Risk of coronavirus spreading in schools is ‘extremely low’ study finds

This is good news for children and everyone who cares about them.

But it’s horrible news for the totalitarian control freaks who want to keep everything locked down for as long as possible.


https://www.yahoo.com/news/risk-coronavirus-spreading-schools-extremely-194143983.html

Risk of coronavirus spreading in schools is ‘extremely low’ study finds

By Hayley Dixon

The Telegraph

May 17, 2020

Coronavirus does not spread widely in schools, according to a major study which is being considered by Government advisers.

The research looked at 18 infected teachers and students in 15 schools, and found that despite them coming into contact with 863 people at the schools, only two were infected.

It is the only major study of transmission among children and teachers, and shows that the spread of the virus is “limited” in classrooms. Previous studies have suggested that younger children are likely to only contract a mild form of coronavirus and do not play a major role in the spread of the disease, but this is the first time the spread of Covid-19 has been directly studied in primary and secondary schools.

It comes as the government is locked in a battle with teaching unions over plans for primary school children in reception, years 1 and 6 in England to return from June 1. Union bosses have insisted classrooms will not be safe and have ordered their members not to “engage” with the plans, while some Labour councils have also said that they will refuse to reopen schools.

On Sunday, Michael Gove sought to reassure worried teachers and parents, insisting that the “clear scientific and clinical advice” was that it was safe for school to reopen providing social distancing is enforced

“Children only have one chance at education. Over the last decade we have made significant strides in closing the gap between the richest and poorest in our schools. This lockdown has put that at risk,” the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told the Andrew Marr Show. “If progressive countries like Denmark can be teaching children and have them back in schools, then so should we. The whole point about being a teacher is you love your job. It is a mission, a vocation, to be able to excite young minds.”

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organisation’s Chief Scientist, also said on Sunday that “there have not been big outbreaks in schools” and the early results of studies are “very reassuring”. She said that “the risks to children are extremely low with this infection, and there have not been many cases described of children transmitting it to others, particularly within school settings”. Dr Swaminathan added that from what is currently known, it appears that “children are less capable of spreading it, even if they get the infection and certainly are at very low risk of getting ill from the disease”.

The latest study, which was carried out in Australia, is now being considered by government advisers as they consider how to get children back into classrooms safely.

Speaking to The Telegraph yesterday, a senior member of the Sage sub-committee on schools, known as the Children’s Task and Finish Working Group, confirmed that the Australian study had been looked at by the Government’s scientific advisers. The source described it as a “very useful and interesting piece of research”. The Telegraph also understands that Sage – the government’s scientific advisory group – is preparing to publish its own evidence in the coming days which will set out the thinking behind recommending that schools reopen gradually.

The study examined by the government advisers was conducted by Australia’s National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance. It was cited by the country’s officials when they announced that children should return to the classroom and found schools had a “very limited” role in transmission of the virus.

The scientists found that across 15 schools in New South Wales, ten secondary and five primary, 18 people – nine teachers and nine students – had confirmed coronavirus.

Of the 735 students and 128 staff who were in close contact with the virus carriers, only one secondary school pupil caught it from another student and one primary school pupil caught it from a teacher.

It is believed to be the only study to look at transmission in primary schools, as the swift and unprecedented closure of classrooms across the world has meant that there have been limited research opportunities. They authors said their findings “do suggest that spread of Covid-19 within NSW schools has been very limited” and transmission “appears considerably less than seen for other respiratory viruses, such as influenza”.

They concluded that the data “suggest that children are not the primary drivers of Covid-19 spread in schools or in the community. This is consistent with data from international studies showing low rates of disease in children and suggesting limited spread among children and from children to adults.”

While Australia has a hotter climate than Europe, which some scientists believe may play a part in lower levels of infection, the findings have been backed by early data from countries such as Denmark and Norway which shows that the re-opening of schools has not led to a spike in the disease.

May 17, 2020. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Education, Health care. Leave a comment.

Video: This nurse from Nevada went to New York to treat COVID-19 patients. She said they are dying due to the incompetence, negligence, and indifference of health care workers. She even says that some of these deaths were murder. When she told management, they didn’t care.

I watched this entire 24 minute video. The speaker is a nurse from Nevada named Nicole Sirotek, who went to New York to treat COVID-19 patients. She describes multiple examples of patients who died due to the incompetence, negligence, and indifference of health care workers. She even says that some of these deaths were murder. When she told management, they didn’t care.

I don’t know if she’s telling the truth or not. I hope an independent investigation by outside parties will be conducted, including autopsies, to find out if she is telling the truth or not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGTOGZIgkR8

May 6, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care. 1 comment.

Here are 175 reasons why I’m against the COVID-19 lockdowns

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

Note from Daniel Alman: I originally made this blog post on May 5, 2020. At the time, there were 34 things on the list. Since them, on multiple occasions, I have added other things to the list. The last time that I updated this list was on July 10, 2020.

Introduction

Please share the link to this list on Facebook, Twitter, email, message boards, etc. Thank you.

A lot of the people who support the COVID-19 lockdowns have said it’s because “lives are more important than money.”

But the lockdowns are actually killing far more people than they’re saving.

So instead of it being about “lives vs money,” it’s really about “fewer people dying vs more people dying.”

And yet, when I bring this up, lockdown supporters either ignore it, or they accuse me of not caring about people’s lives, or they say, “better safe than sorry.”

Before I get to my main list, here are some general facts about the lockdowns:

The COVIID-19 lockdowns will end up killing far more people than they save, in the form of increased suicides, increased drug and alcohol overdoses, and canceled and postponed medical procedures. For young and middle aged people who have healthy immune systems, being and poor and unemployed is more dangerous than having COVID-19.

The lockdowns are totalitarian.

The lockdowns are based on bogus computer models.

The real fatality rate of COVID-19 is far, far lower than the bogus, overinflated rate that was used to justify the lockdowns.

The alleged purpose of the lockdowns was to flatten the curve, and prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed. But the hospitals were never even close to being overwhelmed. On the contrary, the U.S. health care system actually laid off more than a million health care workers during the lockdowns. And yet the lockdowns continue. This is proof that the lockdowns are a scam.

States with the toughest lockdowns forced nursing homes to admit patients who had tested positive for COVID-19. This is mass murder.

Many politicians and other high ranking government officials violated their own lockdowns.

Lockdown supporters want to destroy other people’s jobs, but not their own.

Previous pandemics did not destroy the economy, because there were no lockdowns.

Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise are good for your immune system, and actually reduce your chance of dying from COVID-19.

The government is falsely overstating the number of COVID-19 deaths by including people whose deaths were not actually caused by COVID-19.

And now, on with my list:

Here are 175 reasons why I’m against the COVID-19 lockdowns

1) Sweden did not have a lockdown. Experts predicted that it would have 40,000 COVID-19 deaths by May 1. The actual number was 2,769.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/05/sweden-suppressed-infection-rates-without-lockdown/

2) Nobel Prize-winning scientist: “the damage done by lockdown will exceed any saving of lives by a huge factor”

https://www.theblaze.com/news/nobel-prize-winning-scientist-shares-covid-19-data-showing-strict-lockdowns-were-an-overreaction

3) Keep parks open. The benefits of fresh air outweigh the risks of infection.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/04/13/keep-parks-open-benefits-fresh-air-outweigh-risks-infection/

4) Dr. Deborah Birx admitted that the lockdown was based on a false, gross overstatement of the true fatality rate.

These are her exact words:

“I think we underestimated, very early on, the number of asymptomatic cases. And I think we’re really beginning to understand there are people that get infected — that those symptoms are so low-grade that they don’t even know that they’re infected”

https://www.theblaze.com/news/dr-birx-coronavirus-asymptomatic-cases

5) This is a scientific paper called “Full lockdown policies in Western Europe countries have no evident impacts on the COVID-19 epidemic.”

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.24.20078717v1.full.pdf

6) WHO lauds lockdown-ignoring Sweden as a ‘model’ for countries going forward

https://nypost.com/2020/04/29/who-lauds-sweden-as-model-for-resisting-coronavirus-lockdown/

7) Do Lockdowns Save Many Lives? In Most Places, the Data Say No.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/do-lockdowns-save-many-lives-is-most-places-the-data-say-no-11587930911?mod=opinion_lead_pos5

8) This is 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)”

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.05.20054361v1

Note from Daniel Alman: The above may be a good reason for a lockdown in the New York City metro area (which includes parts of New Jersey and Connecticut), but certainly not for the rest of the U.S. And certainly not for Germany.

9) A report by the United Nations cites the predicted harm that will happen to tens of millions of children in low income countries as a result of the COVID-19 global wide shutdown.

Examples of this harm to children include increases in malnutrition, loss of education, increased rates of teen pregnancy, reduced access to health care, reduced rates of vaccination, increased rates of infectious disease, increased rates of water borne illness, and increased rates of death:

https://unsdg.un.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/160420_Covid_Children_Policy_Brief.pdf

10) Here in Sweden we’re playing the long game, and listening to science not fear

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/sweden/articles/sweden-coronavirus-policy/

11) All across the country, huge numbers of hospitals have laid off huge numbers of health care workers. Here are some examples:

Coronavirus financial losses prompt Boston Medical Center to furlough 700 employees, 10% of hospital’s workforce

https://www.masslive.com/boston/2020/04/coronavirus-financial-losses-prompt-boston-medical-center-to-furlough-700-employees-10-of-hospitals-workforce.html

Kentucky hospital chain furloughs about 500 employees as coronavirus saps business

https://www.kentucky.com/news/coronavirus/article241565211.html

A mounting casualty crisis: Health care jobs

https://www.sungazette.com/news/top-news/2020/04/a-mounting-casualty-crisis-health-care-jobs/

Four West Virginia hospitals lay off hundreds because of coronavirus-related shrinking revenues

http://wvmetronews.com/2020/04/03/thomas-health-to-lay-off-hundreds-as-business-shrinks-because-of-coronavirus/

Thousands of US medical workers furloughed, laid off as routine patient visits drop during coronavirus pandemic

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/04/02/coronavirus-pandemic-jobs-us-health-care-workers-furloughed-laid-off/5102320002/

I Can’t Get My Hip Surgery Because Of Coronavirus Even Though Nobody Is In Our Hospital

https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/09/i-cant-get-my-hip-surgery-because-of-coronavirus-even-though-nobody-is-in-our-hospital/

MUSC Health lays off 900 due to COVID-19 financial strain

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/musc-health-lays-off-900-due-to-covid-19-financial-strain.html

Oklahoma City hospital closed amid coronavirus spread

https://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/oklahoma-city-hospital-closed-amid-coronavirus-spread/article_0b2e6a38-d470-57a0-8d32-a9eeb80d0bbe.html

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

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/coronavirus-victim-americas-largest-health-systems/story?id=70317683

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

https://nypost.com/2020/04/27/were-destroying-hospitals-in-the-name-of-fighting-the-coronavirus/

Mayo Clinic to furlough or cut pay of 30,000 employees

https://www.foxnews.com/science/mayo-clinic-furlough-or-cut-pay-employees

Coronavirus testing company Quest Diagnostics furloughs workers

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-testing-company-quest-diagnostics-furloughs-workers/

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

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-screenings-exc/exclusive-u-s-medical-testing-cancer-screenings-plunge-during-coronavirus-outbreak-data-firm-analysis-idUSKCN22A0DY

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

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/25/health/coronavirus-heart-stroke.html

14) As of April 22, 2020, New York and New Jersey, combined, accounted 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. Instead of shutting everything down, New York and New Jersey should stop committing mass murder.

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, as of April 22, 2020, these two states, combined, accounted 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:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

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.

Instead of shutting everything down, New York and New Jersey should stop committing mass murder.

15) Cancer surgeries and organ transplants are being put off for coronavirus

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/08/op-ed-cancer-surgeries-and-organ-transplants-are-being-put-off-for-coronavirus.html

16) How the COVID-19 lockdown will take its own toll on health

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-cost-special-r/special-report-how-the-covid-19-lockdown-will-take-its-own-toll-on-health-idUSKBN21L20C

17) Higher rates of unemployment correlate very strongly with higher rates of suicide and drug overdoses

https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/30/how-shutting-down-the-economy-much-longer-could-kill-tens-of-thousands-of-americans/

18) This five minute video from Bill Maher is my #1 favorite argument against the lockdowns

https://twitter.com/billmaher/status/1256425181960003585

19) Hypocrite New York Times writer Taylor Lorenz wants to shut down other people’s jobs, but not her own

This is a link to the internet archive of her tweet, and a screen capture of her tweet:

https://web.archive.org/web/20200503014927/https:/twitter.com/taylorlorenz/status/1256761280150593537<

20) Here’s another hypocrite who wants to shut down other people’s jobs, but not her own

The woman in this article and video ratted out local businesses.

Then someone published her name on the internet.

Now the woman is worried that she might lose her own job:

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/investigations/personal-information-from-900-st-louisan-tipsters-exposed-on-social-media/63-45c38fc8-5714-48f5-8de6-09c8ffdeff21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYhvc_86HsI

21) Illinois Gov. Who Forced State Lockdown Busted Flying His Wife And Kids To Florida

https://www.lacortenews.com/n/watch-illinois-gov-who-forced-state-lockdown-busted-flying-his-wife-and-kids-to-florida

22) Chicago Mayor Forced To Defend Getting A Haircut In Violation Of Her Own Stay-At-Home Order

https://www.dailywire.com/news/chicago-mayor-forced-to-defend-getting-a-haircut-in-violation-of-her-own-stay-at-home-order

23) Barack Obama Goes Golfing at Country Club the Day After Michelle Urged African Americans to Stay Home

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2020/04/29/barack-obama-goes-golfing-during-coronavirus-quarantine-n386764

24) Video: Wisconsin Deputies Threaten a Mother For Letting Her Daughter Play At a Neighbor’s Home During Shutdown

https://www.mrctv.org/blog/video-wisconsin-deputies-threaten-mother-letting-her-daughter-play-neighbors-home-during

https://twitter.com/MediaRival/status/1255537595553112065

25) Mississippi police issue $500 tickets to drive-in church service attendees

https://fox8.com/news/coronavirus/mississippi-police-issue-500-tickets-to-drive-in-church-service-attendees/

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

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/147854/nyc-mayor-threatens-to-shut-down-synagogues-churches-but-not-mosques/

27) De Blasio Breaks Up Rabbi’s Funeral

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/nyregion/hasidic-funeral-coronavirus-de-blasio.html

28) The First Amendment protects freedom of religion

29) The First amendment protects freedom of assembly

30) Tucker Carlson: Totalitarianism doesn’t shock us any more

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KACUbQjvrk

31) Shutting down the schools is reprehensible.

The harm that this will end up causing children will be very large, and very long lasting.

Not just academically, but also psychologically, socially, and professionally.

We are teaching children to be terrified of something that, in reality, is not even a statistical threat or risk to them.

COVID-19 death rate by age in the U.S.:

https://www.businessinsider.com/most-us-coronavirus-deaths-ages-65-older-cdc-report-2020-3

Perhaps for the time being, schools should only have teachers who are below a certain age – perhaps 50. Or maybe 60.

We should isolate people who are especially vulnerable.

And we should let children go to school, get infected, and build up herd immunity.

We shouldn’t let children near their grandparents until their infection has cleared, they have developed antibodies, and they are no longer contagious.

32) The 1968 flu killed approximately 100,000 people in the U.S. But we still kept the schools open. And the restaurants. And the movie theaters.

33) Should we keep everything closed until there are zero germs in the world? Good luck with that!

34) The entire justification for the lockdowns was a lie.

The alleged justification for the lockdowns was that we had to flatten the curve so the hospitals did not get overwhelmed.

The hospitals did not get overwhelmed.

On the contrary, all across the country, huge number of hospitals are laying off huge numbers of health care workers. (see #11 on this list for many examples.)

But the lockdowns are still going on.

Therefore, the entire justification for the lockdowns was a lie.

35) A study of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York showed that 66% of them were people who stayed home

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/05/06/majority-of-new-coronavirus-cases-in-new-york-are-from-people-staying-at-home-not-traveling-or-working

36) Government scientist Neil Ferguson, who was responsible for creating the lockdown in the U.K., violated it when he invited his mistress to visit him

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/05/exclusive-government-scientist-neil-ferguson-resigns-breaking/

37) The governors in more than 30 states banned elective medical procedures, even though there was plenty of excess health care capacity available to perform these elective procedures.

The word “elective” refers to any medical procedure that is scheduled in advance.

Examples of elective medical procedures that were postponed or canceled include cancer treatment, organ transplants, and hip surgery.

There was no need to ban elective procedures, because there was still plenty of excess health care capacity available. All across the country, huge numbers of hospitals laid off huge numbers of health care workers. See #11 on this list for many examples.

38) Some of the governors who banned elective medical procedures were hypocrites, because they gave an exemption to abortion.

I’m not using this blog post to argue for, or against, the legality of abortion.

Instead, what I am criticizing here is the hypocrisy of these governors.

For example, Politico reported:

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was one of a handful of Democratic leaders to explicitly carve out an exception for “the full range of family planning services and procedures, including terminations of pregnancies” from his executive order that suspends elective surgeries.

As another example, the Lansing State Journal reported:

Reproductive health clinics in Michigan are still providing abortion services, citing an exemption for “pregnancy-related visits and procedures” in Gov. Whitmer’s executive order restricting non-essential medical services.

Likewise, the New Boston Post reported:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has exempted elective abortions from the statewide ban on elective surgery during the coronavirus precautionary restrictions.

Furthermore, Virginia’s official government website reported:

Governor Ralph Northam and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA today directed all hospitals to stop performing elective surgeries or procedures…

The public health emergency order does not apply to… family planning services

Also, the Washington Free Beacon reported:

Pennsylvania Allows Planned Parenthood to Perform Abortions Despite Elective Surgery Ban

39) They’re using COVID-19 as an excuse to release convicted criminals, and to jail the innocent

This article is called

“So Far, More Than 300 Prisoners Released Due To COVID-19 Under Mass. High Court’s Ruling.”

Meanwhile, this other article is called

“Dallas salon owner jailed for defying virus shutdown order.”

40) As of May 6, 2020, only 7% of Pennsylvania’s hospital beds were being used to treat COVID-19 patients. However, the state continues with its lockdown anyway. This proves that the lockdown is a scam.

The alleged purpose of the lockdown was to flatten the curve, so that hospital resources would not be overwhelmed.

As of May 6, 2020, only 7% of Pennsylvania’s hospital beds were being used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Despite this, the Pennsylvania lockdown continues.

This proves that the lockdown is a scam.

http://www.repturzai.com/Display/SiteFiles/333/OtherDocuments/2020/LettertoMembersHealthDataMay6.pdf

41) End all restrictions, they were unnecessary, Hebrew University researchers say

https://www.timesofisrael.com/end-all-restrictions-they-were-unnecessary-hebrew-university-researchers-say/

42) Years of life lost due to the psychosocial consequences of COVID19 mitigation strategies based on Swiss data

A scientific paper states:

Background: The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has forced governments to implement strict social mitigation strategies to reduce the morbidity and mortality from acute infections. These strategies however carry a significant risk for mental health which can lead to increased short-term and long-term mortality and is currently not included in modelling the impact of the pandemic. Methods: We used years of life lost (YLL) as the main outcome measure as applied to Switzerland as an exemplar. We focused on suicide, depression, alcohol use disorder, childhood trauma due to domestic violence, changes in marital status and social isolation as these are known to increase YLL in the context of imposed restriction in social contact and freedom of movement. We stipulated a minimum duration of mitigation of 3 months based on current public health plans. Results: The study projects that the average person would suffer 0.205 YLL due to psychosocial consequence of COVID-19 mitigation measures. However, this loss would be entirely borne by 2.1% of the population, who will suffer an average 9.79 YLL. Conclusions: The results presented here are likely to underestimate the true impact of the mitigation strategies on YLL. However, they highlight the need for public health models to expand their scope in order to provide better estimates of the risks and benefits of mitigation.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.17.20069716v3

43) Elon Musk said:

“Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1259162367285317633

https://www.yahoo.com/news/elon-musk-says-tesla-immediately-173400044.html

44) Health care industry decimated by coronavirus, loses 1.4 million jobs

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/496816-health-care-industry-decimated-by-coronavirus-loses-14-million-jobs

45) LA Mayor Garcetti encourages residents to report violators of stay-at-home order: ‘Snitches get rewards’

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/la-mayor-garcetti-residents-report-violators-stay-at-home-order

46) Take the Shutdown Skeptics Seriously

The Atlantic wrote:

Take the Shutdown Skeptics Seriously

Americans should carefully consider the potential costs of prolonged shutdowns lest they cause more deaths or harm to the vulnerable than they spare…

… minimizing the number of COVID-19 deaths today or a month from now or six months from now may or may not minimize the human costs of the pandemic when the full spectrum of human consequences is considered…

… the warnings of thoughtful shutdown skeptics warrant careful study…

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/take-shutdown-skeptics-seriously/611419/

47) Anxiety from reactions to Covid-19 will destroy at least seven times more years of life than can be saved by lockdowns

https://www.justfacts.com/news_covid-19_anxiety_lockdowns_life_destroyed_saved

Anxiety From Reactions to Covid-19 Will Destroy At Least Seven Times More Years of Life Than Can Be Saved by Lockdowns

By Andrew Glen, Ph.D. and James D. Agresti

Medical studies show that excessive stress and anxiety are among the most debilitating and deadly of all health hazards in the world. Beyond their obvious effects like suicide and substance abuse—these mental stressors are strongly related to and may trigger and inflame a host of ailments like high blood pressure, digestive disorders, heart conditions, infectious diseases, cancer, and pregnancy complications.

Based on a broad array of scientific data, Just Facts has computed that the anxiety created by reactions to Covid-19—such as stay-at-home orders, business shutdowns, media exaggerations, and legitimate concerns about the virus—will destroy at least seven times more years of human life than can possibly be saved by lockdowns to control the spread of the disease. This figure is a bare minimum, and the actual one is likely more than 90 times greater.

This study was reviewed by Joseph P. Damore, Jr., M.D., who concluded: “This research is engaging and thoroughly answers the question about the cure being worse than the disease.” Dr. Damore is a certified diplomate with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, an assistant attending psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy.

48) Politicians Lied About the Lockdowns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsipYnIOJEM

49) Video allegedly shows that once the cameras are off reporters remove their masks and don’t follow social distancing rules

https://twitter.com/Z_Eats_Bacon/status/1260091180190240768

https://www.rightjournalism.com/video-allegedly-shows-that-once-the-cameras-are-off-reporters-remove-their-masks-and-dont-follow-social-distancing-rules/

50) Hypocrite Beaumont, Texas mayor Becky Ames thinks everyone except herself should be banned from going to nail salons

Becky Ames is the mayor of Beaumont, Texas.

She ordered all the nail salons in her city to lockdown.

However, she violated her own lockdown by allowing one specific nail salon to be open just so she herself could go there to get her nails done.

NBC News reported: (the bolding is mine)

The mayor of a southern Texas city apologized for violating her own stay-at-home order after a photo surfaced on social media of her at a nail salon.

The trip Tuesday by Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames to the closed salon has sparked an investigation by the district attorney.

In the image, the mayor is seen wearing a face mask as she’s seated at a table with her hands in a bowl of water. According to NBC affiliate KBMT in Beaumont, the photo was taken at The Nail Bar.

The NBC News article has a link to this picture of mayor Ames getting her nails done at the salon:

51) Small business used to define America’s economy. The pandemic could change that forever.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/12/small-business-used-define-americas-economy-pandemic-could-end-that-forever/

52) PA Health Secretary moved mother out of personal care home after ordering nursing homes to accept COVID patients

https://dailycaller.com/2020/05/13/coronavirus-pennsylvania-rachel-levine-mother-nursing-home/

53) Boy Scouts banned from planting American flags on veterans’ graves for Memorial Day due to coronavirus

https://www.foxnews.com/us/boy-scouts-banned-memorial-day-coronavirus-veterans

54) Sheriff rejects call by Virginia governor to enforce lockdown, cites Constitution

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/sheriff-rejects-call-to-enforce-va-governors-lock-down-cites-constitution

55) Totalitarian Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered a barber named Karl Manke to stop cutting hair. Then she rejected his claim for unemployment compensation. In order to pay for food, he continued cutting hair. Then she suspended his license, without so much as even a hearing or due process. And she won’t let him grow his own food. Apparently, she wants him to starve to death.

Karl Manke is a barber in Michigan. He’s been running his own barbershop since 1961.

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered barbershops to close. Her alleged reason was that we had to flatten the curve, so hospitals would not be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

The curve has been flatted. The hospitals have not been overwhelmed.

Despite this, governor Whitmer will still not allow barbershops to open.

Manke applied for unemployment compensation, but was rejected.

In order to pay for food, Manke continues to operate his barbershop.

Governor Whitmer suspended Manke’s professional license and his license for his barbershop, without so much as even a hearing or due process.

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer is a totalitarian who wants to force Karl Manke to starve to death.

Governor Whitmer’s intent to force Manke to starve to death is so strong that she won’t even let him grow his own food. She has ordered big box stores to prevent customers from having access to certain sections of the store, including gardening supplies.

Hers are the exact words of Governor Whitmer’s order from her official government website. The bolding is mine: (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.

56) Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down stay-at-home order

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/us/coronavirus-wisconsin-supreme-court.html

57) Cyril H. Wecht, one of the country’s most well regarded doctors, made an excellent argument against the lockdown

https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/Op-Ed/2020/05/14/Cyril-H-Wecht-Time-to-end-the-COVID-19-hysteria/stories/202005140031

58) Remy: Surfin’ USA (Beach Boys Lockdown Parody)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r-6s6cRGgA

59) Scott Adams: “Is every risk factor for #COVID19 a Vitamin D deficiency in disguise?”

Scott Adams wrote:

“Is every risk factor for #COVID19 a Vitamin D deficiency in disguise? Google it: old, overweight, black, diabetic, smog dwellers, nursing homes, prisons, shaded NYC streets, Chinese urban dwellers, covered body parts (Iran). All would have vitamin D issues.”

“Maybe we only think the heat and sunlight and humidity are what makes most viruses fade in summer. I believe science is not entirely sure why summer helps. All four variables seem promising, including Vitamin D. But the latter explains more observations.”

“Does the Vitamin D correlation work In reverse too? Who is doing unexpectedly well at keeping COVID19 at bay? Texas, Florida, other outdoorsy states. How about kids. Do your kids wear sunscreen every time they go in the backyard or street? Probably not.”

“Prisons are showing high infection rates but low deaths. Just learned that prison meals are engineered with vitamin D supplements. Makes sense.”

https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1258559176512376832

https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1258559177279987712

https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1258559178102018048

https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1258730616759046144

60) This COVID-19 meme quote from Handmaid’s Tale is spot-on accurate. And the person is even wearing a mask over her mouth!

I found this meme at this link: https://i.redd.it/pdhed3wxszy41.png

61) The curve has been flattened’: Michigan doctors sue Gov Whitmer over shutdown order

https://www.dailywire.com/news/the-curve-has-been-flattened-michigan-doctors-sue-gov-whitmer-over-shutdown-order

62) I created this meme

Click this link to see a bigger version: https://danfromsquirrelhill.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/woodstock-meme.jpg

63) Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Department of Public Health,
admitted that the government is falsely overstating the number of people who died from COVID-19.

She said:

“… if you died of clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljpHugKNcoI

64) New York and New Jersey both required nursing homes to admit patients who had tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, Florida prohibited nursing homes from admitting such patients. The different results of these different policies are exactly what you would expect.

New York and New Jersey both required nursing homes to admit patients who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Florida did the opposite. It prohibited patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 from being put in nursing homes.

The different results of these different policies are exactly what you would expect.

The Palm Beach Post reported the following rates of elder-care resident deaths per 100,000 people:

Florida: 3.5

New York: nearly 27

New Jersey: 51

65) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez apparently blames Trump for the fact that New York and New Jersey forced nursing homes to admit patients who had tested positive for COVID-19. And she apparently doesn’t know that Florida’s sunshine is good for your immune system. And she apparently thinks Florida’s death rate is higher than New York’s and New Jersey’s.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets so many different things wrong in the video below.

New York and New Jersey both required nursing homes to admit patients who had tested positive for COVID-19. This caused the disease to spread, and infect, and kill, a huge number of people who lived in these nursing homes.

But instead of blaming these deaths on New York and New Jersey, Ocasio-Cortez apparently blames them on Trump.

Meanwhile, Florida banned nursing homes from admitting patients who had tested positive for COVID-19. This saved a huge number of lives.

But instead of praising Florida’s actions, Ocasio-Cortez criticizes the state.

Ocasio-Cortez also apparently doesn’t understand that the sunshine at Florida’s beaches helps people’s bodies to generate vitamin D, and that this helps to protect them from COVID-19.

Also, Ocasio-Cortez apparently doesn’t seem to understand that just about every single mass outbreak of COVID-19 that has been documented, happened inside.

And Ocasio-Cortez apparently thinks that Florida’s death rate is higher than New York’s and New Jersey’s.

But here are the real numbers. COVID-19 deaths per 1 million population, as of May 17, 2020. Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

New York: 1,446

New Jersey: 1,155

Florida: 92

https://twitter.com/RealSaavedra/status/1245651038977179653

66) Risk of coronavirus spreading in schools is ‘extremely low’ study finds

https://www.yahoo.com/news/risk-coronavirus-spreading-schools-extremely-194143983.html

67) Stanford University doctor: ‘You are mistaken’ if you think coronavirus lockdowns provide safety

https://www.theblaze.com/news/stanford-university-doctor-mistaken-coronavirus-lockdowns

68) CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins caught removing face mask when she thought camera was off

https://twitter.com/realPowerTie/status/1261445611594723330

https://nypost.com/2020/05/16/cnn-reporter-caught-removing-face-mask-when-she-thought-camera-was-off/

69) Totalitarian Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf just forced my dental hygienist to cancel my 6 month teeth cleaning

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

May 18, 2020

I’m 49 years old. I’ve lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my entire life. I’ve been getting my teeth cleaned at the same dental practice ever since I was a little kid in the 1970s.

My 6 month teeth cleaning had been scheduled for tomorrow.

But they just called to tell me that it has been canceled, because they are “not allowed” to do teeth cleaning at this point in time.

70) Relapses are through the roof, overdoses are through the roof: How the pandemic is upping substance abuse

… They can’t go to a 12-step based meeting…

… People are self-medicating due to the quarantine. And they’re drinking more, and abusing more, and relapses are through the roof right now.

https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/19/relapses-are-through-the-roof-overdoses-are-through-the-roof-how-the-pandemic-is-upping-substance-abuse/

71) Neil Ferguson’s Imperial model “could go down in history as the most devastating software mistake of all time, in terms of economic costs and lives lost”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/05/16/neil-fergusons-imperial-model-could-devastating-software-mistake/

72) Childhood vaccine rates plummet amid coronavirus pandemic, risking new health crisis

Childhood vaccine rates for preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough have fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic, raising the possibility of an additional health crisis.

In New York City… the number of vaccine doses administered from March 23 to May 9 fell 63 percent compared with the same period last year.

In children older than 2 years, it fell 91 percent…

… Doctors offices have been closed…

… The numbers in New York match a national trend…

… from mid-March to mid-April, doctors in the federally funded Vaccines for Children program for the uninsured ordered about 2.5 million fewer doses of all routine non-influenza vaccines and 250,000 fewer doses of measles-containing vaccines compared to the same period in 2019…

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/498797-childhood-vaccine-rates-plummet-amid-coronavirus-pandemic-risking-new

73) Rise in female genital mutilation in Somalia linked to coronavirus shutdown

Somali girls out of school and stuck at home have been subject to a “massive rise” in female genital mutilation…

“It’s a lifetime torture for girls. The pain continues … until the girl goes to the grave. It impacts her education, ambition … everything.”

… the UNFPA has warned that globally 2 million more girls could be cut over the next decade because of how the global pandemic has disrupted efforts to end the practice.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/19/coronavirus-update-us/

74) Who Are The REAL Fascists?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UQS9oUQ9I0

75) More than 500 doctors signed this letter:

https://www.scribd.com/document/462319362/A-Doctor-a-Day-Letter-Signed#fullscreen&from_embed

In medical terms, the shutdown was a mass casualty incident.

During a mass casualty incident, victims are immediately triaged to black, red, yellow, or green. The first group, triage level black, includes those who require too many resources to save during a mass crisis. The red group has severe injuries that are survivable with treatment, the yellow group has serious injuries that are not immediately life threatening, and the green group has minor injuries.

The red group receives highest priority. The next priority is to ensure that the other two groups do not deteriorate a level. Decades of research have shown that by strictly following this algorithm, we save the maximum number of lives.

Millions of Americans are already at triage level red. These include 150,000 Americans per month who would have had a new cancer detected through routine screening that hasn’t happened, millions who have missed routine dental care to fix problems strongly linked to heart disease/death, and preventable cases of stroke, heart attack, and child abuse. Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%.

Tens of millions are at triage level yellow. Liquor sales have increased 300-600%, cigarettes sales have increased, rent has gone unpaid, family relationships have become frayed, and millions of well-child check-ups have been missed.

Hundreds of millions are at triage level green. These are people who currently are solvent, but at risk should economic conditions worsen. Poverty and financial uncertainty is closely linked to poor health.

A continued shutdown means hundreds of millions of Americans will downgrade a level. The following are real examples from our practices.

Patient E.S. is a mother with two children whose office job was reduced to part-time and whose husband was furloughed. The father is drinking more, the mother is depressed and not managing her diabetes well, and the children are barely doing any schoolwork.

Patient A.F. has chronic but previously stable health conditions. Her elective hip replacement was delayed, which caused her to become nearly sedentary, resulting in a pulmonary embolism in April.

Patient R.T. is an elderly nursing home patient, who had a small stroke in early March but was expected to make a nearly complete recovery. Since the shutdown, he has had no physical or speech therapy, and no visitors. He has lost weight, and is deteriorating rather than making progress.

Patient S.O. is a college freshman who cannot return to normal life, school, and friendships. He risks depression, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, trauma, and future financial uncertainty.

We are alarmed at what appears to be the lack of consideration for the future health of our patients. The downstream health effects of deteriorating a level are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error.

It is impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown. Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events, and the effect on a person’s health is not lessened because it also has happened to 30 million other people. Keeping schools and universities closed is incalculably detrimental for children, teenagers, and young adults for decades to come.

The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.

Because the harm is diffuse, there are those who hold that it does not exist. We, the undersigned, know otherwise.

76) Ohio judge deems the state’s COVID-19 lockdown ‘Arbitrary, unreasonable, and oppressive’

https://reason.com/2020/05/20/ohio-judge-deems-the-states-covid-19-lockdown-arbitrary-unreasonable-and-oppressive/

77) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio does not understand math

According to the CDC, for children who contract COVID-19, the death rate is zero:

https://www.businessinsider.com/most-us-coronavirus-deaths-ages-65-older-cdc-report-2020-3

And here’s a recent news headline:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/risk-coronavirus-spreading-schools-extremely-194143983.html

Risk of coronavirus spreading in schools ‘extremely low’, study finds

Despite those two pieces of information, this is a recent tweet by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio:

https://twitter.com/NYCMayor/status/1262509072051470340

The text of de Blasio’s tweet says: (the bolding is mine)

“Earlier today the NYPD shut down a Yeshiva conducting classes with as many as 70 children. I can’t stress how dangerous this is for our young people. We’re issuing a Cease and Desist Order and will make sure we keep our communities and our kids safe.”

Clearly, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio does not understand math.

78) Dr. Mike deBoisblanc, head of the trauma department at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, said, “… we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks…”

https://abc7news.com/suicide-covid-19-coronavirus-rates-during-pandemic-death-by/6201962/

79) “rampant unemployment, isolation and an uncertain future – could lead to 75,000 deaths from drug or alcohol abuse and suicide”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-deaths-suicides-drugs-alcohol-pandemic-75000/

80) More people died of suicide than coronavirus in Tennessee last week

https://tennesseestar.com/2020/03/29/more-people-died-of-suicide-than-coronavirus-in-tennessee-last-week/

81) In Washington state, people who were killed by gunshots were falsely counted as being killed by COVID-19

https://www.kxly.com/three-percent-of-washingtons-reported-covid-19-deaths-may-be-inaccurate/

82) Barber who defied Michigan coronavirus lockdown can continue, says court

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/michigan-coronavirus-lockdown-news-barber-owosso-city-a9528056.html

83) De Blasio shredded for encouraging New Yorkers to rat out social distancing violators. “Urging citizens to film non-compliant individuals reminds me of one of the tactics utilized in the country where he spent his honeymoon, Cuba.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/de-blasio-shredded-over-encouraging-new-yorkers-to-rat-out-social-distancing-violators

84) Poll: Democrats much more likely than Republicans to snitch on neighbors for ‘lockdown’ violations

https://townhall.com/columnists/humbertofontova/2020/05/23/poll-democrats-much-more-likely-than-republicans-to-snitch-on-neighbors-for-lockdown-fontviolations-n2569306

85) Downstate judge blasts Pritzker’s stay-at-home-order: ‘Americans don’t get ruled’

https://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/2020/5/22/21267665/downstate-judge-blasts-illinois-governor-jb-pritzker-stay-at-home-order

86) New Zealand health minister demoted after beach visit broke lockdown rules

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/07/new-zealand-health-minister-demoted-after-beach-visit-broke-lockdown-rules

87) Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick visited his parents during Covid-19 lockdown

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/09/cabinet-minister-robert-jenrick-visited-his-parents-during-covid-19-lockdown

88) Scotland’s chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood steps down after visiting second home twice despite advice to stay in

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/apr/05/scotland-chief-medical-officer-seen-flouting-lockdown-advice-catherine-calderwood

89) Pressure on Dominic Cummings (Boris Johnson’s key adviser) to quit over lockdown breach

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/22/dominic-cummings-durham-trip-coronavirus-lockdown

90) AP count: Over 4,500 virus patients sent to NY nursing homes

https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2020-05-22/ap-count-over-4-300-virus-patients-sent-to-ny-nursing-homes

91) Dr. Anthony Fauci says staying closed for too long could cause ‘irreparable damage’

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/22/dr-anthony-fauci-says-staying-closed-for-too-long-could-cause-irreparable-damage.html

92) Indonesian researchers, Prabowo Raharusuna, MD, and colleagues, studied 780 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 380 died and 400 survived… Vitamin D as a Risk Factor: When adjusted for confounds — i.e., age, sex, and comorbidity — those with vitamin D insufficiency were still “approx. 7.63 times more likely to die,” and those with vitamin D deficiency were sill “approx. 10.12 times more likely to die,”

https://medium.com/microbial-instincts/lack-of-vitamin-d-as-an-independent-risk-factor-for-covid-19-death-82365d0520fa

93) Minnesota nursing homes, already the site of 81% of COVID-19 deaths, continue taking in infected patients

https://www.startribune.com/minn-nursing-homes-already-site-of-81-of-covid-19-deaths-still-taking-in-infected-patients/570601282/

94) In the U.S., the first nine weeks of the lockdown caused 38 million people to lose their jobs

https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/21/another-2-4-million-americans-filed-for-unemployment-last-week-38-million-since-march/

95) While Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer forced barbershops to close for being “dangerous,” she allowed a gay swinger’s club with “glory holes” and anonymous, unprotected sex to remain open

Note from Daniel Alman: I’m a libertarian. I’m against the government shutting down either one of these things. I don’t care what consenting adults do in private. My objection is not to the sex club. Instead, my objection is to Whitmer’s hypocrisy.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/megan-fox/2020/05/20/gretchen-whitmer-allows-gay-swingers-club-to-operate-while-barber-loses-license-n409648

96) Minnesota governor Tim Walz tried to give churches a longer lockdown than shopping malls, casinos, tattoo parlors, liquor stores, and salons

https://twitchy.com/brettt-3136/2020/05/20/minnesota-churches-says-theyre-reopening-may-26-the-same-day-malls-and-casinos-can/

97) Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer’s husband sought boat launching during state of emergency. Boating had been banned during the state of emergency.

https://bigleaguepolitics.com/report-michigan-governor-whitmers-husband-sought-boat-launching-during-state-of-emergency/

98) Why didn’t the 1958 and 1918 pandemics destroy the economy? Hint: it’s the lockdowns

https://mises.org/wire/why-didnt-1958-and-1918-pandemics-destroy-economy-hint-its-lockdowns

99) Virginia governor Ralph Northam wants to force everyone, except himself, to wear a mask

https://twitter.com/DRCUSALiberty/status/1264357580341686273

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/gov-northam-slammed-for-mingling-in-virginia-beach-crowds-without-a-mask/2020/05/24/8e42b9b2-9dca-11ea-81bb-c2f70f01034b_story.html

100) LA County sheriff’s deputies arrested a paddle boarder for violating the state’s stay-at-home order

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/09/viral-image/la-county-sheriffs-deputies-arrested-paddle-boarde/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcjyQm2KRnE

101) Mask hypocrisy at MSNBC

https://twitter.com/EddieZipperer/status/1265374806662397953

102) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio violates his own government’s recommendations and hits the gym in Brooklyn amid the coronavirus shutdown

https://www.businessinsider.com/nyc-mayor-bill-de-blasio-goes-ymca-announcing-closure-gyms-2020-3

103) New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham violated her own lockdown so she could buy jewelry

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2020-05-27/state-auditor-looking-into-new-mexicos-16m-mask-purchase

104) CNN interviews Alabama beachgoers not wearing masks, gets owned after photos surface of maskless reporter

https://twitter.com/SteveKrak/status/1265457232843624451

https://thespectator.info/2020/05/27/cnn-interviews-alabama-beachgoers-not-wearing-masks-gets-owned-after-photos-surface-of-maskless-reporter/

105) The fatality rate of COVID-19 “would probably be 0.13 percent for people outside nursing homes”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/tell-me-what-to-do-please-even-experts-struggle-with-coronavirus-unknowns/2020/05/25/e11f9870-9d08-11ea-ad09-8da7ec214672_story.html

106) A scientific study said, “Home outbreaks were the dominant category (254 of 318 outbreaks; 79.9%)”

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.04.20053058v1.full.pdf

107) NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo admits that all the COVID-19 projections ‘were all wrong’

https://www.theblaze.com/news/cuomo-projections-wrong

108) Chicago pastor claims the mayor sent armed police in unmarked cars to bang on the church doors Sunday: It was ‘like the Soviet-styled KGB’

https://www.theblaze.com/news/chicago-pastor-mayor-armed-police

109) Minnesota Governor Tim Walz: Restrictions will stay In place “until we get a vaccine”

https://twitter.com/KyleHooten2/status/1264694781101432833

https://twincitiesnewstalk.iheart.com/featured/justice-drew/content/2020-05-26-governor-walz-restrictions-will-stay-in-place-until-we-get-a-vaccine/

110) Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer “signed an order mandating that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities accept COVID-19 patients”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gretchen-whitmers-most-devastating-coronavirus-mistake

111) Minnesota nursing homes have 81% of COVID-19 deaths, still taking positive patients

https://www.valleynewslive.com/content/news/Data-shows-81-of–570708611.html

112) States with the toughest lockdowns forced nursing homes to admit patients who had tested positive for COVID-19. This caused the U.S. death rate to be far, far higher than it otherwise would have been.

New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and California all forced nursing homes to admit patients who had tested positive for COVID-19.

NPR reported:

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

The Washington Examiner reported:

Whitmer signed an order mandating that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities accept COVID-19 patients

Valley News Live reported:

Many states, including New York, came under fire for a policy requiring nursing homes to admit COVID-19 positive patients…

Minnesota’s Department of Health did so…

The Daily Caller reported:

PA Health Secretary Moved Mother Out Of Personal Care Home After Ordering Nursing Homes To Accept COVID Patients

These are the very same states that had the toughest lockdowns.

If the real purpose of the lockdowns was to protect people from COVID-19, then why did the states with the toughest lockdowns force nursing homes to admit people who had tested positive for COVID-19?

113) Minnesota mayor gives masks to crowding rioters after warning in-person worship would be ‘public health disaster’

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/minneapolis-mayor-says-facemasks-given-to-rioters-as-other-residents-told-to-avoid-mass-gatherings

114) New England Journal of Medicine: “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection”

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372

115) In Colorado, “a CBS4 Investigation revealed the state health department reclassified three deaths at a Centennial nursing home as COVID-19 deaths, despite the fact attending physicians ruled all three were not related to coronavirus”

https://denver.cbslocal.com/2020/05/14/coronavirus-montezuma-county-coroner-alcohol-poisoning-covid-death/

116) In Michigan, someone who committed suicide was listed as having died from COVID-19

https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/04/medical-experts-say-michigans-coronavirus-death-count-isnt-accurate-but-is-it-too-high-or-too-low.html

117) Dr. Deborah Birx: “if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blZpgra3XbU

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/04/08/dr_birx_unlike_some_countries_if_someone_dies_with_covid-19_we_are_counting_that_as_a_covid-19_death.html

118) According to Elie Mystal, a writer for the Nation, people who protest against the lockdown “aren’t freedom fighters – they’re virus-spreading sociopaths,” while people who protest against the murder of George Floyd have “incredible strength”

Elie Mystal is a writer for The Nation.

According to Mystal, people who protest against the lockdown

“aren’t freedom fighters – they’re virus-spreading sociopaths”

while people who protest against the murder of George Floyd have

“incredible strength”

Make up your mind. Either the virus is too dangerous for people to be protesting in public, or it’s not. You can’t have it be safe for protesters that you agree with, but dangerous for protestors that you disagree with. Viruses don’t work that way. The virus doesn’t know or care why a person is protesting.

119) Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf violated his own lockdown to participate in a Black Lives Matter protest

https://www.pennlive.com/coronavirus/2020/06/why-did-pa-gov-tom-wolf-join-a-protest-with-thousands-of-people-breaking-the-rules-in-a-yellow-phase-county.html

120) The ACLU supported the lockdown for law abiding business owners, but opposed the lockdown for criminals who looted, vandalized, and burned those very same businesses

https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/06/the-aclus-new-curfew-position-unmasks-their-hypocrisy/

121) Knut Wittkowski, former head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at The Rockefeller University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science, said the lockdown “most likely made the situation worse”

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/15/we-could-open-up-again-and-forget-the-whole-thing/

122) A Jewish children’s gathering turned into a George Floyd protest so New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio wouldn’t shut it down

This is one of the most absurd examples of the lockdown’s double standards.

A Jewish children’s gathering turned into a George Floyd protest so New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio wouldn’t shut it down.

Here’s a photograph of it. Note the sign on the left that says, “Justice for George Floyd.”

jewish children justice for george floyd

You can see a bigger version of the photograph at this link: https://danfromsquirrelhill.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/jewish-children-justice-for-george-floyd.jpg

The photograph is from this tweet:

https://twitter.com/JakeTurx/status/1268970681351405575

Here’s an article about it:

https://thepostmillennial.com/jewish-childrens-gathering-turned-into-a-george-floyd-protest-so-de-blasio-wouldnt-shut-it-down

123) Over 1,000 ‘health experts’ sign letter of support for Black Lives Matter mob but conservative protesters are racist and must stay at home due to COVID-19

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/06/1000-health-experts-sign-letter-support-black-lives-matter-mob-conservative-protesters-racist-must-stay-home-due-covid-19/

124) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that he still supported quarantine measures that limited attendance at houses of worship to 10, even as he supported mass protests in the city against police brutality

https://forward.com/fast-forward/447916/de-blasio-coronavirus-jewish-protest/

125) Michigan Supreme Court unanimously sides with 77-year-old barber over governor Gretchen Whitmer

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/06/05/michigan-supreme-court-unanimously-sides-with-77-year-old-barber-over-gov-gretchen-whitmer/

126) Black pro-lifers arrested for praying at Planned Parenthood while hundreds of rioters go free

https://www.lifenews.com/2020/06/05/black-pro-lifers-arrested-for-praying-at-planned-parenthood-while-hundreds-of-rioters-go-free/

127) PA Health Secretary twists herself into a pretzel trying to justify limitless BLM protests while standing by COVID-19 restrictions for small businesses

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/06/pa-health-secretary-twists-pretzel-trying-justify-limitless-blm-protests-standing-covid-19-restrictions-small-businesses-video/

https://twitter.com/David_LaTorre/status/1268280669014237186

128) New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio broke up a Jewish funeral, but allowed a funeral for George Floyd

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/06/de-blasio-broke-jewish-funeral-month-ago-today-allows-thousands-geoge-floyd-funeral-service-brooklyn/

129) Michigan governor Gretchen ‘Lockdown’ Whitmer leads group of marchers chanting, ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’

https://twitchy.com/brettt-3136/2020/06/04/gov-gretchen-lockdown-whitmer-leads-group-of-marchers-chanting-hands-up-dont-shoot/

130) Claire McCaskill was the State Auditor of Missouri, as well as a U.S. Senator from Missouri. She criticized people who went swimming, but defended Black Lives Matter protestors.

https://twitter.com/clairecmc/status/1264571117546725377

https://twitter.com/clairecmc/status/1268367586699415553

https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/04/protests-expose-lockdowns-and-social-distancing-shaming-as-a-farce/

131) U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said she supported extending the lockdown for three more months. Less than one month later, she participated in a Black Lives Matter protest.

https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1268262028205936641

https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/may/13/nancy-pelosi-of-course-supports-los-angeles-lockdo/

132) Let this sink In: Churches are shuttered over COVID-19 fears, but violent anarchists are allowed to congregate with impunity

https://pjmedia.com/columns/paula-bolyard/2020/05/31/let-this-sink-in-churches-are-shuttered-over-covid-19-fears-but-violent-anarchist-are-allowed-to-congregate-with-impunity-n474676

133) New York governor Andrew Cuomo criticized anti-lockdown protestors, but defended Black Lives Matter protestors who violated the lockdown

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/george-floyd-unrest-big-city-mayors-coronavirus-lockdowns

134) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti threatened to turn off the water and electricity to businesses that violated the lockdown, but he defended Black Lives Matter protestors who violated the lockdown

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/george-floyd-unrest-big-city-mayors-coronavirus-lockdowns

135) Denmark, Finland say they saw no increase in coronavirus after schools re-opened

https://justthenews.com/world/europe/denmark-finland-say-they-saw-no-increase-coronavirus-after-schools-re-opened

136) Kanchan Soni, who lived in India, died because the lockdown prevented her from getting dialysis

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2020/apr/16/dialysis-patient-denied-treatment-dies-2130804.html

137) Chewing gum, wire-cutters, and superglue: the alarming rise of DIY Dentistry under coronavirus

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/chewing-gum-wire-cutters-superglue-alarming-rise-diy-dentistry/

138) A scientific paper on the lockdown states, “In high burden settings, HIV, TB and malaria related deaths over 5 years may be increased by up to 10%, 20% and 36%, respectively”

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/mrc-gida/2020-05-01-COVID19-Report-19.pdf

139) Polio and measles could surge after disruption of vaccine programs. A new study of 129 countries found that the interruption of inoculation efforts could put 80 million babies at risk of getting deadly, preventable diseases.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/22/health/coronavirus-polio-measles-immunizations.html

140) Why most Covid-19 deaths won’t be from the virus

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200528-why-most-covid-19-deaths-wont-be-from-the-virus

141) Two hairstylists who had coronavirus saw 140 clients. No new infections have been linked to the salon, officials say.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/11/us/missouri-hairstylists-coronavirus-clients-trnd/index.html

142) Democrats cheering ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests now say Trump rallies pose coronavirus risk

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democrats-cheering-black-lives-matter-protests-now-say-trump-rallies-pose-coronavirus-risk

143) New Jersey governor Phil Murphy violated his own lockdown to participate in two Black Lives Matter protests

https://whyy.org/articles/gop-assemblyman-n-j-gov-murphy-broke-own-order-marching-in-protests/

144) Over half of Minnesota coronavirus death certificates list something else as primary cause of death

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/horowitz-half-minnesota-coronavirus-death-certificates-list-something-else-primary-cause-death/

145) In the real world, George Floyd was killed by a police officer. But in the fantasy world of bogus COVID-19 statistics, he died from COVID-19.

In the real world, George Floyd was killed by a police officer.

This CNN article is titled, “George Floyd tested positive for coronavirus, but it had nothing to do with his death, autopsy shows.”

So although Floyd tested positive for COVID-19, it was not the cause of his death.

However, Dr. Deborah Birx had previously stated:

“if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blZpgra3XbU

In the real world, George Floyd was killed by a police officer.

But in the fantasy world of bogus COVID-19 statistics, he died from COVID-19.

146) U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders praised Black Lives Matter protestors, but said Trump’s proposed GOP convention was dangerous

On June 5, 2020, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said the following of Black Lives Matter protestors:

“I’m very proud of the people standing up for justice and taking to the streets. When we study history we look at pivotal moments — the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War II. People will look back on this time as one of those moments.”

https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1268992801963982853

However, on June 11, 2020, Sanders said the following of President Trump’s proposed GOP convention:

“Trump wants 15,000 delegates cheering him at his GOP convention in Florida. No social distancing. His rejection of medical advice endangers not only those there but those they come in contact with. Trump’s a threat to the health and well-being of the country. He must be defeated.”

https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1271137203318595584

Make up your mind, Senator Sanders. Either the virus is too dangerous for people to be gathering in large groups, or it’s not. You can’t have it be safe for people that you agree with, but dangerous for people that you disagree with. Viruses don’t work that way. The virus doesn’t know or care why people are gathering together in large groups.

147) Feds classifying all coronavirus patient deaths as ‘COVID-19’ deaths, regardless of cause. The federal government is classifying the deaths of patients infected with the coronavirus as COVID-19 deaths, regardless of any underlying health issues that could have contributed to the loss of someone’s life.

https://nypost.com/2020/04/07/feds-classify-all-coronavirus-patient-deaths-as-covid-19-deaths/

148) World Health Organization: “If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19”

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/cdc-offer-conflicting-advice-masks-expert-tells-us/story?id=70958380

149) Reopening schools in Denmark did not worsen outbreak, data shows

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-denmark-reopening-idUSKBN2341N7

150) One month later: top Israeli mathematician predicted COVID-19 peaks after 40 days with or without economic lockdowns – and he was right!

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/05/one-month-later-top-israeli-mathematician-predicted-covid-19-peaks-40-days-without-economic-lockdowns-right/

151) Baltimore fines church for holding services while thousands protest in the streets

https://hotair.com/archives/jazz-shaw/2020/06/13/baltimore-fines-church-holding-services-thousands-protest-streets/

152) Argentina pastor turns church into bar in protest at uneven coronavirus restrictions

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/13/argentina-pastor-turns-church-into-bar-in-protest-at-uneven-coronavirus-restrictions

153) More than 60 percent of both nursing home deaths and total COVID-19 deaths occurred in just seven blue states with about 20 percent of the U.S. population: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Michigan. The governors in each of these states ignored federal guidelines and pursued some version of the policy of admitting infectious patients to nursing homes as soon as they were clinically stable.

https://townhall.com/columnists/philkerpen/2020/06/24/covid19-the-nursing-home-disease-n2571160

154) MSNBC: Trump Fans ‘Super-Spreaders’ But BLM Protesters Show ‘Extraordinary Courage’

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/mark-finkelstein/2020/06/21/msnbc-trump-fans-super-spreaders-blm-protesters-show

155) Water, power cut off and locks changed at Oxford gym that defied Massachusetts shutdown

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/06/18/oxford-gym-prime-fitness-david-blondin-electricity-water-massachusetts-shutdown/

156) James Woods: “Democrats were literally arresting Americans for opening their businesses, but now are silent as protesters burn them down. You were fined for worshipping in your church, but now cheered for marching in screaming crowds.”

https://twitter.com/RealJamesWoods/status/1268201526448685056

157) Dr. Kelly Fradin: “I’m a pediatrician and I think we should reopen schools, even with the risk of coronavirus outbreaks”

https://www.insider.com/pediatrician-reopen-schools-even-if-it-leads-coronavirus-outbreaks-2020-6

158) Catholic priests, Orthodox Jews sue Cuomo, de Blasio over reopening plan: ‘Blatant double-standard’

https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-york-cuomo-de-blasio-coronavirus-discrimination-lawsuit

159) Pennsylvania sues to stop car show over crowd size even after Governor Tom Wolf marched in Black Lives Matter protest two weeks earlier

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pennsylvania-shut-down-car-show-coronvirus

160) An Ohio BBQ restaurant named Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf its “employee of the month” after business skyrocketed. Breakwall BBQ sits along Lake Erie near the Pennsylvania-Ohio border in a town called Conneaut. The BBQ joint tells Erie News Now they’ve had hundreds of customers cross the border to eat at their restaurant as Erie County remains in the yellow phase of the state’s reopening process.

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2020/06/17/ohio-bbq-restaurant-names-pennsylvania-gov-tom-wolf-employee-of-the-month-after-spike-in-business/

161) Citing protests, federal judge strikes down Cuomo and de Blasio lockdown orders for churches

A federal judge on Friday struck down orders issued by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio that limit the size of church services.

The ruling, a preliminary injunction delivered by District Judge Gary Sharpe, notes that by endorsing protests for racial justice while simultaneously discouraging large gatherings in churches, both Cuomo and de Blasio undermined their claim that their lockdown orders were “generally applicable.”

“The State argues, in overly-simplistic fashion, that the challenged laws only incidentally impose a burden on religious exercise, and they are neutral and generally applicable, and therefore, only rational basis need be shown, which is self-evident: preventing the spread of COVID-19,” Sharpe wrote. “The State was silent with respect to the mass race protests.”

Sharpe added that de Blasio’s comments with regard to churches, as well as his attitude toward New York Jewish communities, made it difficult for the mayor to make a “legitimate” claim that he is not biased against people of faith while favoring protests.

“Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio could have just as easily discouraged protests, short of condemning their message, in the name of public health and exercised discretion to suspend enforcement for public safety reasons instead of encouraging what they knew was a flagrant disregard of the outdoor limits and social distancing rules,” Sharpe wrote. “They could have also been silent. But by acting as they did, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio sent a clear message that mass protests are deserving of preferential treatment.”

De Blasio, in early June, said that allowing protests and allowing religious services were “not the same question.”

The ruling came after Catholic churches and Orthodox synagogues in upstate New York filed a suit earlier this month alleging that Cuomo’s executive orders violated their First Amendment rights.

Following Sharpe’s order, New York officials are no longer allowed to impose limits on indoor, in-person religious gatherings.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/citing-protests-federal-judge-strikes-down-cuomo-and-de-blasio-lockdown-orders-for-churches

162) This video shows Dr. Anthony Fauci removing his mask when he thought he was no longer being filmed

https://twitter.com/CHIZMAGA/status/1278029614070153217

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

163) DC mayor tells residents to stay home for 4th of July, promotes Black Lives Matter gatherings

https://dailycaller.com/2020/06/26/dc-mayor-muriel-bowster-social-distance-coronavirus-fourth-july-george-floyd-protests/

164) De Blasio, Cuomo are making children bear the worst of the lockdowns

Videos circulating on social media recently show New York City Parks employees welding shut a playground in the heart of Hasidic Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We have seen footage of the New York Police Department and NYC Parks Police in Boro Park shepherding Hasidic children out of a park and locking it shut behind them.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands are allowed to protest in Brooklyn, while a maskless Mayor Bill de Blasio poses for photo-ops, ignoring the social-distancing guidelines his administration ruthlessly enforces against Jewish children and families.

The hypocrisy is stunning — and appalling.

Is it too much to ask for consistent leadership in the Big Apple? Is it too much to ask that our mayor enforce policies equally, across the board? Is it too much to ask that the mayor practice what he preaches or even set an example, instead of scurrying after the most popular position of the week, gung-ho about lockdowns two weeks ago — and gung-ho about mass protests today?

And why are our children becoming the victims of this whiplash-inducing virtue-signaling?

If it were only the mayor taking dumb stances, perhaps we could chalk it up to de Blasio being de Blasio. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t exactly the beacon of leadership that he projected at the outset of this crisis. On Friday, he took the confounding step of banning sleepaway camps in New York state this summer.

https://nypost.com/2020/06/16/de-blasio-cuomo-are-making-children-bear-worst-of-lockdowns/

165) Selective social-distancing rules are one of the great scams in American life. Massive crowds are wonderful and healthful, if they’re woke. Otherwise, they’re life-threatening… Their metric for reopening wasn’t the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines or any other public-health measure but the “wokeness” of the activity in question… Virtue-signaling is now an essential activity… To believe the leaders of Blue America, SARS-CoV-2 is the first virus in human history to have a social conscience – virulent enough in the ordinary course of events to justify the most restrictive social controls, but not such a big deal if it might get in the way of marches for social justice.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/06/coronavirus-selective-social-distancing-rules-scam/

166) Slowing the coronavirus is speeding the spread of other diseases. Many mass immunization efforts worldwide were halted this spring to prevent spread of the virus at crowded inoculation sites. The consequences have been alarming… cargo flights with vaccine supplies were halted… Now, diphtheria is appearing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Cholera is in South Sudan, Cameroon, Mozambique, Yemen and Bangladesh. A mutated strain of poliovirus has been reported in more than 30 countries. And measles is flaring around the globe, including in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Nigeria and Uzbekistan.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/health/coronavirus-vaccines-measles.html

167) Norway health chief: lockdown was not needed to tame Covid

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/norway-health-chief-lockdown-was-not-needed-to-tame-covid

168) NBC News “medical expert” Dr. Joseph Fair appeared on air nearly a dozen times to document his “struggle” with COVID-19. But later, he admitted that he never actually had COVID-19. From the very start, every single one of his COVID-19 tests was negative.

This is just too funny.

This is one of the biggest and best examples of the media bias that is being used to exaggerate the problem of COVID-19.

NBC News “medical expert” Dr. Joseph Fair appeared on air nearly a dozen times to document his “struggle” with COVID-19.

But later, he admitted that he never actually had COVID-19.

From the very start, every single one of his COVID-19 tests was negative.

Here’s a picture of Dr. Fair from one of his reports. I got this image from the following link, which also has a great article about how NBC pulled off their huge con:

https://freebeacon.com/media/nbc-contributor-reveals-he-never-had-coronavirus-after-network-documented-his-recovery/

Dr. Joseph Fair

Here are some of the videos of NBC’s con that aired on the network:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWRVXxTdgYs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjZbSHv6lws

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of4RlbgUbEc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyizJh3–5o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_tupmKGy0c

169) California’s Gavin Newsom orders wineries shut, keeps his own open

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/07/californias_gavin_newsom_orders_wineries_shut_keeps_his_own_open.html

170) Antibody tests point to lower death rate for the coronavirus than first thought

Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared.

The evidence comes from tests that detect antibodies to the coronavirus in a person’s blood rather than the virus itself.

The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous.

“The current best estimates for the infection fatality risk are between 0.5% and 1%,” says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

That’s in contrast with death rates of 5% or more based on calculations that included only people who got sick enough to be diagnosed with tests that detect the presence of virus in a person’s body.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/05/28/863944333/antibody-tests-point-to-lower-death-rate-for-the-coronavirus-than-first-thought

171) Churches, which account for 0.02% of COVID-19 cases, are a “major source” of infection, the New York Times says. The paper’s claim reflects the same arbitrary distinction between religious and secular activities that churches are challenging in court.

https://reason.com/2020/07/08/churches-which-account-for-0-02-of-covid-19-cases-are-a-major-source-of-infection-the-new-york-times-says/

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/us/coronavirus-churches-outbreaks.html

172) NYC Black Lives Matter marches can continue despite large-event ban, de Blasio says

https://nypost.com/2020/07/09/nyc-allows-black-lives-matter-marches-despite-ban-on-large-events/

173) Coronavirus pandemic could push 122 million to brink of starvation: Oxfam

https://globalnews.ca/news/7155931/coronavirus-starvation-oxfam/

174) Dr. Dan Wohlgelernter said, “What we needed to do was not lock down all of society. Not shut down schools. Not shut down all businesses. You needed to protect the elderly. Particularly the elderly in the nursing homes. It’s a small segment of our population. We could have allowed the rest of the population to continue with their lives, take adequate precautions but not be completely shut down. The cost of the shut down in terms of the physical, emotional, and psychological health of people is enormous. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of people who have been shut-in. Who’ve lost their businesses. Who are facing depression. Who are facing issues of mental health because of the consequences. This should never happen again. If we ever face this situation again we need to learn the lessons from the mistakes and policies that were implemented.”

https://theohiostar.com/2020/07/01/doctors-break-down-covid-response-and-the-demonization-of-hcq-doctors-tell-all/

175) Are protests dangerous? What experts say may depend on who’s protesting what. Public health experts decried the anti-lockdown protests as dangerous gatherings in a pandemic. Health experts seem less comfortable doing so now that the marches are against racism.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/us/Epidemiologists-coronavirus-protests-quarantine.html/

May 5, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care. 21 comments.

I have three questions: 1) Why did huge numbers of hospitals across the country lay off huge numbers of health care workers? 2) Why did most governors ban elective medical procedures? 3) Why did several of those governors give an exemption to abortion?

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

May 1, 2020

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:

amazon logo

All across the country, huge numbers of hospitals have laid off huge numbers of health care workers. Here are some news headlines about this:

https://www.masslive.com/boston/2020/04/coronavirus-financial-losses-prompt-boston-medical-center-to-furlough-700-employees-10-of-hospitals-workforce.html

Coronavirus financial losses prompt Boston Medical Center to furlough 700 employees, 10% of hospital’s workforce

https://www.kentucky.com/news/coronavirus/article241565211.html

Kentucky hospital chain furloughs about 500 employees as coronavirus saps business

https://www.sungazette.com/news/top-news/2020/04/a-mounting-casualty-crisis-health-care-jobs/

A mounting casualty crisis: Health care jobs

http://wvmetronews.com/2020/04/03/thomas-health-to-lay-off-hundreds-as-business-shrinks-because-of-coronavirus/

Four West Virginia hospitals lay off hundreds because of coronavirus-related shrinking revenues

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/04/02/coronavirus-pandemic-jobs-us-health-care-workers-furloughed-laid-off/5102320002/

Thousands of US medical workers furloughed, laid off as routine patient visits drop during coronavirus pandemic

https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/09/i-cant-get-my-hip-surgery-because-of-coronavirus-even-though-nobody-is-in-our-hospital/

I Can’t Get My Hip Surgery Because Of Coronavirus Even Though Nobody Is In Our Hospital

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/musc-health-lays-off-900-due-to-covid-19-financial-strain.html

MUSC Health lays off 900 due to COVID-19 financial strain

https://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/oklahoma-city-hospital-closed-amid-coronavirus-spread/article_0b2e6a38-d470-57a0-8d32-a9eeb80d0bbe.html

Oklahoma City hospital closed amid coronavirus spread

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/coronavirus-victim-americas-largest-health-systems/story?id=70317683

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

https://nypost.com/2020/04/27/were-destroying-hospitals-in-the-name-of-fighting-the-coronavirus/

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

https://www.foxnews.com/science/mayo-clinic-furlough-or-cut-pay-employees

Mayo Clinic to furlough or cut pay of 30,000 employees

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-testing-company-quest-diagnostics-furloughs-workers/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=86566305

Coronavirus testing company Quest Diagnostics furloughs workers

Meanwhile, the governors in more than 30 states have banned elective medical procedures.

The word “elective” refers to any medical procedure that is scheduled in advance.

Examples of elective medical procedures that have been postponed or canceled include cancer treatment, organ transplants, and hip surgery.

However, some of the governors that have banned elective medical procedures have given an exemption to abortion.

For example, Politico reported:

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was one of a handful of Democratic leaders to explicitly carve out an exception for “the full range of family planning services and procedures, including terminations of pregnancies” from his executive order that suspends elective surgeries.

As another example, the Lansing State Journal reported:

Reproductive health clinics in Michigan are still providing abortion services, citing an exemption for “pregnancy-related visits and procedures” in Gov. Whitmer’s executive order restricting non-essential medical services.

Likewise, the New Boston Post reported:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has exempted elective abortions from the statewide ban on elective surgery during the coronavirus precautionary restrictions.

Furthermore, Virginia’s official government website reported:

Governor Ralph Northam and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA today directed all hospitals to stop performing elective surgeries or procedures…

The public health emergency order does not apply to… family planning services

Also, the Washington Free Beacon reported:

Pennsylvania Allows Planned Parenthood to Perform Abortions Despite Elective Surgery Ban

So I have three questions about all of this:

1) Why did huge numbers of hospitals across the country lay off huge numbers of health care workers?

2) Why did most governors ban elective medical procedures?

3) Why did several of those governors give an exemption to abortion?

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:

amazon logo

May 1, 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:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

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.

John Stossel: Coronavirus Overreach

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuzPrhnaiYE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuzPrhnaiYE

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

Early Antibody Testing Indicates Far More COVID-19 Cases, Lower Mortality Rate

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/early-antibody-testing-indicates-far-more-covid-19-cases-lower-mortality-rate/2349275/

Early Antibody Testing Indicates Far More COVID-19 Cases, Lower Mortality Rate

Although there is a decrease in the number of deaths, the study indicates that there could be hundreds of thousands of people who could be infected without knowing it.

April 20, 2020

Although there is a decrease in the number of deaths, the study indicates that there could be hundreds of thousands of people who could be infected without knowing it.

Preliminary results from an antibody testing program indicates the number of COVID-19 infections in Los Angeles County far exceeds the number of confirmed cases, with potentially more than 400,000 residents having been infected at some point, USC researchers and county health officials announced Monday.

The good news from the antibody study, researchers said, is that the mortality rate from the illness is much lower than currently estimated. The bad news is that there are potentially hundreds of thousands of residents who are unknowingly infected with the illness and not showing any symptoms, but are still capable of spreading it to others.

The numbers prove that “we are very early in the epidemic,” said USC professor Neeraj Sood of the USC Price School for Public Policy.

County public health director Barbara Ferrer said the figures also show that with thousands of residents likely infected and capable to transmitting the virus, social-distancing requirements need to remain in place.

As of Monday, the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed by testing stood at 13,816 — a fraction of the maximum estimate of 442,000 cases indicated by the antibody study. Researchers are testing for antibodies in adults over time in an effort to determine the scope and spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the county. The testing began in early April with a representative sample of 863 residents.

A rapid antibody test was used for the study, which was conducted at six drive-through test sites. The researchers plan to test new groups of participants every few weeks to gauge the pandemic’s trajectory.

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. “We haven’t known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms, and the availability of tests has been limited,” Sood, the lead investigator on the study, said. “The estimates also suggest that we might have to recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies.”

The results have important implications for public health efforts to control the local epidemic.

“These results indicate that many persons may have been unknowingly infected and at risk of transmitting the virus to others,” Ferrer said. “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.”

The antibody test is helpful for identifying past infection, but a PCR test is required to diagnose current infection.

More than 600 people have died of the virus countywide. “Though the results indicate a lower risk of death among those with infection than was previously thought, the number of COVID-related deaths each day continues to mount, highlighting the need for continued vigorous prevention and control efforts,” said Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer at L.A.

County Department of Public Health, who co-led the study.

The study’s results have not yet been peer reviewed by other scientists. The test’s accuracy was assessed at a lab at Stanford University, using blood samples that were positive and negative for COVID-19.

The study was supported with funding from the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, USC Lusk Center, USC President’s Office, Jedel Foundation, LRW Group, Soap Box Sample, and several individual donors.

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

Way more people may have gotten coronavirus than we thought, small antibody study suggests

This is good news. A much higher infection rate means that the fatality rate is that much lower:

 

https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-antibodies-widespread-in-santa-clara.html

Way more people may have gotten coronavirus than we thought, small antibody study suggests

Between 50 and 85 times as many people in Santa Clara County have coronavirus antibodies as have tested positive for the virus.

April 18, 2020

Way more people may have gotten coronavirus than we are detecting.

That’s the takeaway from a small study of coronavirus antibodies in more than 3,000 people in Santa Clara County, California. The results suggested that between 2.5% and 4.2% of people in the county have contracted COVID-19, which is 50 to 85 times greater than the number of cases being reported at the time. Not everyone is convinced the true prevalence is that high, however, with some saying the antibody test the researchers used was not reliable.

However, this type of antibody testing, or serologic study, should be rolled out more broadly, epidemiologists told Live Science.

“I think this is a great start to beginning a serologic survey in the U.S., and I agree that we should expand this testing as much as possible so that hopefully we can figure out what level of antibodies, if any, is necessary to maintain immunity,” said Krys Johnson, an epidemiologist at Temple University in Philadelphia.

So what does this mean for how deadly the virus is, how widely it has spread, and when we can ease social distancing? The answers aren’t straightforward, epidemiologists told Live Science.

The results

First, the study: Stanford University researchers used Facebook ads to find volunteers to be tested for antibodies to the novel coronavirus, or proteins produced by a person’s immune system to fight off a specific virus that has invaded the body. Roughly 3,300 of those volunteers came to a drive-through testing site on April 3 and April 4. One in every 66 tested positive for antibodies to the novel coronavirus. White women and affluent people were overrepresented in the population, while Latinos and Asians were underrepresented compared with Santa Clara’s overall population.

A total of 50 tests came back positive. After adjusting for differences in zip code, race and sex between the sample population and Santa Clara as a whole, the researchers estimated that between 48,000 and 81,000 people in the 2-million-strong county had contracted coronavirus at some point. At the time, the health department was reporting about 1,000 positive cases.

The findings were posted Friday (April 17) to the preprint database medrXiv; they have not gone through peer review.

Less deadly than thought?

Using their data, the team estimated that the true “infection fatality rate” of coronavirus — or the number of infected people who die from the disease — is between 0.12% and 0.2%, or between 20% and two times more deadly than seasonal influenza (which kills about 0.1% of people it infects, on average). Other studies have estimated infection fatality rates between 0.5% and 0.9%, Nature news reported.

Some experts have questioned the results, saying that when few people in a population have the virus, even a few false positives on the test could create the impression that there are many more coronavirus cases than actually exist, according to Nature.

The test used in this study has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yet.

“They are constrained by the fact that the antibody tests they used were not very good, which they had to try and adjust for” who were infected, said George Rutherford, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

“The market’s been flooded with these tests.” Rutherford told Live Science. “But the FDA has relaxed its rules so there’s not the same degree of quality control.”

The crude rate of positives they found before making adjustments — about 1.5% — is probably about right, Rutherford said. However, using statistical adjustments to arrive at the range of 2.5% to 4.2%, and then to infer fatality rates, was likely a stretch, he added.

“The interpretation of the ratio of cases to death is an over-interpretation,” Rutherford told Live Science. ”

What’s more, because they didn’t take a random sample, the study is subject to what’s called selection bias, Rutherford said.

“They may have picked off a piece of the population that was more likely to be infected or less likely to be infected, we just don’t know,” Rutherford said. (An example of potential selection bias: if someone suspected they had been infected earlier, but couldn’t be tested when symptomatic, they might be more motivated to pursue antibody testing.)

Johnson, meanwhile, thinks the true prevalence in Santa Clara could be even higher.

“I think if they’d had an ethnically representative sample in this study as they’d hoped, they may have found an even higher proportion of people with antibodies, based on current reports that minorities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” Johnson told Live Science in an email. “This would mean that even the informative conclusions here are still a conservative estimate of the likely number of infected people in Santa Clara County and throughout the U.S.”

But on the other hand, the infection fatality rate in Santa Clara can’t be directly translated to other spots in the U.S., which face higher rates of obesity and other chronic conditions known to worsen the outcomes of COVID-19. So infection fatality rates in other American cities may be higher than the Santa Clara County estimate, Johnson said.

Ultimately, it’s just one sample in a single locale, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

Schaffner suspects the 50 to 85 times higher prevalence “is on the high side” — meaning the true infection fatality rate could potentially be higher. But without doing antibody testing in several other places and populations, there is no way to know for sure, Schaffner told Live Science.
Mild disease and catastrophic impacts

If the numbers are in fact representative, though, how can this relatively low fatality rate be reconciled with the catastrophes that have unfolded around the world? How can a disease that’s only slightly more deadly than the flu have caused China to shut down its economy for two months, brought the country’s largest city to the brink of collapse, and kept 1.5 billion children out of school?

It turns out, that’s definitely possible, because before late last year, no one on Earth had been exposed to this virus, so everyone could catch it. By contrast, many people will be immune to viruses that have circulated before, and only a fraction of the population is susceptible to catching those. Even if the novel coronavirus virus is not that deadly, it could kill many more people than a known, but similarly deadly bug simply because it has the potential to infect a greater proportion of the population. That can easily overwhelm the health care system, Schaffner said.

The flip side of this data is that nowhere in the U.S. is likely to have most of its population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 at this point, Schaffner told Live Science. So the idea of us being close to “herd immunity” — when enough people have gotten the virus and are immune that the disease can no longer spread — is wishful thinking.

In Santa Clara, at least 95% of the population is still susceptible to the virus, Schaffner said. “So we can’t depend on any kind of herd immunity to slow down this virus yet.”

Extrapolating data from one locale to another is always statistically dicey, but even in New York City — where reported deaths from COVID-19 already exceed 0.1% of the city’s population — some other numbers suggest that about 15% of the population has been infected. That’s well below what’s needed to naturally slow the spread of coronavirus, Johnson said.

That said, the numbers do suggest caution before mandating social distancing too far out into the future based on epidemiological models, especially without taking into account practical factors, such as the societal costs of social distancing, Schaffner said. (Some health experts have suggested some form of social distancing may linger into 2022, unless a vaccine becomes available sooner.)

“Social distancing, into the fall and winter, I think is reasonable, and then let’s see,” Schaffner said.

April 20, 2020. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Health care. 1 comment.

United Nations on COVID-19 shutdown: “…mitigation measures that may inadvertently do more harm than good… An estimated 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis this year… could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020”

On April 15, 2020, the United Nations published this 17 page report, which is titled: Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on children.

The report cites the predicted harm that will happen to children in low income countries as a result of the COVID-19 global wide shutdown. Examples of this harm to children include increases in malnutrition, loss of education, increased rates of teen pregnancy, reduced access to health care, reduced rates of vaccination, increased rates of infectious disease, increased rates of water borne illness, and increased rates of death.

The report goes on to explain that some of these negative consequences could have very severe, permanent effects on children.

Page 2 refers to: (all of the bolding in this blog post is mine)

...mitigation measures that may inadvertently do more harm than good

and goes on to say:

…An estimated 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis this year…

The transition from page 2 to page 3 states:

Economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year. And this alarming figure does not even take into account services disrupted due to the cri-sis – it only reflects the current relationship between economies and mortality, so is likely an under-estimate of the impact. Rising malnutririon is expected as 368.5 million children across 143 countries who normally rely on school meals for a reliable source of daily nutrition must now look to other sources. The risks to child mental health and well being are also considerable. Refugee and internally displaced children as well as those living in detention and situations of active conflict are especially vulnerable. 

Page 4 states:

As health services become overwhelmed in car-ing for large numbers of infected patients requir-ing treatment, children and pregnant women are less able to access standard care. Children of frontline workers have also had to adapt to alternative childcare arrangements. Children living in areas of armed conflict, who already struggle extensively to access health services may be further excluded from attention and access to the severely stretched health systems. Physical distancing and lockdown measures, restrictions of movement and border closures, and surveillance strategies are all affecting chil-dren in myriad ways. Face-to-face child services – schooling, nutrition programmes, maternal and newborn care, immunization services, sexual and reproductive health services, HIV treatment, alternative care facilities, community-based child protection programmes, and case management for children requiring supplementary personal-ized care, including those living with disabilities, and abuse victims – have often been partially or completely suspended. 

Page 4 ends with this:

While children are not the face of this pandemic, its broader impacts on children risk being catastrophic and amongst the most lasting consequences for societies as a whole.

Page 6 states:

The physical distancing and lockdown measures needed to save lives and supress the transmis-sion of the virus have resulted in a significant reduction of economic activity across all major economies and the resultant global recession…

At a household level, the collapse in income threatens the livelihoods of millions of house-holds with children around the world. Inputting the forecasts from the IMF optimistic scenario into an IFPRI poverty model4 indicates an increase in extreme poverty (PPP$1.90 a day) this year of 84 to 132 million people, approx-imately half of whom are children, compared to a pre-pandemic counterfactual scenario.

Page 7 states:

The worldwide closure of schools has no his-torical precedent…

… The potential losses that may accrue in learn-ing for today’s young generation, and for the development of their human capital, are hard to fathom…

Page 8 states:

Those losses will be greatest for children who, triggered by the pandemic, drop out of school altogether. That possibility becomes greater the longer schools are closed and the deeper the economic contraction wrought by the pan-demic. Experience with HIV in Kenya shows that those children who lose a parent face reduced odds of returning to school. In situations of continuing conflict, children no longer in school may be incentivized to join armed forces or groups, thus perpetuating the cycle of violence.

Page 9 states:

Reduced household income will force poor families to cut back on essential health and food expenditures. Drawing again on the forecast for global eco-nomic growth from the IMF and the historical relationship between GDP growth and infant mortality in the developing world15 , hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths could occur in 2020 compared to a pre-pandemic counterfactual scenario. This would effectively reverse the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year.

These estimates focus only on the effects of this year’s global recession on child health and do not account for the multiple ways in which health services are being directly disrupted by the pandemic. This includes reduced access to essential reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health interventions, such as ante-natal care, skilled attendance at birth, and treatment for pneumonia. It also includes the suspension of all polio vaccination campaigns worldwide, setting back the decades-long effort to eliminate the wild virus from its last two ves-tiges, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to tackle recent outbreaks of the vaccine-derived virus in Africa, East Asia and the Pacific. In addition, measles immunization campaigns have been suspended in at least 23 countries that had cumulatively targeted more than 78 million children up to the age of 9. Meanwhile, chil-dren and adolescents with chronic illnesses, including those living with HIV, are at risk of reduced access to medicines and care.

Child nutrition is a vital concern. 368.5 million children across 143 countries who normally rely on school meals for a reliable source of daily nutrition must now look to other sources. That challenge is made greater by the economic shock facing households, which will negatively affect the diets of children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, hastily implemented lockdown measures risk disrupting food supply chains and local food markets…

Should schools remain closed and cause girls to drop out, we should also anticipate an increase in teenage pregnancy in the year ahead. A recent meta-analysis of the prevalence and determinants of adolescent pregnancy in Africa found that adolescent girls out of school are more than two times more likely to start childbearing than those who are in school.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) ser-vices are also at risk of disruption by lockdown measures, posing further threats to children’s health through water-borne diseases. Over 700 children under five die every day from diarrheal diseases related to inadequate WASH services, and this number could rise sharply if existing services collapse….

Page 12 states:

The ultimate impact of the crisis on chil-dren hinges on how much time it will take for the pandemic to end. A longer struggle to contain the virus not only prolongs the pain caused by the pandemic, but raises the pros-pect that the pandemic’s impact will have lingering or persistent effects on children.

For instance, the longer economies are on shutdown, the less likely they are to “snap back”. At the household level, struggling families will increasingly see breadwinners lose their jobs or be forced to sell productive assets in order to survive, with long-running consequences for child poverty. The same holds true for other impacts of the pandemic. The longer schools remain closed, the less likely children are to catch up on learning and essential life skills that support a healthy tran-sition to adulthood. The longer immunization campaigns are suspended, the greater and more costly will be the struggle to eliminate polio and to manage measles outbreaks.

For children caught at the apex of this crisis, there is a genuine prospect that its effects will permanently alter their lives. Children facing acute deprivation in nutrition, protection or stimulation, or periods of prolonged exposure to toxic stress, during the critical window of early childhood development are likely to develop lifelong challenges as their neurological devel-opment is impaired. Children who drop out of school will face not only a higher risk of child marriage, child labour, and teenage pregnancies, but will see their lifetime earnings potential pre-cipitously fall. Children who experience family breakdowns during this period of heightened stress risk losing the sense of support and secu-rity on which children’s wellbeing depends.

Page 13 cites multiple, real world examples of the harm that happened to children as the result of the shutdowns during the Ebola epidemic. This includes substantial increases in the problems of childhood nutrition, lack of health care, lack of vaccinations, and lack of education.

Regarding the effects on vaccination during the Ebola epidemic, the report states:

The proportion of Liberian children under 1 who were fully immunized fell from 73 percent before the epidemic, to 36 percent during the epidemic, and recovered only partially to 53 percent by the end of 2015. Measles cases in Liberian children under 5 rose, likely due to the lapse in vaccination programs. The mean number of monthly cases of measles rose from 12 before the epidemic to 60 immediately afterwards.

I never would have guessed that the measures to deal with a new infectious disease would include reducing the vaccination rates for other, older infectious diseases.

In developing countries all over the world, the shutdown due to COVID-19 is causing huge harm, in multiple different ways, to a very large number of children. Some of these things will have permanent effects on these children for the rest of their lives.

April 20, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Economics, Education, Health care. Leave a comment.

Joanna Le Pluart: Here in Sweden we’re playing the long game, and listening to science not fear

I agree with this writer:

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/sweden/articles/sweden-coronavirus-policy/

Here in Sweden we’re playing the long game, and listening to science not fear

By Joanna Le Pluart

April 19, 2020

For the first (and probably last) time in living memory, the whole world seems to care about the domestic policy of my plucky little home country. Sweden’s approach to dealing with coronavirus has been hailed by some, but the majority of commentators seem to think we’re conducting some kind of heartless and dangerous experiment. Even Donald Trump has attacked us.

For those that aren’t aware, while the rest of the world has been shutting down schools, shops and restaurants, banning non-essential travel, and sending the police to shout at those who dare to dawdle in their local park, Sweden remains largely open for business. 

Our schools are full of students, and I can still visit restaurants in Malmo, where I’ve lived for more than 20 years. I’m working from home, but many offices remain open. I can have friends over for lunch. Should I want to, I could drive to the countryside for a weekend away. 

Ministers here have been forced to defend the policy, and the armchair experts on social media track our daily deaths with disturbing relish, but I’m proud of my country’s stand. And, while some people I know would like to see stricter measures enforced, most of my friends here support it too.

For starters, while we’re still “open for business”, it’s certainly not a case of “business as usual”. Everyone who can is advised to work from home, and the government has issued social distancing and hygiene guidelines. We’ve been urged to avoid large gatherings and crowded public transport, and to maintain a safe distance when socialising. However, these remain “guidelines”. Rather than imposing authoritarian rules and stripping people of their freedoms, we are relying on people’s collective common sense.

And it appears to be working. While the high streets are open, they are much quieter than usual, and the majority are following the social distancing recommendations. For most Swedes, this isn’t much of an imposition. We are generally a self-reliant (some would say anti-social) bunch. In fact, many are rejoicing as they no longer have to make up an excuse to avoid going for a beer.

The architect of our policy (the hero or villain, depending on your point of view) is state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, and if the government trusts his advice – and that of the Folkhälsomyndigheten (Public Health Authority) – then that’s good enough for us. Here in Sweden, we trust our authorities. Corruption is rare, and our public agencies are politically independent. Why would the Public Health Agency give advice that is not in the best interests of people and society? They have no other agenda. Also, they’re disarmingly honest. Tegnell recently admitted: “We’re trying this strategy out. We don’t know if it will work or not. If it doesn’t, we’ll revisit it.” Indeed, no country knows which policy is best, or how exactly things will pan out, so why pretend otherwise?

It is also interesting to note that Sweden is one of the world’s least religious countries, with around 90 per cent being atheist or agnostic. Many here think it’s actually dangerous to believe in things for which there is no concrete evidence. This is reinforced by an education system that encourages independent enquiry and evidence-based reasoning. We see that there is no hard evidence that draconian lockdowns stop the spread, so we keep shops open. We see that there is no evidence of widespread transmission in outdoor environments, so socialising in parks is still permitted. Furthermore, coronavirus conspiracies haven’t had any traction over here – our 5G towers are still intact.

People say we are putting the economy ahead of saving lives, but the economy is lives. A stronger economy means better healthcare for everyone for years to come. Generally, Swedes like to play the long game and right now we’re thinking about the state of play two, five or even 10 years from now. It’s not just about beating the virus, it’s about coming out of the crisis healthy. It’s easy to tally up deaths from the disease, but what about the impact a lockdown will have in terms of unemployment, homelessness, mental illness, and suicides? One could even draw parallels with Sweden’s neutrality during the Second World War, which paved the way for the country to become an economic and social powerhouse in the post-war years.

Perhaps our most controversial policy has been to keep schools open. But shutting schools would mean key workers, including doctors and nurses, would have to stay at home (or else kids would need to be sent to their grandparents, a high-risk group). Also, Swedes are considering the negative long-term consequences on our kids if they miss a half year of school. Since they are unlikely to contract the virus, isn’t it better that they should carry on studying?

Not everyone in Sweden supports our coronavirus policy. Marie-Claude Dubois, an architect in Malmo, told me: “So far 1,300 people have died here, is this a price worth paying for children to go to school and for life to continue more or less as normal? How many more are we willing to sacrifice?”

But the opinions of teacher Sofie Lejdström are more typical. “Locking people up could have catastrophic consequences for people’s mental health, and we’ve seen already that quarantines do not stop people dying,” she said.

“I believe this policy will slow the spread of the virus and keep the hospitals from filling up all at once. But I don’t believe we can stop the virus. Controlled spreading to create herd immunity doesn’t sound bad to me. It sounds like the best option given there is no vaccine. I don’t believe that acting out of fear and spreading fear will ever lead to anything positive.”

April 19, 2020. Tags: , , , . Health care. Leave a comment.

Nearly a third of 200 blood samples taken in Chelsea show exposure to coronavirus

This is a good thing. The infection rate is way higher than what had been thought, so the fatality rate is that much lower than what had been thought:

 

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/04/17/business/nearly-third-200-blood-samples-taken-chelsea-show-exposure-coronavirus/

Nearly a third of 200 blood samples taken in Chelsea show exposure to coronavirus

Mass. General researcher says the results point to a ‘raging epidemic,’ but may also indicate the city is further along the disease curve than some other municipalities

April 17, 2020

Nearly one third of 200 Chelsea residents who gave a drop of blood to researchers on the street this week tested positive for antibodies linked to COVID-19, a startling indication of how widespread infections have been in the densely populated city.

Sixty-four residents who had a finger pricked in Bellingham Square on Tuesday and Wednesday had antibodies that the immune system makes to fight off the coronavirus, according to Massachusetts General Hospital physicians who ran the pilot study.

The 200 participants generally appeared healthy, but about half told the doctors they had had at least one symptom of COVID-19 in the past four weeks.

Public health experts already knew Chelsea had the state’s highest rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases and that the actual rate was probably higher. At least 39 residents have died from the virus, and 712 had tested positive as of Tuesday, a rate of about 1,900 cases per 100,000 residents, or almost 2 percent.

But the Mass. General researchers ― who excluded anyone who had tested positive for the virus in the standard nasal swab test ― found that 32 percent of participants have had COVID-19, and many didn’t know it.

“I think it’s both good news and bad news,” said Dr. John Iafrate, vice chairman of MGH’s pathology department and the study’s principal investigator. “The bad news is that there’s a raging epidemic in Chelsea, and many people walking on the street don’t know that they’re carrying the virus and that they may be exposing uninfected individuals in their families.”

“On the good-news side, it suggests that Chelsea has made its way through a good part of the epidemic,” he said. “They’re probably further along than other towns.”

Scientists suspect that people who recover from COVID-19 may be at least temporarily immune from catching it again. Several biotechs and academic laboratories, in fact, are seeking blood donations from people who have recovered, in the hopes that their antibodies can help create a treatment or vaccine.

Chelsea’s city manager, Thomas Ambrosino, said he learned the results of the pilot study Thursday in a conference call with the researchers. He was dismayed, but not shocked.

“We’ve long thought that the reported numbers are vastly under-counting what the actual infection is,” said Ambrosino, who has called his city the epicenter of the crisis in Massachusetts. “Those reported numbers are based on positive COVID-19 tests, and we’re all aware that a very, very small percentage of people in Chelsea and everywhere are getting COVID-19 tests.”

“Still,” he added, “it’s kind of sobering that 30 percent of a random group of 200 people that are showing no symptoms are, in fact, infected. It’s all the more reason for everyone to be practicing physical distancing.”

Indeed, one of the doctors who tested volunteers in Bellingham Square said it’s possible that some of the people who had the antibodies are still contagious.

“Just because you have the antibodies doesn’t mean you’ve cleared the virus,” said Dr. Vivek Naranbhai, a clinical fellow in hematology and oncology.

Researchers said the test results, which had yet to be shared with state officials late Friday, couldn’t necessarily be extrapolated for the city’s roughly 40,000 residents. Still, the findings provided a valuable snapshot of a community that medical experts say is especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

Chelsea covers only about two square miles, across the Mystic River from Boston. For generations, it has attracted new immigrants, and about 65 percent of its residents are Latino. Many live in three-decker houses, Ambrosino said, where it’s hard for people to isolate themselves. Many work in the hospitality industry and health-related fields, where exposure to the virus is greater. And a lot of them must go to work during the pandemic.

To get Chelsea residents to participate in the study ― which included a questionnaire that was available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese — investigators allowed them to remain anonymous. But that meant none of the participants received the results of the blood tests.

The doctors used a diagnostic device made by BioMedomics, of Morrisville, N.C., to analyze drops of blood. It resembled an over-the-counter pregnancy test and generated results on the street in about 10 minutes. Although the test hasn’t won the approval of the Food and Drug Administration, Iafrate, the principal investigator, said Mass. General determined it’s reliable.

Within days, the physicians said, they hope to set up a medical tent outside the Mass. General Chelsea Healthcare Center to perform more antibodies tests with the device. The site will be located near a tent set up weeks ago to run standard PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, tests for people with active coronavirus symptoms. The latter uses nasal swabs to detect whether the virus is present at the time; the antibodies blood test reveals whether someone was infected in the past.

In addition to the new testing site, the researchers want to expand the study to other Massachusetts cities and towns. For all of those studies, Mass. General doctors plan to obtain the identities of participants so physicians can provide the results. But first the researchers need to come up with guidelines for what participants should do if they test positive for antibodies.

Dr. Dean Xerras, medical director of the Mass. General Chelsea Healthcare Center and a co-investigator in the study, said it illustrates why it’s essential for Chelsea and other communities to perform more tests, regardless of whether they detect antibodies or the virus itself.

“Knowing how many people are infected is critical,” said Xerras, a longtime member of the city’s board of health. “We need to get them isolated. We need to get masks delivered to the city. We need to launch more safe isolation sites. We need to be able to identify cases and then give people the things they need to prevent perpetuation of the spread.”

Chelsea and Revere officials, with help from the state Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, secured almost 150 rooms at a Quality Inn in Revere this week for residents who are recovering from COVID-19 and unable to isolate themselves at home, according to Ambrosino. So far, only a handful of those rooms are occupied.

Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday staunchly defended the state’s handling of the escalating outbreak in Chelsea, including asserting, without offering details, that city leaders have turned down help from his administration.

The governor’s claim surprised officials in Chelsea who told the Globe this week that the state, and even health care providers, should have recognized the virus’s rapid spread through the city sooner.

April 19, 2020. Tags: , , . Health care. Leave a comment.

Denmark is opening its schools for children age 11 and younger. Whatever happens – good or bad – this should be a lesson for the rest of the world.

Denmark is opening its schools for children age 11 and younger.

The BBC just reported:

Coronavirus: Denmark lets young children return to school

Children up to the age of 11 are returning to nurseries and schools across Denmark

Whatever happens – good or bad – this should be a lesson for the rest of the world.

April 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . COVID-19, Education, Health care. Leave a comment.

Washington Post: State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/14/state-department-cables-warned-safety-issues-wuhan-lab-studying-bat-coronaviruses/

State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses

April 14, 2020

Two years before the novel coronavirus pandemic upended the world, U.S. Embassy officials visited a Chinese research facility in the city of Wuhan several times and sent two official warnings back to Washington about inadequate safety at the lab, which was conducting risky studies on coronaviruses from bats. The cables have fueled discussions inside the U.S. government about whether this or another Wuhan lab was the source of the virus — even though conclusive proof has yet to emerge.

In January 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing took the unusual step of repeatedly sending U.S. science diplomats to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which had in 2015 become China’s first laboratory to achieve the highest level of international bioresearch safety (known as BSL-4). WIV issued a news release in English about the last of these visits, which occurred on March 27, 2018. The U.S. delegation was led by Jamison Fouss, the consul general in Wuhan, and Rick Switzer, the embassy’s counselor of environment, science, technology and health. Last week, WIV erased that statement from its website, though it remains archived on the Internet.

What the U.S. officials learned during their visits concerned them so much that they dispatched two diplomatic cables categorized as Sensitive But Unclassified back to Washington. The cables warned about safety and management weaknesses at the WIV lab and proposed more attention and help. The first cable, which I obtained, also warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.

“During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,” states the Jan. 19, 2018, cable, which was drafted by two officials from the embassy’s environment, science and health sections who met with the WIV scientists. (The State Department declined to comment on this and other details of the story.)

The Chinese researchers at WIV were receiving assistance from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and other U.S. organizations, but the Chinese requested additional help. The cables argued that the United States should give the Wuhan lab further support, mainly because its research on bat coronaviruses was important but also dangerous.

As the cable noted, the U.S. visitors met with Shi Zhengli, the head of the research project, who had been publishing studies related to bat coronaviruses for many years. In November 2017, just before the U.S. officials’ visit,Shi’s team had published research showing that horseshoe bats they had collected from a cave in Yunnan province were very likely from the same bat population that spawned the SARS coronavirus in 2003.

“Most importantly,” the cable states, “the researchers also showed that various SARS-like coronaviruses can interact with ACE2, the human receptor identified for SARS-coronavirus. This finding strongly suggests that SARS-like coronaviruses from bats can be transmitted to humans to cause SARS-like diseases. From a public health perspective, this makes the continued surveillance of SARS-like coronaviruses in bats and study of the animal-human interface critical to future emerging coronavirus outbreak prediction and prevention.”

The research was designed to prevent the next SARS-like pandemic by anticipating how it might emerge. But even in 2015, other scientists questioned whether Shi’s team was taking unnecessary risks. In October 2014, the U.S. government had imposed a moratorium on funding of any research that makes a virus more deadly or contagious, known as “gain-of-function” experiments.

As many have pointed out, there is no evidence that the virus now plaguing the world was engineered; scientists largely agree it came from animals. But that is not the same as saying it didn’t come from the lab, which spent years testing bat coronaviruses in animals, said Xiao Qiang, a research scientist at the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley.

“The cable tells us that there have long been concerns about the possibility of the threat to public health that came from this lab’s research, if it was not being adequately conducted and protected,” he said.

There are similar concerns about the nearby Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention lab, which operates at biosecurity level 2, a level significantly less secure than the level-4 standard claimed by the Wuhan Insititute of Virology lab, Xiao said. That’s important because the Chinese government still refuses to answer basic questions about the origin of the novel coronavirus while suppressing any attempts to examine whether either lab was involved.

Sources familiar with the cables said they were meant to sound an alarm about the grave safety concerns at the WIV lab, especially regarding its work with bat coronaviruses. The embassy officials were calling for more U.S. attention to this lab and more support for it, to help it fix its problems.

“The cable was a warning shot,” one U.S. official said. “They were begging people to pay attention to what was going on.”

No extra assistance to the labs was provided by the U.S. government in response to these cables. The cables began to circulate again inside the administration over the past two months as officials debated whether the lab could be the origin of the pandemic and what the implications would be for the U.S. pandemic response and relations with China.

Inside the Trump administration, many national security officials have long suspected either the WIV or the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention lab was the source of the novel coronavirus outbreak. According to the New York Times, the intelligence community has provided no evidence to confirm this. But one senior administration official told me that the cables provide one more piece of evidence to support the possibility that the pandemic is the result of a lab accident in Wuhan.

“The idea that it was just a totally natural occurrence is circumstantial. The evidence it leaked from the lab is circumstantial. Right now, the ledger on the side of it leaking from the lab is packed with bullet points and there’s almost nothing on the other side,” the official said.

As my colleague David Ignatius noted, the Chinese government’s original story — that the virus emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan — is shaky. Research by Chinese experts published in the Lancet in January showed the first known patient, identified on Dec. 1, had no connection to the market, nor did more than one-third of the cases in the first large cluster. Also, the market didn’t sell bats.

Shi and other WIV researchers have categorically denied this lab was the origin for the novel coronavirus. On Feb. 3, her team was the first to publicly report the virus known as 2019-nCoV was a bat-derived coronavirus.

The Chinese government, meanwhile, has put a total lockdown on information related to the virus origins. Beijing has yet to provide U.S. experts with samples of the novel coronavirus collected from the earliest cases. The Shanghai lab that published the novel coronavirus genome on Jan. 11 was quickly shut down by authorities for “rectification.” Several of the doctors and journalists who reported on the spread early on have disappeared.

On Feb. 14, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a new biosecurity law to be accelerated. On Wednesday, CNN reported the Chinese government has placed severe restrictions requiring approval before any research institution publishes anything on the origin of the novel coronavirus.

The origin story is not just about blame. It’s crucial to understanding how the novel coronavirus pandemic started because that informs how to prevent the next one. The Chinese government must be transparent and answer the questions about the Wuhan labs because they are vital to our scientific understanding of the virus, said Xiao.

We don’t know whether the novel coronavirus originated in the Wuhan lab, but the cable pointed to the danger there and increases the impetus to find out, he said.

“I don’t think it’s a conspiracy theory. I think it’s a legitimate question that needs to be investigated and answered,” he said. “To understand exactly how this originated is critical knowledge for preventing this from happening in the future.”

April 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care. Leave a comment.

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.”

I think most people consider The Economist to be a fairly reliable source.

They looked at these numbers, and speculated that it’s possible (but not certain) that the real fatality rate might be 0.1%.

Here’s the relevant text, which The Economist reported on April 11, 2020:

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. That is amazingly low, just a tenth of some other estimates. Perhaps it is just wrong, possibly because the death toll has been under-reported. Perhaps, though, New York’s hospitals are overflowing because the virus is so contagious that it has crammed the equivalent of a year’s worth of flu cases into one week.

I don’t know if that’s accurate or not. And even they readily admit that they might be wrong.

Still, I do hope that it turns out to be true.

Here’s the full article:

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/04/11/why-a-study-showing-that-covid-19-is-everywhere-is-good-news

Why a study showing that covid-19 is everywhere is good news

If millions of people were infected weeks ago without dying, the virus must be less deadly than official data suggest

April 11, 2020

ONE OF THE few things known for sure about covid-19 is that it has spread faster than official data imply. Most countries have tested sparingly, focusing on the sick. Just 0.1% of Americans and 0.2% of Italians have been tested and come up positive. In contrast, a study of the entire population of the Italian town of Vò found a rate of 3%.

The lack of testing has set off a hunt for proxies for covid-19 infection, from smart-thermometer readings to Google searches for “I can’t smell”. A new paper by Justin Silverman and Alex Washburne uses data on influenza-like illness (ILI) to show that SARS-CoV-2 is now widespread in America.

Every week, 2,600 American clinicians report the share of their patients who have ILI—a fever of at least 37.8°C (100°F) and a cough or sore throat, without a known non-flu reason. Unsurprisingly, ILI is often caused by flu. But many other ailments also produce ILI, such as common colds, strep throat and, now, covid-19. The authors assume that the share of these providers’ patients with ILI who do have the flu matches the rate of flu tests that are positive in the same state and week. This lets them estimate how many people have ILI seriously enough to call a doctor, but do not have the flu—and how many more people have had non-flu ILI in 2020 than in prior years.

They find that non-flu ILI has surged. Its rise has the same geographic pattern as covid-19 cases: modest in states with few positive tests, like Kentucky, and steep in ones with big outbreaks, such as New Jersey. In total, estimated non-flu ILI from March 8th to 28th exceeded a historical baseline by 23m cases—200 times the number of positive covid-19 tests in that period. This may overstate the spread of covid-19, since non-flu ILI has other causes. It could also be too low, because people with asymptomatic or mild covid-19 would not report non-flu ILI.

This sounds alarming, but should be reassuring. 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. That is amazingly low, just a tenth of some other estimates. Perhaps it is just wrong, possibly because the death toll has been under-reported. Perhaps, though, New York’s hospitals are overflowing because the virus is so contagious that it has crammed the equivalent of a year’s worth of flu cases into one week.

April 14, 2020. Tags: , , . COVID-19, Health care. Leave a comment.

Dumped Milk, Smashed Eggs, Plowed Vegetables: Food Waste of the Pandemic

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/11/business/coronavirus-destroying-food.html

Dumped Milk, Smashed Eggs, Plowed Vegetables: Food Waste of the Pandemic

With restaurants, hotels and schools closed, many of the nation’s largest farms are destroying millions of pounds of fresh goods that they can no longer sell.

April 11, 2020

In Wisconsin and Ohio, farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits. An Idaho farmer has dug huge ditches to bury 1 million pounds of onions. And in South Florida, a region that supplies much of the Eastern half of the United States with produce, tractors are crisscrossing bean and cabbage fields, plowing perfectly ripe vegetables back into the soil.

After weeks of concern about shortages in grocery stores and mad scrambles to find the last box of pasta or toilet paper roll, many of the nation’s largest farms are struggling with another ghastly effect of the pandemic. They are being forced to destroy tens of millions of pounds of fresh food that they can no longer sell.

The closing of restaurants, hotels and schools has left some farmers with no buyers for more than half their crops. And even as retailers see spikes in food sales to Americans who are now eating nearly every meal at home, the increases are not enough to absorb all of the perishable food that was planted weeks ago and intended for schools and businesses.

The amount of waste is staggering. The nation’s largest dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, estimates that farmers are dumping as many as 3.7 million gallons of milk each day. A single chicken processor is smashing 750,000 unhatched eggs every week.

Many farmers say they have donated part of the surplus to food banks and Meals on Wheels programs, which have been overwhelmed with demand. But there is only so much perishable food that charities with limited numbers of refrigerators and volunteers can absorb.

And the costs of harvesting, processing and then transporting produce and milk to food banks or other areas of need would put further financial strain on farms that have seen half their paying customers disappear. Exporting much of the excess food is not feasible either, farmers say, because many international customers are also struggling through the pandemic and recent currency fluctuations make exports unprofitable.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Paul Allen, co-owner of R.C. Hatton, who has had to destroy millions of pounds of beans and cabbage at his farms in South Florida and Georgia.

The widespread destruction of fresh food — at a time when many Americans are hurting financially and millions are suddenly out of work — is an especially dystopian turn of events, even by the standards of a global pandemic. It reflects the profound economic uncertainty wrought by the virus and how difficult it has been for huge sectors of the economy, like agriculture, to adjust to such a sudden change in how they must operate.

Even as Mr. Allen and other farmers have been plowing fresh vegetables into the soil, they have had to plant the same crop again, hoping the economy will have restarted by the time the next batch of vegetables is ready to harvest. But if the food service industry remains closed, then those crops, too, may have to be destroyed.

Farmers are also learning in real time about the nation’s consumption habits.

The quarantines have shown just how many more vegetables Americans eat when meals are prepared for them in restaurants than when they have to cook for themselves.

“People don’t make onion rings at home,” said Shay Myers, a third-generation onion farmer whose fields straddle the border of Oregon and Idaho.

Mr. Myers said there were no good solutions to the fresh food glut. After his largest customer — the restaurant industry — shut down in California and New York, his farm started redistributing onions from 50-pound sacks into smaller bags that could be sold in grocery stores. He also started freezing some onions, but he has limited cold-storage capacity.

With few other options, Mr. Myers has begun burying tens of thousands of pounds of onions and leaving them to decompose in trenches.

“There is no way to redistribute the quantities that we are talking about,” he said.

Over the decades, the nation’s food banks have tried to shift from offering mostly processed meals to serving fresh produce, as well. But the pandemic has caused a shortage of volunteers, making it more difficult to serve fruits and vegetables, which are time-consuming and expensive to transport.

“To purchase from a whole new set of farmers and suppliers — it takes time, it takes knowledge, you have to find the people, develop the contracts,” said Janet Poppendieck, an expert on poverty and food assistance.

The waste has become especially severe in the dairy industry, where cows need to be milked multiple times a day, regardless of whether there are buyers.

Major consumers of dairy, like public schools and coffee shops, have all but vanished, leaving milk processing plants with fewer customers at a time of year when cows produce milk at their fastest rate. About 5 percent of the country’s milk supply is currently being dumped and that amount is expected to double if the closings are extended over the next few months, according to the International Dairy Foods Association.

Before the pandemic, the Dairymens processing plant in Cleveland would produce three loads of milk, or around 13,500 gallons, for Starbucks every day. Now the Starbucks order is down to one load every three days.

For a while after the pandemic took hold, the plant collected twice as much milk from farmers as it could process, keeping the excess supply in refrigerated trailers, said Brian Funk, who works for Dairymens as a liaison to farmers.

But eventually the plant ran out of storage. One night last week, Mr. Funk worked until 11 p.m., fighting back tears as he called farmers who supply the plant to explain the predicament.

“We’re not going to pick your milk up tomorrow,” he told them. “We don’t have any place to put it.”

One of the farms that got the call was the Hartschuh Dairy Farm, which has nearly 200 cows on a plot of land in northern Ohio.

A week ago, Rose Hartschuh, who runs the farm with her family, watched her father-in-law flush 31,000 pounds of milk into a lagoon. It took more than an hour for the milk to flow out of its refrigerated tank and down the drain pipe.

For years, dairy farmers have struggled with low prices and bankruptcies. “This is one more blow below the belt,” Ms. Hartschuh said.

To prevent further dumping, farming groups are trying everything to find places to send the excess milk — even lobbying pizza chains to increase the amount of cheese on every slice.

But there are logistical obstacles that prevent dairy products from being shifted neatly from food service customers to retailers.

At many dairy processors, for example, the machinery is designed to package shredded cheese in large bags for restaurants or place milk in small cartons for schools, rather than arrange the products in retail-friendly containers.

To repurpose those plants to put cheese in the 8 oz. bags that sell in grocery stores or bottle milk in gallon jugs would require millions of dollars in investment. For now, some processors have concluded that spending the money isn’t worth it.

“It isn’t like restaurant demand has disappeared forever,” said Matt Gould, a dairy industry analyst. “Even if it were possible to re-format to make it an 8-ounce package rather than a 20-pound bag, the dollars and cents may not pan out.”

Those same logistical challenges are bedeviling poultry plants that were set up to distribute chicken to restaurants rather than stores. Each week, the chicken processor Sanderson Farms destroys 750,000 unhatched eggs, or 5.5 percent of its total production, sending them to a rendering plant to be turned into pet food.

Last week, the chief executive of Sanderson Farms, Joe Sanderson, told analysts that company officials had even considered euthanizing chickens to avoid selling them at unprofitable rates, though the company ultimately did not take that step.

In recent days, Sanderson Farms has donated some of its chicken to food banks and organizations that cook meals for emergency medical workers. But hatching hundreds of thousands of eggs for the purpose of charity is not a viable option, said Mike Cockrell, the company’s chief financial officer.

“We’re set up to sell that chicken,” Mr. Cockrell said. “That would be an expensive proposition.”

April 12, 2020. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Food, Health care. Leave a comment.

The most widespread testing so far shows that COVID-19 has a fatality rate of 0.004%. That’s lower than the flu. Should we start shutting everything down, every year, because of the flu? [Update: I was wrong to trust the Daily Mail. The real fatality rate is about 0.4%.]

Iceland has tested 10% of its population for COVID-19, by far the largest percentage of any country.

And it has discovered that the fatality rate is 0.004%.

That’s lower than the flu.

Should we start shutting everything down, every year, because of the flu?

Edited to add:

Iceland has 364,000 people.

10% of them were tested.

Of those tested, half tested positive.

Extrapolated to the entire country, 182,000 people have the virus.

7 of those people have died from the virus.

7 deaths out of 182,000 people having the virus = 0.004% fatality rate.

(7 / 182,000) * 100 = 0.004%.

Update: USA Today totally disagrees with The Daily Mail on the infection rate:


https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/04/10/coronavirus-covid-19-small-nations-iceland-big-data/2959797001/

Iceland has tested more of its population for coronavirus than anywhere else. Here’s what it learned

April 11, 2020

Iceland has achieved something no other country has: tested 10% of its population for coronavirus, a figure far higher than anywhere else in the world.

Stefansson said Iceland’s randomized tests revealed that between 0.3%-0.8% of Iceland’s population is infected with the respiratory illness

So the real infection rate is about 100 times smaller than the 50% rate that was cited by the Daily Mail.

Which means that the real fatality rate is about 100 times bigger than the 0.004% rate that was cited by the Daily Mail. So the real fatality rate is about 0.4%.

My problem is that I trusted the Daily Mail.

April 12, 2020. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Health care. 5 comments.

Irrational panic over COVID-19 causes hospitals to cancel elective surgeries and lay off huge numbers of health care workers

All over the country, irrational panic over COVID-19 is causing hospitals to cancel elective surgeries and lay off huge numbers of health care workers. Here are some news headlines about this:

https://www.masslive.com/boston/2020/04/coronavirus-financial-losses-prompt-boston-medical-center-to-furlough-700-employees-10-of-hospitals-workforce.html

Coronavirus financial losses prompt Boston Medical Center to furlough 700 employees, 10% of hospital’s workforce

https://www.kentucky.com/news/coronavirus/article241565211.html

Kentucky hospital chain furloughs about 500 employees as coronavirus saps business

https://www.sungazette.com/news/top-news/2020/04/a-mounting-casualty-crisis-health-care-jobs/

A mounting casualty crisis: Health care jobs

http://wvmetronews.com/2020/04/03/thomas-health-to-lay-off-hundreds-as-business-shrinks-because-of-coronavirus/

Four West Virginia hospitals lay off hundreds because of coronavirus-related shrinking revenues

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/04/02/coronavirus-pandemic-jobs-us-health-care-workers-furloughed-laid-off/5102320002/

Thousands of US medical workers furloughed, laid off as routine patient visits drop during coronavirus pandemic

https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/09/i-cant-get-my-hip-surgery-because-of-coronavirus-even-though-nobody-is-in-our-hospital/

I Can’t Get My Hip Surgery Because Of Coronavirus Even Though Nobody Is In Our Hospital

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/musc-health-lays-off-900-due-to-covid-19-financial-strain.html

MUSC Health lays off 900 due to COVID-19 financial strain

https://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/oklahoma-city-hospital-closed-amid-coronavirus-spread/article_0b2e6a38-d470-57a0-8d32-a9eeb80d0bbe.html

Oklahoma City hospital closed amid coronavirus spread

So people who need hip replacements and other kinds of elective surgeries are being denied these procedures, and hospitals are laying off huge numbers of health care workers. This doesn’t make any sense to me.

April 10, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care. Leave a comment.

University researchers find ‘no additional decline’ in coronavirus infection rate from lockdowns

https://www.thecollegefix.com/university-researchers-find-no-additional-decline-in-coronavirus-infection-rate-from-lockdowns/

University researchers find ‘no additional decline’ in coronavirus infection rate from lockdown

April 7, 2020

Yet try to play down that finding

One of the most valuable lessons I learned in the college classroom was not to shy away from the conclusions to which your evidence leads.

I had written a paper analyzing a state law restricting teen driving, put on the books in the past year. Its sponsors sold it as a way to save lives, yet they put no mechanism in the legislation to actually track its effectiveness (say, officers noting violations of the law when they write citations).

When I asked for evidence that the law had delivered on its promise, they insisted that it did. They just had no way to demonstrate it. And because I felt bad questioning their good intentions, I wrote in the paper that the law probably worked.

My professor praised the analysis – and trashed my conclusion. It didn’t follow from the evidence.

I recalled this when I read an intriguing Twitter thread about a forthcoming research paper on COVID-19 and social distancing by scholars at University College London, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.

Written by Harvard psychiatry professor Alexander Tsai, it says the research team wanted to “assess the extent to which social distancing has restrained the growth” of the epidemic.

“Social distancing” has a very specific meaning here, covering “executive orders, state of emergency declarations, restrictions on travel, school closures, etc.”

https://twitter.com/drdrtsai/status/1246178771889278976

https://twitter.com/drdrtsai/status/1246178771889278976

They omitted measures that were “non-binding” and those issued by a lower jurisdiction, such as a county, and then mapped the “daily case growth rate” against the “first statewide distancing measures.”

Interestingly, the growth rate was “relatively constant” before implementation of these measures, and after 14 days, the “doubling time” now took five days, up from 3.3 days.

The team got very different results when it looked at the effect of “lockdowns,” by which it means “restrictions on internal movement” issued in 30 states, the median of which was implemented 10 days after the first social distancing measures.

Fourteen tweets into the 20-tweet thread, here’s the bombshell:

https://twitter.com/drdrtsai/status/1246186056342548485

https://twitter.com/drdrtsai/status/1246186056342548485

There was no additional decline after lockdowns were implemented. The whole rationale for lockdowns is to #StopTheSpread better than through social distancing.

Let that sink it, but not for too long, because Tsai is afraid you’ll develop a conclusion based on his evidence.

https://twitter.com/drdrtsai/status/1246186680559730688

https://twitter.com/drdrtsai/status/1246186680559730688

Perish the thought that people might look at this elite research team’s findings and ask their elected leaders to justify life-ruining, economy-destroying, health-worsening lockdowns with actual evidence that they #SlowTheSpread by themselves, not just piggybacking on less draconian measures.

Tsai may worry that this finding will be trumpeted by people with motivations he dislikes, who want to end the ruin that their governments have visited on their lives, pointlessly as it turns out. To be in good standing with the public health establishment is to favor draconian restrictions on daily life, or so we’ve learned.

But he can’t just bury the single most newsworthy finding of the research, so he tries to nullify its importance: “It is very difficult to identify the independent effect of lockdowns.” Don’t make the assumption that “lockdowns don’t work” by looking at research that … found no evidence they worked in this case.

It’s like me trying to conclude that a law with no mechanism to measure its effectiveness was probably effective. I hope other researchers are less worried than Tsai about the conclusions that follow from their evidence.

April 10, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Health care. Leave a comment.

I created this COVID-19 meme based on Peanuts. Please feel free to share it.

I created this COVID-19 meme based on Peanuts. Please feel free to share it.

You can see a larger version at https://imgflip.com/i/3vx2kt

April 9, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care, Holidays, Humor, Television. Leave a comment.

I created this COVID-19 meme based on The Simpsons. Please feel free to share it!

I created this COVID-19 meme based on The Simpsons. Please feel free to share it!

There’s a bigger version at this link: https://imgflip.com/i/3vwy2q

April 8, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care, Humor, Television. Leave a comment.

If statewide lockdowns reduce deaths from COVID-19, then why is New York’s per capita death rate more than 50 times higher than Texas’s?

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

April 8, 2020

You can see a list of U.S. states ranked in order by the number of COVID-19 deaths per 1 million population. Go to this link, and scroll down to the list of states. At the top of the list, click where it says “Deaths /1M pop.” Then click on it a second time: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

In addition, here is a map that shows which states have a statewide lockdown, and which do not. Source: https://www.indy100.com/article/coronavirus-lockdown-us-cases-map-stay-home-order-9443151

Looking at these two things, we should be able to see whether nor not statewide lockdowns actually helped to save lives.

New York has a statewide lockdown, and has had 319 deaths per 1 million population.

Texas has not had a statewide lockedown, but its death rate has only been 6 per 1 million people.

So even though New York has a statewide lockdown, and Texas does not, New York’s per capita death rate is actually more than 50 times higher than Texas’s.

What is the explanation for this?

Note: Edited to add the following: People are commenting about differences in population density. My response to this is to point out that of the 13 most heavily populated U.S. cities, five of them are in Texas. Source for image: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_United_States_cities_by_population&oldid=949701887

List of United States cities by population

13 cities

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:

amazon logo

April 8, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care. 14 comments.

Congressional COVID Task Force Leader Sheila Jackson Lee Doesn’t Know How to Wear Medical Mask

https://kprcradio.iheart.com/featured/walton-and-johnson/content/2020-04-06-congressional-covid-task-force-leader-doesnt-know-how-to-wear-medical-mask/

Congressional COVID Task Force Leader Doesn’t Know How to Wear Medical Mask

April 6, 2020

If this is the woman Congress put in charge of our coronavirus task force team we should all be very concerned.

Meet Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), the chair of the Congressional team in charge of dealing with COVID19.

Last week she appeared on television in her hometown of Houston to talk about how people can combat the coronavirus pandemic and people watching at home noticed something: she doesn’t seem to know how to properly wear her medical mask.

April 7, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care. Leave a comment.

The Washington Post acknowledges: 1) It’s possible that the COVID-19 virus was released from a Chinese research lab that was conducting experiments on bats and coronavirus;  2) The Wuhan seafood market did not sell bats;  3) The research lab was less than 300 yards from the seafood market.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

April 4, 2020

The Washington Post has just acknowledged the following three things:

1) It’s possible that the COVID-19 virus was released from a Chinese research lab that was conducting experiments on bats and coronavirus.

2) The Wuhan seafood market that had originally been blamed for the outbreak did not sell bats.

3) The research lab was less than 300 yards from the seafood market.

Here is the relevant text from the Washington Post article:

How did covid-19 begin? Its initial origin story is shaky.

… scientists don’t rule out that an accident at a research laboratory in Wuhan might have spread a deadly bat virus that had been collected for scientific study…

… the initial “origin story” — that the virus was spread by people who ate contaminated animals at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan — is shaky…

… bats weren’t sold at the seafood market…

There’s a competing theory — of an accidental lab release of bat coronavirus — that scientists have been puzzling about for weeks. Less than 300 yards from the seafood market is the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers from that facility and the nearby Wuhan Institute of Virology have posted articles about collecting bat coronaviruses from around China, for study to prevent future illness. Did one of those samples leak, or was hazardous waste deposited in a place where it could spread?

Richard Ebright, a Rutgers microbiologist and biosafety expert, told me… that it “also could have occurred as a laboratory accident, with, for example, an accidental infection of a laboratory worker.” He noted that bat coronaviruses were studied in Wuhan at Biosafety Level 2, “which provides only minimal protection,” compared with the top BSL-4.

Ebright described a December video from the Wuhan CDC that shows staffers “collecting bat coronaviruses with inadequate [personal protective equipment] and unsafe operational practices.” Separately, I reviewed two Chinese articles, from 2017 and 2019, describing the heroics of Wuhan CDC researcher Tian Junhua, who while capturing bats in a cave “forgot to take protective measures” so that “bat urine dripped from the top of his head like raindrops.”

And then there’s the Chinese study that was curiously withdrawn. In February, a site called ResearchGate published a brief article by Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao from Guangzhou’s South China University of Technology. “In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan…

Up until just now, all of this information was considered by the mainstream media to be a conspiracy theory that had no merit. But now even the Washington Post is taking it seriously. Better late than never, I guess.

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 4, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care. Leave a comment.

I contacted the University of Pittsburgh because I wanted to volunteer for testing their new COVID-19 vaccine. They said it was way too soon, and they weren’t looking for any volunteers now.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

April 4, 2020

On April 2, 2020, the Tribune Review reported:

Pittsburgh scientists develop possible coronavirus vaccine, hope FDA can fast-track it

A potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus causing the covid-19 outbreak has been created in a University of Pittsburgh lab.

Researchers say the first phase of human clinical trials — which would include healthy volunteers in the Pittsburgh area — could start in the coming months.

The next day, I googled and called the relevant phone number of the doctor who was leading this research. The person on the phone gave me someone else’s name and phone number. When I called and talked to that person, she said that it was way too soon for human trials, and that they were not currently looking for volunteers. I asked her if I could give her my name and phone number so they could call me when they were ready. She said OK, and I gave it to her. But she didn’t sound enthusiastic, and she didn’t even repeat my phone number to verify that it was correct. I got the feeling that the article in the Tribune-Review was being overly optimistic.

April 4, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care. Leave a comment.

A scientific paper claims that humans acquired COVID-19 from a Chinese research lab, and not a food market. But instead of having the paper peer reviewed, they are trying to suppress it.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

April 3, 2020

One of the great things about science is the peer review process. When one group of scientists comes to a conclusion, other groups of scientists are allowed to peer review the work of the original group, to try to determine whether or not the original research has merit.

This link, which no longer works, used to show a scientific paper: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339070128_The_possible_origins_of_2019-nCoV_coronavirus

Fortunately, the internet archive still has the paper at this link: https://web.archive.org/web/20200214144447/https:/www.researchgate.net/publication/339070128_The_possible_origins_of_2019-nCoV_coronavirus

The paper is titled, “The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus.”

The paper’s lead author is Botao Xiao, from the South China University of Technology.

The paper’s publication month is February 2020.

The paper states:

“An article published on The Lancet reported that 27 of 41 infected patients were found to have contact with the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was only 280 meters from the seafood market. We briefly examined the histories of the laboratories and proposed that the coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory…”

“… The bats carrying CoV ZC45 were originally found in Yunnan or Zhejiang province, both of which were more than 900 kilometers away from the seafood market. Bats were normally found to live in caves and trees. But the seafood market is in a densely-populated district of Wuhan, a metropolitan of ~15 million people. The probability was very low for the bats to fly to the market. According to municipal reports and the testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market.”

This paper has not been peer reviewed. I hope it will be.

If the statistics cited in the paper are true, then which of these two scenarios is more likely:

a) Humans contracted COVID-19 from a food market that is more than 900,000 meters away from the wild population of this bat species

or

b) Humans contracted COVID-19 from a lab that was doing research on bats and on coronavirus, and the lab is located only 280 meters from this food market

I’m curious to read of any peer reviews that get published.

And I’m curious to know why no peer reviews have been published so far.

And I’m also curious to know why the original link no longer works.

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 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Animals, COVID-19, Health care, Science. 3 comments.

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