Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

US sets new record of COVID-19 cases in one day

O no! We’re all gonna die! The United States yesterday set a new record of 77,770 new COVID-19 cases detected in one day.

Thursday’s numbers — 77,640 new cases — eclipsed the previous record set on July 29, when 75,723 new cases were reported, according to a tally by NBC News.

A total of 921 coronavirus-related deaths were also reported on Thursday. [emphasis mine]

I highlight the number of deaths to make the same point I have made repeatedly. Less than a thousand deaths with so many cases demonstrates again how this virus is relatively harmless to practically everyone who gets it. I am quite sure that of those 921 deaths, almost all were over seventy, and all were saddled with other very serious chronic illnesses that even without COVID-19, were on the verge of killing them.

Also, 921 deaths out of 77,770 cases calculates as a death rate of 1.2%. While this is much higher than the flu’s normal death rate of 0.1%, it almost certainly includes almost all flu deaths this year, since the CDC records practically none, something that is just not creditable. Moreover, there is ample evidence that the number of deaths that have been assigned to the coronavirus has been inflated, at least as much as 25%, so that higher number is certainly an overstatement. Moreover, it includes the epidemic’s earlier period, when the virus was more lethal and doctors were struggling to learn how to treat it properly.

To sum up, COVID-19 is merely a variation of the flu. It is weakening in strength. And it never was the plague our fear-mongering political class was claiming it to be.

Sadly, the story above does the same as all mainstream stories about COVID-19. It fails to mention these basic facts, and instead focuses on the increase in cases, as if that increase means millions more will die. It is all a lie, and disgraceful for anyone in a civilized society to do it.

But then, there are a lot of journalists today who have no self-respect, and are quite willing to do many disgraceful things for partisan and emotional reasons, rather than do their jobs properly.

Readers! My Quick November Fund-Raiser for Behind the Black is now over
 

I cannot thank the numerous people who so generously donated or subscribed to Behind the Black during this fund drive. The response was remarkable, and reflected the steady growth and popularity of the work I have been doing here for the past ten-plus years.


Thank you again!


Though the find-raising campaign is officially over, and I am no longer plastering the main page with requests for help, if you like what you have read you can still contribute, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


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52 comments

  • Terry

    I love your website, but you might want to look at your math calculations.

    The correct math shows 1.1%.

  • Skunk Bucket

    Am I missing something here? I’m no mathematical genius, but I calculate that death rate at 1.18%, more than one in a hundred. That doesn’t exactly make it the 100% of “Captain Trips” from Stephen King’s “The Stand” (and I survived it just fine), but it’s not exactly the sniffles either. True, it’s killing mostly the old, but that would be little consolation if it took my 84 year old mother or 93 year old stepmother.

    I agree, though, that these lockdowns are the wrong way to go about this. It’s time to get the relatively young and healthy (and immune) back out there and build as much herd immunity as possible until that promised day that we finally see a safe and effective vaccine.

  • Terry: You are correct. I make this mistake with the decimal point too often. I should have realized it since when I thought the number was 0.01%, identical to the flu, it seemed too good to be true at first glance. If that number includes flu deaths, which is what the data suggests, that number has to be higher.

    I have rewritten the post, noting the reality more accurately and with better detail.

  • Skunk Bucket: I have corrected my error. Thank you regardless.

  • LocalFluff

    In these times of mask wear (TM), it’s time for a Bill Clinton quote:
    “- I did not inhale.”

  • Matt in AZ

    2.8 million Americans died in 2019. I’ve been very interested in seeing how the 2020 numbers will compare, since some (if not many) of those who’ve died of Covid-19 would have been very old or sick people that would have passed on at some point this year anyhow. Also, certain other typical causes of death throughout the year, such as car accidents or the flu itself, are likely to be well lower than is normal.

    Since July, I’ve been occasionally checking the CDC website that lists total deaths and births per month. They had January-March of this year listed when I first started looking then, but the CDC still has yet to post any of the following months’ totals – the months that are directly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak and shutdowns in the United States. Perhaps those totals will show a stark increase in deaths. However, if those months were to show no major increase over the corresponding 2019 totals, or even a decrease, that would be a very disruptive set of facts indeed.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/provisional-tables.htm

  • George True

    The media is being highly misleading in their breathless touting of a new ‘spike’ in ‘cases’. A positive PCR test is NOT a ‘case’. A case is when somebody develops actual symptoms. The so-called ‘spike’ in ‘cases’ is mostly a result of an exponential increase in testing. Yet at the same time as this new so-called ‘spike’, the number of weekly hospitalizations for Covid are way down (in the single digits in many states), and the number of deaths due to Covid are also way down.

    And regarding the testing, most of the testing utilizes the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is known to generate huge numbers of false positives. It does not actually detect the presence of SARS-2 (Covid) virus, but merely RNA particles. Thus, it can return a positive result if the person tested has been exposed to ANY Coronavirus such as the common cold, or particles thereof, anytime in the recent past. A beer bottle could literally test positive for Coronavirus.

  • Steve Richter

    what I do not follow is what right the FDA has to deny Americans access to a covid vaccine. I understand trials are not complete. But arguably an individual is safer being vaccinated with a phase III trial vaccine than becoming infected with the virus.

  • Andrew_W

    “the CDC records practically none, something that is just not creditable.”

    I pointed out that flu cases are down over 99% in New Zealand, cases are also down 99% in Australia, and down in any country you can name in which measures to restrict the spread of Covid have been implemented.

    Summary

    The current influenza surveillance data should be interpreted with caution as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have influenced to varying extents health seeking behaviours, staffing/routines in sentinel sites, as well as testing priorities and capacities in Member States. The various hygiene and physical distancing measures implemented by Member States to reduce SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission have likely played a role in reducing influenza virus transmission.
    Globally, influenza activity remained at lower levels than expected for this time of the year, though increased detections were reported in some countries. In the temperate zones of the southern hemisphere, the influenza season remained low or below baseline. Despite continued or even increased testing for influenza in some countries in the southern hemisphere, very few influenza detections were reported.
    In the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, influenza activity remained below inter-seasonal levels.
    In the Caribbean and Central American countries, there were no influenza detections reported. Severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) activity, likely due to COVID-19, decreased in most reporting countries.
    In tropical South America, tropical Africa and Southern Asia there were sporadic or no influenza detections across reporting countries.
    In South East Asia, increased influenza detections were reported in Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR).
    Worldwide, of the very low numbers of detections reported, seasonal influenza A(H3N2) viruses accounted for the majority of detections.

    https://www.who.int/influenza/surveillance_monitoring/updates/latest_update_GIP_surveillance/en/

  • john hare

    I read an article earlier about a fast in home test with a cost of $10.00. Can’t get FDA approval because it is slightly less accurate than the State approved approach.

  • pzatchok

    A bad test is no good at all.
    It just psychologically pacifies the fearful.

    If it gave you a (false) positive would you go to an infected hospital to get another test or would you take another 10.00 test at home?
    Most people would just keep taking the cheap test until they tested negative.
    What if they were actually positive and tested false? Would they keep to the strict cleanliness guidelines our would they slack off?
    Most would slack off.

    How often would most people test themselves?
    Most would test just once.
    You would have to test yourself every night to be able to use it as a way to stop the spread.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Well, at this rate, it might be best to not have the polls open on NOV 3rd.

    Just too risky….

    We will just have to go with the votes we already have.

    (heavy sarcasm based on my own cynicism).

  • Edward

    Matt in AZ,
    The second to last graph in the following essay shows the CDC’s weekly deaths for the past three-is years. It also contains a dashed line that shows total U.S. deaths less those that the CDC attributed to the Wuhan Plague. We can see that those deaths during this summer exceed the deaths of last summer and the summer before.
    https://wmbriggs.com/post/33026/

    The only real change between past years and this year is the reaction to the panicdemic. This reaction, as phrased by Mayor de Blasio, is to save just one life. Too bad this horrific reaction is killing so many more people than it is supposed to save. I cannot wait until we save that one life so that we can get back to normal and stop losing all those other lives.

    Interestingly, this past spring we were told that even if we did everything right, we would lose about 200,000 lives this year from the corona flu of doom. Several things were done very wrong, from Democratic leaders directing people to go to various cities’s Chinatowns to sending Wuhan ailing patients into nursing homes and care facilities. You would think that these leaders wanted people to die, but that would be too terrible, even for anti-Trump Democrats.

  • D. Messier

    Well, the death rate from covid in the US is 68.17 out of 100,000 population. Deaths this year at 222,447 according to CDC.
    https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality.

    https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_casesinlast7days

    For flu in 2018 it was 3.4 per 100K for 11,162 deaths. For flu and pneumonia that figure rose to 18.1 per 100K for 59,120 deaths.
    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/flu.htm

  • john hare

    pzatchok,

    There is a difference between a bad test and one that is slightly less accurate than the approved version. 90% accuracy right now is being compared to one that is 95% accurate with results a week from now. A week can cause a lot of damage while you are waiting either through infecting people because you don’t know, or missing work because you don’t know.

    Second point is not allowing people to choose and think for themselves. A cheap tire gauge is better than none at all when you need fast information.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Not even sure where to find the numbers on this.

    I am curious what percentage of the US population is considered “high risk”.

    High risk because of age, previous conditions (heart disease, obesity, other chronic illnesses), immuno-suppressed (either naturally by disease, such as lupus, or artificially such as those that take so called “anti-rejection” meds for transplants for example).

    If the US mortality rate, as Mr Messier points out, is less than .07% (rounded) of the population, what is that compared to the percentage of the population that is at most risk?

    I found this site:
    https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/how-many-adults-are-at-risk-of-serious-illness-if-infected-with-coronavirus/

    It is part of the liberal leaning Kaiser Fam Foundation, and they suggest “About four in ten adults (37.6%)” are at higher risk “due to their older age (65 and older) or health condition”.

    So 37.6% at high risk vs .06817% actual mortality (and includes all, not just high risk folks).

    I think that is actually pretty good. It suggests that we are actually doing things right.

    While one side, for political reasons, wants to throw the the number of deaths out there constantly, it suggests that the actions taken so far have spared many. Trump’s campaign touts, a 2 million plus number, but that is only based on how many were projected to die based on the models. You cannot prove a negative. By extension you cannot have a stat based on what did not happen. It is an estimate. As always, every death is a heart ache for those impacted, but from a high level numbers only view, the administration has done better than they get credit for.

    As someone that has several family members in the high risk group, due to age and/or immuno-suppression, this is the lens I view this through. For them this disease carries true danger, and for that reason, should not be arbitrarily dismissed.

    If this were anything else but an election year, most of these conversations would be more civil.

  • Gary

    “If this were anything else but an election year, most of these conversations would be more civil.”

    Civility won’t return, but when the left controls the three branches of government, the histrionics will give way to tyranny.

  • Edward

    D. Messier’s analysis looks valid, because it compares data from the same source. However he fails to note that the data that the source received for the Wuhan Plague is compromised, even fudged.

    Unlike the 2018 flu season, or any other flu season in all of history, during the 2020 season the CDC accepts as valid almost all deaths that occurred by anyone who tests positive, with the exception of a couple of traffic accident deaths. The CDC also accepts as valid deaths in which someone suspected or assumed that the deceased might have been positive for Wuhan virus. This corruption of the data is exacerbated by the lucrative financial incentive to report Wuhan deaths.

    Although it looks like a comparison between Macintoshes and Granny Smith apples, we are really seeing a comparison between Mackintosh raincoats and Granny Smith apples.

  • Bernard

    Comparing an increase in daily case count to the current daily death rate? Don’t know if you are intentionally being disingenuous or just don’t know how this thing works. Case counts increase, followed a week or so later by hospitalizations, followed a week or so later by deaths. The death rate has always lagged behind the changing case numbers. People don’t get the virus and drop dead on the same day. And since when is almost 1,000 people dying each day nothing to be concerned about? I know that you all don’t believe that many people are actually dying from this thing – that somehow the entire medical system is in on some huge fraud and conspiracy – but to so casually dismiss the daily deaths of 1,000 Americans is sobering.

    And with regard to the influenza burden in the US – you are aware that we are just barely getting into influenza season, right? Generally November through sometime around February? The CDC is currently reporting a 0.3% positivity rate for influenza (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm) and hasn’t even started posting data regarding hospitalizations….because we are not yet in influenza season. So not many influenza deaths right now….because we are not yet in influenza season.

    The burden of COVID-19 is increasing. Hospitalizations will follow. Deaths will follow. People will die who didn’t need to because of the incompetence of our federal response and the rampant lies and misinformation of the right wing.

  • pzatchok

    “And since when is almost 1,000 people dying each day nothing to be concerned about?”
    your number should be closer to 750 a day.

    So do you cry this hard when America loses over 7650 people a day? That is what normally die every single day.

    A few fun facts.
    The US has almost 5200 hospitals.
    Those hospitals have over 55600 intensive care beds.
    Those hospitals send 95% of ALL covid cases home for 2 weeks of isolation. Then give one follow up test.

    The US medical system is in no way even close to being stressed.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/covid-europe-records/2020/10/15/0126c256-0ee7-11eb-b404-8d1e675ec701_story.html

  • Bernard

    pzatchok,

    I know that you all will reject the data that you don’t like, but there have been a significant amount of excess deaths this year, attributed to COVID-19 (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm). Of course people die every day, and in significant numbers given the population of the country. It is of course the excess deaths that are a concern here. But you knew that and just wanted to make a sophomoric point, didn’t you?

    Although there are regional stresses on the system, you are correct that currently the US healthcare system as a whole is not currently under duress. Given the predictive models, however, that may change. A quick Google of the situation in Zimmerman’s own hometown of Tucson results with several articles about how hospitals there are reaching capacity. Would post some links but then my comment would not post until it is moderated….but it is easy enough to Google it yourself.

  • pzatchok

    My idea is that we are not having excessive deaths.
    The end of the year and CDC final report at the end of next year will prove me out I believe.

    The only thing we are seeing that is excessive is the fear mongering from people like you and the media.

    And did you even look at your own linked chart?

    The numbers are fudged.
    All they did was take the estimated number of deaths and add the covid deaths to it.
    They even dropped the number of average expected deaths for 2020. This makes the overage look larger.
    And they even admit that death records are weeks (if not months) behind and incomplete. That is why it takes them normally a year or more to get a real accurate number finalized.
    When you hit the button ‘Total number above average by cause’ why is covid not listed if they know everything exactly?

    I like their notes area.”…mortality data and may differ slightly from other sources due to differences in completeness, COVID-19 definitions used, …’
    They do not even have a real accepted medical mortality definition of Covid -19.

  • Cotour

    Yes, if the end of year total death numbers in America are within the 10’s of thousands then Covid has IMO had no effect on the population over and above the naturally expected numbers of deaths.

    If the stated number of deaths directly related to Covid does not increase the expected “normal” number of deaths per year in America by hundreds of thousands of deaths, then the entire thing is s fraud. (Rose could probably comment on this theory with more authority then I)

    I would guesstimate that the numbers are inflated due to, 1, Partisan politics and, 2. the need for cash flow in hard hit hospitals by at least 20%? More? Every death listed due to Covid is gold to the hospitals related to federal monies for such. I have heard that it may be as much as $30K per death? But do not quote me on that.

  • Lee Stevenson

    The reality of this situation is that nobody truly knows what the heck is going on.
    Our host parrots the right wing denialist position, that Covid is nothing to be worried about…. And provides stats to prove he is correct.
    A rare showing from the more left wing leaning position states that Covid is deadly, somthing to be rightly worried about, and provides stats to prove they are correct.
    The truth of the matter is until the final figures are in, no true judgement can be made. I personally am skeptical about all the figures released. I have seen no figures for confirmed cases adjusted for increased testing rates. I have acctually seen no genuinely balanced figures for deaths PP anywhere, not for the US, not for here in Sweden where I continue to take a beer in the bar with the good ol’ boys several time a week, ( and no one has died yet) , and not from the UK where my family are bouncing around in-between lockdowns.
    I actually lean towards Bob’s viewpoint, but I think it’s pointless at best, and dangerous at worst to state anything as fact before we get some genuine data, adjusted for the legion of other relevent factors.
    Another case of “better to be safe than sorry”?

  • Andrew_W

    Lee, how well isolated are the most vulnerable, especially the elderly, in Sweden? Does isolating them account for the divergence between case numbers and deaths?

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Andrew_W… As far as I can tell from the available data, Sweden had a huge spike in deaths at the start of the pandemic due to very sloppy regulations regarding care homes and care workers visiting OAP’s…. The government has admitted as much… They got that very wrong. If conspiracy minded or deeply cynical, it is easy to imagine a deep state plan to rid our socialist system of the takers and keep the givers. All that said, the only people I know of who have had Corona are my father back in the UK, he caught it in hospital while recovering from a perforated bowel, it knocked him around like a basketball, but he turned 83 last week and is back up and driving himself down to the store to do his own shopping, and myself, 49, diabetic, high blood pressure and dodgy ticker… And we are both still breathing.
    Life continues very much as normal over here day to day from my viewpoint, traveling on public transport, shopping or taking a beer perhaps one person in 20 wears a mask. Workwise, we are having problems. At least 80% of our inventory is imported directly from the US, and currently our fulfilment rate is less than 60% of usual. Our wherehouse has never looked so empty. On a kinda related note, I have noticed that a good chunk of what we import from the US is now marked “made in China”.
    The supply chain seems to be falling apart, and my fear is that the economic consequences of this pandemic will far outway the medical toll.

  • Bernard

    Lee,

    You draw a false equivalency in your comment. You rightfully call out the “right wing denialist position” that is pervasive here, in the right wing media and now the White House and federal task force. The problem is that you go on to state that there are valid statistics to back up that position. The ‘proof’ that is presented here by Zimmerman and the others on his side relies on misinterpretation of studies, misinformation and right wing propaganda that has been repeatedly debunked, such as the claim that COVID deaths are being wildly over-reported or that only a fraction of the reported deaths are actually due to COVID. There is no scientific equivalency here. The science is solidly against the denialist position. The only ‘proof’ that they can produce consists of alternative facts.

    On a different thread I posted a list with links of medical organizations and scientific journals that have taken a stance against the current approach in the US and debunked some of the alternative facts that are common right wing talking points. The list included the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and the journals Science, Nature, and Scientific American. The folks here proceeded to deride those sources as leftist sympathizers and rejected them out of hand. The right wing denialist position is simply anti-science and anti-truth. There is no equivalency between that position and the position taken by the most respected minds in medicine, public health and scientific journalism.

    I do agree that we don’t know how this is all going to fall out in the end. It is possible that this will not be as bad as we initially thought in terms of case fatality rate. But with surging hospitalizations, regional significant stresses on our healthcare system (e.g. the current situation in El Paso, Texas) and a death toll where it is now with dire predictions for the rest of winter, listening to public health experts and following the science is prudent, not just ‘better safe than sorry’.

  • wayne

    Bernard-
    “The right wing denialist position is simply anti-science and anti-truth.”

    Q: Are you an American Citizen?

    Jordan Peterson in Slovinia:
    “Comprehensive analysis of totalitarianism & individual sovereignty”
    November 2018
    https://youtu.be/LqpA_H2RCwE
    1:17:59

  • Bernard

    Wayne,

    A: Yes….and I am baffled as to why you think I would watch an 80 minute video from a right wing conspiracy theorist just because you linked it here. If you have a point to make please make it without asking me to watch a feature-length film.

  • wayne

    Bernard-
    Oh…sorry, didn’t make it clear; I have no interest as to what you personally click upon, or not.

    As to Dr. Jordan Peterson being a “a right wing conspiracy theorist,” I would put forth the proposition– a large number of readers here, know exactly what you represent, and exactly what you are.

    ————————————-

    UMass Trigglypuff 3 Camera PIP Edit
    https://youtu.be/7hdQsEyION4
    3:10

  • pzatchok

    I can not wait for next year.

    We will have no vaccine. Or they will allow the use of one that kills a as many as the Civid does now.
    Seriously can a vaccine be that bad if it only kills 2% of the people? The rest are safe.
    If it only kills at 1% they will claim that is better than the real covid. At .8% thats just half as deadly as covid.
    People sued talcum powder companies over 2 deaths and got billions( reduced to millions). Will the left cry if we give the vaccine companies protections against that?

    But wait.
    What about all the people who think vaccines give their children serious problems and refuse them even now? Are we going to force them to take them?
    Is the left going to vocally call them right wing conspiracy nuts? Are we going to keep those children out of school? Arrest the parents?
    By the way that has all happened already in small cases. Just wait.

    My other guess is that in a year or even two the CDC will have gone back and readjusted their covid numbers down. More than likely as much as 50%. They do it all the time with the seasonal flu.
    We will not know until march at best. Then it would be a whole year of Covid. And even without a vaccine the death rate will drop dramatically from herd immunity.

    I remember the AIDS scare in the 80’s. Fauchi was saying then that Aids was going to jump to the heterosexual community and kill millions. It did make the jump, its a disease and doesn’t care who it infects, but it did not kill millions in its first 10 years. We still do not have a vaccine for it yet and trillions have been spent on finding one..
    He was a young fool then and he is just an old fool now.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Bernard,

    “The folks here proceeded to deride those sources as leftist sympathizers and rejected them out of hand. ”

    That is a lie.

    We pointed out that the articles you posted, were in fact editorials.
    Editorial = Opinion.

  • Andrew_W

    Pzatchok And even without a vaccine the death rate will drop dramatically from herd immunity.

    If there is true herd immunity reached but with new strains of the virus circulating through the few people with no previous exposure to those strain or who’s immunity has worn off (as we see with the flu), without a vaccine for a few years the death rates will likely be higher due to random outbreaks in facilities housing the elderly and infirmed, who had been successfully isolated from the virus during its pandemic stage.

  • Andrew_W

    Clarification: I’m using the term “death rate” to mean IFR, perhaps you were using it to mean death rates across the entire population

  • Cotour

    GOVERNOR CUOMO: “WE HAVE TO CONTROL THE VIRUS”

    https://bronx.news12.com/cuomo-criticizes-trump-administration-for-chief-of-staffs-comments-on-controlling-covid-19

    And of course, you do not “Control” a virus, you manage your way through how the virus expresses itself in the human population. You establish the best systems, procedures and medical protocols to help those who become afflicted and evolve that as the virus proceeds, hopefully to a quick resolution and biological death.

    Trump has the precisely correct attitude towards this virus event, and most everything else IMO. (He thinks like I think.) Cuomo thinks that he is “Controlling” the virus, when he is in fact making choices in an attempt to control how the virus spreads through the population.

    And this distinction describes the fundamental differences between the Democrat and the Republican philosophies related to such matters. They just think different? Or they choose to think in a manner which provides THEM the maximum ability to control people?

    Very revealing to me.

  • Edward

    Bernard,
    You wrote: “I know that you all will reject the data that you don’t like, but there have been a significant amount of excess deaths this year, attributed to COVID-19

    Finally, you have linked to something that links to some data, which you don’t understand. Then you mention “excess deaths” attributed to Wuhan Plague without understanding that concept, either, mocking us that we reject any information or data that we don’t agree with. Unfortunately for you, some of us work with data for a living and know much better than you what you are talking about. Which means that we know that you have drawn wrong conclusions from some stuff that you just now read off the internet. Explaining this to you has proved futile in the past, and is probably just as futile now.

    I discussed excess deaths in a comment, above:
    https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/us-sets-new-record-of-covid-19-cases-in-one-day/#comment-1091649

    That you didn’t understand it is why explaining it to you is futile. You refuse to believe what you disagree with. You also do not want to believe that the data has been corrupted, that “associated with” Wuhan Plague is not the same as “died from” Wuhan Plague. Fortunately, explaining all this to most others is not so futile.

    pzatchok’s “sophomoric” point was that there are many, many people dying of causes other than the panicdemic that is now plaguing our society. My point in that comment above is that there are many people dying due to the reaction to the panicdemic. pzatchok and I both noticed that you have no care for those lost lives. None at all. The rest of us are very concerned that the reaction, the cluster bleep, to this disease is killing far more people than should be dying.

    We were told in mid March that if we locked down for three weeks then the U.S. would only lose forty thousand lives due to Wuhan Plague. We stayed locked down many months longer and now we have lost more than two hundred thousand, the number we should have lost if we hadn’t done any social distancing but only did as we had done in previous flu outbreaks, wash our hands often and ban travel from heavily impacted areas of the world.

    So the excess deaths that are attributed to Wuhan Plague is approaching the two hundred thousand mark (those exceeding the predicted forty thousand), and these deaths are due to the reaction to the Wuhan Plague From Hell. I noted, above, that there are additional deaths not attributed to the virus. There have been thousands of these other excess deaths each week during the summer, as compared to previous summers.

    Somehow we allowed our fearful leaders to profoundly change the world as we had known it. They followed the medical community without considering all the other ramifications, and that consideration is why we hire our fearful leaders in the first place. Instead of looking at this whole cluster bleep in a holistic way, our fearful leaders looked at it myopically from only the point of view of saving just one life from being lost to Wuhan Plague. Now we have many, many more dead people in the U.S. than we should have, yet no one is concerned that those people are dying in droves. They still only consider those who die of Wuhan Plague, not those who are dying of the horrific reaction. Our fearful leaders have created a cataclysm from which this country may never recover.

    Although there are regional stresses on the system

    No there aren’t. We thought that there would be, so we sent hospital ships and made makeshift medical centers in order to cover that stress, but these were barely used. Only the hospital ship Comfort ever saw any patients, and that happened only after there was a cry that great expense had been taken for facilities that never got used. The stress never materialized, and because it did not, medical professionals were laid off, people were made to fear going to hospitals or to their doctors, and life saving treatments were delayed, resulting in the deaths of many who relied upon those treatments to remain alive.

    The stress is not on the system but on the general public who is now afraid to live their lives. My neighbor, just this morning, told me that she is not even willing to go to a special parking space for her to get a quick examination in order to renew her prescription. This fear is why I keep calling Wuhan flu a plague. It is not a plague, but the reaction and fear to it definitely is.

    Lee Stevenson wrote: “The truth of the matter is until the final figures are in, no true judgement can be made.

    Not true. The link I provided above shows that the U.S. is undergoing thousands of deaths beyond what is attributed to Wuhan, whether it is “from,” “with,” suspected, or assumed. We can definitely judge many of the results of our terrible reaction to this panicdemic.

    Another case of ‘better to be safe than sorry’?

    What do you mean by safe? There are thousands dying due to the reaction to Wuhan Plague. Are they safe, or are they sorry?

    The supply chain seems to be falling apart, and my fear is that the economic consequences of this pandemic will far outway the medical toll.

    We already know this to be true, too. In just one area of concern, the World Trade Organization fears that a hundred million children may starve due to the supply chain and economic consequences. The loss of liberty, loss of life, loss of livelihoods, loss of homes, and many other losses are also a concern.

    Despite the failure for the care homes, Sweden’s reaction was far, far better than the U.S. and much of the rest of the world. Sweden did not panic but took measured steps to keep as many safe and healthy as they could, with no second wave, as the U.S. suffered.

  • wayne

    Edward-
    Good stuff.

    Ref– “supply-chain,” especially as it relates to food;
    Normal buffer-stocks of practically everything, were largely depleted in the late Spring. Food manufacturer’s drastically reduced the variety & selection of food, processed & fresh. Distributors have all retailers “on allocation,” which basically means retailers couldn’t order everything they wanted, up until September-ish, and even now sporadic shortages continue to exist.

  • Bernard

    sippin_bourbon,
    Maybe put your bourbon down and go reread the responses to my comment on that thread. And although they were editorials, they were expert opinions based on available data with links and resources listed in the articles. Maybe go check them out this time.

    Edward,
    Do me a favor. Find me a single epidemiologist or public health expert that agrees with your stance and interpretation of that data. It’s fine if you want to try and re-interpret the data yourself. But if your conclusion runs counter to those of all of the experts, then your stance is simply anti-science, anti-fact. In order to take the stance that you all have taken, you must reject the opinion of the experts and misinterpret the available data. You are, in effect, saying that the experts are all wrong and a bunch of keyboard warriors on the internet have it right. This has largely become the Republican approach to most topics, so at least you are consistent.

  • Andrew M Winter

    Just found this:

    The headlines are all wrong. It isn’t that there are no new flu cases. It is that the CDC has suspended data collection because of COVID-19!

    Here, I will try to show how the links connect,
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/pastreports.htm
    There is a section on this page for 2020-2021 flu season. Under that is a section for weekly reports. I clicked on the link for OCT. 3 2020. That took me here,
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2020-2021/week40.htm
    in the section titled “Geographic Spread is the following quote:
    “Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this system will suspend data collection for the 2020-21 influenza season.”

    Next link: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2020-2021/week41.htm.
    They offer the following to account for the drop in reported cases,
    “Healthcare seeking behaviors have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. While outpatient ILI activity remains low, many people are accessing the healthcare system in alternative settings. Therefore, while traditional healthcare providers are not seeing increased numbers of cases of ILI, it is important to evaluate other sources of surveillance data to obtain a complete and accurate picture of both COVID-19 and influenza activity.”

    In other words the CDC seems to be saying that they have actually lost the ability to track data on Flu and possibly even COVID-19 with any accuracy.

    Lastly the current weekly flu report, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/ and the same quote is here as well,

    Healthcare seeking behaviors have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. While outpatient ILI activity remains low, many people are accessing the healthcare system in alternative settings. Therefore, while traditional healthcare providers are not seeing increased numbers of cases of ILI, it is important to evaluate other sources of surveillance data to obtain a complete and accurate picture of both COVID-19 and influenza activity.”

    So whatever that report is that says there is a drop off in flu cases, is actually inaccurate as all get out. The CDC says they can’t get reliable data and are actually suspending data collection on new flu cases. The Data that they do have is only that data that has been voluntarily submitted to the CDC.

    Right now we, the general public, have no idea at all what the flu is doing. Best bet? Since 90% of COVID-19 cases present themselves exactly the same as the flu or the common cold, there is massive misdiagnosis.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Bernard.

    You are missing the point. (Are you doing it deliberately?)

    An editorial is still just that. It does not matter how “expert” the write (or group of writers) is.
    By placing it in editorial, they allow their opinions to influence the article.

    Two of those same journals’ editorial boards went on to endorse Joe Biden.
    Therefore, your claim that they are unbiased sources, fails on two counts.

    Additionally, one of the sources was months old, written with old data, and old assumptions about the disease.

    You are using the standard talking point of accusing people of being anti-science, yet you seem to have to not grasp a basic concept of journalism. I understand, as most journalist lately have been blurring the line between reporting and editorializing for years, especially in the so called science journals.

    Examples of climate science and gender dysphoria are the two first examples I think of when it comes to these organizations where science, the scientific method and openness to scientific debate and questions have been shut down for political reasons.

  • Bernard

    So you reject the informed, educated and reearched opinions of epidemiologists and public health experts and offer nothing but your own opinions and misinterpretations of the data instead. And you are somehow not being anti-science? You are somehow not rejecting the reality of the situation?
    As per my previous post, find me an expert in epidemiology and public health that agrees with your stance. And Zimmerman’s new lipidologist physician certainly doesn’t count. There are none, because your stance rejects science, fact and basic human decency.

  • sippin_bourbon

    “because your stance rejects science, fact and basic human decency.”

    Again, with the ad hominem attacks.
    You really cannot help yourself.

    Mr Z has posted many links and articles, which you have also rejected out of hand.

    My stance is, there is a debate, a wide degree of varying information and the science is not yet clear.

    What is clear is that people with a political agenda in an election year are picking facts they like.
    Your stance is “You do not agree with me, therefore you are ignorant”.
    When anyone has that attitude, I feel it is perfectly acceptable to dismiss them, and their politics, as tainted.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Bernard
    For the record, I did not reject them out of hand.
    I read them. And considered their viewpoint.
    But I did not agree with all of their conclusions.
    I am not going to dissect each here, because I have work to do.

    But I should add that I do not put doctors on a pedestal.
    A series of well trained, and experienced doctors botched a diagnosis with all the facts in front of them and almost killed one of my children. They are not perfect. They can be wrong. They are human as well.

    And I extend that decency to them. I accept them as well trained, highly educated, but fallible, professionals

  • Edward

    Bernard,
    You wrote: “Do me a favor. Find me a single epidemiologist or public health expert that agrees with your stance and interpretation of that data.

    You have not earned my respect to do you a favor.

    However, up until the Wuhan Plague panicdemic, the answer was: all of them. Did I mention that giving you answers like this are exercises in futility? After the politicization of Wuhan virus, Lysenkoism took hold, which is seen clearly in people like you, who are practicing confirmation bias. This form of bias is another problem that we have to deal with when examining and analyzing data. You, however, would not know about such things. You believe what you feel like believing and disregard the rest, calling anyone who disagrees with you a “denier,” yet it has been you all along who denies reality.

    You are, in effect, saying that the experts are all wrong and a bunch of keyboard warriors on the internet have it right.

    Each of your comments is more proof that you have no idea what you are talking about. You have reached a site that attracts scientists and engineers, and just because you found something on the internet that confirms your biases. you pretend to know more than we do about our own fields. Talk about being a keyboard warrior, you fit the bill. Try insulting us all you want, but we know more than you do, and you keep proving it to us in a most embarrassing way, if only you knew enough to be embarrassed.

    You accuse us of being science deniers, yet you don’t even know what science is, trying to pass off opinion as scientific fact.

    There are none, because your stance rejects science, fact and basic human decency.

    And this explains your poor logic and your emotional responses. Our stance has no effect on the quantity or quality of “expert[s] in epidemiology and public health.” Fortunately, I have found them for you, above.

    As for basic human decency, we are the ones who are appalled that governors sent Wuhan ailing patients into nursing homes and that the horrific reaction to Wuhan Plague is killing thousands each week. You have shone absolutely no concern at all for such terrible actions and results. Lives and livelihoods are destroyed and lost, but you don’t care, just so long as your own point of view is seen as correct. Instead you defend the people responsible for all the death and destruction, because they say what you want to hear.

  • Bernard

    So….lots of personal attacks, but nobody is able to come up with any actual expert or well-respected individual in the fields of epidemiology or public health that are willing to back up your anti-science, alternative facts position on this issue?
    Zimmerman has posted lots of his own opinions, based predominantly on misinterpretations and cherry-picking of various data. None of what he has written is backed up by anyone other than the likes of a lipidologist in Tucson.
    Surely if the science is ‘not settled’ there are experts that are on your side. Right?
    Must be lots of them. Why are you hiding them? They could really help out here.
    Unless there are none. And your stance is flawed opinion that is based entirely on lies and misinformation.

  • sippin_bourbon

    “So….lots of personal attacks, ”

    Says the guy handing out insults.

    To quote your candidate “Come on, Man!”

  • Edward

    Bernard wrote: “So….lots of personal attacks, but nobody is able to come up with any actual expert or well-respected individual in the fields of epidemiology or public health that are willing to back up your anti-science, alternative facts position on this issue?

    See? Futile.

    As predicted, Bernard rejected reality, once again. If his memory were intact, he would have remembered that all the experts had different opinions in January and February. They even begged — begged — us to not wear masks, explaining that they didn’t work to prevent the spread of viruses but were needed by real medical professionals to keep from infecting patients with bacteria. When they first mandated them, they explained that the masks did not work but were only intended to remind us that we are in the middle of a government induced panic that we should not stop panicking, and that we should obey or, in one case, be charged with murder. Bernard believes the mission creep, that masks not only help but that they save lives. If only that were true, then we would be able to end the lockdowns, open up the entire country, including those evil religious buildings, what with all their singing, and live life as intended.

    Bernard naively believes that he is the first one to come to this site and try to feed us bogus “facts” to prove his point. We have seen keyboard warriors from the internet before, and he is no different than the others, thinking that because he saw something on the internet then it must be true — so long as it does not disagree with him. Otherwise it has been misinterpreted by people who know more than he does or is cherry-picked, as though his own “data” hasn’t been.

    The facts are not on his side. Bernard tries to get expert opinion as evidence, ignoring the empirical evidence all around us. Several places, countries, states, etc. have tried different methods with differing results. The U.S. response is among the worst. That Bernard thinks that the experts could be correct for suggesting that the U.S. response was the correct response is laughable. But how could the experts possibly be wrong, or could have fallen for Lysenkoism, or could be as biased as Bernard?

    Clearly the experts were right in the beginning of the year, when they advocated for methods that worked well for other countries. Clearly they are wrong now, when they advocate for methods that killed more people than any other country in the world.

    When the governors sent Wuhan-ailing patients into nursing homes, they claimed that they were following direction from the experts. Bernard does not seem to think that this was a wrong thing to do, because he still has not condemned the practice. Perhaps he accepts this practice because he blindly believes the experts, even when they recommend the stupidest actions to combat this flu.

    Comparing the experience in Sweden to the experiences in locked-down countries demonstrates that lockdowns and masks do not work, and the places that used these methods are now finding that they are having second waves, the U.S. is claiming that a third wave is about to hit.

    Hey, Bernard,
    Here is a page that list several papers and contains data and several links:
    https://wmbriggs.com/post/32326/

    But you don’t care, you will reject them all, because they do not support the way you feel about the topic. We can point to data all year long (and Robert has), and you would still reject it (and you have), because if you don’t agree with it then you think it must be “lies and misinformation.

    Yet you still aren’t embarrassed.

    Of course, as you have shown, it is still futile to argue with you or to supply you with what you request. I continue to comment not because I think I will sway someone as ignorant, closed minded, and biased as you but because it is good practice.

  • Edward

    Bernard,
    You wrote: “But if your conclusion runs counter to those of all of the experts, then your stance is simply anti-science, anti-fact.

    Because you rejected the experts at the CDC ( https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/more-evidence-the-number-of-covid-19-deaths-is-greatly-exaggerated/#comment-1092197 ), you will have to give me an exhaustive list of “all of the experts” whom you do not consider to be anti-science (as though you know what science is — or isn’t, for that matter). Otherwise I will be unable to fudge the data, science, and conclusions into something that you would be willing to accept.  I certainly wouldn’t want to be considered “anti-science.”

    Here at BtB, we have been doing our own analyses on the Wuhan Plague, only to discover that we do not conform to the experts that you consider to be not anti-science. After all, if the experts at the CDC are anti-science, then is any expert considered science?

    While we are on the subject, since you are the arbiter of what is science and what is fact, perhaps you should explain those two concepts to us so that we can abide by your requirements for acceptable conclusions. We who have worked for decades in the sciences don’t have nearly the knowledge of the topic as you do, so please enlighten us, especially so that we can do our jobs properly.

    Oh, and while you are defining things, please let us know the date for each expert’s opinion that our conclusions should match. Since their opinions changed during the Wuhan Plague panicdemic, sometimes multiple times, then it is necessary that we know exactly which opinion of theirs we need to emulate in order to fulfill your requirements for proper fact and science. Are they correct now that they agree with you and the politicians, or were they correct when they were scientifically studying these topics for decades prior to the politicization of the Wuhan Plague Of Doom?

    So….lots of personal attacks, but nobody is able to come up with any actual expert or well-respected individual in the fields of epidemiology or public health that are willing to back up your anti-science, alternative facts position on this issue?

    I gave you all of them. Did you not read my comment, or are you having comprehension problems? And since when is questioning your poor understanding of data, facts, and science a personal attack? If these are personal attacks, then you started it. Either way, what are you crabbing about?

    You accuse us of misinterpreting data, but you have no idea how to interpret data. Instead, you rely upon other people, people that you don’t even know but consider to be respected experts anyway. Not only do you not know what you talk about, you don’t even know whether the people you rely upon know what they are talking about. Feel free to draw other people’s conclusions, even though you don’t know how or why they drew those conclusions. To you, that may be science, but if you don’t understand the data, the facts, the analysis, or the science, then you have not done anything that resembles science.

    You have demonstrated that your memory does not last more than six months, and I have no evidence that it goes back even that far, otherwise you would have remembered that the experts agreed with us, until Wuhan flu was politicized and turned into Wuhan Plague. Your logic skills are nonexistent. But your emotions run high, as does your paranoia, which means that pointing out these failings of yours, which limit your ability to argue your position, risks having you suggest once again that you are being personally attacked. No wonder you do not do your own analysis of the opinions of those you consider to be the experts: you don’t have the skills. However, you do think that you have the skills to argue with us, but that requires those same skills that you don’t have.

    Do you still think that it was a good idea to send Wuhan-ailing patients into nursing homes? In addition, you continue to not express anything nearing disappointment that following the expert opinions has resulted in more deaths than we should have had. So, why do you think that the experts are so good that we should even listen to them? In January and February, these experts agreed with us, but later they decided to agree with you, and that is when the death toll skyrocketed. Empirical evidence shows that you and your chosen experts are wrong. You still don’t seem to be embarrassed about choosing the deadlier solutions over the life saving ones.

    This has largely become the Republican approach to most topics, so at least you are consistent.

    There you go, politicizing the Wuhan Plague, just like the experts have done. These must be the same experts that you believe are the only ones who could possibly be right. Or maybe I should say “be leftist,” since Republicans would not have the same approach. Data, facts, and science are not political, otherwise they are Lysenkoism.

  • Rick Allyn

    Wow
    Praise the Lord
    God bless you all for correcting and holding accountable a contentious babbling fool
    There’s some mighty serious “rod of correction” action going on here

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