Scroll down to read this post.


Please consider supporting my work here at Behind the Black. I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands. Instead, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

Survival rates for COVID-19

The CDC last week posted its new estimate of the survival rates for COVID-19, broken up by age.

This link put those number in clear terms:

0-19 years: 99.997%
20-49 years: 99.98%
50-69 years: 99.5%
70+ years: 94.6%

Those numbers are practically identical to those of the flu. In other words, practically no one dies from it. It makes some people sick for a week or so, and then goes away.

And we have destroyed western civilization over this. It boggles the mind (for those who are still using it).

The worst part is that no one will believe me. Instead, too many will be outraged that anyone would even hint that this virus is not the plague.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • mkent

    The CDC last week posted its new estimate of the survival rates for COVID-19, broken up by age.

    From the CDC:

    The scenarios are intended to advance public health preparedness and planning. They are *not* predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19.[emphasis mine]

    We all better hope this isn’t an estimate of the survival rate of COVID-19. This is far, far worse than the flu. If these numbers are correct, we’ll have 1.4 million dead Americans by the time we reach herd immunity.

  • Barry

    First of all, the many “expert” models of peak infections and deaths have been wildly inaccurate.
    As a society, honesty would require us to recognize the fear instilled in our decision-makers after watching the Italy response to the coronavirus when it first hit.

    So we gave it a two-week shutdown to “flatten the curve.”

    We now have better medical treatment, and better data of what really happens after a patient becomes infected.

    The people who get it can suffer significantly. It can be way tougher than the sniffles. But we now have the data which we didn’t have before, so I would respectfully disagree with the CDC – in fact, we have had months of experience and millions of infections, so the data is far, far more clear now than it was at the beginning. And the data says we statistically aren’t gonna die unless we already had a foot on the proverbial banana peel. And honesty also dictates one to realize that the most vulnerable – advanced age, co-morbidities, or both – are statistically more likely to die from something or other, regardless of Covid.

    Therefore, the shutdown of the economy is unnecessary.

  • Eugene Dillenburg

    Even if the survival rates are the same as the flu, Covid-19 is more contagious. More people catch it, which means, even with a lot fatality rate, more people die. Enough to justify the measures we’ve seen? That is certainly debatable.

  • LocalFluff

    How do you reach the number 1.4 million??
    That’s 0.4% of all Americans. The numbers indicate that it is a tenth of that, if everyone gets infected and everyone gets ill of Covid-19 from that. And disregarding the bias that those who have reduced immune defense or previous respiratory illnesses are the ones at risk and none of the healthy people in working age. That one dies at average life length age is natural, per definition, and hasn’t changed with this common cold virus.30

    The most intelligent and knowledgeable of all the leftists in the world, their presidential candidate Joe Biden, claims that 200 million Americans have already died from Covid-19. Since he earlier claimed that 120 million Americans have been shot dead, there are only 10 million Americans alive today, according to all the leftists. Do you claim that 14% of them will die of a common cold virus?

  • Andrew_W

    Crunching the numbers as mkenthas done, the CDC numbers give an IFR of 0.8% with US age demographics, obviously that’s based on health care systems not being overwhelmed.

  • Andrew_W

    LocalFluff, he’s multiplied the number of Americans in each of the age brackets by the CDC IFR in those age brackets, then (I) used a figure of 60% immunity through infections to reach herd immunity (I assume he also used that 60% infection rate for herd immunity to get the same 1.4 million that I did).

  • ARR

    The values given are not predictions because that would assume that all infected people in each bracket have an equal chance of dying (equal chance of surviving if you’re an optomist). The evidence I have read is that underlying health conditions are a huge (dominant?) factor. I suspect the chance of survival for my children, who are thankfully very active and healthy, is far greater than 99.997%.

  • ARR

    “optimist” not “optomist”

  • Steve Richter

    I am listening to what Bob has to say on Covid, but still not convinced. Here is young man in Russia who says he caught Covid early on yet has not yet recovered his sense of smell.

    Never heard of the flu damaging a person to this degree.

    He also says his covid antibodies have decreased on his 2nd such test. Which kind of worries in terms of people retaining immunity to the virus.

  • People suck at fractions. As a Data nerd, I looked at the table early, saw I had a .5% risk of death, moved over a column, saw I had a 1% risk of hospitilization, realized immediatly that meant a 99% chance of just being regular sick.

    I’m job hunting and a recruiter asked how I felt about going into their office, and I told her that story and that I wasn’t scared of going into the office, the traffic was more dangerous than the virus. She was recruiting data nerds so she got it.

  • mkent

    LocalFluff, he’s multiplied the number of Americans in each of the age brackets by the CDC IFR in those age brackets…

    Yes. The 60% comes from the R0 value found (2.5) in the same scenario of the same chart that Robert took the numbers in his post from. 1-1/R0 = 60%.

    Those numbers are practically identical to those of the flu. In other words, practically no one dies from it.

    Robert: Your own numbers give away this lie. Your own numbers show that, left unchecked, Covid-19 will kill 1.4 million Americans by the time we reach herd immunity. That will make it 23 times the worst seasonal flu in American history and by far the worst pandemic this country has ever seen.

    Instead, too many will be outraged that anyone would even hint that this virus is not the plague.

    Please dispense with the binary thinking. There is a lot of ground between “ordinary flu” and “Black Death”, and that’s where we are.

  • Edward

    Steve Richter wrote: “Here is young man in Russia who says he caught Covid early on yet has not yet recovered his sense of smell.

    I’m not at all impressed. I had a mere cold when I was 14 and am still waiting to recover my sense of smell.

    You wrote: “Your own numbers show that, left unchecked, Covid-19 will kill 1.4 million Americans by the time we reach herd immunity.

    Several countries are showing that herd immunity is far lower than your assumption.

    In addition, several states have already allowed Wuhan Plague to sweep through their nursing homes, so there are not as many left in the most vulnerable population as you assume.

    That the Plague has swept through the most vulnerable populations means that the 70+ years figure is skewed. A disproportionate number in this group have already been infected and died. Most of the remaining in this population have already survived the disease or do not have as many co-morbidities, making them much safer than the figures suggest. From the first link:

    The scenarios are intended to advance public health preparedness and planning. They are not predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19.

  • Dan Sutton

    I believe your opinions and actions will change when someone you know dies in 8 days. It is much worse than the flu, and no matter how you spin the numbers, people are still dying. When over 200,000 people lose their lives, it is not a typical flu.

    Used to enjoy Behind the Black, but between bad political and bad medical views and opinions, I can no longer support this site.

  • Raymond A Brooks

    Since my mathematical evaluations have had little emotional impact, I will resort to a more succinct equation:
    This whole panicdemic = pristine bullcrap x 6.022 E23 = a whole mole of nonsense.

  • Steve Richter

    over 100 infections in Iceland traced back to 2 French tourists

    “… Over half of the new infections can be traced to the Irishman pub and Brewdog restaurant, both in downtown Reykjavík. …”

    Masks would likely have prevented the spread of the virus from that pub. Looking like the China approach of total lockdown in areas where the virus was detected is the method that worked. China is now virus free and its economy is once again growing.

  • m d mill

    In Sweden (10 million population) 6000 have died of covid 19, and the death rate has dropped to virtually zero (and will remain there), where little general public isolation or lock-down or masking was implemented. This would extrapolate to 6000*300/10= 180,000 deaths for a population of 300 million. The US death total is larger perhaps because we have extended the date to group immunity, which increases the total deaths (the longer it is active the more chance you have to get infected). Deaths in the US are increasing by 25,000 per month, but reducing. I would intuitively guess the final US death total will be about 300,000 from Covid-19, unless further lock-downs extend it further; especially if vaccines become available for the most vulnerable before 2021. Estimates of millions of deaths seem wildly excessive considering the Swedish experience, IMO.

    RZ: “In other words, practically no one dies from it.” …Well, 200,000 have died so far, many years before they would have otherwise. In the end, it will cause about 10 times the normal flu death total …The mask phobic psychosis continues.

  • pzatchok

    Those of you claiming that the Wuhan Flu is more deadly than what ever and we have to be in total lock down and if we go out we need to be in hazmat suits.
    Exactly how many of you have quit riding in cars?
    They are just as deadly and kill far quicker.

  • Andrew _W

    Pzatchok. No one takes the position you describe. You appear to be out of touch with reality.

  • Andrew _W

    Oh, annual road deaths in the US are about 38,000.

  • mkent

    30,000 a month vs. 38,000 a year. Nearly a factor of ten difference. Why can’t the deniers do math? We’re not talking differential equations here — just simple arithmetic.

  • commodude


    That’s assuming you believe the CDC stats or not. By their own admission only 6% of those who they list as died from CIVD-19 actually died solely from the virus, the rest had comorbidities that they passed from.

    When you incentivize listing a particular cause of death, it’s going to skew the numbers, hence people dying from motorcycle accidents who are listed as COVID-18 casualties.

  • commodude

    pardon the typos.

  • mkent: I have no problem with you pointing out errors or areas where you strongly disagree with me or anyone else.

    I however do not tolerate name-calling and insults here on Behind the Black. Calling someone a “denier” merely because you disagree about something, even if you think their math is wrong, is not only unnecessary, it is unacceptable.

    You are warned. Do it again and I will ban you for a week. Do it a third time and you will be gone forever. And I will do that reluctantly, even though we often disagree.

  • Bernard

    You threaten to ban a guy over using the word “denier”, but leave up a post that calls for the killing of government officials that don’t like Trump: (first comment here)

    This comment probably won’t see the light of day either, but whatever. Clearly this is not a place for rational discussion and debate.

  • Bernard: You are being very intellectually dishonest when you say these government officials merely “don’t like Trump.” No, what they did was lie, commit perjury, threaten blackmail, submit false evidence to the FISA court, collude with the Russians, all in an effort to overthrow a legally elected president.

    As some other commenters noted in that thread, such actions can easily be construed as treason, which by the way carries a death penalty.

    Calling for their murder is of course wrong. However, that commenter was at least being more honest than you about this particular situation.

    Moreover, at some point the abuse of power by government officials needs to be addressed, harshly if necessary. I want them indicted and properly tried before a jury of their peers. The evidence is clear so it should be an open and shut case.

    If however we no longer have a legal system, and these corrupt treasonous FBI officials get off scot free, than you (as well as all of us) should be warned, what that commenter said will become the norm. And woe to us all if that should happen.

  • Let me also add, you immediately reveal yourself when you assume I will censor your comment. I do not do that, as long as the person is civil. Thus, your comment is here for all to read.

    However, like all leftists and Democratic Party partisans these days, you project. If you had your druthers, I am certain you would work to censor me.

  • Rose

    commodude> “By their [CDC’s] own admission only 6% of those who they list as died from CIVD-19 actually died solely from the virus, the rest had comorbidities that they passed from.”

    You appear to have been confused by the reporting on this.

    Just as the immediate cause of death for a cancer patient is never the cancer itself but instead something like cardiac arrest brought about by organ failure which was caused by the cancer, so too should COVID-19 never be listed as the immediate cause of death on a death certificate. The CDC analysis you refer to says 94% of COVID-19 related death certificates listed preexisting comorbidities (including things such as diabetes or obesity, but also more serious conditions such as kidney failure or COPD) and/or immediate causes of death (such as cardiac or respiratory arrest). Unfortunately, that particular analysis shed no light at all on the important question of just how many of the COVID-19 related fatalities would have died at roughly the same time were it not for the virus.

    The only thing you can conclude about the 6% is that at least that percentage of the death certificates were incomplete, failing to list a precise immediate cause of death, most likely because the patient died unobserved by medical personnel and an autopsy to determine the specific immediate cause was deemed unwarranted. (Grandma is already dead, a COVID-19 PCR test came back positive, and she display serious symptoms of the disease leading to her death. Does it really matter if her lungs gave our before her heart?)

  • Bernard

    Well at least you did leave my comment up.
    Let me ask you all this…
    Trump has had a complete lap dog in charge of the DOJ and total control over everything that happens in the senate for some time now. If what you say is true, why have there been no senate intelligence or other hearings over this? Where are the multiple charges from Bill Barr’s DOJ? Is Trump just letting all of this go out of the kindness of his heart? Or is it that very little of what you claim to be true actually happened and that there are no charges to file and nothing substantive to investigate?
    I mean, come on. Either Trump, the AG and the senate are completely incompetent in investigating and filing charges about all this…or it simply didn’t happen. At least not to the degree that you claim.

    And Rose, your attempt to correct commodude is commendable, but will bear no fruit. That particular lie about COVID and the ‘actual’ death rate has become a favorite talking point among conservatives. They know it is false. They just don’t don’t care. It fits their narrative, so they keep saying it. But it doesn’t really matter anyway. Even if they accepted the reality that the current death count was accurate, they fall back to the premise of this thread – the death rate is low and only the elderly and sick are vulnerable. Never mind that even a death rate of 1-3% among the elderly translates to an awful lot of deaths if millions of people are infected. They were old or sick and so their lives are somehow worth less, or they should have been isolating better in order to avoid the virus so that the rest of us can get back to normal. Never mind that many of them can’t isolate and need to work because they have no other source of income and there is currently no government assistance. Never mind that nursing homes across the country have not been provided with testing and other supplies that they need to keep their residents safe – that is the job of the free market and not the gubment.
    If you are elderly or have medical issues and do not have the resources to lock yourself in an apartment for six months, conservatives feel that you should be willing to throw yourself on the fire in order to keep the Dow Jones going.

  • Bernard

    Oh, and Mr. Zimmerman…calling for the extrajudicial killing of government officials counts as ‘civil’ enough for you to leave a comment up?
    That is a pretty low bar. Suspect I should be able to get pretty darn uncivil before you start deleting my comments.

  • commodude


    It matters, because there is and was an economic incentive to list cause of death as COVID. Once you incentivize it, the numbers are corrupted and useless. False positive tests, people who died from blunt fore trauma and gang violence, all play a part in inflating the numbers of positives and numbers of “deaths” from COVID.

    The data is highly corrupted.

  • Marcus

    Dear Mr. Zimmerman,

    You allow insults all over the comment section. I agree with that decision, although I don’t think the insults are generally useful and they make the comment section less valuable. Censoring insults in general is impractical and would do more harm than good. Name calling is just one type of insult, but it does have the advantage that it is pretty well defined and hence easier to censor without doing damage to everyone’s ability to express their thoughts. I must agree that calling someone a “denier” is technically name calling. I also agree that as an insult it doesn’t provide much value. But it is certainly much milder than many of the insults allowed. I would also like to point out that you called Bernard a “Leftist”. I personally consider this name calling as much as calling someone a “Denier”. If you can, it would be more valuable if you explained how Bernard has expressed specific attitudes you consider “leftist” and how those specific attitudes support your conclusion that he would censor you. Can you do that? Otherwise I believe you are simply name calling.

  • Cotour

    Properly and accurately labeling someone as to their political philosophy is not name calling. In order to get on the same page, properly and accurately labeling someone serves to accomplish just that.

    You want to argue about the fine points related to the label? Then fine.

    But that is not name calling, and by trying to cast the practice as being name calling is distractionary and serves to illustrate that you are unable to make a proper distinction in order to have a productive conversation. And that just promotes confusion and not being able to have any conversation at all.

    And at that point we have just what we all see in the media today, chaos and confusion and not journalism in order to serve a political agenda.

    Please do not be a part of the problem.

  • Cotour

    As an example:

    If I were to end my post with:

    “Please don’t be a part of the problem you dopey #######”. (Son of an unmarried woman, born out of wed lock)

    That would be an example of name calling.

    However, if I classified you as a Liberal Democrat, or a Leftist, or a Marxist, based on your stated positions that you yourself promote and defend, that is not name calling. Please make the distinction.

    Do you see the difference. One is incendiary and demeaning and the other is attempting to accurately describe someone political agenda and what they are promoting in order to have a productive conversation.

  • Marcus

    I understand the difference, but I think calling someone a “denier” is pretty similar to calling someone a “leftist”. I’m guessing Bernard viewed it as a shorthand way of succinctly identifying someone’s political or ideological viewpoint, similarly to the way “leftist” was used by Mr. Zimmerman. Both uses are mild forms of name calling and a form of intellectual laziness. I’m not sure if I’d be more insulted by being called a “leftist” or by being called a “denier”.

    Both insults are mild, and I wouldn’t censor either use. They may not be the most valuable comments here, but they are far from the worst. Mr. Zimmerman’s comment on possibly banning Bernard just struck me as an over reaction based on the actual insult of calling someone a denier and I wanted to put in another perspective.

    Also I think its dangerous to only ban name calling whe someone deems that it is intended to be inflammatory vs when the name calling is “accurate”. As I pointed out before, the advantage of banning name calling is that it is easy to define. Once you put in qualifiers for name calling that supposedly accurately identifies someone, you get into the same trouble as banning insults in general.

  • Cotour

    The Zman makes his point, and its his play ground so he draws the lines.

    As to the specific word, “Denier”, that is not a word that is normally associated with formal name calling but it is used as a weapon if someone is arguing from the Left. And that is precisely why I threw my two cents in.

    Just the other night a Liberal Democrat friend while at dinner said exactly the same thing to me’ “Why do you have to label people?”. I label people, not call people names, in order to properly frame an honest conversation.

    You disagree with me and my label or classification of you? Then explain to me why I am wrong.

    And if I were to live by his distorted rules then there is no moment in our conversation where there can be an honest and revealing conversation. Why? Because he being a Liberal has already defined the rules of the conversation and has created the allowed terms and parameters of the conversation.

    And that is just a way to manipulate and avoid the conversation that my friend is really unable to competently participate in. This is the way of the Left, reject it in the strongest terms, without calling anyone a derogatory name that is.

  • Andrew_W

    People try to build a strawman and claim that the use of the word ‘denier’ is an attempt to compare someone to holocaust deniers. While I don’t often use the term, to me it’s use is about asserting that someone is *in denial* about reality on the issue, they’re leading with their bias with their rational & objective thinking having fled.

  • Marcus

    I’m not questioning Mr. Zimmerman’s right or ability to make the rules on his blog. I appreciate that he allows push back by those with different opinions.

    It’s very useful to have labels for describing people, groups of people, ideas, etc. But like most tools, labeling can be misused. Labeling is tricky when your goal is to make an accurate claim about a specific person (other than perhaps a politician who is actually aiming to fit a specific label). Someone on this forum may hold many very liberal views, but on the other hand be very strongly pro-life. I see people jumping to all kinds of conclusions about others on this forum based on very limited facts. This particular comment by Mr. Zimmerman seemed to be jumping to conclusions based on his labeling of Bernard:

    “However, like all leftists and Democratic Party partisans these days, you project. If you had your druthers, I am certain you would work to censor me.”

    It’s just not a strong argument. It doesn’t convince me that Bernard wants to censor speech. I agree some liberals believe in censoring speech, but I know other’s who are very strongly supportive of freedom of speech.

    If you label someone and then conclude that they believe x, y, and z based on the label, you’re likely to get some things wrong. It’s a useful shortcut when necessary, but on a forum with real people or with actual friends it’s not something I would want to do.

  • sippin_bourbon

    In my experience, the use of the term “denier” is a bullying attempt to silence the other person.

    Don’t accept the arguments for a Carbon Credit system? Oh, you must be a Climate change – denier.
    Don’t accept every single step they want to impose for lock downs, vote by mail, wear your mask in your sleep, and while you drive? You must be a Covid – denier.

    It is used the same way “-phobe” has been used.

    Don’t support the forced baking of a cake by a Christian baker? You must be a homo – phobe.

    These words are not used to enable or expand debate, but rather to shut it down.

    Being “on the right side of history” is another one of those useful things.

    As for Bernards repeated concerns about a comment calling for extrajudicial killings: I think an asinine comment that is plainly refuted serves a better purpose than being censored.

  • Andrew_W

    sippin_bourbon, and then we have people who use strawman claims to misrepresent the arguments of those they disagree with, also with the intent of “not enabling or expanding debate, but rather to shut it down.”

    ‘Phobe’ and ‘denier’ are both used to accuse people of being biased and not looking at the evidence rationally, God knows that’s something humans are prone to doing, though it’s always the others doing it.

  • sippin_bourbon

    My comments were meant only as an overall observation. Should have stated that. Not to refute any one person.

    I enjoy good debate. So long as the other party is willing to do so as well.
    Too often, people degrade the debate to “I am right, you are stupid”.

  • Andrew_W

    Just posted this on another forum, may as well add it here.
    Jonathan Haidt Explains Why America Is So Divided

  • Rose

    commodude> “It matters, because there is and was an economic incentive to list cause of death as COVID.”

    I absolutely agree that we need good studies attempting to determine the rate of overreporting / underreporting of COVID-19 deaths, but the “6% of Death Certificates Fail to Include Either a Preexisting Comorbidity or a More Immediate Cause of Death than COVID-19” story is not it. All it tells you is that at least 6% of those death certificates were incomplete, as COVID-19, like cancer, should *never* be an immediate cause of death.

    Being mislead about that particular report (not even a report so much as a minor note in one section of the Weekly PRovisional Count report) is understandable given how it has been reported. Some of the confusion comes from the expansive use of the term “comorbidity”, which includes conditions which are independent of COVID-19 (such as obesity or diabetes or COPD which are predictive of poorer outcomes for COVID-19 patients) *and* conditions which are related to COVID-19 (such as ARDS=Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or Respiratory Failure which a previously health patient may develop because of COVID-19).

    Andrew_W are you aware of any studies attempting to determine the rate of over/underreporting, other than those which compare reporting rates to excess death numbers? I’m thinking of something like an audit of a randomly selected sample of reported COVID-19 deaths, comparing the death certificate with detailed medical records and possibly even interviews of relatives & caregivers, in an attempt to determine how causal/influential COVID-19 itself was in the death.

    My best guess is that there probably is some overreporting where a patient with an otherwise terminal (in the short-term) illness came down with COVID-19 and was classified as a COVID-19 victim even though they would have die at the nearly the same time without COVID-19, but that these were far outnumbered by underreporting early in the pandemic when tests were in short supply. Later on I suspect there has been a degree of overreporting, though probably not to the degree that you (commodude) suspect. I’d love to see a proper study address this, but the “6% story” tell us nothing on that subject.

  • commodude


    You’re being VERY dismissive of my understanding of the report. Your bias towards the media created panic that is COVID 19 is palpable.

    I understand completely the report. The question of the skewed data will never be removed, because, like you, any researched in the present is going to be biased in regards to the accuracy of the data, and that bias is going to skew perceptions and filters of the data.

    The point remains that the data for COVID is absolutely and utterly polluted with junk. False positives abound, illustrated best by the false positives that came to the surface with the testing of NFL players. False reporting of deaths is rampant, given the economic incentive to report the death as COVID. Report the death as COVID related, and Uncle Sugar picks up the bill. Report the death as, for instance congestive heart failure, and now you have to deal with bureaucrats and insurance companies to collect your money. (or gang violence, or vehicular accident, the news stories aren’t tough to find.)

    People have been scared by a media circus and social media botfarms into believing that this is the 21st century’s bubonic plague.

  • Rose

    commodude, I’m confused. If you completely understand the report, why did you reference it in support of an assertion upon which it has no bearing?

    By The Way #1: While you believe there is much more overreporting than I believe is the case, I am not repudiating your position as I am not aware of good studies which address it one way or the other. Hence I am open to your position. What I do know is that the “6% story” has no bearing on the question.

    BTW #2: I doubt you understand my views on the whole COVID-19 situation, though I don’t see how such views are pertinent to a discussion of facts.

    BTW #3: The mainstream media did a horrible job explaining away the “6% story”, for the most part claiming that the entire 94% balance had preexisting comorbidities, the vast majority of which may have affected the course of the disease but would not have killed the patient at that time, and that those comorbidities (such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes) were quite common in the overall population. Very few stories caught on to the fact that the 94% balance included those for which no preexisting comorbidities were given yet an appropriate immediate cause of death (such as respiratory or cardiac arrest) was listed. The report did not separate those two categories.

  • commodude


    If I was working on a lean six sigma project using data with the reliability of the COVID reporting data, given the false positives, lack of clarity of causes of death, and inherent bias in the data caused by the economic incentive to over report, I’d be laughed out of the room. Much as you like to deride it as a significant issue. it is another nail in the coffin for the reliability of the data.

    Unless you can unequivocally state that COVID was the cause of death, the death statistics are junk.

    Again, the number of deaths clearly NOT COVID related reported as COVID related pollute any data analysis.

    Sensationalism overtook science.

  • Andrew_W

    Rose: “Andrew_W are you aware of any studies attempting to determine the rate of over/underreporting, other than those which compare reporting rates to excess death numbers?”

    No, but I don’t see any difference between Covid death rates in the US, where such inflation of numbers of Covid deaths is claimed, and other jurisdictions, where no reasons for such inflation of the death count has been suggested.

  • Andrew_W

    The US actually has case fatality rates that are lower than almost all other Western countries, but that lower US rate is likely due to higher test numbers to infection numbers during the periods of high infection rates.

  • wayne

    Good stuff.

  • wayne

    Good stuff.

  • Darwin Teague

    Steve Richter

    A good friend of mine lost his sense of smell and taste a few years ago. I think it was SARS, or it could have been the bird flu.He was VERY sick for a week or two.. He went to several doctors last year about this, but nothing can be done.

    He gave up flying because he would have been unable to smell a fire or something like that while piloting a plane

    My wife’s aunt lost her sense of smell and taste at least 30 years ago.

  • Darwin Teague

    I have read that the total death rate in America is trending lower than for the last two years. I didn’t see the source for those numbers, though. It will be interesting to see the numbers after the end of the year.

  • Those statistics are wrong.

    According to this CDC page…

    …between Feb 1 and Oct. 14, we lost 910 young adults, ages 18-29, to Covid-19 (and only 102 to flu). Among 30-49 year-olds, we’ve lost 9,365 to Covid (and only 568 to flu).

    They also list 379 deaths of 18-29 year-olds, and 4,214 30-49 year-olds, due to “Pneumonia and Covid-19,” but I don’t know whether those deaths are already included in the Covid-19 deaths, so I won’t count them. (I sent the CDC a question, asking them to clarify that.)

    The CDC page doesn’t break out the numbers of deaths from each cause for ages 18 and 19, but the Covid-19 death rate is low among teenagers, so it is safe to say that at least 800 of the 910 deaths among 18-29 year-olds were in their 20s. That means there were at least 9,365+800 = 10,165 deaths of 20-49 year-olds.

    The stats you cited (from what article?) claim that the survival rate among 20-49 years old is 99.98%. But that is impossible. Here’s how you can tell that it is impossible:

    There were at least 10,165 deaths in that age group. If the survival rate were 99.98% that would mean 9,998 recoveries for every 2 deaths, which is 50,814,835 recoveries, just among 30-49 year-olds.

    it is not possible that there could have been 50 million recoveries among 30-49 year-olds. There are only about 84 million Americans in that age range, in total, so that would be over 60% of them.

    There have been only 5,457,912 identified recoveries, so far, of all ages, in the entire country. Many people have had the disease without being diagnosed, but not THAT many. Serology tests suggest that about 5% of U.S. citizens (15-20 million) have been exposed to Covid-19, so far, not 60%.

  • Correction:

    I wrote, “(from what article?)”

    I see that you liked to it. Sorry, I should have read more carefully.

    But the statistics in that article are still wrong.

    Even though Covid-19 has probably infected fewer than 20 million Americans, so far, it has already killed one quarter of a million of them, and it continues to kill about 700 more, each day.

    For comparison, a typical seasonal flu infects about 29 million Americans, and kills about 37,000 of them. Here’s a spreadsheet:

    One of the big reasons the flu usually infects less than 30 million Americans is that about half of all Americans get the flu jab, each year, including a disproportionately high percentage of those most vulnerable.. Until a vaccine is available, Covid-19 has the potential to infect many more people than the flu does.

    The good news is that an army of scientists are furiously working on vaccine development. At last count, no fewer than 180 different vaccines were under development! Here’s a very, very informative “tweetorial,” by an expert, which could be entitled, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Coronavirus Vaccines* (*but were afraid to ask)

    Tweet #1:

    Tweet #138 (the last tweet):

    Whole thread, unrolled by ThreadReaderApp:
    (Best format, if you block the ads, e.g., with uBlock Origin.)

    Whole thread, unrolled by Rattibha:

    Whole thread, unrolled by Threader:

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *