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Dr. Birx Criticizes Media Fear-Mongering and Unrealistic Models and Projections

Dr. Birx Criticizes Media Fear-Mongering and Unrealistic Models and Projections

“There is … no reality on the ground where we can see that 60% to 70% of Americans are going to get infected in the next eight to 12 weeks.”

Thursday’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing was a big one, but President Donald Trump wasn’t the one who created a stir during the session.

While Trump mentioned that new guidelines were under consideration, Dr. Deborah Birx indicated that models that were driving some of the initial decisions that were the basis for current 15-day guidance were not proving to be accurate.

I’m sure you have seen the recent report out of the U.K. about them adjusting completely their needs. This is really quite important. If you remember, that was the report that says there would be 500,000 deaths in the U.K. and 2.2 million deaths in the United States. They’ve adjusted that number in the U.K. to 20,000. Half a million to 20,000. We are looking at that in great detail to understand that adjustment.

I’m going to say something that is a little bit complicated but do it in a way we can understand it together. In the model, either you have to have a large group of people who a-asymptomatic, who never presented for any test to have the kind of numbers predicted. To get to 60 million people infected, you have to have a large group of asymptomatics.

We have not seen an attack rate over 1 in 1,000. So either we are measuring the iceberg and underneath it, are a large group of people. So we are working hard to get the antibody test and figure out who these people are and do they exist. Or we have the transmission completely wrong.

She noted the projections based on those models did not match the actual observations being recorded in South Korea, Italy or China. For example, Italy would be reporting 400,000 deaths if the predictive model was accurate. Italy’s currently reports 8,215 total deaths.

Thursday’s social media contained many worries about hospitals enacting “Do Not Resuscitate” orders because of the lack of equipment.

Hospitals on the front lines of the pandemic are engaged in a heated private debate over a calculation few have encountered in their lifetimes — how to weigh the “save at all costs” approach to resuscitating a dying patient against the real danger of exposing doctors and nurses to the contagion of coronavirus.

The conversations are driven by the realization that the risk to staff amid dwindling stores of protective equipment — such as masks, gowns and gloves — may be too great to justify the conventional response when a patient “codes,” and their heart or breathing stops.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago has been discussing a do-not-resuscitate policy for infected patients, regardless of the wishes of the patient or their family members — a wrenching decision to prioritize the lives of the many over the one.

Birx torched that notion while taking a scalpel to the media for its panic-based coverage of the pandemic.

We are reassured in meeting with our colleagues in New York that there are still I.C.U. Beds remaining and still significant — over 1,000 or 2,000 ventilators that have not been utilized.

Please for the reassurance of people around the world, to wake up this morning and look at people talking about creating DNR situations, Do Not Resuscitate situations for patients, there is no situation in the United States right now that warrants that kind of discussion. You can be thinking about it in the hospital.

Certainly, hospitals talk about this on a daily basis, but to say that to the American people and make the implication that when they need a hospital bed it’s not going to be there or a ventilator, it’s not going to be there, we don’t have evidence of that.

Finally, Birx stressed how important it was to give the proper assurances based on revised and more accurate projections.

It’s our job collectively to assure the American people, it’s our job to make sure that doesn’t happen. You can see the cases are concentrated in highly urban areas and there are other parts of the states that have lots of ventilators and other parts of New York state that don’t have any infected. We can meet the needs by being responsive.

There is no model right now — no reality on the ground where we can see that 60% to 70% of Americans are going to get infected in the next eight to 12 weeks.

This portion of the press briefing is the must-see moment of today’s Task Force briefing.

Based on the data currently obtained from the massive testing effort now being conducted, researchers now suspect that the estimates of the virus’s transmissibility have increased, which indicates that many more people have already have been infected than is know. This data, in turn, implies the virus is less dangerous than initially feared.

How one interprets the information Birx gave depends on the level of infection with Trump Derangement Syndrome:

Many admire her professionalism and honesty:

While others want to hold onto the hysteria.


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Interesting how they Left hates a smart female doctor so much because she’s on Trump’s team. Didn’t Sheryl Sandberg tell us to LeanIn?

I’m sure if she were Obama’s medical adviser, she’s be on the cover of Vogue and New York magazine. Such blatant hypocrisy but the Left thinks we don’t notice. Guess what? WE DO.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to EOS. | March 27, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    I’m surprised Joycelyn Elders hasn’t been sought out for her take on all of this. She ticks a lot of the right boxes.

    n.n in reply to EOS. | March 27, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Smart female doctor. Smart female governor. There is an observable pattern, which does not follow with the left’s purported principles, but closely matches the literal meaning of their positions: monotonic, divergent, congruent, selective, opportunistic, etc.

I modeled this myself 4 weeks ago. I estimated 10 million cases and 200k deaths – as a HIGH. And, I forecasted then and am standing by that forecast – the Virus will recede in the Summer. We have never had a Summer flu epidemic ever. I still believe we will peak in mid April and crash by the end of the month.

Adjustments to my model – the CV-19 is more contagious than originally thought. But, DJT and the American people are taking heroic measures. So, that should be a wash.

Still to be decided – do the antivirals really work? And, will there be enough to go around?

Remember – most of the people who have CV do not know they have it yet. And, they probably got it before the general lockdown.

    And how you factor in the big unknown, the asymptomatics?

    I don’t even have a model but based on what Dr. Birx says above, I’m willing to predict deaths will be less than 5,000. I also predict the death rate will be less than 1% once the numbers are settled in about a year to include the as-yet-undetermined asymptomatics who are being systematically excluded from the current stats because they only test those with symptoms.

    I will further predict that after adding these stats to the annual flu stats, this will turn out to be a less-than-average impact flu season.

    Using Dr. Birx’ logic, we don’t know what the real numbers are other than deaths. But we can deduce what they can’t be. All predictive models are highly suspect so she doesn’t make predictions other than what I just said.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Pasadena Phil. | March 27, 2020 at 10:29 am

      We don’t even really know death numbers that well. When you look at large aggregate numbers of deaths in any meaningful sample size, you don’t get a lot of context on the individual situations.

      Many of these unfortunate souls probably would have succumbed to any kind of infection, and this mild-to-moderate virus (in typical cases) just happened to be the one we were vigorously tracking that did it.

        That is why I am predicting that all combined, the total deaths from the flu will be on the low side of average for the year. I believe the globalists were desperate to find global crisis and manufactured one and we fell for it. I think the Republicans who are celebrating over the “relief” bill will be sorry very soon. McConnell left the door wide open for even more multi-trillion dollar spending bills later. The big issue will be the under-funded government employee pension plans. Trump should veto this bill.

        txvet2 in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 27, 2020 at 3:33 pm

        According to one health care pro in Italy, only about 12% of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 were actually due to the virus. The rest were caused by other underlying conditions aggravated by the virus.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to txvet2. | March 27, 2020 at 7:49 pm

          They are still dead, and dead sooner than would have been the case otherwise. I would prefer not to be dead now, in that I have not finished doing what I need to do to see that my youngest child, who is permanently disabled, is taken care of.

          txvet2 in reply to txvet2. | March 27, 2020 at 9:24 pm

          And they’d be just as dead if they’d caught the flu or a bad cold. Blaming their deaths on this virus is just fearmongering. You’re not the only one with family and unfinished business. We all do.

          notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to txvet2. | March 27, 2020 at 9:34 pm

          Been thinking that for quite some time now.

          Lots of “fake” attribution to the China Virus
          that should not be.

What the heck is with all the leftists who want the President to “invoke the DPA to make more ventilators”??

Isn’t it obvious that he *HAS* done that? American companies are ramping up to make vast quantities of new ventilators and masks and PPE. They’re either doing this because they care, because they want good publicity, or because the President has privately let them know that they can do it voluntarily or he’ll invoke the DPA. Or all of the above.

But no matter why they’re doing it, no serious person can possibly believe that they’d produce more ventilators with a government-appointed bureaucrat calling the shots.


    When this is over (or at least Summer reduces infections to a few here and there), the US is going to have warehouses full of unused ventilators cranked out during the panic time. The FDA will brand them dangerous and untested, and they will be destroyed while the media wails about how it’s all Trump’s fault, and the FDA approved ventilator companies quietly nudge up their prices.

    I’d bet money on it. The medical equipment manufacturers have *turf* to protect. They paid their money to the FDA to get approval, they struggle with lawsuits every time one of their products gets used and somebody dies, and they’re not about to see their companies fail when they can make political donations to ‘fix’ the issue. (It would make more sense for them to have some sort of ‘surge production’ where they can ramp up manufacturing to meet demand explosions, but that takes money and planning before the event.)

    The lefties don’t know anything about how to produce anything, especially if you are retooling a production line. But, there is still the need to figure out how to make it, where to get the materials, retooling ops, train people, make some items, have them checked out,deal with any regulations, then ramp up production. That is not a one day turnaround.

      Petrushka in reply to Liz. | March 27, 2020 at 10:44 am

      I do IT work for a company that makes isolation beds entirely in the USA. They have been somewhat swamped with inquiries from the Corps of Engineers and from hospital chains, but no firm orders yet.

      Either the money is not yet available, or the need is being reassessed. But field hospital are not yet under construction, even though announced.

    healthguyfsu in reply to clintack. | March 27, 2020 at 10:30 am

    They want him to invoke the DPA to set precedent for a future Democrat doing the same thing and using it to bleed the military budget dry. It really is that simple.

      CorkyAgain in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 27, 2020 at 11:48 am

      Remember when they said it was just a right-wing fantasy to say that Obamacare would create death panels?

      It turns out that their own thoughts move naturally in that direction.

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to CorkyAgain. | March 27, 2020 at 9:30 pm

        Oh DEATH PANELS are a fact that’s been know since the criminal acts of Obama’s Congress passing that.

        Right now Italy is using Death Panels for their panic.

Leftists will have their panic no matter what and whoa unto those who don’t go along.

    amwick in reply to Whitewall. | March 27, 2020 at 9:29 am

    TY Whitewall,

    I keep wondering about covid-20, 21, 22…
    Will our constitutional rights get trashed for every global sickness?

    I may have been one of those people who had this,, on a cruise, but, it was before the hysteria. The ship called it a norovirus.. I still wonder. There were many Chinese Nationals aboard.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to amwick. | March 27, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Norovirus is named after the city of Norwalk, Ohio. I think we rename it Beijing Virus, and insist that it is China’s fault, just like this is China’s Wuhan Coronavirus 2019. Maybe going ahead we should name a bunch of new pathogens after China?

“I’m right about everything . . . “

Pretty much sums up Leftoidism right there.

I had something this winter, nothing much but I still have a slight morning cough. So, I want the blood test to see if I had it and how strong is the immunity. Then, I can make an informed decision about taking the vaccine in the fall.

Before ramping up the vaccine production, they should test people in a variety of age ranges and areas. Who knows, the country may not need that many doses.

IF there is ever an open and honest review of what went on it won’t be pretty for academia and the media.

However you know there will NEVER be an honest review of how we got to where we got to.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to mailman. | March 27, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    We the People

    are doing honest reviews

    every day now.

    The results will be fake media out of business.

it should be highlighted that this same institution, the Imperial College (a bastion of leftism), has, over the years, also predicted innumerable catastrophic global warming scenarios than have proven to be false and misleading.

So, have there been any rebuttals of Dr. Birx’s comments that are NOT based on attacking her credibility but INSTEAD on the factual basis of the models being used? Has anyone demonstrated a flaw in her mathematical reasoning?

We need science to think correctly about these matters, not ideology.

All aspects of our society are interconnected. Nothing stands alone. There is a Butterfly Effect which has long been proven. And, many people are focused upon only one aspect of our society, in this case; a novel virus. They are ignoring the rest of society and the ramifications of actions taken to address this disease.

We no longer live in an agrarian society, as we did in the early part of the 20th century. Huge segments of the population can not produce their own food. They must purchase it from others. To do that, they need currency. To obtain that currency, they have to have jobs which provide a product or service which others want, and can afford to pay their currency for. Shut off the supply of jobs and you shut off the supply of currency which is necessary for this economy to survive. Now, government handouts can provide a short-term band-aid to keep the economy running, at greatly reduced capacity. But, there is no such thing as a Free Lunch. Look at what happened to the Wiemar Republic in Germany in the early 1930s. Inflation was so great, due to government debt and a reduced economy, that the Deutschmark became worthless. Wheelbarrow load were required to pay for a week’s worth of groceries.

We have not yet reached the tipping point, where a significant number of people realize that they have run out of money. Most bills, for recurring payments, arrive from the first of the month through the tenth to fifteenth of the month. Once that happens in April, people will suddenly realize that they are out of, or low on, funds. And, when that happens, panic will really set in. While the infection rate for COVID will likely be receding, economic panic will be growing. And the economy will not snap back like a rubber band, it will take time to recover, a long time.

What is interesting is fact that the same economy-crippling measures are being taken around the industrialized world. With much the same effects, a significant downturn in the global economy. While it would be nice to believe these measures are needed to save lives, the history of allowing significantly greater numbers of people die from such things as seasonal influenza, without crippling national economies, makes this a little bit hard to swallow.

So, the likely track going forward is a recession of COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths. An increase in economic woes which will likely prove even more destructive than the virus in the long term. And for what, exactly?

    txvet2 in reply to Mac45. | March 27, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    One could hope that people would learn the value of saving money against future emergencies, but one has to balance that with the realization that most will only learn to depend even more on government, while voluntarily surrendering their rights in the process.

No health care system in US right now is overwhelmed. Pros are handling it.

Well, the system in NYC is certainly strained to the limit, if not yet overwhelmed. And the death rate certainly seems to be much higher than normal; just counting the death notices in my community I don’t remember it ever being this high. And the funeral homes in my community are backed up, which has never happened before.