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The “Experts” Fail Us

By September 23, 2020September 24th, 2020Commentary

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.

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Harley says:

    These people have titles and microphones, but have lost all credibility. As public servants, they have performed badly and have done great disservice.

    I am totally amazed at the frequent flip-flops on their positions. There was a lot of it going on in back in March (“Don’t wear a mask! “No, do wear a mask!” “Don’t get infected!” “We need people to get infected……”), the messaging was a little more under control during the summer months, but we seem to be spreading multiple, conflicting messages again, almost at an accelerating rate.

    Again, I guess the good news is that these folks are in public health, not doing something important like flying an F-15 fighter jet or making a decision on the front lines in the Middle East.

  • Matt MD says:

    Its clear to me that this is the same problem that affects a military that goes to war after a long period of peace. You have a lot of functionaries who reach positions of power due to time served and political maneuvering rather than competence. The public health departments of this country have not had to fight a tough battle for many years due to the medical advances of our society. Therefor you have incompetent lifers making irrational decisions to save “just one life” rather than seasoned professionals able to weight risks and benefits to make a rational decision. All you have to do is look back at previous comparable flu outbreaks in the 50’s and 60’s and how they were handled. The people in charge then had experience in fighting previous outbreaks without the advantage of vaccines; you know the things that actually were deadly and affected kids and healthy people like polio, measles, etc.

  • Joe Kehoskie says:

    America has the stupidest and most shameless elites on the planet. Anthony Fauci is Exhibit A, but anyone with an IQ over room temperature had that figured out in March.

    ITALY: 60 million people, average age: 45, COVID-19 deaths: 35,000.
    Media and “experts”: Italy is a humanitarian disaster! The bodies are piling up in the streets! Oh, the humanity!

    NEW YORK: 19 million people, average age: 38, COVID-19 deaths: 33,000.
    Media and “experts”: Andy Cuomo is a hero! The whole world should do whatever Cuomo does!

    These people are sickeningly dishonest and incompetent.

  • Alex says:

    Don’t forget Massachusetts and Connecticut. They’re among the top in the Western World too. Know who isn’t? The states the media hates. Florida, Arizona, Georgia and South Dakota (ok, they ignore that one). Fauci is drunk on adulation. He’s like Norma Desmond. Inexcusable.

    I’m at a loss for words. Up here, Quebec and Ontario are leading the ‘Freak Everyone Out’ parade.

    Just a complete breakdown of the political, scientific, and at this point moral order. How Ontario could be even considering lockdowns knowing the path of destruction it paves is beyond the pale. No better here in Quebec. It’s like one gigantic bad episode of VEEP.

    But wait. There’s more!

    Finally, Canadian doctors are beginning to speak out including two of Montreal’s top doctors and now a professor at University of Ottawa.

    One of the head MTL doctors said it’s hospitalizations that count and it’s important to keep in mind. He said the hospitals can handle it and that lockdowns would be a monumental mistake. The other doctor drew the ire of Quebec health officials. Here’s what he said:

    “Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, former executive director of the Jewish General hospital and president and CEO of the Integrated Health and Social Services Network of the West-Central Montreal (CIUSSS) has just said that Covid-19 is similar to the flu virus in both danger and risk of transmission. He also mentioned that, while Covid-19 is particularly dangerous to the elderly with pre-existing conditions, the flu targets the very young as well as the very old. The Jewish General is the province’s primary Covid-19 treatment center.”

    The government then went on the attack to discredit him. And for me the kicker is Dube’s little statistical trickery in trying to prove his point Covid is worse than the flu. In Canada, flu’s death rate is 22 per 100 000 and kills across all age groups as the doctor correctly mentions. 43 in the 0-19 group whereas there is no known case in Canada from 0-19 for Covid. I could be wrong but it’s one at the most. Zero in Quebec. 97% of all deaths are 60+. 90% 70+.

    SARS-Covid 2’s death count is 23 per 100 000. One more than the flu.

    What does Dube peddle? 68 per 100 000. Which is true. However, the vast majority of deaths took place in the spring. Since mid-June we’ve been well below double digits and it hasn’t moved from that; in fact it’s gone lower. Therefore, that’s a trailing or lagging figure or indicator. It’s useless and tells us nothing of what’s going on moving forward.

    The government, instead of hammering that point out along with manageable hospitalizations, instead choose to continue to psychologically traumatize people on the fear of what may come. They’re still relying on those ^&%@#@% models and base policy on this. It’s madness.

    Oh. Doug Dough Ford. Premier of Ontario. The mid-wit who called anti-lockdown protestors ‘yahoos’ (right Dougie, you ruined the lives of countless Ontarians but let’s attack the people you were hurting) and recently wondered – WHILE ADDRESSING THE PROVINCE – if young people should go get ‘brain scans’ for not listening to his bull shit. Yeh him. He was at a wedding on September 8. It was large. No masks. No social distancing.

  • KMT says:

    I can hardly wait for the next post! If I’m understanding what I’m reading correctly, then Mr Roche was too charitable in his anticipation that the State’s change in reporting would be for the better. I won’t steal any thunder, but the next post ought to be a doozy.

  • Chris Freeman says:

    Regarding the state of MN changing the hospitalization reporting: Wasn’t that what the whole lockdown was for? To keep the number of hospital beds in use low so that the state’s hospitals were not overwhelmed? Far as I can tell, the important metric to be able to tell how the state is doing is now GONE!

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