Shortcut to the full report for Saturday.

The global number of new cases was up 18% over last Sunday.

The USA’s number of new cases was up a terrifying 30% over last Sunday.

France was the big story of the day, with 52,000 new cases in one day – more than India, which has 21 times as many people. (If India had the same rate, it would have has a million new cases in a day.)

161 thoughts on “COVID update

  1. “Until there is definitive data one way or the other, we have reason to believe from decades of data from other respiratory viruses that children are very good transmitters,” Dr. Hartert said. “There isn’t a lot of reason to believe that that wouldn’t be the case with this virus.”

    Another disaster looming when schools reopen too soon.

    1. I believe that to be correct. My son and his daughters live in my house temporarily. I told him that they MUST be out of the house and into their new digs before the girls return to school.

    2. Yep, I’m expecting another surge once schools and universities get into full swing — UNC only lasted about two weeks before they bagged in-person classes, and I have no reason to believe they’ll be the only ones.

      To be honest, I think most universities’ decision to start in-person classes was nothing more than a cynical cash-grab. The folks running these schools aren’t morons — they know it’s not going to work. But dangling that carrot in order to secure tuition money was more important than reality.

      1. Adding to my comment: now Notre Dame has pulled the plug after a week. I wonder how these schools are going to attempt to justify playing football this Fall (both UNC & ND are still planning to play the ACC schedule)?

        We all know that the whole “student-athlete” thing is a total facade, but as long as the NCAA clings to it in an attempt to justify screwing these kids, I have to wonder how they’ll square that circle in any sort of even quasi-believable way.

      1. Exactly what has the WHO said, and where is the link?

        An unconditional green light would surprise me, given what happened in Israel.

        It is generally conceded that school re-opening has to be managed carefully, must meet certain screening conditions, and must follow strict guidelines. A blanket opening in a state like Mississippi (with 23% positivity rate) could be disastrous.

      2. Wait, I thought you guys hated the WHO? Now you’re citing them (well, not really, since you didn’t bother to list your supposed source).

        The Right really has a problem with consistency.

  2. Texas Positive-Test Rate at Record

    “Texas’ seven-day average rate of positive tests exceeded Saturday’s record and jumped to a new high of 20.3%, health authorities said.”

    “The state reported 116 new deaths for a total of 8,459. Cases climbed 4,879 to 486,362.”

    “thanks” Governor Abbott…

  3. Any coincidence that the decline in positives and deaths overlaps with the move to have all reporting through the White House????

    1. It’s not related. Only hospitalization data run directly from hospitals to the White House (and they are suspiciously low).

      The stats on cases and deaths come from the state and county health departments.

  4. Reality check..l

    “Florida reported a record 276 new Covid-19 deaths among residents Tuesday, bringing the cumulative total to 8,553. The state reported a cumulative 542,792 Covid-19 cases, up 1.1% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 1.3% in the previous seven days, according to the health department report, which includes data through Monday. The new rate of people testing positive for the first time rose to 10.3% for Monday, from 8.6% on Sunday.”

  5. “The United States reported its highest number of deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day since mid-May today.“

    The death march continues.

  6. If you want a first person account, I’m waiting on the testing results, but I’m above 90-95% certainty I have it right now. Even if It came back negative, I would consider it a false negative at this point.

    First couple days, it nagging throat cough, nasal issues, chills – which is so vague I didn’t think anything of it. Yesterday it pretty much went into overdrive, the tell tale sign was eating in the afternoon and I’ve completely lost my sense of taste. Not nasal stuffy nose, can’t breathe type of unable to taste, but literally can’t taste or smell. I was so shocked I went in swirled some mouthwash and put toothpaste on my tongue, nothing. It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever experienced.

    Last night I hit 101F on the thermometer and was soaked from sweat through the night. I’ve completely turned off the AC and was bundled up like it was the dead of winter and I still felt cold.

    I’m alright today thus far, but I’m not letting my guard down as I’ve read this sort of ‘false recovery’ happening before. People think it’s let up, then it hits twice as hard. Trying to keep my sense of humor, because if there were ever a time to win a bet on eating something, now would be the time. I’m drinking chicken broth and if I had to do a blind test right now, I would assume from consistency it’s coconut pulp, that’s how crazy it is.

    It sucks, there’s no doubt about it, and the conspiracy theorists can shove it up their ass. They should get some of this smoke and get a bit of a reality check if they want to minimize this stuff.

      1. Thanks, I think I’m alright today so far (knock on wood). As long as I’m not showing signs of pneumonia I think I’ll be alright, and after some research for whatever reason the loss of taste is more associated with milder cases rather than the really bad hospitalization ones.

    1. I have some mild symptoms and was tested Wednesday. I do not have it. I know the dread of waiting for those test results.

      1. Honestly I rather have it confirmed than not at this point, because I would almost assume it to be a false negative, which 30-40% have been stated to occur.

        The only other option I can think of is a pretty hardcore sinus infection, but I’ve never had a pronounced loss of taste where you literally cannot tell what you’re eating outside of consistency and salivary response. And it wouldn’t really explain the 101 fever and pool of sweat I went through.

        I think either way, I will get an antibody serum test around 3-4 weeks from now. If I have them, I’ll go donate my plasma, and at least I’ll have some certainty.

    2. Good luck! Do you have an oximeter? You should get one to measure your oxygen levels. If they drop below the low nineties get yourself to an emergency room. Silent hypoxia is a real danger.

      1. I think I’m good, the symptoms have gone down, except for loss of taste/smell which has improved a bit, but its very dull. My test came back negative, which is very hard for me to believe after all that happened, and the false negative rate is around 30%.

        I did remember thinking getting tested at the center and thinking ‘that was deep enough’ with the swab, even an inch in like is the apparently new standard – but that may just be hind-sighting the process.

        I’ve had fevers and infections before, but spiking like that with no sense of taste period, is nothing I’ve ever experience. I could have had a blindfold on and ate cat food and someone could have told me it was cereal, and I would have believed them.

        I guess in the end it doesn’t matter much to have that confirmation, because I’m quarantining anyway, already working at home, and so on. I did want some peace of mind that I would have the antibodies for semi-protection, but I will get that checked in a couple weeks. Also wanted to donate plasma if possible, but without that confirmation I guess I can’t for sure.

        It sure feels like this entire thing is being winged, which I guess it is, but it adds to frustration that this thing is probably a lot more widespread than we think just from my experience.

  7. My girlfriend, a pediatrician in Holland in her late 30s, had it in April low/medium-level. Rest, lots of hydration, and what were basically over the counter type flu meds got her bouncing back within a few days. She went home from the hospital rather than vice versa.
    Hang in there in any case.

  8. Hawaii is ordering a stay-at-home shutdown for 2 weeks effective Thursday.

    Depending on who you listen to, the number of available ICU beds may or may not be of concern. There’s some kind of political bullshit going on up there.

    The Surgeon General is here, and there is a push to test upwards of 60K people for free. And apparently the COVID-19 tests no longer require a brain sample. Hawaii is apparently in the “yellow” group.

    We have had a total of about 7000 cases, with 49 deaths. So I guess the raw numbers aren’t as impressive as other states.

  9. New coronavirus infections rose slightly in the U.S. for the second day but remained lower than in recent weeks.

    The country reported about 38,200 new cases on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, up a few hundred from Monday but still an improvement from last week, when cases topped 40,000 most days and neared 50,000 on some.

  10. Hey Tanner, you said you don’t trust Chinese scientists to tell the truth. Looking like maybe you need to look a little closer to home today.

    1. Sorry, Tanner. Got you & Indy mixed up. Apologies. Recency bias.
      Due diligence a little harder to do the way we’re managing the covid thread comments here.

      I had tried to make sense of a Chinese study suggesting little asymptomatic spread. I pointed out the study had contact traced exactly 1 patient. Indy said forget Chinese research, waste of time. Totalitarian control makes everyone puppets.

      As it turned out, even people at the top of CDC are bureaucrats. Vulnerable to top-down manipulation. In our own up-and-coming totalitarian state.

      (Roger: Mitch seems to be someone else.)

      1. When did I say the CDC wasn’t susceptible to it? This was never an either/or comment, Chinese authoritarianism controls the messaging. Trump’s regime wants to do the same thing, and exerts influence as well. They’re both one in the same, whereas China actually has full governmental control over information to the outside world, Trump and his staff usually do so incompetently and the freedom of press allows to report when they attempt to do so like recently.

        I’m not sure what your point is, Trump envies China’s authoritarianism, while he plays it off as adversarial because his simple minded trade rules, he would love to be able to do the same thing. China is willing and able to manipulate the flow of information completely. Trump is willing but only partially able to manipulate it. That’s really all there is to it, a shot at one isn’t a support of the other.

        1. I don’t understand your take or what you consider a shortcut.

          We could live 10,000 years and never learn enough to do a deep dive into every subject matter. When you walk into a large building, you’re placing your inherent trust into the structural engineer who designed it, and the construction company to implement the design and that it won’t collapse at any given moment. It’s impossible to know every single piece of information of a subject matter.

          At any given moment, something as simple as driving your car a few miles to drop off a package inside a building consists of a ton of inherent trust pieces on hundreds or thousands of people at any given moment, and you can’t know the details of them all. Similar to this pandemic, unless you’re a epidemiologist, you make logical assumptions off of the information and go from there.

          A someone who very likely had the virus last week, nothing about the testing and reporting is completely certain – but you can get it in the ballpark. That’s what these numbers are – getting it in the ballpark. They can be manipulated by ulterior motives, sure, but you have to weigh where, how, and how much influence those motives wield.

          And in the end, how much does the minutia matter with this? All that really needs to be known on a personal level is the fact it’s a potentially deadly respiratory pathogen spread mainly through the air. If you are obese, have co-morbidity, or are at an advanced age (which usually means lack of exercise or strong repository system) – you are at a higher risk. And reducing gatherings and utilizing masks in public places works to blunt potentially asymptomatic spread.

          Really, the only questions that this even boils down to are the worth and cost of a life versus the economic activities that require activities that are an antithesis to gatherings and spread. One thing is for certain, a virus does not think, and does not care about the constructs our society has invented to base life itself and the ability to survive around economic consumption to provide people shelter, food, and water while allowing the wealthy to gatekeep those things at a high cost. Society controls those constructs and how we decide to collectively behave, society can’t control the behavior of a virus.

      2. Look, we basically agreed. My point was, I’m doing it right. You’re doing it wrong. You take shortcuts. You skimp on the science. I debunked it on its merits. You decided you don’t trust the source. Like most people. But most people’s heuristic gets them in lots of trouble. Especially bias. And bias is a hot button at the moment because eg, cops think a black 8yo kid’s toy is a gun in the hands of a likely criminal (a black hat) while a rifle-toting white 18yo adult male is (a white hat) performing citizenship.

        So I pointed out many of us put stock in CDC & bemoaned the WH for sidelining them. But that too was a shortcut. As it turned out, yet another unwarranted one. Considering the source betrayed us, all the same. Follow the science. Do the math yourself. No more damn shortcuts. Not these days.

      3. Sure, whatever. You’re deflecting. I don’t disagree on most of that. I’ll go along with moms & apple pie.

        For the record, I didn’t start this. You’re the wiseguy rootin tootin driveby shootin knowitall who threw that 1st rock. This paper was raising some public buzz at the moment. I did a simple thing that 100M other Americans equal to you or me could have. I debunked it. You dissed my effort by insinuating if I were smart like you, I could’ve saved my time.

        How I waste my time is not your business. We’re both hanging out here, after all. How smart you are isn’t a matter of public interest. Calling ad hom a shortcut was kinder than the usual term: fallacy. If those 100M or so of our peers all followed your advice, that wouldn’t be just not smart. That’s jingoism.

  11. UncleScoopy said: “The total population of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas added together is not much more than half of the Chicago metro.”

    And all put together, they have TEN senators, while California, with 41 million people, has two. We need Constitutional reform, IMO. At the very least, some states should have three senators, and some should only have one. while the rest remain at two. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst times in American history to try to make sensible reforms.

      1. Did this analysis 2/3 yrs ago looking up each state’s current population:

        AK
        ID
        MT
        WY
        UT
        ND
        SD
        NE
        KS
        OK
        AR
        LA
        MS
        AL
        —–
        14 States = 72 Electoral Votes = 32,840,000 pop.

        CA = 55 Electoral Votes = 39,144,000

        America is not a representative anything and each state has their own election laws. The only way to do the electoral college fairly is to use fractions and that’s never gonna happen!

        Yielding back the Balance of my time …

    1. The House is population, the Senate is simply 2 per state. This is so every state in the Union has an equal voice yet the people within them are represented proportionately.

      Gerrymandering is the problem but you’ll never get the GOP to agree to fix a broken system when it’s the only thing keeping them in the game.

      1. Yes, Mitch, I know that. That is the problem. That system is obsolete. The difference in size between the states is far different than it was in 1789, and it has to go. South Dakota, which has a smaller population than the medium-sized city I live in, would just have to man up and get by with one Senator.

        And the GOP? It is the Billionaire & Racist Party. How much of a future has it got? How many Americans are billionaires, racist, and fools? And how many are going to be in 20 years?

    2. It would be cheaper to simply combine those five deserted states into one, thus reducing the taxes in all five as their citizens support one state government instead of five.

      That would also by-pass the need for a constitutional amendment.

      Of course, neither that nor the amendment will happen, so we’re basically jerking off with this discussion.

  12. Well…this is going “well”

    Alabama tops 1,300 cases since classes began last week

    In one of the largest reported campus outbreaks of the coronavirus, the University of Alabama has now tallied more than 1,000 infections on its three campuses after announcing positive tests for 492 students and 51 faculty and staff members Friday.

  13. But Pat Garrett, spokesman for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, said Friday evening that the abrupt increase is a one-time event, reflecting the addition of antigen tests to state numbers.

    The results of about 10,000 antigen tests, previously marked as “inconclusive,” were updated as positive or negative — thereby boosting the number of cases and the positivity rate.

    1. That’s a good sign. Antigen tests are what we need. Doctors are biased toward treatment. PCR tests are best diagnosis. But it’s all ass-backwards. In a pandemic, getting traction against spread is the top priority. What’s needed to restart business. Cheap instant test for antigen is just the ticket. Mass distribute these babies. Let’s start confining outbreaks to small pockets. Make it safe to gather again. Go to movies, concerts, sports. Geez, people. Use our brains!

      1. The problem with the antigen tests is that they have a higher negative rate…meaning they miss more cases than the PCR. A positive antigen test result is considered very accurate, but there’s an increased chance of false-negative results. So antigen tests aren’t as sensitive as molecular tests are. What’s ideally needed is a fast turnaround for PCR tests.

        1. Too much attention paid to sensitivity. That’s been our problem. We’re approaching an EPIDEMIC as patients & patient care workers. When EVERYONE’S life has been disrupted.

          Someone among us needs to think in terms of keeping the virus contained into small pockets. No one at FDA & CDC seems to be ready to fight a pandemic. We’ve all been hypnotized that we can only be safe by individually getting a magic shot.

          I can provide refs if you want. For containment, according to models, low sensitivity tests are just as effective as high.

      2. No, we just have different facts. The 3 antigen tests the FDA basically just greenlit but only halfheartedly, they all look for N protein & yes, thus do not necessarily identify live virus. But e25’s paper strip spit test detects S (spike) protein that stands out in virus pics bc it’s on the outside envelope. THAT antigen is specific to live virus.

        Comprehensive article including political blowback & practical difficulties, but written for general readers. (Give us our lives back. Atlantic 8/14.)

    2. You’re missing the point. PCR tests positive BEFORE the viral load is infectious. Good at getting ahead of the virus for treatment. But THAT patient isn’t sick. Doesn’t go in. Doesn’t get ANY test.

      PCR also catches viral junk long AFTER the patient gets better. Including late-sickness when all the virus is already dead. PCR doesn’t tell us which. Is this patient PRE sick or POST sick? After 9 days waiting for POS result. Waste of $100. Extra week of spreading. Or maybe this person had it, got over it & we don’t even need to know anymore. NO LIVE VIRUS.

      Antigen only tests pos for infectious patients with live virus. Yes, false negs. But cheap & fast. $1. At home. Spit on a strip. Wait 15min. 97% accurate if infectious. Including 2 days before sick. Neg test? Low count. NOT A SPREADER. Tomorrow or next day, you’ll be pos. Stay home. Upload ALL your tests to a crowdsource DB. Including negs. We have ways to make this work.

      Can also challenge test on the way into events/businesses like we’re doing in some cases right now but with actual virus tests, not thermometers. Because flu season soon.

      1. With Covid-19 you’re most infectious before you show symptoms. You’re incorrect about antigen tests only being positive while you have active virus. The antigen test uses monoclonal antibodies to detect the virus’s nucleocapsid (N) protein. That doesn’t mean the virus is active. PCR may show positives before the viral load is high but it’s not clear at what viral load the virus is high enough to be infectious and this level will vary by individual. Let’s see some refs.

        1. OK, fair enough. But balanced is not what we need. Not at all. We need to pick a side & duke it out. Our alternative is deadlock. Then, no prophylactic test plan will ever be deployed. We’ll just rot in hell.

          Until 1 of the vaccines wins the pennant & rides in to save our bacon. Then, PCR will be useless. We’ll need that S antigen test. But we won’t have been producing & using it already. We’ll be dusting off a new idea. Introducing it for the 1st time. Since we’re so smart. So smart, we never looked this far down the road. Our future looks so much brighter if we’d only jump on the chance to get there. Even BEFORE we have that magic bullet vaccine.

        2. P.S. “Don’t bother with the Vox article” isn’t an argument. Please explain. Otherwise, yes, I did avoid it. I gave you that ground. But you didn’t earn it. I take it back. I need to hear your objection. Even if it means I drop a peg on your board. I will not grant you those baseless debate points.

      2. The problem I’m having with you Tanner & the reason I wrongly placed you in Indy’s bucket is perfectly demonstrated by your silence in the face of a fact that contradicts your settled opinion. You’re arrogant. You think you’re superior. That you might be wrong because you simply didn’t know something you thought you’d figured out already, well, that just did not compute.

        To cut a little more finely, you put out signals that you’re deep. But you aren’t. You’re shallow. Sure, I’m the pot calling the kettle black on that score. Takes one to know one. Like Indy, you take shortcuts. You won’t back off. Maybe you can’t. Everyone has this fault to some extent. If you’re intellectually honest, you look for your bias. You update your opinions. You change your mind & freely admit you did.

        Sure, never admitting you were wrong most often leads to unmerited wins. Why do you choose to be that kind of winner?

      3. Tanner: I failed to state my key point. To spell it out. You’re correct. “It’s not clear at what viral load the virus is high enough to be infectious.” But the ballpark is in the millions of live virus in a swab. S protein antigen is more sensitive than that by 2 or 3 orders of magnitude. Like, to a count of 10,000 in a saliva sample. Yes, PCR is an order of magnitude “better” than that. Functionally, this means PCR may detect a positive case on day 2 or 3 vs. S antigen’s day 3 or 4. But that lets you admit the patient into the hospital 1 day earlier. The antigen test readily detects infectiousness 1-2 days before the viral load reaches that point. It’s the perfect tool for the correct goal. And yes, we do absolutely know that. Right the heck now.

  14. I want to know how many of those new infections in Iowa are in counties along Interstates. You gotta figure the bikers returning from Sturgis are responsible for some of that.

  15. New York State reported a surge of infections in Buffalo and shut down a college campus for two weeks after blaming parties for an outbreak. California’s cases rose by the most in a week.

  16. Fuck you and covid….people die….that’s what we do…
    .053 mortality rate in the U.S.
    .00625 worldwide
    Meaning far less than 1% of either population
    3300 people a day die worldwide from auto accidents
    Are u SJWs still driving? How fucking insensitive of you!!!!
    Meanwhile life still goes on until it doesn’t because you can’t pay rent or buy gas or clothes or food
    The deaths are tragic but so are most other deaths and exactly how many causes of those deaths are keeping you locked down for no good fucking reason? and if masks are so fucking necessary why is it Fauci never wears them? You know the little asshole who admitted lying to EVERYONE ? liars generally don’t just lie once….they lie whenever it serves a purpose for them…..wake the fuck up

    1. You don’t seem like a happy camper, Festie. Why is that? What has happened to you or been done to you?

      Oh, and a lot of people would rather not die until it’s unavoidable. That’s why there is such a big effort to avoid getting COVID-19. Because something as simple and easy as wearing a cheap mask really reduces the odds of getting it yourself, or giving it to someone else. Doesn’t seem like much to ask. Does it seem like a lot to you?

      Take care and cheer up, Festie. And let us know what’s going on with you.

    2. What pictures of Dr. Fauci are you looking at? His habitual Washington Nationals masks are pretty well known around here. As is his basic honesty – unlike some Washington figures who are probably heroes of yours.

      1. Oh, there are TONS of pictures of Dr. Fauci without a mask, both outdoors and indoors, Bill Deecee. Of course, they are all from 2019 and before, but I suppose the people Festie listens to have no problem lying
        about that.

        1. True that. If I remember right the film of what was supposed to be evil brown people crashing our border Trump used 4 years ago had actually been filmed in the former Spanish Morocco many years previously.

  17. Yay. Hawaii finally makes the Scoopy update!

    For a moment I thought maybe our local media was just overreacting. I remember a while ago the headline was “# of COVID-19 cases triples over the weekend!” It went from 2 to 6. Ah, the good old days.

    BTW, the reason why Pacific Islanders are the highest hit is because those fakas were the ones throwing the huge beach parties with the giant tents and bouncy castles.

  18. Quick note re: the faux vaccine which may or may not be ready 11/1. 😛

    Told you it would be quick. Seriously one of Trump covid-19 ironies many of his toadies are conspiracy theorists aka anti-vaxxers lol. TBF as a die hard independent liberal even if the vaccine had a realistic 3/4/5 yr vetting process and was certified totally safe would not get a covid vaccine shot.

    But on the other hand if I’m not dead in 3/4/5 yrs hopefully covid-19 will be totally under control by then assuming Trump is no longer in the loop.

    btw, last flu shot was 1988 my last yr in the USN when it was mandatory. Yielding back the balance of my time …

    1. Well, if they get that last laugh, they’ll all be dead and their grandchildren will have to do the laughing.

      Sweden has two neighbors, Norway and Finland, so lets see how they have done so far.

      Sweden, with 10 million people, 5846 dead – 580 per million
      Norway + Finland, with 11 million people, 602 dead – 55 per million

      So they have about 5,200 excess deaths in a tiny nation of ten million.

      Translating the same strategy to a country the size of the United States, just to give it some perspective, that’s the equivalent of a strategy producing 170,000 excess deaths. Even Trump, as incompetent as he is, has not been able to do that. (Well, not YET)

      So is the Swedish strategy now paying off? Let’s look at the last seven days:

      Sweden, 7-day rolling average: one death per day
      Norway plus Finland, 7 day rolling average: NO deaths per day.

      So it doesn’t seem to be paying out on the back end.

      What about economically? Is it paying off in economic health?

      World economic outlook for 2020, GDP growth, per IMF:

      Norway -6.3%
      Sweden -6.8%
      Finland -6.0%

      Sweden is STILL doing (slightly) worse than Finland and Norway in terms of COVID deaths as well as economic growth. Its strategy has been a monumental failure. It is reasonable to assume that if they had pursued the same strategy as Norway and Finland, they would be in the same boat as they are in now in terms of both current COVID deaths and the economy, but with 5,000 additional citizens still alive – and that’s a big number in a tiny country. If China had tried the Swedish strategy, they would presumably would have had an additional 700,000 casualties!

      Of course if you arbitrarily compare Sweden to countries that have totally fucked up and have completely different circumstances, you can make some argument about its success. You can even do that for Trump if you compare him to Peru and Brazil.

      1. I think Sweden’s populace is a little more educated to hunker down on their own as well over time, despite the lack of government’s direct orders. Any improvement was an ‘oh shit’ moment for their citizens to start improving social distancing:

        “‘The reason we have relatively low transmission now is largely due to the fact that so many Stockholmers are following the recommendations to stay home when you’re sick, wash hands and keep your distance,’ Follin said. ”

        In other words, a lot of people still died for no real reason at the start of the pandemic, when it could have been prevented. I give them more credit for actually learning from their mistakes, unlike here where Trumps death cult insists on everything being a hoax. Overall though, they allowed people to die unnecessarily to get to this point though.

      2. There are a couple interesting things in that comparison between Sweden and the U.K. Both of them essentially pursued the ‘herd immunity’ strategy initially. So, if there is any evidence from Sweden that their now low rates of infection are due to having pursued herd immunity, the large increase in cases in the U.K seems to contradict that. I really don’t know what to make of that because the situation in New York City does seem to suggest that there is some possible reality to herd immunity. The U.K situation does strike me as a bit of an anomaly.

        The whole argument from the right in the U.S of ‘herd immunity’ is more evidence of there lack of seriousness in governing. They looked to Sweden, but never acknowledged that Sweden has a strong social security safety net that made pursuing herd immunity somewhat possible: in Sweden it was more possible to isolate the vulnerable in their homes while the young and able went about things normally because Sweden has a social safety net that could provide for the (mostly elderly) vulnerable in their homes.

        In the United States, most social service delivery is provided at the state and county level, and there is no equivalent system to Sweden anywhere in the United States. So, the whole right wing strategy in the United States of ‘let the young and able go about their business while sheltering the vulnerable’ had no existing support system to go about doing it.

        I asked various right wing types on twitter and on their websites how the various U.S government entities could provide this stay at home service to the vulnerable when no system was set up, and was difficult to set up given the stresses caused by the coronavirus to people such as Russell Roberts at the libertarian EconLib, sleazy ‘space historian’ Robert Zimmerman (not Bob Dylan), and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, who is not necessarily associated with the right, but all of whom advocated this approach, and not a single one of them replied to me on this.

        When I asked Russell Roberts this several months ago, I also told him that in order to successfully in the way that he advocated, there would need to be rapid testing capabilities, and he replied, ‘except them to come on line in a couple weeks.’ Russell Roberts is one of those libertarian economists who likes to assume things into existence.

        The obvious upshot of all this is not just that people advocate for things they either know or should know are impossible to deliver, but that modern right wing types are completely unserious about basic governance.

        1. Sorry, a couple edits:
          1.The whole argument from the right in the U.S of ‘herd immunity’ is more evidence of there lack of seriousness in governing.

          s/b ‘their lack of seriousness in governing.’

          2.When I asked Russell Roberts this several months ago, I also told him that in order to successfully in the way that he advocated

          s/b that in order to successfully re-open in the way that he advocated.

          3.and he replied, ‘except them to come on line’
          s/b ‘expect them to come on line’

          1. Anything regarding science is disregarded by right wing extremists, so trying to justify any logic with them is a waste.

            Look at tonight, Trump is holding an indoor rally in Nevada with no masks or social distancing, violating state guidelines. Trump’s pussy ass won’t be standing in close range with any of them, of course, but his dedicated cult will be there to worship their authoritarian cult leader just the same.

      3. Let’s just look at Taiwan in comparison to the UK. Both island nations. Taiwan has 0.3 deaths per million and the UK has 613 deaths per million. QED.

        1. Tanner, pursuant to Indy’s point above about the Right and science, I am sure Boris Johnson would refute your point about Taiwan with something straight out of Monty Python. Probably something about a duck being made out of wood, so we should burn the witch.

    1. At this point in time, unless I’m missing something, the pandemic is the 4th largest ‘event killer’ in US history. 500,000 to 850,000 deaths from the 1918 pandemic, the Civil War with between 620,000 and 750,000 dead, and WWII with over 400,000 dead.

      It would not surprise me to see in the next year the death count rise close to the WW2 level, but it depends on how bad winter is. It’s honestly very pathetic of the top four killers in US history, this has been the most preventable with good policy and federal action and coordination.

      Well, of course preventable, outside of the Confederacy not being able to rationalize not using another human being to rape, torture, and enslave to work to the bone for rich white plantation owners personal gain that Trump supporters still worship with to this very day.

      1. You are forgetting the Bowling Green massacre, Indy. The death toll is unknown because the liberal elite mainstream media covered it up. You notice how no one you talk to knows anything about the Bowling Green massacre? That is because NOBODY survived it. Millions must have died!

        BTW, did you know that in 1865 the Confederate government was trying to figure out how to get slaves to fight for the Confederacy? My god, those people were so obsessed with their own point of view that reality was invisible to them. Reminds of me of the American Right today.

      2. If you want to include enemy casualties, the two world wars would be much higher. If you don’t include enemy casualties, then the number for the Civil War was about 360,000 soldiers and civilians of the USA. The others died fighting for the Confederacy. Based on the current forecasts, we will lose more Americans to COVID (albeit a far smaller percentage of the population – the population of the Union during the Civil War was in the neighborhood of 20 million.).

        As I’ve noted before, we have already lost about the same number to COVID as we did fighting Hitler. (About 150,000 dead in the European theater, about 45,000 in the Mediterranean theater.)

        1. Well Civil War I’m going by ‘both’ as American citizens, but yes you’re right if the numbers aren’t considered all American and only the Union, its smaller.

          And I’m going by what come up for WW2 deaths period, by the US, and it seems to be consensus that varies around 400,000, I’m not sure what these numbers consist of versus yours:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

          https://www.nationalww2museum.org/students-teachers/student-resources/research-starters/research-starters-worldwide-deaths-world-war

          1. The difference is that the numbers I listed were military actions in the fight against the Nazis and do not include the war in the Pacific and various other casualties. Thus, we have lost about the same amount of people to corona as the number of combatants who died to defeat Hitler.

            The total American casualties of WW2 were about 400,000, as you mentioned. That includes all theaters of operation, civilians, and domestic. Thus, according to forecasts, coronavirus will eventually leave the American deaths in both the Civil War (360,000) and WW2 (just more than 400,000) in the rear view mirror, leaving only the 1918 pandemic in the headlights.

  19. “Olivia Troye is Vice President Pence’s recently departed homeland security adviser, and she’s stepping forward to make her case against Trump. She does so from a unique vantage point: She was involved in many of the White House’s internal discussions on the coronavirus pandemic.”

  20. “Troye went so far as to say that people should be skeptical of a vaccine if it’s released before the election, because of the kind of political pressure she saw being brought to bear.”

    1. I guess it’s nice to have what I already assumed confirmed by an ex-insider.

      I very much hope that if a vaccine is rushed out before the election that everyone in the Trump Administration is injected with it. Being guinea pigs is the highest and best use I can think of for them.

  21. Well…this looks “promising…”

    “Progress in slowing the march of the novel coronavirus has stalled in much of the United States, and the pathogen is spreading at dangerous rates in many states as autumn arrives and colder weather — traditionally congenial to viruses — begins to settle across the nation, public health data shows.
    Organizations that track the virus have logged recent increases in case numbers and test positivity rates — worrisome trends as the United States on Tuesday surpassed the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths. Hospitalizations and deaths remain lower nationally than at their midsummer peak, but those numbers always lag several weeks behind trends in new infections.
    Twenty-seven states and Puerto Rico have shown an increase in the seven-day average of new confirmed cases since the final week of August, according to analysis of public health data. Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Utah set record highs Monday for seven-day averages.“

  22. It’s almost like there is a bad virus going around with no vaccine. Who would have thunk it possible for people to catch it?

    1. Trump did…see the Woodward tapes.

      “Bob, it’s so easily transmissible, you wouldn’t even believe it,” Trump can be heard saying on the tape, which Woodward recorded on April 13th, 2020,

  23. better than an antigen test…

    “German industrial group Bosch has developed a Covid-19 test which it says can deliver a result in just under 40 minutes, and be processed using a portable device.

    The test uses polymerase chain reaction technology, which is widely considered to be the most accurate method of testing for the presence of coronavirus.

    Bosch said its test has a “sensitivity” — the ability to avoid false negatives — of 98 per cent, and a “specificity” — the ability to avoid false positives — of 100 per cent.”

  24. If you can’t contain the pandemic (still not out from 1st wave I read), you did a really shitty job and people keep dying with no end in sight, you got to at least brainwash your supporters to keep supporting you, right? SMH

    “The Trump administration is using over $300 million in funding diverted from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make advertisements to “defeat despair” over COVID-19, Politico revealed Friday.

    The ad campaign, reportedly the brainchild of a political appointee and health department spokesperson Michael Caputo, “is expected to lean heavily on video interviews between administration officials and celebrities,” including actor Dennis Quaid, the outlet reported. It is being investigated by Democrats, who see it as taxpayer-funded political ads ahead of an election.”

    1. Dang, I thought Randy was the crazy Quaid. Disappointing to see Dennis giving new life to the expression “as dumb as an actor”.

  25. Just a quick comment to everyone discussing the pro’s and con’s of using PCR, every point I took the time to read was essentially true, but it ignores the promise of qRT-PCR. The “q” stands for “quantitative”. Sorry if someone else already noted this–like I said, I skipped ahead. qRT-PCR would make it possible to determine if someone was pre-, mid- or post-infectious, but would require repeated sampling over several days, or at several-day intervals. Compare the quantitative values at three time points and it is possible to tell if the viral load is rising, stabilizing or falling (pre-, mid- or post-). Expensive, but the reagents are scaleable which should bring the cost down, and compared to the expense of shutting down the economy, bailouts, etc…, well…
    The test itself can be run in about 2 hours–not ideal, but doable. With this method you would have sensitivity and a sense for how the infection is progressing. Covid-19 is truly novel, so I don’t if my experience with other viruses and virus-like organisms would apply, but I had success with this method. I processed 1000 samples a day, working alone at a field station in the New Mexico desert, with everything done by hand. A clinical lab would have teams working together with robotic processing and could easily improve on my numbers. Also, and some of you may disagree (and this point may have already been made), but it seems pretty clear that a false negative is much, much more problematic with Covid-19 than a false positive, except to the person who has to go into isolation.

    1. You forget the key advantage of a fast cheap test: it’s CHEAP. Being able to do frequent testing reduces stakes per test vs. expensive, too slow & scarce. It’s just a completely different mindset. The case we miss today before the viral load is contagious, we do catch tomorrow & still not contagious yet. Everybody wins.

  26. COVID-19 herd immunity in the Brazilian Amazon” preprint

    True, AB decay occurs but is normal & expected. Also, AB are on the tip of the tongue of researchers as their method was AB assay on blood donations applied to a model to estimate prevalence. I believe the researcher quoted was speaking figuratively using AB as proxy for immunity. Longterm immune response however relies on immune cells other than AB. A key function of these cells is to recognize the virus & trigger AB production. When an “immunized” person is exposed to a contagious source, there’s a race between infection & AB production. Assuming the ABs win, immune mop-up in which host cells are destroyed accounting for most of the tissue damage, is limited. The symptoms are milder than 1st infection & survival rate improved. The virus has a head start. It wins for awhile. If peak viral load gets too high, the host becomes infectious & adds to contagion even though host might never get sick.

    Their “corrected” prevalence was that 2 of 3 Manaus residents had the virus. Peak of which suggests some 4000 cases/million were needed to establish “herd immunity”. Resulting in many deaths. Later surge suggests herd immunity declined. As opposed to waning AB which is expected. AB decay is exponential & levels in the blood are effectively 0 in a few months anyway. Immunity durability will affect how much, post-vaccine, the virus smolders on or dwindles out. It’s looking like eradication may be unrealistic. Likely we’ll need to fire-suppress for years.

    1. That’s an unpleasant picture for the most vulnerable parts of the population. How effective will a vaccine be for the elderly, for example?

    2. You’re not wrong. I don’t like it. I left out booster shots to reduce immune decline. The thrust is to keep the virus tamped down so people aren’t even exposed to it. If lots of people are killing the virus, it dies out most places. But fires still break out.

      I’m pessimistic but try to be open to hope. I’ve always thought we should push for a vaccine ASAP. But not as a magic bullet. Every little bit helps. I’m a “small-ball” baseball fan. PPE, masks, washing hands, social distance, quarantine, contact tracing, surveillance, effective treatment for the stricken. No one of these the answer, but together could’ve been pretty effective had we done them early on.

      By surveillance I mean like RADAR. Whatever tests can cast a wide net. Give a quick read so we react in time to cut short the spread. Sampling must be random. Not only symptomatic. Studies show this approach to epidemic control does not depend on a perfect test. Ie, not sensitive to sensitivity. Significant false negatives can make this less effective but not ineffective. In particular, we don’t want to trigger quarantines & contract tracing at low viral loads that aren’t contagious. And unlike a vaccine, many of these steps we can plan, prepare in advance, or develop & ramp up quickly.

      The eventual picture is limited outbreaks, few & far between. Not great, but “manageable”. Like the flu. Many die of that, after all. Particularly among the elderly. Effective treatments can mitigate.

  27. huh… Hope Hicks, one of President Trump’s most senior advisers, has tested positive for the coronavirus, three people familiar with the matter said Thursday night…but it must be a “hoax.”

    1. Thanks! I should really subscribe. I’m not hot on heroes, but if I had ’em, I reckon Zeynep might be one o’ mine. I mean, she’s a great lay… article writer. Among I’m sure many other virtues.

      She makes my point & more, as I told a friend who’s a chem/bio type, that we’re listening too much to immunologists. It’s because we focus on a magic bullet that we assume comes in the form of the basic science: vaccines, tests, treatments. Instead, we need to get our heads around the directly applicable expertise of epidemiologists. My case for massive testing even if less sensitive has gone over like a lead balloon. Zeynep saying it gives that argument instant credibility. She argues it better, of course.

  28. Kellyanne Conway is the latest Trump sycophant to test positive. It looks like that Saturday event is turning into RBG’s revenge. Those testing positive all attended what is turning out to be a superspreader event.

    1. I loathe Trump and his toadies. I think he, and they, are getting what they deserve. But I think Ruth Bader Ginsberg was a better person than I am, and revenge would not be on her docket.

      1. What about the time she killed that right-wing drifter and buried him in the desert?

        I think it was impressive that she killed him with her bare hands, despite the fact that he was three times her body weight.

        (Not to mention getting his lifeless 300-pound body into the trunk of her car.)

        Makes me wonder if it was a rehearsal for killing her “friend” Scalia.

  29. “Wisconsin residents have watched with growing alarm as virus cases have exploded. Three of the four metro areas in the United States with the most cases per capita were in northeastern Wisconsin, and one hospital in Green Bay was nearly full this week.”

    virus central…?

  30. Apparently Chris Christie has been in the hospital for five days, and nothing on his social media accounts. The guy was about as high risk as it gets, and may literally die from drinking the Trump Kool-Aid.

    1. I wonder if Christie will renounce Trump if he lives? I feel sorry for Christie’s family, and I hope the doctors can ease his suffering, but he is the one who decided to kowtow to Trump.

  31. Huh, so mandating masks and closing establishments where people crowd together in close proximity reduced the rate of infection, who’da thunk it?

    Oh, right — everyone who’s not a moron. Oh well — I’m sure the fact that Arizona figured it out eventually will be ample solace to those who lost family members or will suffer long-term complications from the virus needlessly.

    1. Those deaths are the price of freedom, Kevin, and any true patriot should be honored to pay it, just like Herman Cain was, I assume. It’s just like the way school shootings are also the price of freedom. Harlon Carter or Wayne LaPierre said so, IRRC, and they ought to know. Yes, freedom is expensive. But the greatest patriots, like Trump, know how to keep the price to them down to about $750 a year. Smart!

  32. Things regarding Covid look bad but not just in the US…Spain and the UK are particularly bad….it’s never good to mix politics and a pandemic.

  33. Herd immunity….guess again.

    There are now about eight or nine cases of re-infection that have been reported, Fauci said. “The protection doesn’t last decades and decades. It lasts more [like] many months to a year or two.”

    1. From the outset, the re-infection possibility has been the worst case scenario. It is a logistical nightmare to give a vaccine to an entire population every six months, or even every two years. It is possible, but unwieldy. It would work if we could get every single person immune for six months, allowing the disease to disappear from a lack of hosts, but there are always enough anti-vaxxers around that the number of cases will never reach zero, and will probably never even come close.

      And although Fauci’s point is still speculative, the evidence we have, mimimal though it is, suggests without contradiction that the good Dr. F is correct.

      1. We already give annual vaccinations for influenza. And for the flu the vaccine has to be modified every year (it’s not clear that this would be the case for coronavirus). Granted, it took years to develop the processes in place to do this, but it’s not impossible.

        Even discounting the anti-vaxxers, the goal of getting to near-zero cases like with smallpox and measles is probably unrealistic at this point

        1. A vaccine can be more effective at providing immunity than simply coming down with the disease.

          I came down with mumps twice as a child. The first was a mild case likely due to receiving a low viral load. The second time two years later was a severe case. Similar results may hold for those infected with a mild covid-19 case.

  34. Regarding the herd immunity strategy. At the core is the philosophy of American Exceptionalism, meaning that what happens elsewhere doesn’t apply to the US. In particular, Sweden tried to do it, and didn’t achieve herd immunity, and communities in Spain and Italy with very high infection rates, also didn’t achieve herd immunity.

    Besides the deaths, a big factor is long term disability in the survivors, in some cases severe. Resource-wise, a death is much easier to manage than a disability.

    1. Oh, I think “American exceptionalism” is too abstract and intellectual a cause for the herd immunity strategy, Yimin Rong. I thing the cause is wishful think and a desire to pretend that doing nothing is the best strategy, so that the Trump Administration’s failure to respond effectively can be portrayed as the correct thing to have done. Otherwise, I agree with everything you say.

  35. an above comment…

    “John says:
    September 19, 2020 at 9:32 am
    South Dakota’s Governor seems confident in her response. Do you think she should change course?”

    I think we have our answer….

      1. I wonder how long it will take people to realize that there are a wide variety of things they used to do, and very much want to still do, that are now a bad idea to do, both for themselves and for others?
        Apparently six or seven months is not enough.

        I suppose motorcycle riders have a different attitude toward risk than the average person. I wonder how many of them still think the rally was worth the cost? Maybe most of those who did not get gravely ill. That seems to be human nature.

    1. That’s a break for the coronavirus task force, if you ask me. We don’t want them all down with Covid. Trump’s political staff, OTOH – who cares?

    1. I wonder if one of Trump’s pharmaceutical golf buddies ask him to get rid of the vaccine office? Or if pharma industries lobbyists asked for it? The amount saved must have been trivial, but it fits with the Republican/Big Money agenda of “reducing regulations” – i.e., endangering public safety to increase profits.

  36. “A fresh coronavirus outbreak in the White House has infected two of Vice President Pence’s top advisers and a third person who is on his staff, officials said late Saturday night, though officials said Pence tested negative and plans to continue his heavy schedule of campaign travel.”

    Pence is head of the WH coronavirus task force. The White House shit show continues.

  37. A Covid-19 surge in Belgium leads to serious shortage of doctors, teachers and police. Belgium dropped their national mask mandate and loosened social restrictions earlier this month.

    Trump’s idiot Dr. Atlas says masks are useless….

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