to worry that if they revoke some order too soon there will be a sudden spike.

        In the US and most other countries our leaders are fighting over whether it is “too soon”
        Sweden is not. Sweden has no reason to expect a 2nd spike. They have every reason to expect that they are past the peak and the decline will be as rapid as the rise.

        All the US governors have to worry that if the roll back parts of the lockdown they will get a 2nd spike.

        BTW he noted – as I have said, as most models say and as even the experts say quietly, So long as the healthcare system is able to deal with the serious cases, there is no statistical difference between lockdown and no lockdown in outcome. There will be the same number of total deaths, the same number of total infections. they will just occur more rapidly.

    • John Say permalink
      April 20, 2020 4:33 pm

      Viruses are quite a bit simpler than Cancer.

      It is my understanding that Herpes C can be “cured” in 95% of cases today.
      Further though rare there have been several instances of aids “cures”.

      Aides is also several orders of magnitude more complex to combat than Covid19.

      The preliminary results for Remedsivir are better than those from Hoxcl. But the preliminary results on Hoxcl are still strongly positive. Further Remedsivir is not formally approved for anything. It is in limited supply, it is not likely to be scalable rapidly. Hoxcl is so common it is used as pool cleaner, is FDA approved, any doctor can prescribe it. It is as safe as aspirin.
      In otherwords outside of a few people or very stupid doses or protracted high dose use it meets “first do no harm” – Remedsivir BTW does NOT yet meet that criteria.
      We know alot about Hoxcl generally. We know very little about Remedsivir generally.

      This is the same dilema we face with vaccines right now. There are almost 40 vaccines under development NOW. Almost every single one of them is likely to be effective in atleast some cases. The massive testing of vaccines is only a small part about “do they work” the largest portion is about can we give this to 1B people without killing too many of them.

      We know the answer to that with Hoxcl. Hoxcl meets all the criteria for very broad use now.
      Remedsivir is unlikely to ever be approved for any use outside of seriously ill patients where the risks of the drug are low compared to the risk of the illness.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 20, 2020 9:49 pm

        I googled hoxcl and got nothing relevant. Links?

      • John Say permalink
        April 20, 2020 11:24 pm

        hoxcl = HydroxyChloraquine.

        There is substantially more evidence that it is effective. None of that evidence meets the FDA gold standards and it will take months before proper controlled studies can meet those standards. It appears to work slower than Remedsivir – though still quite fast.
        But there is only one study on Remedsivir so far – there are about half a dozen on HyroxyChloraquine.

        Given what I have found out so far If I had serious Covid19 and could ask for anything, I would ask for Remedsivir. But hoxcl can be used faster, without speicial approvals has an enormous supply, is legal for a doctor to perscribe without FDA approval, has a century of experience being used with billons of people so the contra indicators and doses are very well known. None of this is true of Remedsivir and probably never will be.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 21, 2020 7:32 am

        “None of this is true of Remedsivir and probably never will be.”

        Because you say so.

        In fact, remidsiver may not pan out; in the end many promising drugs do not for various reasons. I am not going to believe strongly in on it until it has passed some more milestones.

        All the same, remidsiver has enough actually promising results to have fueled a stock market rally. Allegedly, respectable brokers do research on companies and their prospects before advising their clients to buy. You know, your beloved market being the test of value. You should be hoping for remidsiver, except that your guys are not promoting it and you have gone all in for the “hoxyl” craze so of course you must instead dismiss remidsiver with no firm grounds, while promoting hoxyl with no firm grounds.

        Ideological bullshit science, both the left wing and right wing versions, is a naive tragedy. Let proper studies be conducted and we will see what comes out.

        As of today your “Hoxyl” is a mostly a right wing fad. Its misuse has killed more people than its been shown to save. Granted, any drug can be misused, but in this case the misuse was brought on by the hype of Carlson/trump/Fox commentary universe. I would not rule out that it might be helpful to some patients as a part of a mixture of medications, although the evidence is incredibly thin for even that as of today. You allegedly understand statistics, right? So you should understand how shaky the support is for any clear therapeutic effect of hoxyl based on tiny studies of unrepresentative populations. You’d likely be dismissing it if trump were not promoting it and the dems and media doubting and dismissing it. Based on your all in hoxyl promotion I doubt your grasp of statistics is nearly as firm as you have claimed. If you cannot see how little statistically convincing evidence there is for hoxyl then you fail Stats101.

        I am glad they are testing hoxyl in actual properly statistically conducted studies and I certainly hope it will help someone somewhere. Since Tucker Carlson and trump have hyped it and the conservative universe has bought the hype, now, for better or worse, it is a thing and it needs to be proven or disproven, tested properly since it can either be put in the tool kit or discarded rationally. We will hopefully know something more statistically grounded in a month or so on both medications. Which does not help very many people immediately but if one or both drugs are actually effective and relatively safe it could be of huge consequence in the longer run.

        You wanna open up the economy? You better be praying for some considerable effect of both drugs.

        If remidsiver or some follow up structurally related medication (and I would be very surprised if its developers are not even now experimenting with a family of tweakings of its structure) does not pan out and hoxyl proves effective I will admit it. I can say with certainty that there is zero chance that you will do anything other than put up a smokescreen of bullshit if the reverse turns out to be true. May time test my predictions.

      • April 21, 2020 10:29 am

        Roby, with the debate about these two drugs, political differences are blocking facts about the use of these drugs. According to articles I have read remedsivir was used compassionate use in many hospitals, but now Gilead has limited the use to selected hospitals as part of clinical trials.

        So now you or one of your family is in critical condition. Now Hydroxychloroquin is available “off label”, but remedsivir is not unless your in one of the selected hospitals until 12-18 months when the trials and results are analyzed and published.

        If the doctor recommends Hydroxy, do you use it or not?

        That has been my position all along. Only you or your doc should make “end of life (saving)” decisions. Not the FDA, not Trump, not Fauci , no one else.

        And my thinking is if Gilead can produce enough remedsivir for compassionate use, then no red tape should result in one persons death. Clinical studies can be conducted, but so can compassionate use. And if compassionate use is selected, the Gilead should not be held responsible for adverse outcomes legally in criminal or civil actions.

        Right now there is not enough information being provided to many for an understanding as to why decisions being made are being made. Is it government or something else?

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 2:53 am

        Gilead has changed the terms of use. But it has not reduced the availability.

        They have just shifted to focusing on getting data.

        As I understand it, it is easy or easier to get into a study as approved for compasionate use – sort of. Compasionate use was done on a case by case basis. While for studies doctors are given sufficient remedsivir for the some defined number of patients, and the doctors select the patients based on the study criteria.

        Though the studies are focused on the most serious cases.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 3:01 am

        I have no idea what the supply of remedsivir is. but under the best of circumstances it is a tiny fraction of hoxcl.

        There are red/blue games going on, trump vs. media. but there are also other games.
        there is decades of research on hoxcl – done by the French. hoxcl has a NIH problem in the US. Next it is about as generic as you can get, several companies produce it. No one owns it. There is no multibillion dollar drug company that will benefit, no stock that will skyrocket, no massive pool of happy investors behind hoxcl.

        At the same time even if it is only half as effective as remedsivir it is a global game changer.
        Further it may give us the means to buy time to get to a vaccine.

        I could be wrong but I do not think remedsivir is getting beyond critical patients in the first world. And even that depends on how quickly production can ramp up.

        I would further note that at this time remedsivir is given by IV. It is possible that is not a requirement. Hoxcl is a cheap commonly available pill.

        Hoxcl does not need any approval by the FDA – even though the FDA has given some kind of limited Covid19 approval to it. It is an already approved low risk drug it can be used off label for any purpose.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 3:07 am

        There are problems with government.

        But the fundimental issues with regard to information is more of a “fog of war” thing.

        As well as multiple concurrent channels of information.

        If you are paying attention to Brix and Faucci – and some others – it is clear they have information sources much more advanced and well developed than the media.

        I am also picking up vlogs from doctors who are reporting on unpublished studies that are not hitting the media. Often doctors are incorporating these into their treatment. They are keeping results. they are telling each other what their oppinion is. But they are not stopping treating patients so they can produce a paper documenting the results.

        So an awful lot of the information is either coming from word of mouth, exchanged emails in the medical community, or extremely short published results. I have seen some results that were handwritten on graph paper with little in the way of explanation.

        And I have no problem with this. There will be time as this slows down to publish papers and to work out the statistical fine points.

        Right now saving lives comes first.

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 6:03 pm

        “Because you say so.”

        Yes, that is my opinion, it is my projection, prediction.
        I can site numerous reasons I believe that to be true, but those are still all only my informed efforts to read the Ouija board.

        I will be happy to discuss my reasons, you have provided some of yours.

        I have little doubt that Remedsivir has improved the financial fortunes of its maker.
        I am not aware that it has fueled a broad market rally. But it could have.

        My comparison of Remedsivir to hoxcl is that there is little chance ever – and definitely not in the short run of Remedsivir being something just shy of OTC, which is where hoxcl is .
        In most of the world hoxcl is OTC.

        There is evidence that both hoxcl and remedsiver are effective against Covid19.
        The PROBABILITY is Remedsivir is more effective – though more and broader tests could go either way. there have so far been no true large scale controlled double blind tests of either of these against covid19 – and likely will not be anytime soon. Though there likely will be more tests, more large tests, and more controlled tests.

        But hoxcl has been used by billions of people. the odds of your ever getting the broad knowledge of tolerance and side effects that exists with hoxcl is near zero.

        Still that is an assertion about future odds. I think it is a good one, but the future will tell.

        In the short run – for the duration of the Covid19 epidemic, remedsivir is not approved for anything. It is being used currently under compassionate use guidlines or as part of unapproved drug testing. I may not like the law, but the law prohibits doctors from perscribing it – for any use. They either must get permission for compassionate use or get their patient included in a study. that means it will likely in the short run only be used on very seriously ill patients. Hoxcl can be perscribed by any doctor and used off label for any patient. It can be used propholactically. Further any doctor can with a high degree of confidence know exactly what the risks are for any patient.
        It is going to be years – if ever that we know whether remedsivir has disparate impacts based on sex, race, other medications, other health conditions.
        We just do not and will not for a long long time know all the parameters of remedsivir.

        While I strongly oppose the government making regulations on these things.

        That does not mean I oppose the pursuit of that knowledge.

        I have zero problems with insurance company imposed building codes as an example.

        i think that the testing the FDA requires for every single drug would be wise for drugs that are going to be broadly used. I would not likely take allergy medicine that did not have that kind of testing.

        But if I had terminal cancer or a life long seriously debilitating disease I would not be as demanding of testing.

      • April 21, 2020 7:04 pm

        Dave, from Gilead website.

        Compassionate use was stopped about last week and has not started back.

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 6:17 pm

        I do not disagree on “proper studies” – but right now we do not have time for that.

        This pandemic is doing an excellent job of making obvious and practical many of the arguments against regulation that I have made in the past that appeared theoretical – though they are not.

        If Remedsivir lives up to its promise and we delay widespread use until it meets the FDA required testing – 10’s of thousands of people will ACTUALLY die.
        Remedsivir may not live up to that promise. But there are dozens of other possibilities that need tried, and one likely will. Moving fast will kill a few people who would not die otherwise. Moving slow will kill MANY people who would not die otherwise.
        This is quite frequently true, but it is blatantly obvious right now.

        There are now upwards of 40 vaccines in development. Atleast a dozen are at the stage of 1st human trials. That has never ever ever happened that fast before.
        There is only so much we can do to shorten the time to broad use on a healthy population.
        But we could rapidly get to the point where the benefits outweighed the risk for smaller at risk populations. Older people are an at risk population – we could easily prioritize testing for older people and have a vaccine available for older people in a few months.
        Healthcare workers are an at risk population. Further there are one that understands the risks involved, Further they are a population that is almost exclusively working age adults with very few serious health issues.
        Getting a vaccine that is safe for smokers, diabetics, children, pregnant women, old people, people with allergies, …. is incredibly time consuming. And you do not want to give a vaccine to a healthy person and kill them.

        Regardless, my point is that government regulation is not agile, it is not flexible – and in fact we do not want it to be. And that means there are tasks govenrment should not perform.

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 6:33 pm

        “As of today your “Hoxyl” is a mostly a right wing fad. Its misuse has killed more people than its been shown to save.”

        False – “fake news”. I can find videos of doctors who are very critical of the hoxcl studies and results who will still conclude that if they got covid19 they would take hoxcl.
        That is NOT a right wing fad.

        Thus far a single couple – both democrats has overdosed on an Hoxcl slushy made from pool cleaner that pretty well demonstrates that there are idiots everywhere.
        There is also a possibility that the women was deliberately trying to kill her husband.

        It is likely that in 100+ years of use Chloroquines have killed fewer people than aspirin.
        The claim that hoxcl (which is much safer than Chloroquine) is a dangerous drug is LEFT WING PROPOGANDA. The heart issues with normal doses are very very very rare. And a doctor can do a quick EKG to identify patients that hoxcl is contra indicated. The long term use issues are both well understood and completely inapplicable. As to overdoses – you can kill yourself by overdosing on aspirin, and you can go nuts by overdosing on OTC antacid tablets – tums. There is nothing that you can not overdoes on – including oxygen and water.
        hoxcl is safe enough to use propholcatically NOW. That is a huge deal. That means it is known safer than any vaccine we might ever develop.
        It is already used propholactically arround the world against malaria.
        My wife and I took a hoxcl regime 20 years ago before going to china to adopt our daughter.
        People who travel to asia or africa routinely take propholactic hoxcl.

        I have no idea if remedsivir will ever prove propholatically useful against anything,
        But it would take it a decade to get through testing to meet the requirements for that.

        After about 5 times as much testing as remedsivir hoxcl looks promising, but less promising than remedsivir. But hoxcl can be used broadly against the entire population NOW.
        that is just not happening with remedsivir.

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 6:52 pm

        There is no such thing as “proper testing”

        There is better and worse testing.

        Faucci Falsely called the information on hoxcl “anecdotal”.

        Anecdotal evidence in China is the cause of greater interest.
        Doctors in China fairly early on discovered that there were no covid19 patients with Lupus.
        That lead them to try to determine what might be different about people with lupus.
        One difference was the use of hoxcl to treat lupus.

        That is annecdotal evidence.

        The next step was actually using hoxcl on patients.
        That was done in china and South Korea. In china there was one actual study done, mostly it was just used without formally studying its effects.

        That one study was small and poorly setup. But the results were promising.

        South Korea used it more broadly and kept records. We are expecting results soon.
        We know that SK had an extraordinarily low mortality rate.

        A very famous virologist in France replicated the study in China. This is also where Azithromyecin was added. This doctor had been studying the use of chloroquines and antibiotics against various viruses for DECADES, and strong indications that they are effective against some viruses but his studies were funding limited because hoxcl is cheap, as were the antibiotics he was using.
        Diddier replicated the Chinese study, again on a small scale. And he then replicated the results again on a much larger scale.

        All of these recent studies are in vivo, they are controlled – but badly, they are not random, they are not double blind, and they are not very large scale.

        That does not mean they are invalid. large double blind randomized controlled studies are relatively new – in my lifetime. Much of medical science was advanced with results from studies inferior to these.

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 7:08 pm

        Am I biased ? Absolutely. Everyone is.
        that is one of the reasons why when we have the luxury to do so, we do double blind studies.

        You claim to know statistics. There are many many things – like global warming, where double blind and even controlled studies are not possible.

        The current results from hoxcl are statiscally more significant by far than those for CAGW,
        And they are badly controlled, while CAGW is not controlled at all.
        Both are equally subject to bias effects.

        So put simply, if you beleive that CAGW is true, and you beleive that hoxcl is a right wing hoax – then you are statistically a hypocrit. The statistics and science for hoxcl are better.

        Would I prefer the gold standard ? Certainly.

        As to my biases. I found out about hoxcl WEEKS before Trump mentioned it. Before any talking head did. I found out about it when there were early reports that China was using it and it appeared to be working. I found that interesting because effective treatment of viruses is very new.

        Do I really want hoxcl to be effective ? Shouldn’t everyone ?

        Of course I want a drug that billions of people have safely taken that is cheap and readily available to prove effective in fighting covid19.
        Covid 19 reducing the infection rate by 50% or the severity rate by 50% or the death rate by 50% would be a “game changer” and there is good evidence that all or most of those are possible. Hoxcl being 50% effective in any of those scenarios would be far more significant than Remedsivir being 100% effective in reducing deaths in severe cases.
        Because it is unlikely we will have enough remedsivir to treat all critical cases quickly.
        Hoxcl is available now. Because remedsivir is months to years away from being used in non critical cases or propholactically. Absolutely no new drug is going to be used for either of those any time soon.

        Regardless, this is not somehow a constest between “left wing remedsivir” and “right wing hoxcl” – as if somehow the drugs themselves have an ideology.

        I hope that BOTH prove effective. I will be happy if one does.
        Or anything else that is being tried.

        But I am still more interested in hoxcl, because even if it is only half as effective as remedsivir or any other drug in testing, it is still far more useful. Finding it effective would be like discovering that aspirin reduced flu deaths and infections 50%.

        Absolutely we should have better studies. In the mean time it appears what we have already is good enough to be using both of these in different cases.

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 7:17 pm

        To be clear the biggest deal about hoxcl is the very part that the media has most relentlessly attacked.

        It is dirt cheap – 0.04/400mg dose
        It is dirt common – there are more than 100 million doses readily available now.
        It is so common and cheap it is used for pool cleaner.
        We could massively increase what is available by purifying pool cleaner
        Something an ametuer youtube chemist could do in their garage.
        It has been approved for use and taken by billions of people over more than a century.

        As I said before it would be like discovering that aspirin reduces flu by 50%.

        Even if it is only 20% effective it would be a “game changer”.

        What is disturbing is that so many on the left are litterally rooting against it.
        Right now the indications are that hoxcl is as effective against covid19 as tamiflu is against the flu. That result has been replicated more than 1/2 dozen times. While each study has flaws – as does the remedsivir study, the odds of all being wrong is small.

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 7:54 pm

        Both hoxcl and remedsivir have already proven effective enough that doctors should be using them as appropriate.

        I know little of permutations of remedsivir.

        But I already know that atleast one biolab is already going through the entire FDA catalog of approved drugs looking for possible treatments and testing them.

        The genetic sequencing of the virus and our advances in understanding of genes and protiens allows bio engineers to examine the RNA determine the critical proteins. searh for drugs that effect those proteins and try them.

        I fully expect we will have lots of things to try.

        But remedsivir has one serious flaw. It is not going to be allowed for treatment of anything but critically ill patients any time soon.

        Hoxcl as well as other already approved drugs can be deployed broadly instanting.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 21, 2020 7:59 am

        The fact that you would choose remidsiver yourself is at least one sign of rationality on your part I will give you that.

        But as to your dismissing its likely future usefulness, I say you have poor grounds for that. From the Wiki on remidsiver, the drug was not born yesterday, it already has a history going back to 2013 if I understand correctly, and has an established safety profile, one important milestone. It is a nucleotide analogue, which is quite a broad class. We use one well known nucleotide analogue in large quantities, caffeine. That does not make all nucleotide analogues safe or side effect free, of course.

        “Ebola virus
        On 9 October 2015, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) announced preclinical results that remdesivir had blocked the Ebola virus in Rhesus monkeys. Travis Warren, who has been a USAMRIID principal investigator since 2007, said that the “work is a result of the continuing collaboration between USAMRIID and Gilead Sciences”.[30] The “initial screening” of the “Gilead Sciences compound library to find molecules with promising antiviral activity” was performed by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[30] As a result of this work, it was recommended that remdesivir “should be further developed as a potential treatment.”[30][2]

        Remdesivir was rapidly pushed through clinical trials due to the West African Ebola virus epidemic of 2013–2016, eventually being used in people with the disease. Preliminary results were promising; it was used in the emergency setting during the Kivu Ebola epidemic that started in 2018, along with further clinical trials, until August 2019, when Congolese health officials announced that it was significantly less effective than monoclonal antibody treatments such as mAb114 and REGN-EB3. The trials, however, established its safety profile.[31][32][33][2][34][35][36][37]”

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 8:13 pm

        Just as I am not “rooting against remedsivir” you should not be rooting against hoxcl.

        If this threat remains arround long enough there will be multiple drugs that prove effective.

        I would be very happy to learn that you are right and remedsivir is both effective and can be used broadly quickly.

        but there are 2 issues with it.

        Quinine has been used since 1638. Chloroquine since 1930. less toxic hoxcl since 1945.
        Billions of people have taken it. There is just no way in the world that remedsivir’s safety profile will be as well developed in less than several decades.

        The 2nd is the FDA. Short of an executive order, the FDA is not going to allow remedsivir to be used outside of critical cases absent completing the full drug approval process which will not happen soon.

        If I could get it I would take hoxcl now as a propholactic. That does is 400mg per month after the initial couple of weeks. Would you pay $10 for a 50% greater chance to not get this ?
        A 20% chance ? a 10% chance ?

        Even if remedsivir has propholactic qualities, that is just not happening.
        NYC appears to be giving hoxcl to healthcare workers and first responders propholatically.

        And if I contracted something that even resembeled Covid19 and I could get it I would use hoxcl right now. As well as zythromiacin if I could get it.

        If I actually got to a critical state I would be begging for remedsivir as there are small indications that is more effective.

        But if something better came along – count me in.

        All that said, right now we have no vaccine, and will not for a while.
        There is no other drug I am aware of with any hope of a propholactic effict.
        And small odds of getting one soon or one that is affordable.

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 8:19 pm

        Here is work indicating Chloroquine effective against SARS in 2005.
        I beleive Diddier’s work using it against other coronavirus goes back to the 80’s.

        There have been 2 problems advancing this.
        First there is little research money to prove that an existing cheap drug has further unusual uses.
        Next, SARS, MERS and other big corona virus threats died before there was preasure to push these studies further

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 8:22 pm

        Here is hoping the US FDA thinks that a safety profile developed in use against ebola in Nigeria has consequence.

        To be clear – I am not looking to piss on you. But you and I appear to have entirely different ideas about the FDA. And I think that history validates my pessimistic view.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 21, 2020 8:13 am

        And here, speaking of market analysis of the prospects of remidsiver and Gilead, is a nice objective well researched article on just that.

        I wonder when Tucker and trump will start to hype remidsiver and if they do if when the Fox universe and its viewers will discover remidsiver in a big way.

        My largest hopes are on this drug.

      • John Say permalink
        April 21, 2020 8:35 pm

        Weirdly the motley fool is missusing CFR

        This is partly because that is the statistic being bandied arround the most.

        Also we are inappropriately comparing the CFR of Covid19 with the IFR of the Flu.

        The IFR is the deaths in proportion to the estimated infections NOT diagnosed infections.

        If random sampling of the population leads us to beleive that 4% or 15% or 30% of us have been infected Covid19’s IFR will be established and it will be far lower than the current CFR – possibly lower than the flu. But the CFR is not likely to change.

        Next, both hoxcl and remedsivir are being used primarily against seriously ill patients.
        NOT random diagnosed patients. The fatality rate of this group is much higher than the CFR.

        Regardless both the remedsivir and hoxcl studies have run the same.

        The control group was a similarly severely infected group of patients undergoing moral treatment. Both hoxcl and remedsivir reduced the death rate. Both also reduce the length of the ICU treatment, and the time to testing a 0 viral load.
        hoxcl appears to reduce all of the above by 50%.
        Remedsivir works even faster – 50% faster than hoxcl.
        In one instance a patient went from ventalator to checkout in 24hrs.
        Patients with a fever had the fever gone in 2 hours.

        Now remedsivir has less than 1/3 the studies of hoxcl at this time.

        I would like more and better of both.

        But if I was critically ill of covid19 and I was given 3 choices.
        remedsivir, hoxcl/z, or nothing.

        That would be the order of my choices.
        I would gamble based on the less extensive testing that remedsivir was better.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 2:38 am

        If remedsivir looks promising – why shouldn’t Trump, Tucker, … hype it.
        I am pretty sure both have already mentioned it favorably more than once.

        But there is a difference between them.

        At this time remedsivir appears to be capable of reducing deaths.

        While hoxcl has the potential to significantly thwart the infection rate and the severity of those who do get infected.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 21, 2020 8:36 am

        One more comment. These drugs are unlikely to be tested using the very best statistical methods given the life or death circumstances of their recipients. Double blind studies would not be in the best interests of the patients, the doctor should know what medications their patients are getting. Nor is there likely going to be a population that is given a placebo, that would be immoral and unethical. You could do a double blind and use a placebo with monkeys of course. But no one will be fully convinced by that.

        But what can be done is that the trials can be large enough and have clinically relevant populations (such as patients who are very seriously ill) and the outcomes can be compared to the majority of patients in those same clinical conditions who did not receive the drug. Its not optimal but its certainly informative.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 2:42 am

        “These drugs are unlikely to be tested using the very best statistical methods”
        because there is no time.

        Further whether they are ever subject to a double blind controlled study or not depends on whether this comes back next fall or next year.

        If it does many things will get well tested.

        As you note remedsivir has been arround for a while and it was tried against ebola – but again not a double blind study.

        There is even an argument – a good one that it is not moral to do a double blind study when people are dying.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 2:49 am

        “But what can be done is that the trials can be large enough and have clinically relevant populations ”

        Have you read any of these studies or the more serious reporting on them ?
        There is even plenty on Youtube.
        That is exactly what is being done.

        The first 3 hoxcl studies had about 100 people – all in the serious or critical catagory.
        1 study was done in china, two in France. There is more data available – Both South Korea and China used hoxcl fairly broadly – and I know there are papers coming from South Korea.
        I beleive that France is doing a 1000 person study.

        NYC is using it propholactically as well as on patients.

        The first remedsivir study was 100 critical and severe patients.

        It is my understanding they are in the midst of a 1000 person study.

        There are many other drugs being tested – I have not seen studies of those but pruprtedly several are promising.

        And researchers are working on identifying more and more potential drugs and testing them in vitro before trying them in vivo.

        Medicine can not keep up with the 24hr news cycle – but it is moving far faster than ever before.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 21, 2020 12:07 pm

        Ron, I found this on the rate of production of remdesivir and the company’s policies on getting it distributed.

        I am not a libertarian so you should not be surprised that I am not a fan of people choosing their own medications willy nilly. I am not opposed to there being some higher say over what a doctor can prescribe either, within reasonable limits. In fact I am in favor of that. Morphine for every ache and pain would be one example of a reason for such control over doctors. I have no problem with drugs being approved for certain applications only. I don’t think most Docs know nearly enough to make good choices if they can just prescribe anything at all for anything at all under the theory of maybe this will work. My father fell the other day, landed in the hospital and overheard two residents talking about COVID. They were certain that all viruses contain RNA (Bzzzt, wrong). No, Docs are not sophisticated as a group about biochemistry.

        In Russia, to my shock, many medications are available in drugstores that are prescribed here, most especially antibiotics. Ironic, since they are a very tightly regulated society, but you can diagnose and dose yourself and buy antibiotics and other drugs we regulate. I wonder how they are controlling multi antibiotic resistance issues, I guess they aren’t. They will be sorry, that is a mistake.

        Based on what I have read I can’t imagine my doctor recommending oxywhatsis. I would have no enthusiasm for it myself. I would likely ask for remdesivir if I had a serious case. I hope it will be broadly available as quickly as possible and would think that will become a stronger and stronger demand by the day. I can understand the company not wanting to just throw the drug out in a wild west fashion for science and ethical reasons but they ought to get it into hospitals for trials in the hottest places ASAP. I think the news on this will be changing rapidly.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 21, 2020 7:37 pm

        Dave, I’ve read your series of posts, and this time I read all of the words. There was more I agreed with than disagreed with. Little of the part that I disagreed with sounded loony, just we don’t agree, mostly about the partisan politics of hoxyl and its level of promise. But I hope I am wrong in doubting hoxyl, I hope it is effective in some contexts, As well, from my reading there has been much more testing already of remdesivir than hoxyl AGAINST COVID, you say the opposite. I am all for an expedited roll out of remdesivir with normal corners cut if it still seems as promising and relatively safe after data starts of come in from the many trials it is involved in now. I am not sure of how I feel about cutting corners on vaccine development. I don’t have to have an opinion about everything.

        I will note that your urgency on providing medications and vaccines does not seem to quite match your frequent rhetoric here that COVID is no worse than the flu. I disagree that COVID is comparable to any US flu in my lifetime. Its more lethal, more contagious according to nearly everything I read. We have 42,000 dead today, and that is just the first wave of this, there may easily be more rounds and they may be MORE deadly than round one if pandemic history is a guide, so 60,000 total US deaths seems very optimistic and that is WITH social distancing. COVID leaves many survivors of serious bouts more damaged than flu even after they are past the crisis of pneumonia, there is serious organ damage. It kills the young and healthy more often than flu does unless I am misinformed.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 4:03 am

        1). Both hoxcl and remedsivir are reducing the duration of the infection – the time until the viral load reachs zero.
        People are dying on both, but at lower rates that the critical and serious populations that are being used to test this.

        2). At this time I am aware of 4 published studies of hoxcl and 1 of remedsivir. but in all cases published has to be taken with large grains of salt. The published studies are like 3 pages of notes and charts. They are not peer reviewed, they are all done just to get preliminary results out.

        All of the hoxcl studies are consistent. In nearly all cases they reduce the viral load to indectable in 4-5 days (in conjuction with zm). Independently hoxcl and zm take twice as long to reduce the viral load.

        I have seen only one remedsivir study and it has all the same problems that the hoxcl studies do, but the results are a viral load of zero in 2-3 days – much faster. Though the death rates are about the same.

        There are lots of problems with these studies. There are people removed from the control group, there are people discharged as “cured” but without follow up.
        You can find videos on youtube criticising the hoxcl studies. The critiques are valid, and the one remedsivir study I have seen has all the same problems.

        The biggest problem these studies have is that treating patients is the #1 priority right now, not getting the study data perfect. If someone is “cured” they are removed from the hospital and often there is no follow up.

        There are more and larger studies of both going on.

        There is also data from China that we do not have either because China was in a state of chaos and focused on treating people not tracking data or because China is not letting any information at all on Covid19 out now.

        I have watched long interviews of key people in South Korea – one hoxcl study was done there. That interview stated that hoxcl was the defacto treatment in SK, and that papers would be forthcoming. But I have only seen one study from south korea.

        South korea had a ridiculously low CFR. We do not yet really now why.
        A major factor is likely to be SK’s extremely agressive testing.
        It is unlikely any country better identified the total number of infected people.
        It is possible that SK’s low CFR is a result of accurately identifying the large number of people infected. It is possible that it is low because of the wide spread hoxcl treatment.

        It is unlikely we will know for atleast 6 months.

        We already know that globally the CFR numbers are probably crap. Because the quality and breadth of testing is so large.

        There is also an issue as to how deaths are being recorded. The standard for the Flu and colds is that a person with another health issue that would have killed them withing 6 months gets that listed as the cause of death. And many countries continue to follow that.
        While the US is listing all deaths of people who have covid19 as covid19 deaths.

        Again this will likely be fixed – in 6-9 months.

        We also do not know the actual infection rate yet.
        Infection rates are not determined by testing. They are determine by a combination of modeling and random sampling.

        The news is constanly comparing the CFR of Covid19 with the IFR of the Flu.
        That is an apples to oranges comparison. Only a small number of people are actually tested for the flu. The CFR for the flu would be very high – possibly higher than Covid19.
        But the IFR is based on an ESTIMATED/Modeled number of infections of about 60M and a number of deaths specifically from the flu, of people who would not have otherwise died of about 60k.

        We do not as of yet know the number of infections. Nearly everyon agrees it is atleast double the number of cases. Atleast 3 random antibody tests came back with about 4% of the population – in the US, Germany and Iceland. But there are newer studies coming back that are claiming an infection rate of 15% of the population – closer to the cruise ships and the naval vesels. The Health minister in Sweden beleives that Covid19 will ultimately infect 50% of people, and that it has probably infected 25% already. And he beleive sweden can handle that and he beleives that the ultimate IFR will be not much worse than the flu.

        There is no possiblity that all of this is correct. What you beleive is likely to vary based on whether you are an optomist or pessimist.

        I am very closely watching places that have purportedly peaked – including China.
        Especially as lockdowns are released. I am also carefully watching sweden.

        The swedish health minister beleives Sweden is past midway. He also beleives that because there was no lockdown that Sweden has had a REAL peak and that the numbers are declining because Sweden is growing herd immunity. i.e.that sweden is seeing the normal progression of this virus through a population that is not shutdown and is engaged in voluntary social distancing. Therefore there will be no second wave – atleast not until fall and then it will be a milder wave. He also beleives that nations like the US and Germany and … that locked down their economies are going to see some increases as they slowly roll back the lockdowns. Sweden never closed, so it will not have to reopen – though it still experienced serious economic damage.
        Thus far the swedish data appears to be bearing him out.

        If we see spikes in countries as they roll back the lockdowns. That is going to give us information about the effectiveness of lockdowns and whether the swedish model is correct.

        There are constant claims of a resurgence in China. But aside from a major issue on the China Russia border cause by infected people coming from Russia to China I am not seeing evidence of a resurgence. But it is china and they are going to hide anything as long as they can.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 4:18 am

        There are really only a few fundimental differences between us on this.

        While I am an optimist – I do not trust government.
        Further malthusian end of the world scenarios are false – that is self evident – the world is still here so is the human race.

        That means that if you draw a probability curve for any event that is promised to be catastrophic that curve will approximate a bell curve PUSHED hard towards minimal negative impact.
        That is not a guess. It is rooted in the fact that disasters happen all the time, that small ones are far more common that large ones and that catastrophic ones are incredibly rare.
        The last time all life on earth was wiped out was 500m years ago. You can count the number of epidemics that have killed a significant portion of humantiy since 0AD on the fingers of one hand. As Covid19 appears to be going in the US It will be 1/20th as deadly as the spanish flu. that had 600K US deaths for a population less than half we have now.

        What that all means is I am more inclined than you to beleive that given a list of possibilities or choices that the results will be good rather than bad.

        I have been wrong several times on Covid19. But I have been right more than I have been wrong. and I have been right more than Faucci or Brix or most experts.

        Am I a big Trump fan on this ? Nope. The lockdowns were a mistake, the stimulus was a mistake. We should have done exactly what Sweden did. We would have had more cases and more deaths in a shorter period, but we would not have overwhelmed our healthcare system and we would have had the same total number of cases and the same total number of deaths, except we would be nearly out of this now. Further we would not have shutdown the economy – to be clear we were going to have a recession as a result of this no matter what. but it would have been alot less bad.

        Summarizing – we are in almost total agreement on the facts – to the extent the facts are known. Alot of them are still speculation, and even that we are not far apart.
        But you are more pessimistic than I am.

        Even the things I think were huge mistakes – I still think we will get past.

    • John Say permalink
      April 20, 2020 4:51 pm

      The vast majority of university research is privately funded.

      Further government research in almost all areas has a notoriously bad track record at producing results or even advancing basic science.

      What is most amazing at this moment is the rise of creative solutions.

      There are several biolabs lookinf for Covid19 treatments right now.
      There are NOT looking to develop new drugs. They are doing genetic analysis of the Virus RNA and determining which existing approved drugs might combat the virus.
      That is a process that will not take a decade.

      We are seeing all kinds of efforts to get arround the FDA, CDC, NIH rules and provide needed assistance.

      In less than a week a doctor and engineer teemed up with an engineering company to develop and produce an effective machine to clean disposable PPE. They built it into a self contained shipping container and a couple of dozen of these have been delivered to major hospitals. With a few hundred more on the way. They can clean 80000 peices of PPE per day and each can be re-used up to 20 times.

      Ordinarily this is a stupid idea. The cost of new PPE is less than the cost to clean it.
      There is also a small risk associated with cleaned PPE – either something survived cleaning or the PPE has worn out undetected.

      But as a means of dealing with an epidemic surge this is brilliant.

      It appears that the ventalator shortage is fizzling – partly because we are running a factor of 5 below ventalator demand predictions, and partly because increasingly it appears ventalators are ineffective in treating Covid19.

      At the same time we saw Ford, GM, Tesla, Dyson and other step in and move to produce massive numbers of ventalators in a short time.
      And we saw “makers” concoct dozens of makeshift cheap ventalators many of which you could build yourself in your garage.

      We heard that China was the worlds exclusive source for most drugs and PPE, and yet 3M is producing masks by the million in the US and now we are fighting over whether to ship US made masks to canada and europe.
      And a Bedding manufacturer is getting publicly excoriated for his religious views because he converted his factory to make masks.

      The left is batshit crazy. I do not care if someone beleives in the god of flying monkey’s farted out some divine asshole – if they make hundreds of thousands of masks that save lives.

      And prager interviewed new yorkers who by 75% margins would rather see more people die than Trump re-elected, is some cases even millions die.

    • John Say permalink
      April 20, 2020 4:55 pm

      There are myriads of things happening right now.

      Name 10 really big things that have atleast 50% government funding ?
      Just to be clear – I am not talking abotu 10 really big things government is buying.

      The government came up with the funds to buy the PPE cleaners that a team at Bechtel created. But the instant research and development and design program was entirely private.

    • John Say permalink
      April 20, 2020 5:18 pm

      Government money in research has displaced private money – and usually at substantially reduced effectiveness. There is no actual evidence that government involvment in research, the economy, regulation has EVER produced results that would not have occured otherwise.

      In fact in the US right now we have almost the perfect example.
      Not only did CDC botch the initial test – twice, but it actively interfered in private testing.

      Today 4M americans have been tested – more than 95% by private labs, using privately developed tests.

      In the area of testing the free market dispite government interferance saved governments bacon.

      The Obama administration used up the entire government strategic reserve of PPE during the H1N1 outbreak. It did not replenish these. Nor did Trump and the US started this crisis without the 100M government reserve of PPE. Yet aside from brief shortages, not only is plenty of PPE available – but there is now enough for ordinary people to get it and wear it daily. And that out of a private mfg system that had all moved to china.

      Again Government failed and the free market saved its bacon.

      Government has had next to nothing to do with the rappid ramp up in US produced PPE (or toilet paper, or hand sanitizer) or PPE cleaning systems, or ventalators.

      You hate Trump – I watch him on TV spewing pleas and barking orders and threats at GM and others, oblivious to the fact that THEY are making things happen. Trump’s pleas, orders, threats have nothing to do with what is actually happening.

      I do not hate Trump. But Trump’s daily Covid19 press briefings are just another form of Virus porn. the only useful purpose they serve is reminding us that the sky is not falling.
      Neither Trump, nor the governors are actually making things happen. Those things are happening all mostly without government.

      We are also seeing in real life most of the economic claims I have made about govenrment and regulation playing out in real time.

      It is not possible for Trump or Governors to promulagate rules that are not inherently deeply flawed and will not result in egregiously stupid enforcement.

      People were told to “social distance” and to “self quarantine”.

      That does not (and should not) mean the same thing to all people. Increasingly the evidence is that my 23yr old daughter in excelent health is in near zero risk.
      She can do her job, get coughed on sprayed, … and at worst lose a few days of work.
      Though she is doing more, she need to do very little except be careful arround here 60+ parents. Covnersely MY choices are and should be different. I do not need to go out to work or often for any reason at all. I am taking much more serious precautions.

      There is no set of regulations that can address that.

      There is also no sane reason that people can not walk their dogs, go hunting and fishing buy things that are not absolute necescities,

      Everybody from churches to resturaunts to individuals is trying to figure out how to both survive and go about as much of their lives and enjoy life as they can under the circumstances.

      Absolutely there are a few idiots out there,

      But the damage from stupid government actions dwarfs anything from private idiots.

  91. April 20, 2020 12:38 pm

    Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

    Right now it seems like the whole world is insane. Keep buying cheap Chinese S@#+ and expecting reliable goods.

  92. Jay permalink
    April 20, 2020 3:44 pm

    Diseases change – human nature is constant;

  93. Jay permalink
    April 20, 2020 3:55 pm

    New Covid measurement for auto-gas efficiency:

  94. John Say permalink
    April 20, 2020 7:50 pm

    So now it is near certain that the intelligence community assessment that The Russians tried to help Trump in 2016 is crap and they knew it at the time.

    The FBI and CIA had concluded both long before and during the early Trump investigation that Steele was being deliberately fed disinformation about Trump by the Russians.

    There is MORE evidence that Putin tried to tilt the election in favor of Clinton than Trump.
    There is also more reason to beleive he would want to.

    But probaly there is not enough to conclude Putin favored Clinton. But there is far more than enough to conclude the claim that Putin favored Trump was KNOWINGLY false.

    That is a BIG DEAL, If the conclusion on knowingly false that also means it is political.

    It is deeply wrong to deliberately and eroneously tilt the conclusions of government to favor a political outcome

    I would further note that for almost 4 years the Intelligence community has consistently back the ICA and its conclusions. Conclusion we now know were KNOWINGLY WRONG.

  95. April 21, 2020 3:55 pm

    I would love to here more about Alito’s position on stare decisis and his worrying about prior cases. If its unconstitutional on one, would it not be unconstitutional on all not unanimous?

    • John Say permalink
      April 22, 2020 3:13 am

      While this is a huge case, and a big win. Directly there are only 2 states it effects – oregon and I think lousiana.

      Stare decisis is a rule of legal analysis.

      It is NOT a principle – it is NOT immutable.

      Scotus is not biblically bound to prior decisions – or we would still have slavery.

      But it is uncommon to overrule a prior decision.

      Further there are actually instances where any scotus decision must over rule some precident. That was true in Citizens untied – there were atleast 3 prior decisions that could not be reconciled with the facts in CU.

      I would further note that this ruling was 6-3 and NOT along ideological lines.

      Kagan, Roberts and Alito were on the losing side.

      Gorsuch wrote the oppinion, Thomas, Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Breyer and Kavanaugh concured.

      • April 22, 2020 10:19 am

        Again the point I made went totally over your head.

        Alito. Opposing side. Said he was concerned what this would do to other convictions not unanimous.

        As a SCOTUS justice, why that position? If its unconstitutional for one, is it not unconstitutional for all?

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 4:03 pm

        I can not read alito’s mind.

        It has been increasingly common for SCOTUS to limit the retroactivity of its decisions.

        There are only 2 states this effects, in one of those it effects 11:1 guilty verdicts, in the other it adds 10:2 guilty verdicts. The number of cases that are impacted is small.

        The key constitutional question was “incorporation”.
        The 14th amendment arguably imposed the bill of rights on the states. Prior to that the provisions of the bill of rights did not apply to the states.
        But the application of the bill of rights to states has been peicemeal.
        This adds another peice.

  96. John Say permalink
    April 21, 2020 7:47 pm

    “You wanna open up the economy? You better be praying for some considerable effect of both drugs.”

    Sweden did not shut down their economy. they have a healthcare system that is overall slightly inferior to the US in terms of ICU beds and capacity to deal with something like this.

    Both the US and Sweden plateaued at about the same time.
    Both have plateaued long enough that it is not a fluke we are well past the possibility that the plateau is just a reporting anomally.

    Sweden has a very slightly higher death rate per capita. Sweden admitts to having initially been caught unprepared and having Covid19 get into many nursing homes to tragic consequences, Sweden has different elder care demographics to much of the rest of europe which in this particular instance make the elderly in sweden more vulnerable.

    Sweden’s only actual measures have been:
    a request that people follow the same advice that the CDC has been giving.
    A very tight lockdown of nursing homes – no visitors at all.
    The same quarantines of people who are actually sick.

    Sweden is further north than the US. We now know covid19 is extremely light sensitive – dying very quickly in sunlight. That alone should mean Sweden has a higher fatality rate than the US as sweden still has more wintery weather and far less light than the US.

    Taiwan and Japan have not shutdown their economies either.
    Taiwan is having the least issues of any country in the world. mostly the consequence of very strict border control and ZERO trust of china.

    Japan has 2/3 of the US population, an elderly population, a tokyo metropolitan area with 35M residents that is the most population dense on the planet.
    Japan has less cases than Indiana.

    At this point there is no evidence that in much of the world this “lockdown” has made any difference at all. That does not mean voluntarily following the general guidlines that would also reduce a flu is not a good idea.

    I have also addressed in prior posts the fact that a lockdown serves only a single purpose, reducing the total number of deaths by preventing the healthcare system from being overwhelmed. Outside of Wuhan, Spain, and Italy, we have not seen any other nations healthcare system being close to overwhelmed.
    Spain and italy have healthcare systems that are not even close to up to this.
    Italy in particular has an enormous elderly population as well as a huge percent of people who smoke.

    Even in NYC the hardest hit place in the US, we never reached 1/3 of the worst case capacity of the NYC healthcare system.

    As long as the healthcare system is not overwhelmed the worst case scenarion from ending the lockdown is that we see a brief spike with 3 times the current number of deaths and infections followed by a rapid decline as we acheive immunity.
    The total number of deaths will be the same, they will just occur faster,
    The total number of infections will be the same, they will just occur faster.

    The more likely effect would be very little change.

    Further restoring the economy need not be a all or nothing proposition.
    Outside of about 1/2 dozen metro areas there is little to no risk associtated with ending the lockdown.

    There is no reason that the entire country must suffer because densely populated regions are still at risk.

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      April 21, 2020 7:59 pm

      As many will die, just slower? I do not agree. Delaying COVID, flattening the curve may very well save more than the medical system from being overwhelmed. If we use the time gained to develop medicines and protocols of treatment that are effective and to catch up on production of the medical supplies that are needed, then flattening the curve may well save many lives, even a huge number of lives.

      I do not have the time or inclination to debate which countries have kept this under control. Some countries are being less than honest, some countries may not as yet have seen the worst. I would analyze issues like that when the dust has truly settled. I will say the putin was actually recently publicly admitting that Russia does not have COVID under control to the degree previously claimed and may be in for a bad time. Putin is not a man who easily admits things are going wrong, but his recent comments were of a very concerned man.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 21, 2020 8:26 pm

        In Moscow the news is that all the hospitals are full according to Radio Free Europe. The death toll they are officially releasing does not match such conditions. I have a strong suspicion that the toll is much higher. They don’t die of COVID there, they die of “pneumonia.”

        “Now, with confirmed cases exceeding 42,000 and the official death toll from the virus at 361, medical workers across the country are scrambling to keep pace. In Moscow, where over half of the cases have been registered, the health-care system is already being stretched to the limit.

        A month ago, President Vladimir Putin insisted his government had “managed to prevent the mass penetration and spread of the illness in Russia.” But on the same day that Belyakov struggled to place his patient, Putin reversed his tone, painting a much bleaker picture of Russia’s battle with the virus.

        “We have many problems and nothing to brag about here. And there’s no point in relaxing,” Putin said in a video call with regional governors from his official residence outside Moscow. “We have not passed the peak of this epidemic.”

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 3:18 am

        Russia is further disadvantaged by being geographically north.

        There is very strong evidence this does not like heat, sunlight and humidity.

        Russia also has an aging and declining population with a disproportionately large number of health problems. And this disease hates old males with health problems.
        Though I beleive Russia has a shortage of men – primarily because they have a much shorter life expectancy in russia primarily due to alcohol.

        That is also why the results in Sweden are impressive.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 4:37 am

        Even the experts are in agreement with me on this.

        The only measure that actually reduces the infection rate is quarantining the actually sick.
        Every single other measure we take reduces the number of new cases per day, at the expense of making this last longer. The area under the curve – the total number of infections is CONSTANT even if you “flatten the curve”

        The SOLE purpose for flattening the curve is to “save the healthcare system”.
        If the number of critical patients per day exceeds the capacity of the healthcare system then more people will die – not because more are infected, but because the quality of care will decline.

        It is likely that happened in Italy and Spain and probably Wuhan.
        Italy has a shitty healthcare system and a massive population of people Covid19 likes to kill.

        In the US outside of major cities we have not hit 1/10 of the ICU capacity of our heatlhcare.
        Inside the cities we might have hit 1/3. We fell FAR short of overwhelming the healthcare system. Further had things gotten substantially worse – we had some measures still available that we did not get to.

        The evidence from Sweden is that not doing manditory lockdowns – shelter in place would NOT have resulted in overwhelming our medical system.

        That actually coincides with the theory, the models. and what we were told, even what you are saying. You do not get more total deaths unless you overwhelm the healthcare system.

        We did not come close.

        The 2019-2020 Flu Season resulted in 700K hospitilizations If every single Covid19 patient had to go to the hospital that would be about the same number.
        Covid19 has spiked faster than the flu and it will drop faster than the flu – so the Covid19 patients will be in about 1/4 of the time period those with the Flu hit hospitals.
        It is likely that Covid19 hospital patients on any given day have not exceeded or barely exceeded flu patients.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 4:57 am

        We bought very little time – we have already plateaued – far blow capacity.
        We are debating possibly treatments but it is unlikely anything will be broadly available – except possibly hoxcl for months and by then this should be down to nothing.

        “I do not have the time or inclination to debate which countries have kept this under control. Some countries are being less than honest, some countries may not as yet have seen the worst.”

        We are not talking China. I strongly suspect Sweden’s data is better than ours.

        Further determining when this has peaked in a country is only marginally effected by data quality. And as several experts have noted – track the number of deaths per day. It is the hardest number to cheat on.

        Japan’s healthcare system is with respect to something like this probably better than the US.
        It is irrelevant how good Taiwan’s healthcare system is – they stopped this.
        Probably because more than anyone else in the world they do not trust the CCP.
        Are you claiming that South Korea is lying about their data ?

        Regardless – absolutely after this is all over we can sit back from a million miles away and knowing all the things we have to guess about now get everything right.

        But we must make choices how to respond based on the data we have NOW.
        You can rant about the data and how it will be better later – and that is all true.
        But decisions are being made NOW.

        You are starting to see lockdown protests. Right now these have a political tinge and are significantly made up of those with more extreme positions.
        But every week these are going to grow – possibly exponentially like the virus.
        40% of the country is unemployed or on reduced hours. This is NOT rich people.
        Food lines are already forming and are large. Worse still the unemployed can do very little but play video games and watch netflix. The can not engage in recreation.

        We are at the very early stages but it is likely you have a new VIRUS coming.
        One of angry people with nothing to do and no money.

        One of the things the minister of health said is that no democracy can lock down its people for long. One of the reasons Sweden opted for keeping things open is to avoid social unrest.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 4:59 am

        Russia was not an example anyone has used regarding Covid19.
        They have crappy healthcare, an unhealthy population and the country is at a higher latitude,
        Russia is going to be BAD.

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      April 21, 2020 8:18 pm

      “Sweden is further north than the US. We now know covid19 is extremely light sensitive – dying very quickly in sunlight. ”

      That is not what the WHO and CDC are claiming. They state that as of what they know now the sun does Not kill COVID. UV does kill COVID but the sun does not contain sufficient UV at normal elevations to kill COVID.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 5:05 am

        What has WHO been right about ?
        There are actual studies on this.
        BTW if UV kills covid19 (it kills all viruses), then this will be worse at more norther latitutudes and it will be better as we head into summer.
        Sunlight means UV light.

        View at

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 5:19 am

        UV radiation from the Sun is increasing dramatically right now. While it seems to be higher than normal rapid increases are normal in the spring.

        Yes UV lamps are more intense than Sunlight. But the UV energy levels that a hospital uses to disinfect and kill viruses – including Covid19 can be reached outside they just take longer.
        But guess what The sun is out all day, and the days are longer and the sun’s angle is higher so there is less atmosphere to penetrate so there is a large increase in UV going on now.

        And interestingly Covid19 is plateauing across most of the world.

        If WHO are claiming that Covid19 is not heat, humidity sunlight sensitive.
        Then they are claiming that it is pretty much unique among viruses.

        How many colds do people get in the summer – it is called a cold for a reason ?
        How many flu cases are there in the summer ?

        The default assumption should be that any viral infection will be reduce dramatically over the summer. The burden of proof would be on those claiming Covid19 is unusual.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 5:29 am

        Covid19 is a Class III enveloped virus. These are the EASIEST to kill with sunlight.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 22, 2020 12:21 pm

        Its good information, it pretty strongly supports your view. I would like to see the paper itself if and when its sees the light of day. All the same, read the article and you will also see that sunlight is not being seen by the same people as being certain to have a large effect on the rate of the disease.

        I already feel comfortable around people outdoors on my daily walks. Its the indoor environment where the spead happens most and sunlight is not likely to be a large effect there.

        Electromagnetic radiation, photons, are a fascination of mine. The interaction of photons with matter is a deep subject, one of the deepest in physics.

        Your original statement was one of your We Know statements which I usually to interpret to mean that someone said something and you believe it and not that the fact in question is a proven certainty.

        I am interested in seeing how they did the study because determining that a virus has been “killed” is not a trivial question. Determining that bacteria are killed or not killed by some treatment is usually a trivial matter, they stop growing in media or on a plate, they stop movement under a microscope.
        How would one determine that a virus has been “killed” ? You can’t see them easily, they don’t grow on a plate, you can’t test corona virus to see if it is still active by exposing people and seeing if they get it. My guess is that they determine it by electron microscopy and/or by infecting human cell cultures. I am going to do some reading on that.

        Here is a good question: Why am I arguing with you on this where I usually abstain from arguing with you? I usually abstain because the subjects are meaningless to me in the sense that the “debate” is just political opinion and hot air and changes nothing. Also, I don’t like to get into pretending that I know a lot about things that I know no more about than can be found quickly online, which is a pretty thin and usually deceptive education. Here, on this topic I have an education in the general area, though not in virology or epidemiology specifically. And here the subject is important to me, interests me and I would like to be more informed, which debating will help accomplish. So this debate suits my conditions for jumping into it.

        So, as long as this stays a reasonable debate based on the most solid information that is available I will be interested in talking about this.

        One other thing, here are the last three daily death totals:

        Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: Monday, 40,683. Tuesday, 42,364. Wednesday, 45,075.

        Does this look like the pandemic has peaked? Does it look like we will get away light with only 60,000 US deaths?

        Not to me it doesn’t.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 4:32 pm

        Take any peice of informmation and there is ALWAYS some contrarian peice of information out there.

        With respect to sunlight, heat and humidity and viruses.
        The study I cited is only the most recent.
        There was one study – FROM CHINA that claimed the amount of sunlight, heat, UV needed to kill Covid19 was beyond what the sun can provide.

        I am not aware of any other actual study that reached that conclusion.

        Regardless, ALL viruses (and bacteria) are killed by UV. Hospitals have been using UV disinfection for a decade. They use UVC which causes sunburns and skin cancer so disinfection must be done with humans absent. They now have far-UVC and far-UV lamps which kill bacteria and viruses but do not harm humans. We will see these in airports train stations, and similar places in the future.

        The UV reaching the ground is proprotionate to the angle of the sun. The more shallow the angle the more of the atmosphere light must pass through to reach the ground, and the more atmosphere the more diminished UV light is. This is also why the hole in the Ozone layer is over antartica. Though it is cosmic rays that destroy the Ozone more than UV.

        Because of the rotation and tilt of the earth in the winter not only is the angle of the sun shallower, but daylight hours are shorter.

        There is an exponential difference in Summer UV and winter.

        Hospital Germicidal UV lamps are high power – because they must work in minutes.
        But even low levels of UV kill viruses. They just do not do so as fast.
        The same effect can be acheived with 1/10th the power and 10 times the time.

        I do not beleive there is a single areosole virus that is not seasonal. That means it MUST be negatively impacted by UV, heat or humidity.

        All non-seasonal viruses are spread by direct contact – likely body-body fluid transfers.
        Aids as an example has an incredibly short life outside the body. But it is never outside the body.

        Corona Viruses are all in the class that is most easily destroyed by UV.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 4:51 pm

        The exponential increase in cases has ended – in the US and world wide.
        It ended MORE THAN two weeks ago in the US, we are well past that being a statistical fluke.

        The question now is how long before we move from plateau to decline.

        Based on EXACTLY the these – curve flattening – that you embrace, if we have been effective at flattening the curve the plateau will be long. If we have failed at flattening the curve the decline will mirror the path up.

        But the total number of cases will be unchanged whether we flatten the curve or not.

        The total number of deaths will be lower if TWO conditions are met.

        The first is that we have effective treatment that reduces the mortality rate.
        Our care is excellent much better than that of China and Italy, and Spain.
        But the largest portion of deaths are in patients that had a life expectance less than 6 months. And the next largest group are in people we probably can no save no matter what if the get Covid19.

        So our impact on mortality is two fold – how large are the number of deaths in people who could actually be saved with really good care. and how does stretching this out increase the risk that this gets into highly vulnerable communities – like old folks homes.

        Put simply – it is easily possible that “flattening the curve” causes more deaths – because we are going to have failures to protect at old folks homes and the longer we stretch this out the more we will have.

        Next We appear to have “flattened the curve” at about 1/3 or less of our peak hospital capacity. That is a MISTAKE. You want to flatten the curve at a level that is closer to 80-90% of capacity. The further below capacity you flatten the more you protract the epidemic and the more other damage you cause, for no gain.

        A protracted plateau will appear to confirm the claims of those sewing panic that we must lock down forever. But in reality it is proof they are WRONG.

        A long flat plateau at 1/3 of ICU capacity is a FAILURE.

        Actual success would be flattening the curve at about 80-90% of capacity.
        That produces two results: the shortest possible plateau. the largest possible reduction in mortality.

        But absolutely no curve bending changes the total number of infections.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 5:03 pm

        I would further suggest comparing the daily cases between the US and Sweden – or the daily deaths if you can get that number.

        Scaling for population size the curves are the same.

        Neither healthcare system has been overwhelmed.

        Sweden has taken mostly the same measures as the US, but they have all been done voluntarily, not by force. Further they are not as rigorously adhered to in sweden as the US.

        Yet there is no appreciably difference in our results and those of Sweden.

        Sweden has also plateaued.

        That means several things:

        Either mandatory measures are NOT necescary, that voluntary measures even if followed imperfectly are sufficient.

        Or the natural behavior of the virus does not give a crap about anything we are doing.

        The latter is a very real possibity as countries that have done pretty much nothing seem to have the same curve as the US and Sweden.

        What is NOT true is that the US lockdown has produced a demonstrably better outcome than other nations. That is an indictment of the entire “flattening the curve” construct.

        we have failed to accomplish it,
        we did not use force to do so
        Flattening the curve has no actual effect.

        I do not know which of those is true, but it is far more likely that one of those possibilities is correct that that flattening the curve worked.

        One more prediction.

        When this is all over and we have all the data. we will KNOW whether this worked or not.

        But we will only hear from the media the failures that have occured – if they are failures of Trump’s alone.

        The entire political medical community is heavily incentivized to declare this a great victory.

        And of course to demand massive amounts of money to in return for the false promise this will never happen again.

        Trump will be claiming to be a hero, The Faucci’s of the world, the WHO, the CDC, the FDA, everyone is going to be claiming to be hero’s.

        There are some real hero’s but what already is highly likely to be the real truth is we made this worse, not better.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 22, 2020 5:33 pm

        “Sweden has taken mostly the same measures as the US, but they have all been done voluntarily, not by force. Further they are not as rigorously adhered to in sweden as the US.

        Yet there is no appreciably difference in our results and those of Sweden.

        Sweden has also plateaued.”

        You can only guess why that has happened (if it has actually happened).

        Here is my guess: Something in their genetic make up leads to a lower susceptibility. OK, this is hand waving, but so are the other explanations.

        A genetic basis for viral susceptibility however is on solid ground.$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pmc

        I could be completely wrong that genetics explains any significant part of the COVID trend in Sweden or anywhere. But its my personal wild guess.

        I hardly see how the way that they have responded would have led to a better result. By what mechanism? Herd immunity? I’m not buying it.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 9:31 pm

        “You can only guess”

        There is pretty much nothing about this that is not an educated guess at this time.
        That is how crisis works. We must make choices based on the information we have.

        As to genetics – until the 21st century Sweden was nearly a pure monoculture.
        But today 10% of the population is from the mediterainian. Not the most diverse population in the world, but enough that we should see disparate consequences if genetics is the cause.
        Further monocultures tend to be less resistant not more.
        Small pox was brutal to native americans.

        There is alot going on that we do not know. I think lots of our data is crap. I think the number of cases is radically off everywhere. And we do not know how much.

        At the same time so long as the means by which we collect the data is relatively consistent, the trends are likely accurate even if the raw data is not.

        I said this regarding China months ago. I think the chinese numbers are complete and total crap. but I think the curves created by those numbers are reasonable accurate – if the scale is completely wrong.

        We are seeing close to the same progression world wide.

        There are differences in the numbers, the height of the curve and the start point. But the shape is roughly the same everywhere. And those few places it is different seem to be because of unique situations like unhealthy aging populations in Italy.

        It is highly likely that when we see close to the same patterns in most places, that the same thing is causing those patterns – even if we do not know what that cause is.

        I am constantly hearing of stories of a resurgance in China. While like many I might have a barely conscious wish for China to get its comupance. Regardless, I do not want to see more people sick or dying anywhere. Nor do I want to punish the chinese people form the mistakes of their government.

        Regardless, thus far there has been no resurgance.
        Is that telling us something about the nature of the virus ? Of the nature of the chinese response ? Of the chinese genetically ? Of some kind of natural immunity ?

        I do not have the answer to that EXCEPT to say that again throughout the world we are seeing very close to the same patterns. It is highly unlikely that is accidental.
        Further the presence of the same pattern dispite different measures means that the measures probably do not have much if any effect.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 9:38 pm

        So do we use force – because that is what government actions are, against people based on your wild guess that even though sweden and the US have the same pattern, that something is genetically different about the swedes ?

        There will ALWAYS be some wild, or even not so wild guess to justify using force.

        “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. and will lose both”

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 9:53 pm

        Sweden did not lead to a better result than the US.
        There are a few metrics where Sweden appears SLIGHTLY worse than the US – CURRENTLY.
        But the difference is very small, and the swedish model assumes higher initial infection and death levels, but shorter duration and no difference in total deaths and infections in the long run.

        Herd Immunity ? the swedish health minister beleives that sweden is developing herd imunity right now.

        I do not know.

        I think there are only two possible explanations for the patterns we are seeing globally:

        1). This is far more contagious than initially beleived and far less deadly, and we have 100M or more people infected globally and have actual herd immunity developing in most places.

        2). For any of a number of possible reasons that we do not yet understand the overwhelming majority of people can not get this disease. Or atleast can not easily get this disease.
        Genetic immunity is one possible explanation. Another is that it is possible that antibodies from other corona virus provide some degree of immunity to Covid19.
        There are other possibilities.

        Regardless, there is a pattern and it is far more likely that pattern has a common cause than that the same result is happening throughout the world for different reasons.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 9:53 pm

        I do not need certainty about the cause to be fairly confident there is a pattern.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 22, 2020 5:47 pm

        A long flat plateau at 1/3 of ICU capacity is a FAILURE.
        Actual success would be flattening the curve at about 80-90% of capacity.
        That produces two results: the shortest possible plateau. the largest possible reduction in mortality.

        But absolutely no curve bending changes the total number of infections.”

        Incredibly counter intuitive. Not everything that is counter intuitive is wrong, so I will listen to your explanation. But I am not going to believe this without a very convincing explanation. Your “success story” sounds like a nightmare. The spread into health care workers would be far worse and then what?

        Is this your own personal conclusion or can you find me a well respected expert or experts who believe that 90% ICU capacity is the best route? Links?

  97. John Say permalink
    April 22, 2020 6:19 am

    David Rubin meets Donald Trump

    • John Say permalink
      April 22, 2020 3:58 pm

      Wow! Vaccines are difficult. What is new.
      I do not know much about the doctor.
      But ABC used that stupidly deceptive chart that attempts to prove Covid19 is much worse in the US than elsewhere – using time vs. total infections without any regard for the population size.
      I tend to heavily discount sources that engage in deliberate deception.
      If you want me to take you credibly, then be honest.

      The Flu is an upper respiratory viral infection and we are able to create a vaccine for each flu variant every year.

      There are no cold vaccines because there are atleast 200 different viral cold infections.
      There are now vaccines for pnuemonia – there are about 30 different viral pnuemonias.

      The vast majority of the doctors comments missuse the concept of difficult.

      Nothing she said indicates developing a vaccine is difficult.
      Her remarks indicate that the failure rate will be high.
      Meaning that most vaccines will not prove successful.
      And that TESTING is difficult.
      I beleive there are already over 70 contenders.

    • John Say permalink
      April 22, 2020 4:13 pm

      Interesting, we should not accept the existing studies automatically out of hand, and we should not accept this one automatically either.

      This is not that much larger than other studies. It was done nationwide – i.e. on patients in different hospitals accross the country. We know little about hove the patients were selected. Covid19 has radically different mortality rates in different populations. We do not know at what point in the progression of the disease use was started. The study specifically refers to the use of ventalators – Ventalators are increasingly contra indicated for Covid19

      The claims of damage to other organs are particularly disturbing. Chloroquine effects are extremely well known this is a drug that has been used on billions of people. Organ damage does not occur except in massive overdoses and over extremely long periods of time.
      By far the most common side effect – and even that in less than 1:1000 cases is heart rythm disturbance.

      It is possible that the VA has found something new regarding the interaction of hoxcl and covid19. But it is equally possible they do not know what they are doing.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        April 22, 2020 4:54 pm

        Heart rhythm disturbances that would be of little consequence may be more serious when severe pulmonary stress is occurring from COVID and pneumonia. Heart and lungs are a linked machine.

      • John Say permalink
        April 22, 2020 8:57 pm

        I am speaking of the top of my head – I did not go back and check this.
        But beleive the couple in the southwest that OD experienced severe disruption of their heart beat. That was after a massive overdose.

        More generally doctors are advised to do an ekg before using hoxcl and checking for pre-existing rhythm disturbances that hoxcl could make worse. specifically for long Qt.

        The detail is not the point. The point is the know what the risks are, and they know what to look for.

        There is nothing that you can not overdose on – water, oxygen, air. And absolutely hoxcl has serious problems if you overdose. But absent massive overdoses or long term use there is very little risk associated with a 10 day treatment. And that risk is well understood as well as exactly what to do to eliminate it.

    • John Say permalink
      April 23, 2020 1:49 am

      Dr. Didier Roualt reviewed and has responded to the purported refutation study.

      There are lots of problems with the studies indicating Hoxcl has a benefit.
      Most of those problems are the result of trying to do a study while dealing with a crisis.
      Roualt’s work is honest and whatever the flaws they are out in the open.

      The flaws in the Magagnoli, MedRxiv study appear to be much more serious. It is difficult to explain those errors without assuming the intent of the study was to produce the outcome they got. I am not talking about confirmation bias where subconscious choices shade you results. I am talking about deliberate choices that are going to produce a specific outcome.

      The first is that the HCQ groups had a condition. lymphopenia is apparently an incredibly strong predictor of mortality for Covid19 patients. The HCQ patients started the trial with twice the proportion of lymphopenia as the HCQ+Az patients. NONE of the “control” patients had lymphopenia. All of the deaths in the study were among lymphopenia patients.

      Fundimentally all this study proved was what is already known – lymphopenia correlates strongly with death in covid19 patients.

      To be clear a large enough study should have lymphopenia in all groups. It is important to know how well anything works against the toughest cases.

      The number of lymphopenia in this study was small. So the results among those have a large margin of error, but it is possible to conclude from this study that purportedly refutes the effects of HCQ that it is a 2/3 IMPROVEMENT for the worst patients. The death rate for the very small number of lymphopenia patients was less than the norm.

      Next a larger proportion of the HCQ and HCQ+az patients were in more advanced stages.
      Significantly more were intubated Before starting HCQ. Intubated patients near universally are fighting a cytokine storm. That is a situation where the patients own immune system starts attacking them – Often usually killing them. HCQ is a treatment against the Covid19 virus. It is NOT a treatment for Cytokine storm. While HCQ should be continued in patients experiencing Cytokine storm, other measures are necescary.

      Next 30% of the “Control” group receives AZ. Didier has already published studies that AZ alone is as effective as HCQ in fighting Covid19.

      Trying to conduct controlled studies while treating critically ill patients is incredibly difficult.

      Lots of issues things are problems. Diddier lost members from all groups because they got sufficiently well and left the hospital and did not participate in follow up. His work has been criticised because patients were removed from groups during the study for this and other reasons.

      It is not possible in the midst of a crisis to get perfect control.
      It might not even be possible to construct matching control and study groups on all variables.
      On that basis alone Diddier’s criticism of the makeup of the studies is perfectionism.
      Though including large numbers of patients receiving AZ – a drug beleived to be as effective as HCQ in the control group can not be explained as anything but bias.

      The other errors are troubling – but can be statistically resolved in the analysis.
      But they were not. It is not possible in real world tests to get identical populations for all study groups. but it is possible using statistical regressions to factor out those issues – at the cost of greater uncertainty in your results.

      BTW Didier has another study that has come out that actually is the largest one done so far – 3 times the number of patients in this study and the results confirm his prior studies.

      Click to access Response-to-Magagnoli.pdf

    • John Say permalink
      April 23, 2020 2:09 am

      Information from the VA Study

      The group that was given HCQ had
      1) a higher median age,
      2) a higher median BMI (more obese),
      3) lower SpO2 (blood oxygen levels),
      4) higher average breaths per minute,
      5) higher average heart rates,
      6) higher average blood pressures,
      7) higher number of smokers,
      8) a higher number suffering from congestive heart failure, 9) higher rate of peripheral vascular disease,
      10) a higher rate of cerebrovascular disease, 1
      1) a higher rate of dementia,
      12) a higher rate of chronic pulmonary disease
      13) a higher rate of diabetes.

      It’s almost as if they picked the very sickest and most-at-risk patients for the HCQ cohort.


    • John Say permalink
      April 23, 2020 2:18 am

      Another bit of information – not specifically from the VA study, but that has become public – atleast to me as a result of the VA study.

      Aparently their is a racial component to Covid19 something like a 1/3 higher mortality rate for blacks and a mortality rate for hispanics that is higher than whites.

      Further as has been noted before there is a higher mortality rate for smokers.

      As one commentor noted what the VA has discovered is that old morbidly obese black male smokers with diabetes die more frequently than the rest of us.

      This study was on a very sick population – and not from Covid19. But more importantly each study groups was not even close to equally sick and the analysis did not account for that.

      NIH is not recomending Against the HCQ+AZ combination – though it remains neutral on HCQ specifically as a result of this study.

      Separately the VA Sec. came out and said the VA continues to Use HCQ – because it works. This study was of extremely sick patients and the results should be understood by looking at all the data, not cherry picked conclusions.

    • John Say permalink
      April 23, 2020 2:23 am

      Just to be clear – if HCQ does not work – lets find that out and move on.

      There is now some evidence that Flowmax is helpful both in prevention and in mitigation.
      Add it to the things to study.

      But lets quit trying to make political games out of this.

      As the VA Sec stated when asked about Trump’s comments – they were aspirational.
      And we should all be aspirational.

      HCQ should be studied extensively – because it is so cheap and readily available that even if it is not the best possible treatment, it might be the best we can do at large scale quickly.
      If Remedsivir is better and can be scaled up rapidly – GO FOR IT.
      We should all be for anything that works – even a little, whether Trump back’s it or not.

  98. April 22, 2020 12:01 pm

    Another red meat issue for the left. Who really should get the blame.


    Trump sets the agenda… “This is what I want. Small business, less than 500 employee payroll protection.

    Congress gets directive. Writes legislation.

    Voters put legislators in congress.

    So ultimately I blame voters for electing individuals not smart enough to identify wording that allows companies with hundreds of locations to qualify. And congress for not having advisors smart enough to find the loophole.

    If companies can identify loopholes in hours, why cant those running the country?

    • John Say permalink
      April 22, 2020 4:14 pm

      All of the above.

      This stuff does not work.
      We know that.

    • Priscilla permalink
      April 23, 2020 9:46 am

      “This is what I want. Small business, less than 500 employee payroll protection.
      Congress gets directive. Writes legislation.”

      This PPP mess is a great example of how byzantine federal legislation has become.

      I spent 2 hours yesterday, on a conference call with the YMCA board, on which I sit. We are a very small. local Y, and we applied for a PPP loan through a relatively small regional bank. We have some very experienced and astute board members (2 of whom are, themselves, banking executives), who were able to put together a successful application, get it through the portal at the stroke of midnight, and we were approved and received the loan.

      The problem we now face is this: Our monthly payroll, at the time we applied for the loan, was $58,000 ~ but, that included only 4 fulltime employees, and almost 2 dozen part timers, most of whom made minimum wage, or only slightly higher.

      THe rapid shutdown in NJ forced the Y to furlough/lay off almost all of the part-timers. The Y Director and her 3 assistant directors are still working remotely. Most of the part-timers have now applied for unemployment, which includes the additional $600 p/week federal expansion, which raises most of these workers (mostly day care and fitness center workers) to a weekly payout that far exceeds what they would make as payroll employees at the Y.

      But, our loan is only forgivable if we continue to maintain our current payroll. Most of those part-timers will not come back, because of the higher amount of unemployment, added to their knowledge that, once the lockdown has ended, they will almost certainly be able to get hired back ~ if not by the Y, then by some other daycare center or fitness business.

      We can’t give our 4 salaried people a “raise” because that is not allowable under the current, albeit b