I will discuss today’s CV-19 briefing shortly. But first I want to note the abysmal performance of Dr. Fauci before the Senate today. Rand Paul, a physician, was as usual his primary tormenter. The good Dr. Fauci has numerous times praised New York’s response to CV-19, largely because he was consulting daily with Cuomo and others. When Sen. Paul pointed out that New York City had the worst death rate in the world, Fauci stumbled around and sort of denied it. Look on any of the tracking websites and you will see it clearly. (The state as a whole has the second worst rate, New Jersey tops it as a state.) How does Fauci not know that, and why doesn’t he have some explanation, because I can think of several. He was asked if a person gets a vaccine, could they get CV-19 from it. He said no. Apparently the good doctor is unaware of live attenuated vaccines, which in fact do give you the illness but in a mild form. (The leading CV-19 vaccines are not live attenuated, but either RNA or other virus vector vaccines, largely unused techniques.) But even worse was when Sen. Paul suggested that population immunity might occur at levels below those traditionally set forth as necessary to slow transmission substantially. Dr. Fauci said the Senator might be alone in that belief. So here is our supposed leading expert on the epidemic who is completely clueless to the now massive and undeniable line of research finding substantial pre-existing immune response to CV-19 and then modeling indicating that this variability in susceptibility and infectiousness, coupled with a more sophisticated understanding of contact patterns, does suggest slowing of transmission at lower levels of prevalence. He is so busy grandstanding on interviews and hobnobbing with celebrities that he clearly isn’t keeping up with the research and data. This is a brutal indictment both of his actual lack of expertise and the complete failure to adopt an “innovation” approach to epidemiology, by which I mean, don’t accept that the way things have always been done or looked at is the right way; there always must be a better way.
And speaking of lack of expertise, lot us now turn to my home state, which has been a paragon of incompetence. I didn’t mention it in the post this morning , but that CDC article on the LTC facilities in Minnesota was co-authored by at least 20 or more people, including a whole team of people responsible for the LTC “battle plan”. We must have hundreds of people working on this epidemic and they have made one dumb decision after another. I have no appetite for making excuses for these people. They are supposed to have the expertise to make good decisions, and they can’t even get the basics right. The cost to the state from their terrible modeling, bad data, mis-understanding of the science, inability to keep up with research, and so on, has been enormous.
Now to the briefing. We are going to get a change in hospitalization reporting. I have mentioned the poor quality of the information for identifying trends. I think the change will be good, but we will see when it starts tomorrow. We supposedly will get new admissions every day, by date of admission, and eventually length of stay information. Because of the lack of total transparency in the past, I am reserving judgment, but hope this facilitates better identification of trends for cases from similar dates.
The school issue is an abomination, schools are going to worthless “virtual”, also known as virtue-less, learning, on the basis of one positive case. That is absurd. We should do what any rational country is doing, make a commitment to in-person learning only and deal with whatever cases occur, none of which are likely to be serious. The nonsense about it depends on what is going on in the community is just another form of shaming and guilting. And a version of the school issue is a question about LaCrosse seeing a surge in cases, which is all University driven, no serious cases.
Ruth Buzzi said we needed to watch out for fomite, or surface to person transmission, when every study or expert I read says while theoretical, there are no proven cases of fomite-type transmission. So sure, let’s go ahead and scare people about another non-existent risk. Ruth also let loose with an all-time tautology–“every person who died was a (pregnant pause) person”, in the course of impressing upon us our duty to our fellow man, which apparently doesn’t include giving people a calm, rational perspective on risk. She stressed the need to “decrease risk”, but these people completely ignore what they are doing to magnify risk to most people. I have shown you the excess deaths due to these extreme lockdowns and the terrification program. Reminds me of the Vietnam era pacification program–we are going to destroy these villages to protect the residents from the Viet Cong. Hmmm. These people are truly moral simpletons–they have no ability to weigh all lives as having value, only people dying of CV-19 count. So spare us the lectures.
Chris gave us another half-truth, saying that when they see community transmission they get worried, because every one of those cases is one that could infect other people. Since they won’t tell us anything about the cycle numbers or time of testing in relation to date of symptom development, or anything else that would be a reasonable measure of infectiousness, I would assume that in a low prevalence environment we have a large number of false positives, and a huge number of “low” positives which are not infectious people. So no, Chris, these people probably have at least an equal chance of not being infectious as being infectious.
What have we learned was the last question, and it was directed toward death risk. The Commissioner acknowledged that most people do well, but some communities and groups are disproportionately affected. She implied that mortality risk was viewed as the same as at the start, which is absolutely untrue. And she and Ruth mentioned the long-term effects myth. Ruth at least acknowledged that people without CV-19 are missing needed care. These people apparently haven’t learned anything important, given that the plan hasn’t changed a bit since the start. Over-react where there is minimal risk and do serious damage to people’s livelihoods, social lives, educational lives, and most importantly their health. What they should have learned is that we should be more like Sweden–treat it as a serious public health issue but don’t freak people out.
But the capper was Ruth droning on and on and then out of the blue going full Fauci and winding up with the need to look at New York’s success. She is out of her mind. See above, New York has the second worst per capita rate in the world, and they are extremely grateful for New Jersey, which is at the top. How can you possibly refer to that as a success? The epidemic ripped through the state, so they have high enough incidence to substantially slow transmission, that is why they have lower cases now. Is that what she thinks Minnesota should have done–just let it rip? Oh wait, that is what we did in LTC facilities.