One more observation about the inauguration. It is pretty funny, in the warped universe sense, to call for end to incivility when your party and your supporters think anyone who disagrees with them in any way is a racist and a Nazi. I know where the incivility comes from and I don’t expect the new President to do one thing to tamp it down, in fact, I am sure he will throw fuel on the fire, as he has already done repeatedly. His version of unity is the Communist China one, everyone WILL agree with the ruling party.
The most important piece of news or research was the WHO notice I mentioned in the preceding post. That should really shake up the reporting of supposed cases. Be interesting to see if the new administration and various Democrat-run states see this as an opportunity to reduce reported cases. Kansas has already reduced its threshold for a positive result from 42 to a still far too high 35.
And along the same lines, Dr. Fauci, who clearly has been revealed as a not very bright, career bureaucrat, suddenly decided after the change of administration that the virus might be plateauing. These fear-mongering morons will do anything to be able to take a victory lap as soon as possible.
Finally, if you have any doubt that the media is just an arm of the Democrat party, CNN removed its CV-19 death counter the day of inauguration. No point in unnecessarily alarming the public.
Here is one of a couple of papers on how the epidemic has created opportunities for governments to abuse the citizenry’s rights of freedom. (SSRN Paper) The authors examine the question of why most countries followed radical lockdown policies with no real evidence for effectiveness, while Sweden resisted political pressure to do the same. They suggest that most countries fell prey to the tyranny of experts, which I wrote about several times early on. Sweden managed to avoid that.
A similar article here discusses how the epidemic is being used to spread authoritarianism. (JLB Articles) As the authors point out, there is no reason why democratic institutions could not have been used to manage the pandemic as opposed to autocratic decisions by political leaders. The primary goal upon the end of the epidemic should be to pass laws eliminating the emergency powers of any political leader at any level. There is absolutely no need or excuse for those with the technology available now.
This is an important issue. How many hospitalized patients actually got infected in the hospital. (Medrxiv Paper) The researchers studied these nosocomial (health care acquired) infections in Wales. If I read the study correctly, about 20% of the infections were acquired in the hospital and mortality rates for these patients were much higher. They tended to be older and frailer and very likely infected with low viral doses.
Want some good news about the excessive epidemic response? Not going to get it from me. I believe in telling the truth. Here are estimates of how many extra deaths will be caused by missed cancer screenings. (Medrxiv Paper) The study was done in Scotland and found that just a small number of cancers missed at an early stage would result in many more deaths from common cancers.
This study examined the VA experience with CV-19 hospitalized patients. (Medrxiv Paper) As have other health systems, this one found that mortality rates declined over time, in part due to less ill patients being hospitalized, and in part due to better treatment mechanisms. Less ventilation was used and more remdesivir and dexamethasone was prescribed. The change in patient health status may reflect front-loading.
There are places in the world with very high levels of infection. Peru has had one of worst epidemics anywhere, likely exacerbated by extreme lockdowns and other mitigation measures. One region of the country had an antibody prevalence of around 70% by late summer (here, spring there) and very low level of cases in recent months. Can you say population immunity. (Medrxiv Paper)
Just a very quick note on yet another study, this time from Sri Lanka, finding very serious problems with the accuracy of antigen tests. (Medrxiv Paper) In a low prevalence population, random testing resulted in false positives almost half the time.
Want to know your risk of transmission in a certain type of room. See this site. (Airborne Site) Thanks to a reader.