Video shows Chicago officer shooting subway rider in back

Video shows Chicago officer shooting subway rider in back

April 28, 2020

CHICAGO (AP) — Extended security and body-cam video released Tuesday shows Chicago police shooting an unarmed short-order cook at the foot of a subway escalator and then again with his back turned to officers after they tried to stop him for violating a city ordinance by walking from one train car to another.

The Chicago Transit Authority and police body-cam videos for the first time provide a detailed look at how the incident unfolded from the time Ariel Roman used a subway’s gangway doors to when he was shot for the second time after scrambling away from officers up the escalator. Roman, 33, survived but was severely injured.

In the most striking video segment from a CTA camera, Roman is seen running up to the top of the escalator in the busy red line station holding a coat in his right hand. With the pursuing officers about 10 feet behind him, and with his back still turned to them, a female officer shoots him and he immediately slams face first onto the floor. The officer reholsters her gun and appears to handcuff him.

The Feb. 28 shooting raised questions about whether the Chicago Police Department is complying with a court-monitored reform plan that, among other things, seeks to remedy decades of excessive force by the 13,000-officer force through training that stresses conflict de-escalation.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot characterized the shooting at the time as “extremely disturbing” based on a short bystander video. She also said she wanted a full picture of what happened.

One of Roman’s Chicago lawyers, Andrew M. Stroth, said Tuesday the shooting and disturbing video posed a test for Lightfoot and new Police Superintendent David Brown, who comes from Dallas with a reputation as a reformer.

“While managing the COVID pandemic is the top priority, Mayor Lightfoot must address another crisis in Chicago and that is the use of excessive and lethal force by Chicago police officers,” he said.

The new videos were released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the city agency that investigates alleged misconduct by police.

The accountability agency said their release was consistent with a transparency policy, one implemented in the wake of 2015 protests after the city delayed release of video for over a year that showed a white officer shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times as he walked away from police with a folded knife.

The officers in Roman’s case have been stripped of their police powers pending the outcome of an investigation. They could face criminal charges if the shooting is deemed unjustified.

Minutes before the shooting, video shows a seemingly relaxed Roman walking from one subway car to another, while listening to earphones. One officer follows him into the other car and approaches him as he pulls off his earphones to listen. Seconds later, he steps off the train at the Grand station stop.

Off the train, officers speak to Roman briefly before he seems to bolt for the escalator, with the officers on his heels. The bystander video released earlier shows officers tackling Roman, pepper spraying and Tasering him as he tries to wriggle from their grasp. In the bystander video, Roman can be heard saying, “I did nothing to you.” A male officer on his back keeps yelling, “Stop resisting!”

Moments later, as Roman stands, he is shot in the stomach and he then scurries up the stairs. He is shot a second time in the lower back when he gets to the top.

Lawyers for Roman say he clearly wasn’t armed when the female officer shot him the first time, nor when the injured Roman scrambled up the escalator with his back turned. The first bullet damaged his small intestine and bladder, and the second one entered his buttocks and lodged near a sciatic nerve, his lawyers say.

Two days after Roman was shot, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office dropped resisting arrest and criminal narcotics charges against Roman at the request of then-interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck. Roman in March sued the city and the two officers for unspecified damages.

April 30, 2020. Tags: . Police brutality. Leave a comment.

Even nation’s largest health systems laying off health care workers amid COVID pandemic

Even nation’s largest health systems laying off health care workers amid COVID pandemic

April 24, 2020

As the novel coronavirus leaves a path of human devastation in its wake, the financial future of some of the nation’s largest health care systems is also now in jeopardy — leading many of these institutions to let go of health care workers at a time when patients need them most.

While private practices and smaller health systems were some of the first to be affected, as time has stretched on, some of the country’s largest health systems have shown that they too are vulnerable.

COVID-19 has kept many doctors and nurses busy, but diversion of health care resources towards the care for those with the virus has been an unprecedented financial drain, since then many of the hospitals’ usual stream of revenue — including pricey elective surgeries — has been shut off. Now, some of the nation’s biggest health systems claim they cannot weather this storm without sacrificing employee jobs or cutting their pay.

“It is disheartening to see front-line health care workers being laid off and furloughed,” said Dr. Jay Bhatt, an internist in Chicago and ABC News Contributor. “I have seen my colleagues and friends who were proud to be health care workers now on the front lines of unemployment who are anxious about how this will impact themselves and their families.”

A $100 billion chunk of the $2 trillion economic relief package, dubbed the CARES Act, earmarked for hospitals has helped — but hospital leaders say it’s not enough to match the drastic losses.

“The CARES Act funding and some state funding we’ve received have been very helpful and timely, but it’s kind of a drop in the bucket in terms of how much our members are going to really difficult financial position that they’re currently,” said Ruthanne Sudderth, a spokesperson for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA), which represents all community hospitals across the state of Michigan.

The House approved another relief bill Thursday that includes an additional $75 billion for hospitals.

An analysis this week by the Hospital and Health Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) highlighted the financial challenge health systems are facing, stating that in March, “hospital operating margins dropped by an estimated $914 million compared to expectations.”

HAP is a non-profit membership services organization that represents over 240 member hospitals. The organization said the financial trouble is “a result of the cancellation and delay of all non-emergent procedures and precipitous declines in patient volume resulting from forgoing care.” ABC News previously reported medical professionals are concerned people with serious non-coronavirus conditions may be staying home rather than going to the hospital for fear of contracting the virus.

The report emphasized that Pennsylvania expects massive losses statewide for the upcoming financial quarter — ranging from $4.4 billion to $4.86 billion total.

Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the umbrella organization which owns 50% of the Johns Hopkins Health System, announced on Tuesday the implementation of various cost-cutting measures, including salary freezes for all staff and faculty — which includes health care workers at the organization — the suspension of retirement contributions and a sweeping organization-wide hiring freeze. The salaries of higher-level employees like the university president, provost and deans were also cut.

Johns Hopkins Health System is the largest health system in Maryland and Johns Hopkins institutions are the largest non-government employer in the state. The new cuts at JHU signaled a startling reversal of fortunes. Before the pandemic, its leaders had projected JHU would bring in $72 million this year. Now, it expects to lose $100 million.

Beyond the loss of elective surgeries ​and services, JHU said it expects less income from student tuition and fees for things like on-campus housing and dining, and loss of philanthropic gifts.

Meanwhile, two of Michigan’s largest health systems, Beaumont Health and Henry Ford Health System also announced this month they are laying off thousands of employees.

Beaumont Health, which says it has taken care of more COVID-19 patients than any other health system in Michigan, said it is temporarily laying off approximately 2,500 employees and permanently eliminating 450 positions, citing economic pressures. When reviewing its most recent fiscal quarter, it found net income dropped by approximately $400 million compared to the same quarter one year prior.

Henry Ford, located in Detroit, announced a mass furlough of approximately 2,800 employees across its six-hospital system. As of March 2020, it cited net losses of $234.5 million for the first quarter, a decrease of $354.9 million over the same period in 2019. “Furlough” is a mandated unpaid temporary leave of absence where the employee usually gets to return to their job in the future, in this case, presumably when the pandemic ends.

Wright L. Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford, described these layoffs as “painful” but necessary realities.

Integris Health, Oklahoma’s largest non-profit healthcare system, operating 19 hospitals across the state, closed one of its hospitals in Oklahoma City, and furloughed employees, cut executives’ pay, and suspended their retirement benefit contributions.

The most recent report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics showed the health care workforce lost 43,000 jobs in March 2020, but at that time this was primarily due to job losses in dental offices and private physician offices, not layoffs from large healthcare institutions. But a lot has rapidly changed in the healthcare economic landscape since these numbers were released.

Even those working on the front line in COVID-19 hotspots are not immune. Dr. Bill O’Callahan, an emergency department (ED) physician outside of Boston, said, “In my ED group we’ve cut back our hours and cut pay by 30%… I anticipate bigger cuts coming.”

Amid the financial pinch, some groups of healthcare workers have turned to grassroots efforts. This month, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) created a relief fund with $200,000, money explicitly dedicated towards assisting emergency nurses experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. The ENA plans to grow this fund to be able to provide for more emergency nurses in need.

While the coronavirus curve in some areas seems to be flattening, experts say the hardship is far from over, and could be made all the more difficult as healthcare workers lose their jobs just when they’re needed most.

April 30, 2020. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

It’s Not About Your Health – What’s Really Going On with the Economic Lockdowns?

It’s Not About Your Health – What’s Really Going On with the Economic Lockdowns?

April 24, 2020

When the State tells you it’s safe to go to Home Depot to buy a sponge but dangerous to go and buy a flower, it’s not about your health.

When the State shuts down millions of private businesses but doesn’t lay off a single government employee, it’s not about your health.

When the State bans dentists because its unsafe, but deems an abortion visit is safe, it’s not about your health.

When the State prevents you from buying cucumber seeds because it’s dangerous, but allows personal lottery ticket sales, it’s not about your health.

When the State tells you it’s dangerous to go golf alone, fish alone or be in a motor boat alone, but the Governor can get his stage make-up done, and hair done for 5 TV appearances a week, it’s not about your health.

When the state puts you IN a jail cell for walking in a park with your child because it’s too dangerous but lets criminals OUT of jail cells for their health- It’s not about YOUR health!

When the state tells you it’s too dangerous to get treated by a doctor for chiropractic or physical therapy treatments yet deems a liquor store essential- It’s not about your health!

When the State lets you go to the grocery store or hardware store but is demanding mail-in voting, ITS NOT ABOUT YOUR HEALTH.

WAKE UP PEOPLE — If you think this is all about your health you’re mistaken! Please open your eyes! Stop being lead like blind sheep.

April 30, 2020. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

Olive Garden parent reopened nearly all of its dining rooms in Georgia. Here are the new COVID-19 rules.

Olive Garden parent reopened nearly all of its dining rooms in Georgia. Here are the new COVID-19 rules.

April 29, 2020

Chico’s announced a phased reopening of its shops starting May 4

If you’re in Georgia and want to have dinner out at a restaurant, there’s a table waiting for you at the Olive Garden.

Darden Restaurants Inc., Olive Garden’s parent company, opened most of its dining rooms, about 100 in that state, for service on Monday. The company also opened some of its restaurants in Tennessee for dine-in service.

Darden’s portfolio of restaurant chains includes LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, The Capital Grille and other names in addition to Olive Garden.

Going out for a meal at the local Olive Garden is different amid COVID-19. All workers will be wearing masks, the dining room layout has been changed in order to promote social distancing and, in keeping with re-opening rules issued by the state, Darden Restaurants will only serve parties of six or fewer.

State guidelines also limit the number of guests inside restaurants to no more than 10 people per 500 square feet of dining space.

In addition, the company says tables are disinfected after every guest, there’s frequent hand-washing among staff, and workers have their temperature checked before each shift.

Texas has also announced plans to lift some restrictions, with stores, restaurants, museums and more allowed to reopen at 25% capacity starting Friday. A spokesperson for Darden Restaurants told MarketWatch “it’s too soon to say” if restaurants will reopen in that state on Friday and the company is reviewing it.

Restaurants nationwide have been operating with takeout, delivery and pickup-service only for weeks due to stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of coronavirus. The measures have put significant pressure on restaurants and retailers, with many restaurants likely not surviving.

In late March, Darden Restaurants said it experienced a sharp same-restaurant sales decline after it ended dine-in service. However, the company announced earlier this month that it had $1 billion in cash on hand.

“The quick re-opening of dining rooms in Georgia and Tennessee suggests that Olive Garden will be at the forefront of re-opening dining rooms as state restrictions are eased,” wrote SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts, calling the approach “aggressive.”

Stifel analysts note that many of the state re-opening plans introduced so far include guidelines to continue social distancing, and some chains may choose to hold off on re-opening in order to evaluate the rules.

“The average casual dining chain has seating capacity for 250-to-300 people; even at half capacity this would require over 6,800 square feet of available dining space,” analysts wrote, regarding the reopening of restaurants in Georgia. “Of the casual diners we cover, Darden has the most exposure to Georgia, with approximately 6% of system units located in the state.”

Stifel rates Darden shares buy.

Texas will be the first of what Stifel calls the “Big Three” in casual dining to give guidance on reopening. The other two states are Florida and California.

Darden has tumbled 35% over the last year. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.77% is down 0.1% for the past 12 months.

On the retail front, shares of Chico’s FAS Inc. CHS, +1.91% soared 28.7% in Tuesday trading, ultimately closing up 12.7%, after the women’s apparel and accessories retailer announced plans to begin reopening stores on May 4.

Chico’s portfolio includes the namesake chain, White House Black Market and Soma.

The reopening will happen in three phases: first the company will use its stores to fulfill online orders, then buy-online-pickup-in-stores using contactless curbside pickup, and, finally, shop by appointment for all of its brands.

“We believe we will have some significant advantages in the next several months as the majority of our stores are under 3,500 square feet and are located in easily accessible shopping plazas,” said Chief Executive Bonnie Brooks in a statement. “Due to the smaller size of our boutiques, Chico’s FAS has the ability to reopen quickly and safely and to follow enhanced safety precautions.”

Brooks says Chico’s has experienced double-digit digital growth over the past six weeks. The growth was driven by certain categories, including active and sleep, and, according to Brooks, a tech enhancement. Store management was given a handheld device containing proprietary styling software, Style Connect, that “allows for intimate but distanced connection” with customers.

For the 13 weeks ending February 1, same-store sales were up 2.2%, after three consecutive quarters of negative same-store sales. For the four weeks ending February 29, same-store sales were up 2.7%.

Chico’s has reduced weekly cash burn “significantly” in the past few weeks, and Interim Chief Financial Officer David Brooks says the company has taken action to cut operating expenses by 30%. First-quarter results will be announced on June 10.

Chico’s stock has plummeted 55.8% over the past year.

April 30, 2020. Tags: , , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

The Roads Are Quieter Due to Coronavirus, but There Are More Fatal Car Crashes

The Roads Are Quieter Due to Coronavirus, but There Are More Fatal Car Crashes

Some states say auto fatality rates are rising despite a decrease in traffic volume

April 29, 2020

Fewer drivers are hitting the road during the pandemic, yet police in some places have made an unexpected discovery: an increase in deadly car crashes.

Minnesota and Louisiana recorded more traffic fatalities during the coronavirus crisis than in the same periods of past years, even though there were far fewer drivers on the road because of stay-at-home orders. In states including Missouri, fatality rates increased even as total crash deaths declined, according to state officials.

Speeding is a top cause of crash deaths in the U.S., and highway officials say it is a major culprit in the recent carnage.

Between March 16 and April 21, 35 people died in car crashes across Minnesota – the most in that period in at least six years. At the same time, state officials say, about half as many cars as normal have been cruising along the state’s roads.

“There’s a lot more available lane space for people to use – and abuse,” said Michael Hanson, director of Minnesota’s Office of Traffic Safety, adding that speeding and aggressive or careless driving were the most common factors in the lethal crashes. Among the drivers Minnesota police pulled over was a man clocked going 110 mph who told the officer he was just out for a joy ride.

The state has ramped up public outreach, and Gov. Tim Walz earlier this month urged residents to “please, please” watch their driving.

In Louisiana, where officials say traffic fell by about one-third after a March stay-at-home order, initial figures show that from March 16 to April 20, the number of fatal crashes rose to 66 from 61 during the same period in 2019, the Louisiana State Police said. Lack of seat-belt usage, impairment and distraction were factors, officials said.

Fatalities should have fallen, said Lisa Freeman, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. “That is a very concerning disconnect.”

Passenger vehicle miles traveled, a measure of traffic volume, fell in every state, from 31% in Arkansas to 61% in New Jersey during the April 13-17 period compared with the last week of February, according to transportation analytics firm Inrix.

Roads in the 10 biggest metro areas have emptied, with volume down 63% in the New York City region. Meanwhile, cars are going faster during morning and evening rush hours, Inrix found in comparing April 13-17 with the first two weeks of March. The biggest jump in the 10 metro areas came in Los Angeles, where the average 5 p.m. speed rose from about 39 mph to 61 mph on limited-access roads and highways.

Some places have recorded far fewer crash deaths despite an increase in speeding. The California Highway Patrol said there were 10 fatal collisions in the month following the March 19 launch of a statewide stay-at-home order, compared with an average of 150 in that span during the previous four years, based on preliminary data. A spokeswoman pointed to stepped-up public education and enforcement as possible factors.

That said, the highway patrol wrote about 2,500 speeding tickets to drivers caught going more than 100 mph. That was an 87% jump from a year earlier, despite a roughly 35% drop in traffic volume on state roads.

In New York City, cameras captured 296,000 speeders during a five-week stretch beginning in mid-March, an 81% increase from the same period in 2019, according to data collected by the city’s speed-camera vendor Verra Mobility. The city says traffic deaths are sharply lower, however.

Patrick McKenna, director of Missouri’s Department of Transportation, said fatalities are down just over 10% in that state, which would be good news if traffic volume wasn’t off 40%.

“On a miles-driven basis, the fatalities are up,” he said, adding that he has talked with counterparts in other states who report similar trends.

“My biggest concern is once we open up the floodgates and people can get out there and travel freely again, what are we going to see?” said Pam Fischer, senior director of external engagement at the nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety offices.

April 30, 2020. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

NYC Mayor Threatens to Shut Down Synagogues, Churches: But not Mosques

NYC Mayor Threatens to Shut Down Synagogues, Churches: But not Mosques

March 30, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened on Friday that the Big Apple could close down certain places of worship if New Yorkers continue violating the state’s stay-at-home restrictions and keep congregating for religious services at those locations report Fox News.

“A small number of religious communities, specific churches and specific synagogues are unfortunately not paying attention to this guidance even though it’s so widespread,” the Democrat mayor said at a news conference on the coronavirus crisis.

And although the corona-count hit the 1,000 mark in NYC on Sunday, city officials continue to work hard to control the spread of the pandemic.

“I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend: If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” he added.

Interestingly, de Blasio made no mention of the over one-hundred mosques in New York City.

De Blasio was also under fire recently for his bail reform whose lack of deterrent led many in New York’s Jewish community blamed for the increased antisemitic assaults.

April 30, 2020. Tags: , , , , . COVID-19, Religion. Leave a comment.

Muslim Call To Prayer To Be Blasted Over Major U.S. City Five Times A Day

Muslim Call To Prayer To Be Blasted Over Major U.S. City Five Times A Day

April 25, 2020

A Minneapolis neighborhood, which lies in controversial Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s district, will begin broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer five times a day over outdoor loudspeakers throughout the month of Ramadan, reports say.

The move is “believed to be the first publicly-broadcast call to prayer in a major US city,” al Jazeera English said in a post on Twitter.

The simple, short call – known as the adhan – marked an historical moment for Minneapolis and major cities across the United States, community members said. While the adhan is commonly broadcast throughout the Middle East, North Africa and other places, for many Muslims in the US, it is only heard inside mosques or community centres.

“There’s definitely a lot of excitement,” said Imam Abdisalam Adam, who is on the board of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque, from where the adhan will be broadcast.

“Some people see it as historic,” Adam told Al Jazeera. “To the point … that they’re not doing it, able to see it in their lifetime.”

The city granted a noise permit for the prayer.

“Tonight’s historic call to prayer in Minneapolis will bring comfort and remind the faithful and the neighborhood that as we are physically distant we can still be connected to our faith and mosque,” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said in a statement.

The call to prayer is being issued via an amplified public address system on the rooftop of the Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood,” Biz Pac Review reported. “According to the Sahan Journal, the P.A. system and technical support necessary for the community-wide vocal calls were provided by First Avenue (a famous nightclub and music venue that became a national landmark of sorts after Prince used it as a location for several scenes in the movie “Purple Rain”). The city of Minneapolis issued a noise permit for the calls to prayer that start at sunrise and end at sunset.”

Cedar-Riverside is a neighborhood that in recent years has become one of the most densely populated areas of Islamic immigrants in the country, principally coming from Somalia and Ethiopia. It was in that neighborhood that two years ago, a group of Muslims was reported to be patrolling the area, confronting people who were not following tenets of Sharia law.

Locals have for years called the area “Little Mogadishu” and it is known to have been a recruiting ground for Islamic terrorists.

Some residents were not happy.

“Pathetic! People can’t go to church or sit in their cars and listen to the gospel, but this….Unf***ing believable,” one person wrote on Twitter.

“Yes! It is not ok for Christians to pray over loud speakers. Something to do with our constitution and not pushing another religion on to another. If we do it’s a guarantee law suit from the Islamic Terrorist org, CAIR. Nuts, right!?” wrote another.

April 30, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Ilhan Omar, Islamization, Religion. 1 comment.

Clip surfaces of Biden accuser Tara Reade’s mother phoning into ‘Larry King Live’ in 1993 alluding to claim

Clip surfaces of Biden accuser Tara Reade’s mother phoning into ‘Larry King Live’ in 1993 alluding to claim

April 25, 2020

A resurfaced clip of “Larry King Live” from 1993 appears to include the mother of Tara Reade — who has accused Joe Biden of past sexual assault while in the Senate — alluding to “problems” her daughter faced while working as a staffer for the then-U.S. senator from Delaware.

In a telephone interview with Fox News on Friday night, Reade confirmed that her mother called in to the show. Biden’s presidential campaign has adamantly denied Reade’s allegations but the video could be cited as evidence supporting Reade’s allegation – even though her late mother, in the clip, does not specifically refer to a sexual assault claim.

The Intercept on Friday first reported the transcript of a broadcast from Aug. 11, 1993, of a woman from San Luis Obispo County, Calif., calling in to the show about her daughter’s experience on Capitol Hill.

“San Luis Obispo, California, hello,” King begins.

“Yes, hello. I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him,” the caller says.

“In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?” King inquires.

“That’s true,” the woman responds before King cuts away to a panel to discuss her claim.

That woman was Jeanette Altimus, Reade’s mother, Reade told news outlets, including Fox News.

Later Friday, the Media Research Center found the clip in its archives matching the information provided by The Intercept.

Reade took to Twitter to confirm that it was her mother who called in to “Larry King Live.”

“This is my mom. I miss her so much and her brave support of me,” Reade tweeted about her mother, who died in 2016.

Reade’s story first resurfaced in an article in The Intercept on March 24. Podcast host Katie Halper then interviewed Reade, who said that in 1993, a more senior member of Biden’s staff asked her to bring the then-senator his gym bag near the U.S. Capitol building, which led to the encounter in question.

“He greeted me, he remembered my name, and then we were alone. It was the strangest thing,” Reade told Halper. “There was no like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”

Reade said that she was wearing “a business skirt,” but “wasn’t wearing stockings — it was a hot day.”

She continued: “His hands were on me and underneath my clothes, and he went down my skirt and then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers and he was kissing me at the same time and he was saying some things to me.”

Reade claimed Biden first asked if she wanted “to go somewhere else.”

“I pulled away, he got finished doing what he was doing,” Reade said. “He said: ‘Come on, man. I heard you liked me.’”

Reade said she tried to share her story last year, but nobody listened to her. Earlier this month, she filed a criminal complaint against Biden with police in Washington, D.C.

Fox News reached out to the Biden campaign on Friday for comment. The campaign referred Fox News to a statement earlier this month from Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield that said: “What is clear about this claim: it is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”

“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” Bedingfield said. “He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard – and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press.

Speaking to Fox News on Friday, Reade recalled being “furious” at her mother for phoning in to CNN after having watched the clip on a recorded tape following the broadcast.

She told Fox News she “dreamt” about her mother on Thursday night. The following morning, The Intercept’s Ryan Grim told her that he found the transcript.

Reade said she “cried” when she watched the clip on Friday evening, telling Fox News it had been years since she had heard mother’s voice. She had urged Reade to file a police report at the time of the alleged assault, Reade said.

“Always listen to your mom, always listen to your mom,” an emotional Reade told Fox News.

Still, the mother’s interview doesn’t specifically corroborate Reade’s latest allegations of assault, and could be referring more to the bullying allegations she raised last year. In a 2020 interview, Reade laid more blame with Biden’s staffers for “bullying her” than with Biden himself, The Washington Post reported.

Reade has come forward before: Last year, when multiple women emerged claiming inappropriate touching by Biden.

Reade, at the time, claimed Biden put his hands on her shoulders and rubbed his fingers up and down her neck, but was unable to gain traction on her story aside from an article in a local newspaper.

But in recent weeks, Reade told a far more graphic account, with different and more serious details, raising the allegation to the level of sexual assault.

“Now we’ll see if a different set of rules still applies to Joe Biden,” Erin Perrine, the principal deputy communications for President Trump’s re-election campaign, said in a statement to Fox News. “Maybe now at least one reporter will ask him about it.”

Fox News has also requested comment from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who ran against Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary and recently endorsed Biden’s campaign after wthdrawing from the race.

April 30, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Joe Biden, Politics. Leave a comment.

YouTuber harvest hollow (formerly nerdgirl20) talks about being quarantined

This was recorded in March. The speaker is a 25-year-old Canadian with a degree in film studies. Her regular job is working at a sports bar. She also works at the Toronto Film Festival each year, and occasionally performs live in theatrical plays. Her father passed away from cancer when she was 15. I first discovered her channel many years ago when I was searching for movie reviews.

This particular video is very uplifting. The speaker is doing the best she can to deal with the current situation. She seems to have a really good attitude about life in general.

April 29, 2020. Tags: , , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

We’re destroying hospitals in the name of fighting the coronavirus

We’re destroying hospitals in the name of fighting the coronavirus

April 27, 2020

We had to destroy the hospitals to save them.

You could be forgiven for thinking that’s the upshot of the coronavirus lockdowns that have suspended elective surgeries and generally discouraged people from going to hospitals.

Many hospitals and health centers are getting pushed near, or over, the financial edge. At a time when we feared that hospitals would get overwhelmed by a surge of patients, they have been emptied out. At a time when we thought medical personnel would be at a premium, they are being idled all over the country.

We are experiencing an epidemic that bizarrely — and in part because of the choices of policy-makers — has created a surfeit of hospital beds and an excess of doctors and nurses.

That doesn’t hold true everywhere, of course. Hospitals in New York City and parts of New Jersey have been tested to their limits. But throughout much of the country, hospitals are drastically underutilized, both because states have banned elective procedures and because people have been afraid to show up.

One reason that we didn’t want hospitals to get overrun by COVID-19 patients is that we’d crowd out everyone else needing care. But we’ve ended up crowding out many people needing care as a deliberate choice — even where COVID-19 surges haven’t happened and probably never will.

Drastic measures were called for when the novel coronavirus hit our shores and began to spread out of control, especially in urban areas particularly susceptible to the pandemic.

It is understandable that we wanted hospitals to prepare for the worst and preserve and muster the equipment necessary to caring safely for infected people. Hospitals themselves can become a vector for the spread of the virus, so keeping away people who didn’t absolutely need to go was a reasonable impulse.

But this is a case where the cure may really have been worse than the disease — or at least has created its own crisis.

Elective surgeries are a major source of revenue for hospitals, which have taken an enormous hit as they have disappeared, often in response to state orders.

West Tennessee Healthcare, based in Jackson, Tenn., lost $18 million in March after the state prohibited elective surgeries. It furloughed 1,100 out of a 7,000-person staff, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. Summit Healthcare in Arizona ­expects as much as a 50 percent drop in revenue after the Grand Canyon State’s ban on elective surgeries. Philadelphia-based Tower Health, also dealing with a 50 percent drop in revenue, furloughed 1,000 employees out of 14,000.

The examples go on and on and on. Even hospitals in New York state, an epicenter for the virus, are feeling the pinch. Catholic Health and Kaleida Health in Buffalo are furloughing workers. So is ­Mohawk Valley Health System in Utica, Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca and Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Elective surgeries aren’t necessarily what you think. As a piece in The Atlantic pointed out, they aren’t just knee replacements. They include procedures for serious illnesses like cancer. A recent New York Times story was headlined “The Pandemic’s Hidden Victims: Sick or ­Dying, but Not From the Virus.” It led with the story of a Rutgers University professor who couldn’t get treatment for the recurrence of his blood cancer.

As with the lockdowns in general, it isn’t clear how much of the reduced traffic in the hospitals has been the result of people changing their behavior on their own based on fear of the virus — and how much has been the result of state edicts. But it’s certainly true that the prohibitions on elective surgeries — more than 30 governors had issued some form of them as of late April — were too clumsy and sweeping, and not geographically selective enough.

They can’t be loosened up fast enough. In retrospect, they fail the cardinal rule of health care: First, do no harm.

April 28, 2020. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

U.S. medical testing, cancer screenings plunge during coronavirus outbreak – data firm analysis

U.S. medical testing, cancer screenings plunge during coronavirus outbreak – data firm analysis

April 28, 2020

(Reuters) – Routine medical tests critical for detecting and monitoring cancer and other conditions plummeted in the United States since mid-March, as the coronavirus spread and public officials urged residents to stay home, according to a new report by Komodo Health.

Diagnostic panels and cancer screenings typically performed during annual physician visits fell by as much as 68% nationally, and by even more in coronavirus hotspots.

These tests, office visits, surgeries and other medical care tied to them, are key sources of revenue for hospitals and healthcare systems that had to curb lucrative elective procedures to assure room for a crush of patients with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

Millions of patients postponed tests considered crucial for detecting early signs of disease, monitoring its progression and improving patient outcomes, according to Komodo, which has one of the nation’s largest medical claims data bases and provided its new findings exclusively to Reuters.

Cervical cancer screenings were down 68%, cholesterol panels fell by 67% and the blood sugar test to detect diabetes were off 65% nationally. This could all prove very costly down the road.

“We’re seeing a tremendous impact on preventative care, as well as on chronic conditions with massive implications for the healthcare system,” said Komodo Health Chief Executive Dr. Arif Nathoo. “It speaks volumes to just how much COVID is impacting everyone’s health and wellness.”

San Francisco-based Komodo reviewed billing records of 320 million patients across the country from March 19 to April 20 and compared it to the preceding 11 weeks and a similar period last year.

It found the sharpest decline of tests and screenings in areas hardest hit by the epidemic, such as New York’s Manhattan, where A1c blood tests for diabetes dropped by more than 90%. In Massachusetts, cholesterol testing fell 80.5%, while in California, screening to detect cervical cancer before it spreads and becomes difficult to treat were off 76.3%.

“A lot of these tests are run infrequently, but they are run when a patient visits their doctor,” Nathoo said.

Data from Komodo and others have begun to shine light on the gaps in care created by an epidemic that has infected close 1 million people in the United States, and could have a lasting impact on the U.S. healthcare system beyond COVID-19.

There are millions of patients that have deferred care. And a lot of these patients are chronically ill patients with all kinds of complications,” said David Linetsky, head of life sciences at Phreesia, a New York-based patient intake technology company. “There are going to be tremendous health repercussions.”

Linetsky co-authored an analysis with researchers at Harvard University released last week that found outpatient office visits fell nearly 60% in mid-March and remained low through mid-April.

Dr. David Tom Cooke, head of general thoracic surgery at UC-Davis Health, said his cancer patients are getting treatment. But he worries new cancers will go undetected until they are more advanced and less survivable.

We’re not doing cancer screenings, such as mammography for breast cancer, and lung cancer screening,” he said. “There is concern that we are delaying standard of care treatment for patients with potentially curable cancers.”


The growing backlog has created new challenges for hospitals, physicians and clinics. Some practices estimate a four- to six-month delay for each month of lockdown that prevents routine visits and screening.

Business is down 75% at Family Medicine Associates in Attleboro, Massachusetts, a typically bustling practice with more than 10,000 patients.

Last week, the practice closed one of two offices and furloughed half the staff. They hope to re-open in June or sooner, if they get a Small Business Administration loan, said Dr. Jennifer Souza, one of the eight physicians there.

The practice had initially limited appointments so no more than two patients sat in the waiting room at a time. More recently, patients have stayed away on their own, fearing they might contract the virus. Physicians, too, worry about putting their sicker patients at risk by scheduling office visits.

On Monday, Souza visited the home of a legally blind patient with diabetes who had fallen, likely from worsening neuropathy, she said. Normally, the patient would have taken a dial-a-ride service for an exam and A1c test. “But his risk for complications is so high that I would be nervous for him to get that extra exposure,” she said.

Diagnostic screenings may not be as lucrative for hospitals and physicians as elective procedures, like knee replacements and cataract surgeries, but they play a crucial role in detecting problems that can lead to more expansive care, said Mallory Caldwell, principal at Ernest & Young.

The sheer volume of routine office visits and diagnostic exams also sustains many medical practices, especially in low-income communities and rural areas that were already struggling before the outbreak. Last year, 19 rural hospitals shuttered, the highest spike of closures in a decade.

If patients continue to stay away, healthcare policy experts worry these hospitals and clinics may not have the financial cushion to survive.

“If those practices shut down,” said Ateev Mehrotra, healthcare policy associate professor at Harvard Medical School, “then the access problems that already exist in those communities, and the disparity in care, could be exacerbated.”

April 28, 2020. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

Coronavirus: Has Sweden got its science right?

Coronavirus: Has Sweden got its science right?

April 25, 2020

Sweden’s strategy to keep large parts of society open is widely backed by the public. It has been devised by scientists and backed by government, and yet not all the country’s virologists are convinced.

There is no lockdown here. Photos have been shared around the world of bars with crammed outdoor seating and long queues for waterfront ice cream kiosks, and yet it is a myth that life here goes on “as normal”.

On the face of it little has shut down. But data suggests the vast majority of the population have taken to voluntary social distancing, which is the crux of Sweden’s strategy to slow the spread of the virus.

Usage of public transport has dropped significantly, large numbers are working from home, and most refrained from travelling over the Easter weekend. The government has also banned gatherings of more than 50 people and visits to elderly care homes.

Around 9 in 10 Swedes say they keep at least a metre away from people at least some of the time, up from seven in 10 a month ago, according to a major survey by polling firm Novus.

How serious is Sweden’s outbreak?

Viewed through the eyes of the Swedish Public Health Agency, the way people have responded is one to be celebrated, albeit cautiously.

The scientists’ approach has led to weeks of global debate over whether Sweden has adopted a sensible and sustainable plan, or unwittingly plunged its population into an experiment that is causing unnecessary fatalities, and could fail to keep the spread of Covid-19 under control.

In Stockholm, the epicentre of the virus so far, cases have largely plateaued, although there was a spike at the end of this week, put down partly to increased testing.

There is still space in intensive care units and a new field hospital at a former conference venue is yet to be used.

“To a great part, we have been able to achieve what we set out to achieve,” says state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. “Swedish healthcare keeps on working, basically with a lot of stress, but not in a way that they turn patients away.”

In contrast with other countries where political leaders have fronted the national response to the crisis, Dr Tegnell has led the majority of news conferences.

His tone is typically matter of fact, with a strong focus on figures, and few mentions of the emotional impact of the crisis on victims and their families.

But the Swedish Public Health Agency has maintained high approval ratings throughout the pandemic.

Why Sweden chose a different path

Sweden’s decision to leave larger parts of society open than most of Europe came after Dr Tegnell’s team used simulations which anticipated a more limited impact of the virus in relation to population size than those made by other scientists, including those behind a major report by Imperial College, London.

That report apparently swayed the UK government to introduce a lockdown.

In addition, the Swedish Public Health Agency pushed the idea early on that a large proportion of cases were likely to be mild.

But it denied its strategy was based on the overall goal of herd immunity.

A core aim was to introduce less stringent social distancing measures that could be maintained over a long period time. Schools for under-16s have remained open to enable parents to keep working in key areas.

All other Nordic countries opted for stricter temporary restrictions, although some of these have since been relaxed.

What do the numbers tell us?

Sweden, with a population of 10 million, remains amongst the top 20 in the world when it comes to the total number of cases, even though it mostly only tests those with severe symptoms. More widespread checks on key workers are now being introduced.

It has higher death rates in relation to its population size than anywhere else in Scandinavia.

Unlike in some countries, Sweden’s statistics do include elderly care home residents, who account for around 50% of all deaths. Dr Tegnell admits that is a major concern.

Foreign residents, particularly those from Somalia who are more likely to live in multi-generational households, are also overrepresented in the figures.

“There are too many people dying,” says Claudia Hanson, an epidemiologist based at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden’s largest medical research facility. She is critical of the government’s approach and argues more of society should have been temporarily shut down in March while officials took stock of the situation.

Dr Hanson is among 22 scientists who wrote a damning piece in Sweden’s leading daily last week, suggesting “officials without talent” had been put in charge of decision-making.

The man leading Sweden’s response

But chief state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell is broadly popular in Sweden. An experienced scientist with more than 30 years in medicine, he is known for his relaxed demeanour and preference for pullovers.

“He’s a low-key person. I think people see him as a strong leader but not a very loud person, careful in what he’s saying,” reflects Emma Frans, a Swedish epidemiologist and science writer. “I think that’s very comforting for many.”

She argues that many national and international media have been “searching for conflict” within the scientific community, whereas she believes there is a consensus that Anders Tegnell’s approach is “quite positive”, or at least “not worse than other strategies”.

Will Swedes develop immunity?

History will judge which countries got it right. But the latest scientific discussion is focused on the number of Swedes who may have contracted the virus without showing any symptoms.

This is important because many scientists here believe Swedes may end up with much higher immunity levels compared with those living under stricter regulations.

A public health agency report this week suggested around a third of people in Stockholm will have been infected by the start of May.

That was later revised down to 26% after the agency admitted a calculation error. But several high-profile scientists have offered even greater numbers.

Prof Johan Giesecke, ex-chief scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), believes at least half of all Stockholmers will have caught the virus by the end of the month.

It could even be up to half the population of Sweden, suggests Stockholm University mathematician Tom Britton.

And until a vaccine is developed, epidemiologist Emma Frans says immunity will “probably be important” for Sweden.

“When it comes to studies and other types of coronaviruses, they have shown that people get immune. Maybe not long-term immunity, but even if we only get this kind of short-term immunity, it may be enough to stop this pandemic,” says Dr Frans.

Why not enough is yet known

The Swedish Public Health Agency believes it is still “too early to say” how much of an impact asymptomatic infection rates will have on protecting the general population.

“We don’t know that much about immunity yet,” says Dr Tegnell’s deputy, Anders Wallensten. “We will know more as more people are tested for antibodies, but also the more time goes on, and if more accounts of re-infection etcetera are reported.”

This uncertainty means there is no guarantee Swedes in areas with high infection rates will see social distancing recommendations lifted any time soon, he says.

Is this Swedish ‘exceptionalism’?

What happens next in Sweden may largely depend on people carrying on with social distancing.

Some Swedes have responded with an “outburst of nationalism” and a “sense of pride, for Sweden deviating from the European norm”, says Prof Nicolas Aylott, a political scientist at Stockholm’s Södertorn University.

“It sort of chimes with a rather deep seated sense of Sweden’s specialness.”

That may encourage some Swedes to follow the recommendations but the country is by no means united.

On social media there has been vocal dissent from some foreign residents championing tougher measures.

Meanwhile, there are signs that others living in Sweden believe the worst of the crisis is over.

Mobile phone data suggests Stockholm’s residents are spending more time in the city centre than a fortnight ago, and last weekend police raised concerns about overcrowding in nightlife hotspots.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has warned it is “not the time to relax” and start spending more time with friends and family.

But with spring weather arriving after Sweden’s notoriously long, dark winter, that may be easier said than done.

April 28, 2020. Tags: , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

Swedish Ambassador Says Stockholm Expected To Reach ‘Herd Immunity’ In May

Swedish Ambassador Says Stockholm Expected To Reach ‘Herd Immunity’ In May

April 26, 2020

Sweden’s ambassador to the U.S. believes the country’s controversial strategy of imposing only limited restrictions — and not locking down the country — is bearing success, with the capital, Stockholm, on course to reach herd immunity in the next few weeks.

“About 30% of people in Stockholm have reached a level of immunity,” Karin Ulrika Olofsdotter told NPR. “We could reach herd immunity in the capital as early as next month.”

Herd immunity means the majority of a given population has become immune to an infectious disease either by recovering from it or through vaccination. Some researchers have put the threshold for coronavirus herd immunity at 60% in some areas.

There is no scientific proof, however, that people who have recovered from COVID-19 are actually protected from a second infection. The World Health Organization on Friday said the idea that one-time infection can lead to immunity remains unproven.

Olofsdotter agreed that more research and testing are needed to answer the lingering question regarding immunity. The Swedish government is ready to change its strategy should the situation require it, but there are currently no plans to switch course, she said.

Schools, restaurants and malls have remained open in Sweden. The government has issued social distancing guidelines, discouraged nonessential travel and recommended that people over 70 stay at home. Authorities also banned gatherings of more than 50 people, and visits to nursing homes are prohibited.

While the vast majority of Swedes approve of and follow the government’s guidelines, reports suggest that Stockholm’s residents have begun to break the rules as the weather gets warmer. The government swiftly responded by threatening to shut down any restaurant or bar that fails to implement adequate social distancing.

“I don’t want to see any full open-air restaurants in Stockholm or anywhere else. Otherwise, businesses will be closed,” Swedish Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg said on Friday.

According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 18,500 confirmed coronavirus cases in Sweden, with 2,194 deaths as of Sunday.

These numbers don’t bode well when compared with those of other Nordic countries. Denmark, which this month relaxed some of its restrictions, is closing in on 8,800 coronavirus cases. Its death toll stands at 422. Finland recently extended its ban on mass gatherings through the summer. The country has more than 4,500 confirmed cases and has reported 190 coronavirus deaths. Denmark and Finland have a population of around 5 million each, which is roughly half of Sweden’s.

“We share the same goal as all other countries, and that is of course to save as many lives as possible and protect public health,” Olofsdotter said. “So we face the same reality as everyone else. But what’s different — and I think it’s important to underline that all countries are different — is that politicians take the measures that they think works best for their country and their general public.”

More than half of all deaths in Sweden have occurred in elderly care homes, Dr. Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency, told CNBC on Thursday. The government is investigating the causes behind the high mortality at the nation’s nursing homes.

“Once we know how the virus got into our elderly care facilities, the government can make recommendations and take measures to try to stop that, because that is the biggest tragedy of all this, that it has gotten into the nursing homes,” Olofsdotter told NPR.

The ambassador said the decision to keep restaurants, shops and schools open during the crisis could potentially speed up Sweden’s economic recovery, but she made clear that businesses and employees have been suffering under the pandemic.

“Our unemployment, which was about 6.5% before, is now roughly around 11% and growing,” she said. “This is, of course, extremely serious, and we expect that our GDP will shrink between 4-10% for 2020.”

European Union leaders last week failed to reach a deal on an economic recovery program for its 27 member states.

This month, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said thousands in the country could die.

“We have chosen a strategy of trying to flatten the curve and not get too dramatic a process, because then the health care system probably will not cope,” he told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. “But it also means that we will have more seriously ill people who need intensive care — we will have significantly more deaths. We will count the dead in thousands.”

April 28, 2020. Tags: , , . COVID-19. 2 comments.

New York Times: “Some medical experts fear more people are dying from untreated emergencies than from the coronavirus.”

Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, Heart and Stroke Patients Go Missing

Emergency physicians are seeing declines in the number of patients arriving with cardiac problems. Some say they were afraid to go to the hospital.

April 25, 2020

Bishnu Virachan was a bicycle deliveryman for a grocery store in Queens. With New York City locked down, he was busier than ever.

But in early April, as he was watching television, he felt “a pain in my heart.” It frightened him, but he did not go to the emergency room. Mr. Virachan, 43, was even more afraid of that.

“What can I do? What can I do?” he asked. “Everywhere, the coronavirus.”

After a few days, pain overrode fear and he went to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Doctors discovered a nearly complete blockage of his left main coronary artery.

A surgeon opened the artery, but Mr. Virachan was left with a weakened heart. Had he waited much longer, doctors said, he would have died.

Fear of the coronavirus is leading people with life-threatening emergencies, like a heart attack or stroke, to stay home when ordinarily they would have rushed to the emergency room, preliminary research suggests. Without prompt treatment, some patients, like Mr. Virachan, have suffered permanent damage or have died.

Emergency rooms have about half the normal number of patients, and heart and stroke units are nearly empty, according to doctors at many urban medical centers. Some medical experts fear more people are dying from untreated emergencies than from the coronavirus.

A recent paper by cardiologists at nine large medical centers estimated a 38 percent reduction since March 1 in the number patients with serious heart attacks coming in to have urgently needed procedures to open their arteries.

On a recent day at the Cleveland Clinic, there were only seven patients in the 24-bed coronary care unit. Usually the unit is full.

“Where are the patients?” asked Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist there. “That can’t be normal.”

One of the few was a man who lives in Cleveland. According to Dr. Nissen, the man felt chest pain while doing push-ups, but feared going to the hospital because there might be coronavirus patients there. He stayed home for a week, growing weaker — out of breath with the slightest exertion, his legs swelling. Finally, on April 16, he went to the Cleveland Clinic.

What should have been an easily treated heart attack had progressed to a life-threatening disaster. He survived after a dicey operation and spent nearly a week in intensive care, including several days on a ventilator, Dr. Nissen said.

The inpatient stroke unit at Stanford University Medical Center in California usually has 12 to 15 patients, said its director, Dr. Gregory Albers. On one recent day in April, there were none at all, something that had never happened.

“It’s frightening,” Dr. Albers said. Yet few Covid-19 patients have been admitted to the hospital, and people needing emergency treatment have little to fear.

“We prepared for an onslaught, but it has not arrived,” Dr. Albers said.

According to Dr. Samin Sharma, who heads the cardiac catheterization lab at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, the number of heart attack patients fell from seven in February to three in March. So far in April there have been only two.

It’s not just the United States. Dr. Valentin Fuster, editor of the Journal of American College of Cardiology, said he is getting so many papers from around the world on the steep decline in heart attack patients in hospitals that he simply cannot publish them all.

A hospital in Jaipur, India, for example, that Dr. Sharma owns, treated 45 heart attack patients in January, he said. In February, there were 32, and in March, 12. In April, so far the number is just six.

Researchers in Austria estimated that in March 110 citizens died from untreated heart attacks, compared with 86 who died of Covid-19. They based their calculations on a precipitous decline in patients going to hospitals, the expected number of heart attacks in Austria, and the mortality rates of untreated heart attacks.

“I am very very worried that we are creating a problem that will have long-term consequences for the health of the community,” said Dr. Richard A. Chazal, medical director of the Heart and Vascular Institute at Lee Health in Fort Myers, Fla., and a past president of the American College of Cardiology.

Could it be that there actually are fewer medical emergencies now? Dr. Fuster speculated that perhaps people are healthier because they are eating better, exercising more and under less stress now that so many are working from home. And, of course, the air is cleaner in urban areas.

Other experts doubt that better health habits could have such dramatic and immediate effects. Far from eating better, Dr. Nissen said, many patients tell him they are overeating comfort food. There is no evidence that people are exercising more, and people are hardly under less stress.

“They are scared to death,” Dr. Nissen said.

And, he said, even if some people changed their habits, studies have failed to find any immediate effects of short-term lifestyle changes on heart attack rates.

At the moment, it is nearly impossible to know who is not showing up in emergency rooms, and why, said Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale University. “You can’t find the dog that doesn’t bark,” he said.

But you can get a sense from the patients who do show up, even belatedly.

Kaplana Jain, 60, of Cresskill, N.J, was watching CNN late at night on April 18. She got up to go to the bathroom and collapsed on the floor. Her blood sugar was elevated, and her family called 911.

When the paramedics arrived, Ms. Jain told them she did not want to go to the hospital. “I was scared because of the coronavirus going on,” she said.

The next day, unable to walk, she called Dr. Sharma, a family friend. He urged her to go to the hospital, but still fearful, she insisted on going to his office the next day.

When she arrived, Dr. Sharma did an EKG that confirmed she was having a heart attack. He rushed her to the hospital and opened a blocked artery.

“She is one of the lucky people with this kind of heart attack who didn’t develop cardiac arrest or go into shock,” he said. Had she not gone to the hospital, she likely would have died at home.

Back at the Cleveland Clinic, a man arrived with stroke symptoms on April 15. According to Dr. Thomas Waters, an emergency room physician, the man had waited two days to come in because he was afraid of the coronavirus. There was nothing doctors could do to prevent permanent brain damage.

“What’s done is done,” Dr. Waters said. “Now we are at a point where we have nothing to offer but rehab.”

April 28, 2020. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

The irresponsible, biased, and scaremonger mainstream media has been dishonestly and grossly overstating the death rate of COVID-19 in order to try to justify totalitarian lockdowns and economic destruction. Here are examples of doctors and scientists showing that the real COVID-19 death rate is far, far lower than what the mainstream media has been saying.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

April 23, 2020

On March 30, 2020, I wrote:

It’s possible that the number of people in the U.S. who are infected with COVID-19 is much bigger than the number that is being currently reported, but many of those people haven’t gotten substantially sick, and so haven’t gotten tested.

The death rate is calculated by dividing the number of people who die by the number who get infected.

But while we do have accurate information about the numerator, we really have no idea what the denominator is. It’s possible that the real denominator is magnitudes bigger than what is being reported, because most infected people have either no symptoms or minor symptoms, and thus, don’t get tested. If this is indeed the case, then it’s possible that the real death rate is far, far lower than the one that is being reported.

It turns out that I was right.

The irresponsible, biased, and scaremonger mainstream media has been dishonestly and grossly overstating the death rate of COVID-19 in order to try to justify totalitarian lockdowns and economic destruction.

Here are examples of doctors and scientists showing that the real COVID-19 death rate is far, far lower than what the mainstream media has been saying.

March 26, 2020: “Stanford medical professors: COVID-19 death toll estimates may be ‘orders of magnitude’ too high”:

March 26, 2020: New England Journal of Medicine: “the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%)”:

April 8, 2020: From a medical paper: “The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City)”:

April 11, 2020: The Economist: “Covid-19 takes 20-25 days to kill victims. The paper reckons that 7m Americans were infected from March 8th to 14th, and official data show 7,000 deaths three weeks later. The resulting fatality rate is 0.1%, similar to that of flu.”:

April 18, 2020: Stanford University researchers: “Between 50 and 85 times as many people in Santa Clara County have coronavirus antibodies as have tested positive for the virus.”:

April 20, 2020: Los Angeles County: “Based on the first round of testing, the research team estimated that roughly 4.1% of the county’s adult population has developed antibodies to the virus — an indication they are or were infected at some point. Adjusting for the statistical margin of error implies that approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county have had the infection. That estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county by the time of the study in early April.”:

April 20, 2020: Los Angeles County: “the study suggests that 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of people infected by the virus will die, which would make COVID-19 only somewhat more deadly than the seasonal flu”:


April 23, 2020. Tags: , , . COVID-19, Media bias. Leave a comment.

“the study suggests that 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of people infected by the virus will die, which would make COVID-19 only somewhat more deadly than the seasonal flu”

L.A. County Antibody Tests Suggest the Fatality Rate for COVID-19 Is Much Lower Than People Feared

April 20, 2020

The tests indicate that the number of infections in the county is around 40 times as high as the number of confirmed cases.

Preliminary results from antibody tests in Los Angeles County indicate that the true number of COVID-19 infections is much higher than the number of confirmed cases there, which implies that the fatality rate is much lower than the official tallies suggest. “The mortality rate now has dropped a lot,” Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said at a press briefing today. In contrast with the current crude case fatality rate of about 4.5 percent, she said, the study suggests that 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of people infected by the virus will die, which would make COVID-19 only somewhat more deadly than the seasonal flu.

Based on a representative sample of 863 adults tested early this month, researchers at the University of Southern California (USC), working in collaboration with the public health department, found that “approximately 4.1% of the county’s adult population has antibody to the virus.” Taking into account the statistical margin of error, the results indicate that “2.8% to 5.6% of the county’s adult population has antibody to the virus—which translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who have had the infection.” That is 28 to 55 times higher than the tally of confirmed cases at the time of the study.

As of noon today, Los Angeles County had reported 617 deaths out of 13,816 confirmed cases, which implies a fatality rate of 4.5 percent. Based on that death toll, the new study suggests the true fatality rate among everyone infected by the virus is somewhere between 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent (without taking into account people infected since the study was conducted). The lower end of that range is about the same as the estimated fatality rate for the seasonal flu.

“These results indicate that many persons may have been unknowingly infected and at risk of transmitting the virus to others,” Ferrer said in a press release. “These findings underscore the importance of expanded polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to diagnose those with infection so they can be isolated and quarantined, while also maintaining the broad social distancing interventions.”

Since the number of infections in Los Angeles County is much higher than the official numbers indicate, Ferrer said at the press briefing, the risk of infection is correspondingly higher, which reinforces the case for social distancing measures. At the same time, she said, the fact that 95 percent or so of the county’s adult population remains uninfected shows those measures, including the statewide lockdown, are working. She also acknowledged that the revised estimate of the fatality rate, which is dramatically lower than many people feared, is good news for residents who are infected despite those precautions.

“The fatality rate is lower than we thought it would be,” said Neeraj Sood, the USC public policy professor who oversaw the study. But he also emphasized that “we are very early in the epidemic,” meaning the number of infections and the death toll are bound to rise.

Sood addressed two of the methodological concerns that were raised by a recent study of Santa Clara County residents, which likewise estimated that the COVID-19 fatality rate is not far from the rate for the flu. Critics of that study suggested it may have been undermined by biased sampling and false-positive antibody test results.

The sample for the Los Angeles County study, Sood said, was randomly drawn from a database maintained by the LRW Group, a market research firm. The researchers capped subjects representing specific demographic groups so the sample would reflect the county’s adult population.

As for the accuracy of the antibody tests, Sood said validation by the manufacturer of the test kits, Premier Biotech, found a false positive rate of 0.5 percent in 371 samples. In subsequent tests by a Stanford laboratory, there were no false positives. “We think that the false positive rate of the tests is really low,” Sood said.

While Ferrer portrayed the study as proof of the need for aggressive control measures, a fatality rate as low as the Los Angeles County and Santa Clara County tests suggest also changes the calculus of those policies’ costs and benefits. If COVID-19 really is only a bit more lethal than the seasonal flu, the benefits that can be expected from continued lockdowns, in terms of deaths prevented, are much lower than most projections assumed. If these results are confirmed, they should play an important role in discussions about when and how to reopen the economy.

April 23, 2020. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

NY issues do-not-resuscitate guideline for cardiac patients amid coronavirus

NY issues do-not-resuscitate guideline for cardiac patients amid coronavirus

April 21, 2020

New York state just issued a drastic new guideline urging emergency services workers not to bother trying to revive anyone without a pulse when they get to a scene, amid an overload of coronavirus patients.

While paramedics were previously told to spend up to 20 minutes trying to revive people found in cardiac arrest, the change is “necessary during the COVID-19 response to protect the health and safety of EMS providers by limiting their exposure, conserve resources, and ensure optimal use of equipment to save the greatest number of lives,’’ according to a state Health Department memo issued last week.

First responders were outraged over the move.

“They’re not giving people a second chance to live anymore,’’ Oren Barzilay, head of the city union whose members include uniformed EMTs and paramedics, fumed of state officials.

“Our job is to bring patients back to life. This guideline takes that away from us,” he said.

Earlier this month, the Regional Emergency Services Council of New York, which oversees the city’s ambulance service, issued a new guideline that said cardiac-arrest patients whose hearts can’t be restarted at the scene should no longer be taken to the hospital for further life-saving attempts.

City hospitals have been inundated with dying coronavirus patients to the point where there are frequently no ICU beds.

But under the regional council’s directive, emergency workers were still told to work on cardiac-arrest patients on scene for up to 20 minutes.

The new state Health Department guideline wipes out the 20-minute effort.

“Now you don’t get 20 minutes of CPR if you have no rhythm,” a veteran FDNY Emergency Medical Services worker told The Post, referring to cardiac-arrest patients who have no heartbeat when paramedics arrive. “They simply let you die.”

The paramedic acknowledged that only about three or four out of every 100 patients with no pulse — “a small percentage” — are actually brought back to life through CPR and other aggressive intervention such as drugs and hospitalization.

But “for those three or four people, it’s a big deal,” the worker said.

The FDNY swiftly issued a letter Friday, the day after the state’s recommendation, telling city emergency services workers that “the NYC 911 system will continue to maintain a higher level of care,” meaning attempted revivals at scenes would continue.

The state Health Department insists that its new guideline has been in use “in many areas of the US as well as other locations throughout the world” — even pre-COVID-19.

“These changes are based on standards widely agreed upon by the physician leaders of EMS Regional Medical Control Systems across NYS and the Medical Standards Committee of the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council,” a department rep told The Post in a statement.

April 23, 2020. Tags: , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

New Jersey Bans Looking At Flowers While Driving

New Jersey Bans Looking At Flowers While Driving

Viewing Flowers from Inside a Vehicle is a Subversive Activity

April 20, 2020

Comrades, let this serve as a warning to like-minded subversives who would attempt to defy the lock-down orders of Commissar Phil Murphy. If wrong-thoughts continue to be expressed, it may become necessary for the Ministry of Coronavirus Compliance to deduct 500 credits from your social compliance score. Please do not put the Ministry in the position of having to make such decisions. Compliance is in your best interest.

In the latest example of Blue State enforcement of unilateral decrees by a state governor, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy bans driving through Tulip farms.   Yes, New Jersey, looking at flowers from inside your vehicle is a subversive activity against the interests of the state….  Non-compliance will not be tolerated.

Dalton Farms is a 99 acre family owned and run farm conveniently located in southern New Jersey just off of SR 322.  The farm was allowing residents to drive through their tulip fields to see the spring colors as the flowers bloom.  However, apparently fearing transmission of the Wuhan Virus from non-compliant vehicle operators; potentially permitting tire-to-tire transmission; the state has ordered the farm to shut down.

All rogue citizens must be controlled lest they put a compliant society at risk of infection. Flower viewers are some of the most dangerous elements within our new society. They may not just carry biologics they could possibly carry a more alarming virus of wrong-thought, potentially even perspectives on freedom, against the interests of the state.

During these stressful times thought, without regard for collective need, is an indication a citizen may be a subversive. Rogue citizens would be subversive to our new society and must be controlled.

The COVID Compliance Ministry appreciates good citizens who comply with the interests of the state. Good citizenship is rewarded with enhanced credits allowing access to a safe COVID Compliant Society. A safer society; where the odds will always be in your favor.

April 23, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

Michigan’s totalitarian governor Gretchen Whitmer orders big bog stores to “Close areas of the store – by cordoning them off, placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves, or other appropriate means—that are dedicated to the following classes of goods: Carpet or flooring. Furniture. Garden centers and plant nurseries. Paint.”

Michigan’s governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered big box stores to prevent customers from having access to certain sections of the store.

Hers are the exact words of her order from her official government website: (Original, archive)

“For stores of more than 50,000 square feet… Close areas of the store – by cordoning them off, placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves, or other appropriate means—that are dedicated to the following classes of goods: Carpet or flooring. Furniture. Garden centers and plant nurseries. Paint.”

Only a totalitarian would be in favor of such a government policy.

April 23, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Police state. Leave a comment.

Pennsylvania Allows Planned Parenthood to Perform Abortions Despite Elective Surgery Ban

I’m a libertarian. I think abortion should be legal.

I’m against banning any elective procedures.

What I don’t like here is the hypocrisy:

Pennsylvania Allows Planned Parenthood to Perform Abortions Despite Elective Surgery Ban

Planned Parenthood Keystone has shut down all services except abortion

March 31, 2020

Planned Parenthood clinics in Pennsylvania have eliminated all services except for abortion in the wake of a statewide ban on elective surgeries meant to preserve scarce medical resources amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic governor Tom Wolf issued a directive ordering the shut down of all businesses “that are not life sustaining” on March 20, and a guidance from the state government prohibits elective procedures performed by health care services and hospitals. Despite these directives, Planned Parenthood Keystone, which serves central and eastern Pennsylvania, announced it would remain open “for abortion services only” while shutting down its other operations.

Hospitals are facing shortages of medical supplies necessary to deal with the pandemic as the number of coronavirus patients drastically increases across the state and country. The abortion clinics also requested donations of personal protective equipment, including “hand sanitizer, home-sewn masks, shoe covers, and surgical hats,” so they could continue to perform abortions.

The order, issued on March 20, came after the state’s health secretary urged doctors and patients to consider postponing noncritical surgeries. The state’s largest abortion provider has ignored the directive and continued to proceed with abortions, even as it stopped providing routine exams and other services. Planned Parenthood did not respond to a request for comment.

“The paradox is just striking, here we’re making an exception for life-sustaining procedures and yet an exception to that is this one medical procedure that’s life-ending,” Tom Brejcha, president and chief legal counsel for the Thomas More Society, told the Washington Free Beacon.

Pennsylvania had 31,260 abortions in 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion think tank. More than 19,000 of those procedures likely required in-clinic services, as medication abortions accounted for 39 percent of all abortions in the United States in 2017, the most recent numbers made available by the institute.

Wolf has been an outspoken ally of abortion supporters while in office. In October 2019, he stated his intention to veto any pro-life legislation that came across his desk after Republicans in the state legislature introduced a “heartbeat bill” banning abortions after six weeks. Planned Parenthood has contributed $27,500 to Wolf’s campaign coffers since 2014, according to state campaign finance records.

Wolf’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Pennsylvania is not the only state dealing with issues surrounding abortion providers in the midst of the pandemic. Texas included abortion clinics in a statewide order postponing surgeries and nonessential medical procedures. A federal judge blocked the order on Monday, saying it prevented women “from exercising what the Supreme Court has declared is their fundamental constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is viable.”

Pro-life groups ripped Wolf for failing to take action against abortion clinics when hospitals and other facilities are struggling to deal with the pandemic.

“It is unconscionable that Governor Wolf has allowed elective abortions to proceed during this crisis when all resources are needed for essential medical procedures,” said Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser in a statement.

An open letter from the Pennsylvania Family Institute called on Wolf to specifically address continued abortion procedures.

“Abortion is an elective procedure that should not be permitted at the peak of the coronavirus crisis,” the letter states. “With abortions there is always the risk that some women will have complications from the procedure that will need emergency hospital care, which will only further drain our overstretched health care system.”

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said lawmakers should apply the ban on elective procedures across the board, rather than protecting the interests of abortion clinics.

“Killing unborn children isn’t health care and certainly doesn’t provide necessary medical help or assistance for coronavirus,” Mancini said. “At a time when medical staff and resources are spread thin, it is very disappointing to see politicians use this vulnerable moment in our country’s history to play politics and advocate for abortion.”

Several counties in Pennsylvania are under stay-at-home orders as the number of coronavirus cases in the state passed 4,000.

April 23, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Abortion, COVID-19. Leave a comment.

New York and New Jersey, combined, account for more than half of U.S. COVID-19 deaths. Both of these states require nursing homes to admit patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. In my opinion, this policy constitutes mass murder.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

April 22, 2020

New York and New Jersey, combined, account for more than half of U.S. COVID-19 deaths.

As of the afternoon of April 22, 2020, the U.S. has had a total of 46,771 deaths from COVID-19.

20,167 were in New York.

5,063 were in New Jersey.

In other words, these two states, combined, account for more than half of all COVID-19 deaths in the entire country.

Here’s a link to my source, with a screenshot. The screenshot was taken on the afternoon of April 22, 2020:

Both of these states require nursing homes to admit patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

NPR recently reported:

New York and New Jersey both have ordered nursing homes to admit patients regardless of their COVID-19 status.

In my opinion, this policy constitutes mass murder.

Nursing home patients are elderly. And they have major health conditions. No one is more vulnerable to dying from COVID-19 than people in nursing homes.

Ordering nursing homes to admit patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 is an extremely mean, dumb, stupid, irrational, irresponsible, and insane thing to do.

This policy has already killed a huge numbers of people.

And who knows how many more will die as a result.

April 22, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

Cancer surgeries and organ transplants are being put off for coronavirus

Cancer surgeries and organ transplants are being put off for coronavirus

April 8, 2020

In a given month, more than a million people have some kind of surgery.

The elective procedures being postponed because of coronavirus aren’t all optional.

Cancer patients and organ recipients are being forced to wait.

San Francisco Bay Area surgeon Mary Cardoza is juggling multiple breast cancer patients. But she can’t operate on any of them. Breast cancer surgery, it turns out, is considered an elective procedure — now put on hold as hospitals focus on COVID-19 cases. On March 13, the American College of Surgeons called on physicians to halt nonessential procedures. But what, exactly, is an elective procedure? Like many people, I assumed it meant face lifts or perhaps knee replacements that could be delayed without damage. And like many people, I was wrong.

Elective surgery is, by definition, any surgery that is scheduled. That means cancer surgery, organ transplants and other lifesaving procedures, all of which are now put on hold — in some cases indefinitely.

Since making its initial recommendation, the American College of Surgeons has been issuing increasingly urgent bulletins, with its March 24 missive detailing triage guidelines for cancer, cardiac and pediatric surgeries. It now finds itself in the grim position of recommending that removal of cancerous colon polyps be deferred for three months and breast cancer surgery be delayed if the disease responds to hormone therapy. In hospitals with heavy COVID-19 caseloads — those with no spare ventilators or ICU capacity — it urges that all surgical procedures be avoided unless the patient is likely to die within the next few hours or days. Heartbreaking stories

The guidelines specify that treatment shouldn’t be delayed if it would harm the patient. That’s small solace to people like Russell Green. In March, the 63-year-old Vermont financial adviser was diagnosed with “aggressive” prostate cancer and advised to schedule surgery as soon as possible. But after the coronavirus hit, his April 22 surgery date was canceled. “I hear this. And I think, well, this isn’t elective. It’s aggressive cancer,” Green told Vermont Public Radio, the local NPR affiliate. “And you want to get rid of the thing, that’s not elective.” Green pushed back, and his surgery is now on the calendar again, at least for the moment. But it’s difficult to know what the future holds.

The tragedy is, the suspension isn’t always due to a lack of capacity to treat patients. Instead, it’s a side effect of the lack of protective equipment — the precious masks and gowns that are in short supply and are being redirected to those treating highly infectious COVID-19. Hospitals with a large number of those cases are also trying to preserve ventilators and ICU beds for patients with the virus. And doctors are concerned as well about bringing patients who may already be immunocompromised into hospitals where they may be exposed to the virus.

As a breast cancer survivor myself, I know the sense of urgency after being diagnosed. The anxiety and fear is hard to overstate, the feeling of just wanting to get rid of a cancer growing within you. In my case, I was in surgery within days. Yet the lives of thousands of people in similar situations, and worse, are hanging in the balance. They are collateral damage of this country’s delayed response to the pandemic and the lack of preparedness that the virus has exposed.

Heartbreaking individual stories are emerging by the day. A 33-year-old man whose long-awaited liver transplant was canceled told NBC News it was a “death sentence.” After a 7-year-old boy’s urgently needed kidney transplant surgery was put on hold, his mother told the network’s Washington, D.C., affiliate it was a “nightmare” scenario, “but it’s not even the worst one you could find.”

When I spoke with Cardoza, she was on her way into her office to meet with some breast cancer patients who have already been diagnosed. She wanted to see them in person, she explained: “I don’t feel comfortable telling people over the phone or on video that they won’t be getting surgery for their cancer any time soon.”

Case backlog ahead

For now, Cardoza says she is fortunate that hormone therapy is effective at keeping her patients’ breast cancer at bay. She is setting up their next appointments for a month from now. Will she be able to operate then? It’s anyone’s guess. “All this has happened in two weeks. We went from business as usual to we have to cancel everything and stay home,” she said. “I’ve never seen things change on a daily basis the way they are now.“

When the freeze thaws, a backlog of these critical surgeries is almost inevitable. In any given month, more than 1 million people typically have some kind of surgery, meaning potentially millions of procedures are being kicked down the road. Expect an onslaught of additional cases as well. After all, preventive measures like mammograms, prostate cancer screenings, stress tests, cardiac checkups and more are also being delayed, perhaps at the cost of lives. Last year, an average of 150,000 people were diagnosed each month with cancer alone.

“At this point, we’re only diagnosing people who have symptoms — for breast cancer, it’s someone feels a mass; for colon, someone has bleeding,” Cardoza told me. “We’re going to pick up the late ones, but the early detection we try to do is going to go by the wayside. All these ripple effects are just incomprehensible.”

Those ripple effects are only just starting to be felt. If we aren’t vigilant in taming the COVID-19 crisis, and then in quickly reinstating essential elective procedures and preventive screening, we’ll have another crisis in the making. Flattening the curve is indeed essential to save lives — and not just those of COVID-19 victims.

April 22, 2020. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

“The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City)"

This medical paper states:

The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City).

If this is true, then it seems to me that healthy children and healthy adults under 65, who live in places with low or middle population densities, who don’t live with an elderly parent, never should have been told to stay home.

April 22, 2020. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

Attention Washington Post! If COVID-19 was truly putting supermarket employees in a “war zone,” their death rate would be higher, not lower, than the general population!

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

April 21, 2020

Real world evidence shows that the fatality rate of COVID-19 is far, far lower than what has been portrayed by the mainstream media. Examples of this can be read here, here, here, here, here, and here.

It has also been predicted that the shutdowns will kill more people than they save. Examples of this can be seen here, here, and here.

If the COVID-19 virus was truly as big of a threat as is being claimed by the mainstream media, then supermarket employees would have a much higher death rate than that of the general population. But there is no evidence that their death rate is higher. Therefore, if it’s OK for the supermarkets to be open, then it should also be OK for just about everything else to be open too.

So how does the COVID-19 death rate of supermarket employees compare to that of the general population?

On April 12, 2020, the Washington Post published this article.

It says that the U.S. has three million people who work in supermarkets, and that at least 41 of them had died from COVID-19. The Washington Post refers to this as a “war zone.”

The same article also says that more than 21,000 people in the U.S. had died from COVID-19.

The article is from April 12, so those numbers are somewhat out of date. However, I am more interested in the ratio of those numbers, so the fact that the article is somewhat out of date does not really matter.

The U.S. has 328 million people.

Supermarket employees make up approximately 1% of the U.S. population.

But they account for approximately only 0.2% of the country’s COVID-19 deaths.

If supermarkets were truly a “war zone,” then the death rate of their employees would be higher, not lower, than that of the general population.

I’d be curious to know how many supermarket employees died from the flu during the same time period. But I’m not holding my breath for the Washington Post to publish such a comparison.

In 2018, 36,560 people in the U.S. died from automobile accidents. I think it’s likely that somewhere between 300 and 400 of those were supermarket employees. It’s possible that during this COVID-19 “war zone,” more supermarket employees have been killed by automobile accidents than by COVID-19.

The best way to avoid dying in an automobile accident is to take mass transit instead of driving yourself. (The buses used for mass transit are bigger and heavier than cars, and often move more slowly than cars, so fatality rates are much lower than for cars.)

But the best way to avoid getting COVID-19 is to drive yourself instead of using mass transit. (Nearly half of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are in New York, and its overcrowded subway system seems to be the main reason for that.)

Quite a conundrum, I suppose.

Life is full of risks. And we need to acknowledge these risks, and act accordingly.

COVID-19 is real. And it is deadly.

But it is not nearly as deadly as many in the media have been trying to portray it.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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April 21, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Media bias. Leave a comment.

The NIH is doing a nationwide study to find out the true rate of Coronavirus infection. I just sent them an email to volunteer.

The NIH is doing a nationwide study to find out the true rate of Coronavirus infection.

I have just sent them an email to volunteer.

If they accept me, they will first conduct a phone interview.

If I pass that, they will send a testing kit to my home so I can send them back a small blood sample.

All the info can be found here:

April 21, 2020. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

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