All the good stuff, caveats, code, data sources and explanations are linked, some in Update III, and the most important in Update II, Update IV, Update V, Update VI, Update VII, Update VIII, Update IX, Bayes Theorem & Coronavirus, and the Sanity Check Perspective, so go to them first before asking what-about-this-and-that. Skip to the bottom for the latest model. Thanks to everybody emailing me sources, including Ted Poppke, Jeff Jorgensen, Jim Fedako, Joe Bastardi, Philip Pilkington, John Buckner, Harry Goff, John Goetz, Warren McGee. Sorry I’m slow answering emails.
I’ve Run Out Of WHO Jokes
The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is still ahead.
“Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a briefing.” Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand.”
I’m willing to be corrected, but I do not believe Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (such a name!) is an idiot. Rising to his level in the absence of routine poisoning and hereditary aristocracy is far too difficult, practically impossible, for idiots. It does not follow he is brilliant or a genius, but I dispute the notion he does not know what he is saying.
He does. Ghebreyesus sees the same data (and much more than) I’ll show you below. He knows what is going on.
So why is he saying something he knows isn’t true?
Let’s let Naomi Oreskes answer that: “We Need Big Government to Save Us from the Pandemic.”
As coronavirus crisscrossed the globe in March, The Economist ran an editorial acknowledging the urgent need for a “big government” response but insisting that government must shrink back as soon as the crisis has passed. Their argument reflected the traditional conservative commitment to limited government. Conservatives going back to the 18th century have viewed government as a threat to liberty, and conservative economists in the 20th century linked the small government ideal to free-market capitalism. But the Covid-19 crisis makes utterly clear why some problems demand big government solutions, and why they can’t just be temporary.
Why they can’t just be temporary. As in permanent.
MSN agrees: “Government is everywhere now. Where does it go next?”
Americans are experiencing the biggest expansion of government authority in generations as elected leaders take unprecedented action to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The role of government has changed overnight, in ways no one imagined as this election year began. Despite a broad consensus behind this emergency surge in government spending and power, a huge debate over what government does and should do lies ahead.
Now that we have begged, pleaded and weepingly remonstrated with government to save us from catching a cold, it will be happy to step in to save us from all possible ills. Including imaginary ones.
It will next “save” us from global warming. The Coronavirus and Climate Change, the Great Crises of Our Time. Does not global warming kill? And kill your favorite victim group at higher rates?
I had pledged to keep politics out of these updates, but the numbers themselves have become political. It’s not possible to mention any figure without looking at the political motivation behind it.
It’s anyway obvious this crisis is about, or has become about, much more than people dying from a virus.
After 9/11, the TSA gave us confidence that we could safely travel again.
The long lines and security checks were a nuisance, but they instilled confidence.
After COVID-19, we will need something that instills confidence in public settings.
What will be the new TSA?
To which I replied, “We need Federal Thermometer Police. They will roam the streets and arrest people with fevers, or potential fevers. I will feel so safe.”
Juicing The Numbers
Last week we saw that we went from dying from, to dying with, to just plain dying. Even people who haven’t been tested are now classed as dying from coronavirus. This is juicing the numbers in the direction of the models. Whether this was intentional, to avoid confessing to the most colossal and costly blown forecast of all time, or this is more panicked over-reaction, I’ll let you decide. Either way, they did get a boost in the numbers from the re-definitions, which we’ll see below.
We saw yesterday that counting who dies of flu or any virus is not so straightforward, that it’s always the result of a statistical model. Every single flu death is not trumpeted from every media organ for months on end, but if they were, then we’d have counts similar to the way we have counts for coronavirus.
Something else strange in the numbers. Remember how every week I’d cut and paste the CDC’s update flu hospitalization and death estimates? Can’t do it anymore, because why? Because the CDC stopped reporting on them. This could be because of over-burdened government workers, or because flu deaths aren’t as sexy as coronavirus deaths (even though the totals are similar), or because something else is going on.
Here’s the flu deaths they have, broken down by age.
Flu deaths tail off earlier for the oldest, but fade away in routine fashion for younger. Probably the “missing” deaths are being classified as coronavirus. This might even be true.
Those dead aren’t with the flu, but they are recorded elsewhere, such as in pneumonia. This is up through 13 April.
The plunge at the very end is likely to be under-counts due to typical government delay. These can and will change, in these plots and in the others. Anyway, the spike in pneumonia is clear enough. Somewhat worse than a bad flu year.
Here’s flu deaths:
Don’t tell the media about 2017-18. There could be a retroactive panic. In any case, the flu deaths don’t look especially unusual, like pneumonia does.
Maybe there’s more of a signal in total all-cause deaths?
Again, the plunge is almost certainly due to delayed reporting. Ignore it. The steady increase upward is due to increased population: these numbers aren’t per capita.
Notice, though, that deaths started trending down starting January, as usual. Lockdowns began in mid-March. If these numbers are not everywhere adjusted, this will be, as I said the other day, evidence the lockdowns did not work as promised.
Whether or not that’s true, since pneumonia deaths are up, yet all deaths are down, it must mean people are being recorded as dying from other things at smaller rates than usual. Either coronavirus deaths are being juiced, or people aren’t dying of other things at the same old rates and being killed instead by coronavirus.
Given the other evidence, such as admissions by Birx about juicing, and the plots below, I’m going with some juicing.
Some American doctors agree. Here’s one: If a guy has seven things wrong with him, CHF included, and he dies as blood no longer circulates, he’s being class as a COVID-19 death.
It isn’t only in the US where the numbers are looking funny. France, too:
It’s already happening – France has stopped publishing the weekly mortality report in mid March – where (the lack of) excess mortality could readily be seen. Instead they created a new publication focused only on covid deaths.
I haven’t had a chance to do the same thing with other countries. A source gave me France’s weekly deaths through time just before this post went live.
But we do have the European all deaths (pdf):
The young are doing fine. The older have their typical yearly spike, about equal to a bad flu year. Of course, this data may also be preliminary, meaning the 2020 spike might swell as new reports come in. Wait and see. (The smoothed curves over the data are explained here.)
So far, however, the all-cause deaths don’t look especially huge here or in Europe. Meaning even if its corona and not CHF killing people, it’s still about the same number of dead.
The temptation to juice coronavirus deaths must be overwhelming! The models promised unimaginably huge numbers. We haven’t come anywhere close to them. Millions and millions and millions of lives the world over have been ruined, with more ruin on the way, as the result of trusting expert models. They have to find a way to bring actual numbers in line with models.
They’re running out of options, though. Dying with from dying from was a good move, and we saw it immediately pop up in the death counts. Dying with suspicion from dying with was also clever enough, and we saw that, too.
What else is left, though? Only one thing.
If “dying from” is defined as dying with presence of COVID-19 antibodies, then once we reach herd immunity, which it seems is close in many places, then about 80% of all deaths can be classified as coronavirus deaths. Not that they’d do that! Heaven forfend! This is humor.
Here’s some more sanity. He’ll be ignored. He isn’t shouting.
I’m sick of repeating it, but these are models of reports, not actual cases and deaths.
New total reported cases 2.8 million; new reported deaths 218 thousand. Last week: “New reported case total: 2.3 million. New reported death total: 167,000.” So this week a small boost, perhaps from the juicing, which we’ll see more strongly in the US data.
Do not concentrate on reported cases! These are hugely under-measured, as I’ll prove to you below.
Reported daily cases:
It’s on the way down, more or less, with the variability we’d expect in a global effort in testing. Some countries, like Singapore, have ramped up testing because of local circumstances (suspicion of foreign workers, etc.), which gives rise to new reported cases.
But it must be that many cases were already there but not measured. It’s not that the disease is necessarily spreading into virgin territory. We’ve already seen many reports of sampling measurements from planned studies showing people with antibodies who never even knew they had the disease.
Then we have this, which is the reported deaths divided by reported cases:
Now it’s either the case that case fatality rate really is near 7%—which is absurd—or something is wrong with the numbers. There is. Two things are happening. True cases are massively under-counted, and deaths are over-ascribed.
This will be partly recognized by our leaders, unfortunately, and could lead to new testing efforts. Which will make it falsely appear that the extent of the virus is accelerating. When it’s already there and we’re finally measuring it. Politically speaking, if they need to juice numbers, this is how they’ll do it.
Daily reported deaths:
Yes, numbers so far align well enough with the model. Expect variability to remain high, though, for at least a week to ten days. Spikes in either direction will happen. Our naive model is just too simple to capture that kind of detail.
What about the third peak promised by WHO, Fauci, and others? Guaranteed! Go back up and look at the cycle in all deaths, which begins to swell in fall every year. It will swell again in this coming fall.
And every fall until the crack of doom. They will always and forever have an excuse to protect us.
USA! USA! USA!
Total cases 850 thousand; total deaths 45 thousand. Last week, before the juicing, it was “700 thousand reported cases (likely will rise with new testing). And about 33 thousand reported deaths.” Another boost, but not a huge boost. We’ll see why in the dailies.
Daily reported cases:
This Fauci is calling for “tripling” of testing, which can only boost these dailies. And make it seem like there’s a genuine increase occurring. Oh my! The daily reported cases are up! It must mean the disease is spreading! No. It could also mean, and probably does given all the other evidence we now have from sampling, that the disease was already there, and we just now have measured it.
Watch for this, though. I’ll likely report on this in a separate post, to ensure the point doesn’t get lost.
Daily reported deaths:
You can see the re-spikes after both re-definitions of deaths. We’re now on the way back down, even after all these. The weather is still crap (a precise meteorological term) in the Northeast, and the forecast for the next week is continued to increasing crappiness.
This is one delayed spring! This extra-nasty weather (remember I told you many wise epidemiologists put weather into their models) is prolonging this. People need to get out into the virus killing sunshine and germicidal air. The same things that whack the flu every year. And will surely whack the coronavirus.
The government can’t take credit for sunshine and outdoor air. Which is maybe why they’re discouraging it? Nah, that’s too cynical, even for me.
Anyway, here’s the reported deaths divided by reported cases:
Again, either the case fatality rate is whackingly huge and increasing, or most cases aren’t being measured, or deaths are being juiced, or both.
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