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Infection Model Criticisms Painted as ‘Conspiracy Theories’

Infection Model Criticisms Painted as ‘Conspiracy Theories’

Pro-tip: It’s not a “conspiracy theory” to want reliable data, accurate projection, and clear explanations.

I have a “conspiracy theory” about recent “conspiracy theories.”

The Presidential Coronavirus 30 Day Guidelines that most of us are following have been established based on epidemiological models. Those models have adjusted recently, which means potential hospitalizations and deaths have projected downwards. In a nutshell, we have gone from 2.2 million deaths to 60,000 in less than a month:

A key forecasting model used by the White House has revised its prediction of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., now estimating a peak of 60,415 by early August.

The model created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington had predicted a peak of 81,766 deaths in an update on Sunday.

Public health experts, including Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have previously estimated that as many as 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from the novel coronavirus.

Americans have been following the news closely. They are eager to understand viral biology, learn the appropriate precautions, and keep up-to-date with the latest treatments.

Americans are also eager to get back to work, so they are now clamoring to understand the models being used to keep the nation at a standstill. Our press seems keener on asking irrelevant questions and social justice scolding instead of questioning the models that have been offered up, often with little context and usually lacking clear explanations for the general public.

Embarrassed by average citizens combing through those models, journalists have now taken to tagging those who are asking questions as “right-wing conspiracy theorists.” For example, The New York Times recently proclaimed Fauci was becoming the target of right-wing conspiracy theorists:

Dr. Fauci — the administration’s most outspoken advocate of emergency measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak — has become the target of an online conspiracy theory that he is mobilizing to undermine the president.

That fanciful claim has spread across social media, fanned by a right-wing chorus of Mr. Trump’s supporters, even as Dr. Fauci has won a public following for his willingness to contradict the president and correct falsehoods and overly rosy pronouncements about containing the virus.

An analysis by The New York Times found over 70 accounts on Twitter that have promoted the hashtag #FauciFraud, with some tweeting as frequently as 795 times a day. The anti-Fauci sentiment is being reinforced by posts from Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, a conservative group; Bill Mitchell, host of the far-right online talk show “YourVoice America”; and other outspoken Trump supporters such as Shiva Ayyadurai, who has falsely claimed to be the inventor of email.

It is not a “conspiracy” to want to understand the underlying data and assumptions. In the good old days, investigative reporters would actually do this, or go out and find someone who could.

The “conspiracy theory” accusation is clearly the media’s new mantra, as it seeks to extend the national shut-down. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reflected the herd mentality when he used the term while questioning the Task Force about people claiming reported death rate is high “with no evidence.”

Fauci, of course, responded using the same terminology:

I assert that it is not a “conspiracy theory” when people fail to comprehend explanations that are unclear, vague, out of context, or not presented in a manner that can be readily understood. The failing belongs on the shoulders of the explainers. In my view, they are the media and the scientific members of the Task Force.

Now, I would like to use this as an opportunity to talk about an issue Dr. Deborah Birx brought-up yesterday: Recording deaths associated COVID-19 infections as a fatality caused by the virus.

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

Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, said the federal government is continuing to count the suspected COVID-19 deaths, despite other nations doing the opposite.

“There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem,” she said during a Tuesday news briefing at the White House. “Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death.

“The intent is … if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that,” she added.

I assert that it is a reasonable classification.


Let’s say a patient had been suffering cancer for six months. The person with cancer then contracts the Wuhan coronavirus and dies within a week of that diagnosis of a complication related to cancer.

Statistically, what are the chances that the patient would have died that very week in the ordinary course of cancer? Small.

COVID-19 targets those with compromised health and exacerbates those conditions. Therefore it is fair to classify those as COVID-19 deaths.

Perhaps if Birx had taken the time to explain the reasoning with a clarifying example more robustly, there would be more trust in the numbers presented today.

On the other hand, there is also a good reason to disagree with this approach. A patient might have only had a mild case, and their pre-existing condition may have actually lead to death. Challenging the CDC’s current counting tactic also does not make one a conspiracy theorist.

We need real data to get to the real facts about COVID-19.

In my opinion, the question about the pardoning of Joe Exotic was one of the more well-thought-out and good queries from the press than I have seen in some time.

The full briefing is here:


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inspectorudy | April 9, 2020 at 2:37 pm

There is a worldwide cry for the resignation of the head of WHO because he was so wrong about his predictions no matter the reasons. Fauci’s predictions are even worse and his casual statements about the future of America are worse still. This isn’t a conspiracy, it is commonsense to fire him. Can you imagine a broker on Wall Street with his record, keeping his job?

    JusticeDelivered in reply to inspectorudy. | April 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    When a model used to predict outcome is is based on China’s lies, and that happens to be the only data available, then the predictions based on that data will be wrong. China has screwed the whole world with their stupid lying crap.

    That is the real truth about predictions.

American Human | April 9, 2020 at 2:40 pm

So, the question remains, what are the odds a middle-aged healthy citizen would be subject to death because of the virus?

My conspiracy theory questions how does anyone become an expert about something that has never happened before? Education and confidence should not confer expertise.

    Halcyon Daze in reply to Romey. | April 9, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Just substitute “some guy on the internet” for “experts” “sources” or “study” in claims.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Romey. | April 9, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    Answer: You create a model capable of mimicking real-life epidemics that have happened in the past. Then use that model by plugging in statistics of the current epidemic. You adjust the model for differences between past epidemics and the current epidemics, as new information is gathered that shows how the current problem differs from previous events.
    The problem is “garbage in, garbage out.” Even a perfect model (i.e. a model that would mimic real-life if infused with accurate data) will give you bad results if inaccurate of incomplete data is plugged into it.
    One of the differences between the old estimates and current estimates for coronavirus is that the old estimates were made based on the situation at the time, e.g. no social distancing, no isolation, no face masks. Current estimates are based on the changed situation due to measures taken to reduce the impact of the virus. However we don’t have the data we’d like to have because 1.) China screwed the world and continues to supply false data; 2.) because the data is incomplete (due to still limited, but improving testing data), and it won’t be complete until well after the crisis is over. Modelers are always challenged by the problem of a lack of complete knowledge. (From game theory – for instance, in a game of chess the situation on the board always provides “complete knowledge” of the situation. This is almost never possible in real life.)

      Aarradin in reply to DaveGinOly. | April 10, 2020 at 1:03 am

      Ok, BUT: China was falsifying their numbers to downplay the epidemic.

      If Fauci’s model is wrong because of fraudulent data from China, then he would have vastly UNDER-estimated the severity of the coming pandemic. In every way: how contagious it was (China was saying it was not transmittable at all between humans), how many would become infected, and of course the death rate from it.

      Instead, he massively OVER-estimated in every possible way. Based on assumptions he plugged into his models (which he still won’t release to the public).

      That’s just a complete fraud.

      The result was the lockdown of the economy. Not just in the US, but in most of the rest of the industrialized world also.

      At this point, its a very safe prediction that more people will die from suicide alone, as a result of the increase in unemployment due to the panic over Corona than will die from the disease itself.

      I’m pretty sure I heard them say the models INCLUDED social distancing, because they kept saying that without it the results would be ‘much worse than the models’

    Education and confidence should not confer expertise.

    But those mere appearances do, in the eyes of others, which is a fundamental flaw of our Blue Social Model society:

    ASSUMPTION THREE: Credentials, position, popularity, and presentation skills are reliable indicators of the intellect necessary to be an “expert” or “leader”. Conversely, the lack of such indicators is prima facie evidence of inferior intellect, and such a person and their ideas should be summarily dismissed as irrelevant to any discussion.

    Which is what facilitates …

    ASSUMPTION SIX: Ordinary people neither have the resources, nor the intellect, nor the virtue, to help themselves – or each other – in the “right” ways. Only “experts” and “leaders” can provide such help, and should be empowered with the resources and monopoly on coercive force held by the government to do so.

    While experts have their place – as advisers that should not be reflexively ignored – it is prudent that such experts, being all too human, should be questioned against reality and our own common sense. Outsourcing that to either the Powers That Be or the media is blind trust that is the way of the lemming, and leads to the same end.

    Do not let them browbeat you into submission. As the old HP ads put it, this is a time “when performance must be measured by RESULTS.”

    Not theories, not models, not an excess of caution or overly-broad definitions … and not against a single, yet emotionally-popular metric: “if only one life is saved, it will be worth it”, for the effects of economic collapse can REALLY make the cure of caution worse than the disease.

Meanwhile, the good news of potentially fewer deaths is being peddled as a conspiracy by MSNBC ( . Trump intentionally inflated potential deaths so he would look good later!

I assert that it is not a “conspiracy theory” when people fail to comprehend explanations that are unclear, vague, out of context, or not presented in a manner that can be readily understood.
You forgot “or are utter and complete bulls**t.” Also “that make the same sort of ‘runaway’ assumptions the ‘climate change’ models do.”

Therefore it is fair to classify those as COVID-19 deaths.
A patient might have only had a mild case, and their pre-existing condition may have actually lead to death.
And that’s the flip side that has everyone doubting.

watching these models change daily is like watching a the weather service tracking the tropics during hurricane season.

The original estimate WITH social distancing was 100K-240K deaths, so the lower estimate of 60K deaths can’t be attributed to social distancing. Social distancing was already factored into the higher estimate. It just shows that the models were wrong.

Which means that the original estimate of 2-3 million deaths without social distancing is probably wrong as well.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Toad-O. | April 9, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Garbage in garbage out but they still are getting paid big bucks by their slave masters they’re beholden to

    UJ in reply to Toad-O. | April 9, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Next week, that 60,000 will probably be 25 or 30,000.

      jb4 in reply to UJ. | April 9, 2020 at 11:04 pm

      If it is 25-30K deaths, three reasonable questions will then be …. Would Trump have locked down the country if told that? Were the horrible projections designed to cause Trump to destroy his great economy to gain political advantage? What will Trump do when he decides he has been “had”?

        Aarradin in reply to jb4. | April 10, 2020 at 1:09 am


        Those numbers equate to an average flu season, any given year, in the US (fatality numbers range from 12k to 80k for the flu in the US).

        If Corona had never even been identified as a disease, and the world knew nothing about it and ascribed all deaths from it to the flu, then 2020 would have gone down as an above average year for the flu. Bad, but by no means the worst.

          rdm in reply to Aarradin. | April 10, 2020 at 7:39 am

          In fact, when calculating that famous .1% death rate for flu, they have really high uncertainty in both the numerator AND denominator. They flat out give an estimate range of flu deaths that is often ‘from 20 to 60 thousand., and by their own statements ‘estimated millions of extra cases of flu that wee untested. So that flu death rate everyone keeps using is little better than a guess, at best.

        MattLauersNob in reply to jb4. | April 10, 2020 at 10:38 am

        Trump will play them at their own game and brag that closing China travel and pushing that long name drug AGAINST Fauci’s advise was the difference.

        The Dims are the gang that can’t shoot straight.

“Good enough for government work” fauci said, winking at birx as she flung her scarf over her shoulder. “Let’s re-work some models, fauci, the natives are getting restless.”

A body might stump his toe, and take poison, and fall down the well, and break his neck, and bust his brains out, and somebody come along and ask what killed him, and some numskull up and say, ‘Why, he stumped his TOE.’

Unless he had corona virus.

I personally know 3 people who had exact symptoms (dry cough, fever around 101 to 102, sneezing, smell issues) in late october (for 1) and first week november (for other) yet saying it hit here earlier than the china disclosure is also considered a conspiracy.

stevewhitemd | April 9, 2020 at 4:01 pm

I had a disagreement with Stacy McCain at his blog today. My point —

Economist John Maynard Keynes once said, in an argument where he was accused of changing his position: “When events change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

When new data come in that change the model and thus the prediction, aren’t they supposed to update their prediction? That’s the honest thing to do, and it’s not nefarious. I deal with models in my own work (I’m a physician-scientist). When the data or assumptions change, I change my model.

What would any of us be saying if the forecasters refused to update and were still claiming that a quarter-million people were going to die?

Yes, the models are not very accurate. We had lousy data going in and we still don’t have good data on a number of things we need to know. But don’t blame the forecasters for changing their model. They’re supposed to.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 9, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    That would be fine if we did not have a priori evidence and proof that these are deep State fiends.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 9, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    “When new data come in that change the model and thus the prediction”

    The essence of the scientific process. Predictions are constantly fine tuned in light of new knowledge.

    China’s Wuhan Virus is new, everyone is learning about it the hard way.

    Barry in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 9, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Sure, but it is only honest to tell EVERYONE that your models are a crap shoot and unlikely to be correct.

    It is dishonest to make claims using models with faulty/incomplete/misunderstood data. And that is what we were presented with over and over.

    I haven’t had to revise my projections because they were always on the high side of the normal flu season. Mine are closer to the truth. Why is that? Why do the supposed “Top Men” have it so wrong?

    Perhaps we were lied to.

    InEssence in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 9, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    That would be incorrect. If a model doesn’t converge, it should not be published. It has to converge on something, even if it isn’t very good. China didn’t report that many deaths, so the models shouldn’t report more than what China had.

    Taiwan who was one of the first infected countries, had 5 deaths, so far.

    If we followed Taiwan, we would have no quarantines or economic issues, and the virus wouldn’t be on the radar.

    Yet, you say they are doing a good job?

    Changing your model and then still acting as if the old model were in effect regarding your ‘prescriptions’ is not quite kosher.


Agreed on counting covid as cause of death for the several publicly listed co-morbidity conditions. It is asking too much to demand autopsy reports in those cases. Now the cases where no co-morbidity conditions exist, those we need to be looking at to differentiate covid from regular flu and pneumonia.

I am willing to cut DR Brix and DR Fauci a break on the initial modeling. The models were forced to use data from other nations because we simply did not have enough information at the time to use U.S. data exclusively. Now we do. They need to explain that simple fact to the American People and simultaneously providing an updated forecast using models derived from exclusively US data and US experience to date.

If they remain unwilling to do so then that is another story. I would hope they understand that there are plenty of folks out here who understand how to create and manipulate data sets. If they insist upon being above reproach, due to their credentials and government positions, they and the rest of the ‘experts’ are going to be in for a very rough time. No model will ever be accepted again without the release of every element and assumption built into the model so it can be independently verified.

    healthguyfsu in reply to CommoChief. | April 10, 2020 at 1:11 am

    The medical coding dilemma means that there is no right answer on what to count for the COVID death count.

    Plus, there is some degree of fraudulent coding occurring right now because of the free money and medical resources provided by our tax dollars and finite supplies shipped in to cover it. Hospital bean counters are definitely selfish enough to do that.

      CommoChief in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 10, 2020 at 6:40 pm


      I was under the impression that the CDC or maybe it was HHS had released a set of protocols for official coding, which DR Brix referenced as ‘liberal’, meaning the death should be coded as due to covid with one of the co-morbidity conditions present? I don’t have an issue with that stance, it is quite reasonable.
      I say again, we do need to differentiate normal flu and pneumonia from covid. Just because a guy has poor oxygenation and labored breathing doesn’t mean they have covid. It could be the seasonal flu, especially in the frail elderly.

Connivin Caniff | April 9, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Get these little dictators off the conference stage. Say, “We’ll refer that question to Dr. Fauci. He can’t be here. He is busy trying to correct his models.”

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | April 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm

Leslie we know we are on the correct path when these deep State communist chinese-owned colluders Screech conspiracy conspiracy conspiracy – which they have done for the last 60 years.

Check out the sensible explanation of the presently appointed medical experts’ Covidian data-hype at the cited article’s URL:

Here are some select excerpts:

“Yes… in short the rumors you’ve heard recently coming from conspiracy corner—turns out—are true.

“For some unexplained reason Birx/Fauci et al, are counting deaths and attributing their cause to COVID-19, even if the actual cause of death was not COVID-19.

“For example: A patient gets admitted to the hospital for organ failure due to late stage cancer. If the patient comes into contact with COVID-19 in the hospital and the virus shows up in a test either before or after death, that’s a COVID-19 fatality. Same with a heart attack/heart disease. Same with fill in the blank. . . .

“Americans also shouldn’t be even acknowledging the ‘projections model’ from the IHME at the University of Washington. They’re garbage!”

I thus wonder about the currently developing WH-palace intrigue re the false dichotomy — and conspiracy-theory fertilizer — of the so-called Epidemiologist vs Economist duel. Anybody with even a little common sense can see that the Birx/Fauci proposition in no way opposes the Navarro/Trump position. We all must see both positions being urged as complementary, not contradictory goals. Shun the “either/or” BS with which the MSM is only glad to distract us.

In getting more real, I’m talking here to the MSM, who, by and large, seem to be nothing a whole lot more than an aggregate of idiotic, unprofessional clowns.

Think whole, America. Stay strong. Keep our eye on what the key players are doing, not what they’re saying.

In short, I’m saying, follow our president. He gets it.

I don’t care how smart Fauci is, I have nothing but contempt for him. He has almost single-handidly shut down the U.S. economy.

Hey Doc, you useless sumbitch. Don’t tell me not to ever shake hands again. Figure how how to kill the damn disease. You’re a “scientist,” aren’t you?

Oh gee, so it’s hard to figure out a cure for the disease?

Well admit you’re not up to the job, quit your job, and ensure that someone takes your job who knows how to marshal the resources of the Untied States to combat this thing.

Let me draw an analogy. When we were growing up, there was Russia and there was an atomic threat. The authorities spent billions on fallout shelters and whatnot. That investment didn’t do a damn thing to eliminate the threat. If the Russians had (stupidly) decided to nuke us, we (and they) would have all been a goner, fallout shelters or not. Notwithstanding the effects of the radiation, our society and theirs would collapse.

No, the ONLY way to deal with a life-threatening disease or virus is to figure out how to either kill it or cure it IMMEDIATELY, not hide from it.

Trying to stave it off (let’s not shake hands, let’s shelter in place for the next ten years) and then thinking that every little thing is eventually going to be alright is just stupid.

The notion that it will be a year until a vaccine is available is total merde. CHANGE THE PROCESS! The oft-stated definition of insanity is doing what you’ve always been doing and expecting a different result. These folks at the CDC and in Washington are insane.

Pathetic … and once again [JUST LIKE WITH 9-11 ! ], highly paid, firmly entrencehed swampdwellers screw up, ruin the country, and then get off with zero accountability. Try that in the private sector, buckyboy. Can you spell Boeing??

Makes me sick.

    healthguyfsu in reply to tiger66. | April 10, 2020 at 1:18 am

    I get that you are frustrated, but your post lacks coherent logic and realism regarding health treatment emergencies.

    As you said, we were powerless to stop a Nuke at one point. We are in that situation again, with an un-hesitant microbe instead of a cognitive opponent over in Russia. We will nuke it eventually with a vaccine (the only effective way to deal with a virus), but it does take time (and is impossible to create before knowing it exists). Think about how long we’ve known about influenza viruses and still haven’t been able to stop those death counts year after year.

    I’m no Fauci defender, but c’mon you just make everyone here look like a low info, rant and rave nut job with this kind of nonsense.

Supposedly, the models did take into consideration the social distancing.

But, did they take into effect the drug combos being used to treat people and possibly result in that person not dying? And, there are doctors who are starting the treatment earlier in the illness period. This may have resulted in the person not getting as sick, needing to go to the hospital, go into ICU, and then die.

    jb4 in reply to Liz. | April 9, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    Many doctors are saying to start with the HCQ (plus Azithromycin and Zinc) earlier, because by the time the patient is half dead it is often too late for anything to help.

bobinreverse | April 9, 2020 at 5:00 pm

This is kinda like back when Dave Dinkins was nyc mayor before Rudy g. Lot of murders then so Dinkins had whoever classify a death as non homicide if even slightest doubt. Not quite but pretty much guy with broken arm gets shot in head it’s classified as death by pre condition not murder.

So Dems now and then doing same stuff.. Who knew

One more time, the COVID crisis was contrived. It was a hoax. It was never real. It was designed to destroy the world economy.

people, some right here, are working overtime to excuse the actions of governments in regard to their actions in this incident. To do that, the assumption has to be made that those “experts” were, at base, incompetent boobs. What they did is shoot a patient [entire countries] in the head because the patient had what appeared to be a small cut on his foot. Now, this treatment will, in fact, keep the patient from dying from the cut, or its complications. However, if it was unknown whether that cut would have resulted in death, if treated in a reasonable manner, then killing the patient is a horrible over-reaction. Would you go to a doctor who was going to euthanize you for a hangnail?

This was never about a disease. It is about power and control. And the vast majority of the people in the developed world went along and gave up their rights and freedoms based upon hysterical lies.

I see a parallel between Obamacare and what’s going on now. Both then and now, the Swamp is trying to deceive and panic people. Just search YouTube for the name Johnathan Gruber. His deception pulled off a major power grab by the U.S. government accompanied with a major loss of individual freedom. Is it being a conspiracist to ask if that’s happening again right before our eyes? During this COVID pandemic are there any group(s) who would would like to see the U.S. economy tank right now?…or any groups who would like to see the power of the government increase?

We’re talking about conspiracy theories, and here they are. Right here. In the LI comments.

Good grief.

    Barry in reply to DSHornet. | April 9, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    The conspiracy is to control you, to take power, to convince you this virus is worse than the other virus’s without evidence of such.

    Now that is as clear as the nose on your face.

If a china virus sufferer stands in the middle of the road and is killed by a truck, they’ll count it as a corona virus death.


Over in Israel the have different models that work quite differently than ours. They are proposing to get at least a proportion of the workforce back to work almost immediately. Check out:

Israel has a somewhat homogenous, mostly conservative population that supports its government, except for the Arabs and crazy haredi who won’t follow any government rules. But they have a better chance of getting their people to cooperate than here in the US.

1. Anybody admitted to the hospital for Disease X and contracts C-19 while there and dies, is a HORRIBLE stain on the hospital’s grasp of sterile fields and disease control. That number *should* be zero, and if it’s not, establish certain hospitals or treatment centers to be 100% C-19 centers and don’t allow any other types of patients in, while keeping the staff there under quarantine. Ok, with that rant out of the way…
2. Anybody who dies while infected, *should* be counted, even if they were hit by a bus while crossing the street to the hospital. And in the inverse…
3. Anybody who dies without a positive test for C-19 should *not* be counted. Period. Take a sample and store it until it can be tested, but no test, no count.

Good grief, people. If patients are contracting C-19 inside the hospital, Lucy needs to do some serious ‘splaining.

    Barry in reply to georgfelis. | April 9, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    “2. Anybody who dies while infected, *should* be counted, even if they were hit by a bus while crossing the street to the hospital.”

    Why? Why not count it as it is, accidental traffic death.

    If you have a heart condition and die from heart failure, count it as heart failure, with a significant condition from the virus.

    Try to count honestly so we know the truth. The government will count that traffic fatality as a Chinese virus death. Guaranteed.

    Aarradin in reply to georgfelis. | April 10, 2020 at 1:14 am

    2. <— That's not how it works for ANY other disease, or cause of death, ever.

    The cause of death is supposed to be what actually CAUSED your death.

    Doctors don't pretend your cause of death is some other ailment that did not directly lead to your death.

    Except for Corona, per the CDC.

    CDC's instructions on this are the precise opposite of what Doctors have been doing for their entire careers for every other cause of death.

The models for my state have all been garbage. Do people really not understand that models are based on assumptions?

    OldProf2 in reply to Sanddog. | April 9, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    Exactly right.

    All of these computer models are based on how contagious the virus is. The best estimates started with the Chinese government and WHO stating that the risk of human-to-human transmission was zero. Then, when scientists realized that was a lie, the estimates were changed and a very high transmissibility ratio was entered into the equations. That gave infection numbers that were too high.

    Predicting mortality rates requires knowing what fraction of the people who contract the disease will die. That number started out far too high because of the lack of testing. Only the sickest patients were being tested, so the fraction you get does not reflect the people who have mild symptoms.
    You must test everyone in a given area (NYC, for example) to get an accurate estimate of the fraction of infected people who will die.

    These two important factors are still not known with any kind of certainty. Until more accurate data are available, all of the models and all of the predictions are no more than educated guesses.

    Barry in reply to Sanddog. | April 9, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Most states. Probably all states.

I am still sticking by the numbers I posted about 3 weeks ago. The only covid related death that I know of personally is a guy who relapsed on drugs and OD’d because he was overwhelmed by the possibility of losing his business that was forced to close. We should have two columns to account for the needless deaths caused by the over reaction, and these numbers will accumulate long after the virus has gone dormant. 80% or more of the damage was caused by the left here.

“I assert that it is a reasonable classification.”

Weird how only about HALF as many people have died of pneumonia this year than would be expected by the annual death rate in the US in recent years.

Ditto for the Flu.

The answer is they are classifying thousands of flu and pneumonia deaths as Corona-virus deaths based entirely on suspicion, without a test verifying the patient actually had Corona – and this is happening nationwide as a direct result of CDC instructions.

Officially, these “presumed” cases go under a different classification than cases that they know for sure are Corona, but the numbers we all see on the news every day aren’t separating the categories at all. They’re just lumping them all together as deaths from Corona. They aren’t even informing people that their numbers include large numbers of people that are classified as “presumed” cases.

If you want to see the scale of this, just look at some charts of annual pneumonia deaths in the US that include numbers from 2020. Same for the flu. Its like people suddenly, miraculously, ceased dying of those causes nationwide. By the thousands (2-3000 for pneumonia, about double that for the flu).

nordic_prince | April 10, 2020 at 8:54 am

Operation Mockingbird – anyone who questions the official narrative will be labeled a “conspiracy theorist.”

nordic_prince | April 10, 2020 at 9:23 am

There may be people who are dying WITH Wuhan virus, but that doesn’t mean they are dying FROM Wuhan virus. It is disingenuous to count them as Covid 19 deaths.

MattLauersNob | April 10, 2020 at 10:30 am

Wuhan deaths should be counted the same way as flu. Old people that have a week to go and are finished off by flu are counted by the underlying condition, not flu.

BierceAmbrose | April 10, 2020 at 4:13 pm

The conspiracy is keeping the data ponints that feed the models obscure, inconsistent and scattered.

What’s R0? Measured different places? Depending on behavior? By demographic?

What’s the antibody detection rate? Projected from sample demo to national demo?

What’s the difference(s) between people who are asympto9matic n not? mild vs severe? hospitalized cases vs. not? fatal vs. not?

What’s the viral load / exposure to actually effect transmission? Actual incubation time before symptoms? Typical time to disease peak? for disease to run its course?

What’s the test availability, coverage of population, result mix (projected by county or similar).

Really, we’d like everybody to shrug off exposure, whether that’s from a vaccine, some lesser exposure, or a course of treatment?

“Hey, I’ve got it: pass the tic-taks.” would be good enough if we could know quickly, easily, reliably whether we’ve got it, and that tic-taks work.

BierceAmbrose | April 10, 2020 at 4:16 pm

On the other hand, maybe we’re better off knowing less.

Myself, I think a culling program to eliminate a genitic vulnerability would be out of hand. BUT, given the over-reach and indifference of our Overlords, maybe we’re better off not knowing, if there is a genetic component.

Right now I think the odds of an undergound having to mobilize to arm the undesirables in their containment zones is, maybe 1 out of 5. But, I’m an opitmist.