Coronavirus Update XXI: Calm Down! Record Testing Is Why There Are Record “Cases”

Coronavirus Update XXI: Calm Down! Record Testing Is Why There Are Record “Cases”


Look at this plot, the number of daily COVID tests in the US, according to the COVID-19 tracking project.

So far, since the start of the insanity, there have been 35,512,916 tests. Call it 36 million.

This plot is the number of daily tests. On 5 July, for instance, there were 654,489 new tests. I repeat, this plot is the number of new daily tests by day. 650 thousand reported tests per day!

If your jaw is not dropping, you have not understood this plot. It is not total tests. Testing is increasing everywhere, day by day. Testing is going nuts. Testing is out of control. Testing is rampant. Testing is at insane levels and only growing.

Why is this important? I’ll tell you: because we hear from every propaganda source that we are seeing a “surge” and “spike” and “record” new “cases”.


It would be a shock if we didn’t see a surge in new “cases” with all this testing!

Pardon my screaming, but we have gone, as the phrase has it, stark raving mad. I am beside myself with frustration trying to explain this to people who are so panicked they can’t listen to reason.

Now look at this picture, the official weekly dead according to the CDC (as of 2 July for week ending 27 June, the latest data available Monday morning):

Notice anything? You might not have reached the apex of probability like I, the Statistician to the Stars! have, but surely you can see the most salient point. DEATHS ARE DECREASING, EVEN AS NEW “CASES” “SURGE” “SPIKE” “SOAR” “SET RECORDS”.

Here, next, are the reported daily deaths, according to the media (as of 5 July, COVID Tracking Project)—which longtime readers know are always about 10% higher than the CDC’s figures.

There is more variability than the weekly data, given the daily nature. You can see the weekly cycle, and the occasional spike because different localities and states report at different times. In any case it’s clear DEATHS ARE DECREASING, EVEN AS NEW “CASES” “SURGE” “SPIKE” “SOAR” “SET RECORDS”!

They are decreasing even in data we know is too large, compared to the CDC.

There are some refinements, niceties, and fine points to make about this, which will be done below, but for now, this data shows the latest phase of the panic is absurd.

Everybody is Karen shaming about masks—wear one or die, you murderer!—which might have made some kind of sense at the beginning or peak of the crisis. But now with deaths dropping to zero, and with testing out of control, it’s nuts.

The whole damned thing is nuts.

What is accounting for this tremendous increase in daily tests? Something must be causing it. Are people flooding in to be checked in ever greater numbers, are government programs to mass check coming on line, or are these the result of routine hospital checks as people return to seek usual care after the initial panic? These questions must be answered.

Please share this article with everyone calling for panic and shouting about new lockdowns. You can keep reading to get all the refinements and nuances, but this section has the real meat.

Assorted Nitwitery

Dear reader, help me understand how much the latest insane panicked hysterical gibbering response is due to the idiocy or evil of those appointed over us. It is obviously a mix, and it depends on the entity issuing orders or reporting news. But no matter how you slice it, sanity has left the building.

If the experts appointed over us can’t see, or didn’t think to check, data like that above, then they are idiots. If they did check, then they are evil for pushing new measures, new lockdowns. Which is it?

Take the case of The Godmother Andrew Cuomo. We are seeing, I believe, regression to the mean. The man’s father had something upstairs, but Cuomo senior’s sons did not share in the inheritance. In The Godmother’s case, I believe we have an equal mixture of stupidity and arrogance. But I’m willing to be corrected. What do you say?

The lower echelons of the media are like Cuomo: equal parts dumb and evil. The top is all malevolence.

The gaslighting has already begun. Remember how it was okay to riot, loot, and commit random acts of mayhem? That all experts agreed you must, damn all to coronadoom? But you wanted to grill out on the Fourth and you were told how awful you were to do so, especially without a mask.

We’re not the only ones noticing the madness.

(This was a video of Noble chemist Michael Levitt, in which is excoriated experts. But YouTube whacked it on Monday! Which shows how scared they are of the truth. I’m leaving the discussion, and the dead video link, so you can share the joke.)

He’s right, except that it wasn’t just Sweden. Taiwan did fine, Japan, fine. And some others. All without lockdowns. South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas too, and five other states all fine, no lockdown. Levitt nailed the arrogance, the politicization, the hubris, the do-you-know-who-I-am of experts, the idiocy.

On July 3rd I was listening to Michigan radio, which ran several times a public service announcement saying free coronavirus testing was going to be available over the weekend, at such and such places. Given the fresh burst of panic, I expect many new tests, which will, as we say above, of course produce many “new cases”.

And thus lead to further unnecessary government action. Sigh.

Just what is a “case” anyway? This video explains. This is Alex Jones, but forget that and concentrate instead on the Texas bureaucrats.

“Probable” is now a case in Texas. “Deaths” do not now have to have confirmation on COVID to be called COVID deaths. Texas flipped out and the mauve Governor ordered all to wear masks. In the sunshine killing germicidal air. Brilliant. (Given this and other actions, my thinking is Abbott, the governor, was promised something in a Biden administration.)

Here’s an official source from last week:

Besides testing, why are we seeing so many new “cases”? A “case” is now an infection, past or present. That’s not what doctors used to call cases, which were infections requiring or seeking treatment. Now any positive test is a “case”. Naturally, since infections are greater than cases, calling everything, past and present, a “case” exaggerates the count.

The latest phase of the panic is driving people to get tested, which reveals new cases, which causes more panic, which drives more people to get tested, which….

One Blue Cheka said , “My parents friends went to get tested for coronavirus. They waited in line for two hours and then decided to leave without getting tested. Hours later they got a phone call saying they tested positive.”

This is an unconfirmed anecdote, but I’ve heard it more than once. Something besides just increased testing must be accounting for the uptick in case. Like this, for instance:

Experts have lost the ability to think. A Blue Cheka health “CEO” said, “The truth is simple, and horrifying. We are about to have dozens of NYCs around the country. The next 8 weeks are going to brutal, no matter what we do. ICUs overflowing, ventilators rationed, hundreds of thousands of deaths.”

No matter what we do hundreds of thousands of deaths.

This guy doesn’t appear evil, just stupid.

USA All-Cause Deaths

We recall it’s easy to inflate COVID deaths by classifying those “dying with” or even “dying with suspected” as dying from. But what can’t be twiddled so easy are the all-cause deaths. Here they are, with the usual caveats about late reporting (the CDC is always two-three weeks behind, which is not their fault).

That’s per capita, to put things in perspective. The dots are the last three weeks, numbers which will rise as data is updated. Now here’s the blowup, in raw counts:

The last week is cut out, being too low. The dashed line are the all-cause deaths minus official COVID deaths.

Again, it’s clear the crisis is over, even with late reporting. It’s also clear that deaths spiked from causes other than COVID, which I’ve been saying for the last two months.

Now the CDC is saying it, too. “Heart conditions drove spike in deaths beyond those attributed to covid-19, analysis shows“. They estimate some 20 – 50 thousand more deaths, not caused by COVID. That’s the bump in the dashed line.

The lockdowns caused some of these deaths. So did the coronviruas “treatments” some received. (Will Ghislaine Maxwell be strapped to a ventilator?)

England & Wales All-Cause Deaths

All cause per capita weekly deaths, through 19 June, in England & Wales:

Coronadoom did not beat two different flu years. What a grand panic they had, though.

Here’s the all cause totals, minus official COVID:

Dashed line as above, the all cause deaths minus coronadoom. Looks like England killed off a lot of people with coronadoom “cures.” It’s also clear the crisis is over there, too.

Refinements To Testing Arguments

“But Briggs, yes testing is rocketing up past the ionosphere, but hospitalizations are up, too! This is still dangerous! Why do you hate people so much?”

Here are the deaths per hospitalization. Notice how more people are “surviving” their hospitalizations? Doctors haven’t got better (if anything, the opposite is true). Instead, the switch from cases to infections means less sick, and even asymptomatic, people are being classified as cases.

Look, everybody. If you go to the hospital to have your bunions scraped, you automatically get tested for coronadoom. If “positive” you are classified as a “case”—and as a COVID hospitalization! This is all accounting tricks.

How else might we know this? Let’s look at the deaths per number of tests:

We saw first above that tests are soaring. Deaths aren’t keeping pace. Again, this is all the result of extra testing.

“But Briggs, I heard that the positive rate of tests is increasing. That has to mean doom, right?”

Let’s look: positive to number of test ratio:

Our critic is right. There is an uptick in positive results. Since deaths are not also increasing, what could explain this?

Several things: (1) A change in the way tests are done (see this article criticizing PCR tests; ordinary cold coronaviruses are sometimes classed as coronadoom); (2) extra “vigilance” in classifying tests as positive, under the better-safe-than-sorry theory (recall we saw one anecdote about this); (3) classifying past infections as current (any antibodies at all); (4) re-tests (also noted above); (5) classifying positives found by contact tracing and NOT testing as “cases” (here’s an article showing how this is done); (6) deaths are lagging and we’ll save have 100s of thousands dead, as the panicked gentleman above said.

Six (6) is the only scary possibility. There is some indication in some states, like Arizona, that more deaths are being attributed to COVID. Let’s look at Texas (new lockdowns), Arizona (panic), Oklahoma (never locked down!), and Florida (no panic, but media criticisms).

First the number of tests:

Even Oklahoma, which maintained its sanity, and which never locked down, is seeing an increasing in daily testing. The media is likely driving this. Like it is in the other states.

Here’s the positive tests to total tests ratio:

Oklahoma has many days of 0 positives and low numbers of tests will all positives. But we do see the increase in positive tests rate in the other states, as we saw summed across all states. Now let’s look at hospitalizations, which is quite revealing:

Texas doesn’t have any data, says the COVID Tracking Project (same link as above). Look at that Arizona spike, which occurred right after the lockdown was lifted. But it’s the same point in time at all states, which is weird. It’s much more likely that this is caused by a change in testing and classifying, and not in a sudden and simultaneous increase in virulence, to be so abrupt. This has the mark of bureaucracy, not biology.

Finally deaths:

Note the difference in scales. Slight up-ticks everywhere, which could be real, but are more likely a change in vigilance in attributing dying with infection (and not cases!) as dying from. The change from case to include even asymptomatic infections is enough to explain this.

This is why we must continue to look to all-cause deaths are the best indicator. It’s just too easy to cheat, fudge, shade, tweak, adjust, or whatever word you like, with COVID deaths.

Please share this post.

Addenda Forecasting for COVID-19 has failed, Ioaniddis et al. “It is likely that a large number of the daily reported infection numbers are purely due to viral debris”, via Coronavirus: Why everyone was wrong.

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  1. john b()

    I was shocked at Saturday’s 4th of July number (250+) …
    Okay – a Holiday that no one is really celebrating this year (many reasons)
    Sunday is Sunday (250+) …
    Monday traditionally catches up a bit, a bit more than normal (~380) – but nothing compared to the drop on Saturday.
    That’s three consecutive days where deaths did not total more than a 1000!
    (First time since March)
    Every week, even in the heart of summer CDC “expects” ~2300 deaths per week from Pneumonia.
    It’ll be VERY interesting to see what the Tuesday “bump” brings us …

  2. JR Ewing

    I swear, it’s a the Cult of Fauci at this point.

    Turn on the news – TV, radio, newspaper – and it’s all “spread” and all “MASKS!” all the time. Hardly any mention of deaths and when it happens it’s in the context of “just wait two weeks” for the deaths to show up, even though this latest round of panic has been going on now for almost a month.

    It makes me wonder, have these people ever been sick before? Do they know that illness is a part of life? Do they get this worked up during flu season?

    In any case, this has become my favorite CDC graph over the past couple of weeks:

    In the natural gas industry, we use charts like this to compare current levels of stored natural gas compared to what was stored at the same point in time over the past five years. For public health, they compare the number of weekly deaths. It’s a great visual.

    Nonetheless, the data get more noisy at the state level, but the trend is the same in most states as it is in the United States as a whole: there was a spike in deaths in the first half of the year across all age groups, and now total deaths are plummeting below the 5 year average. Why? Two reasons I can think of: 1.) The virus killed a bunch of people early who were just going to die later in the year and is now running out of people to kill and 2.) For whatever reason – better treatments, mutations – infections just aren’t as deadly as they used to be.

    The point is, the situation has improved tremendously over the past 2 months or so and the media (and government at all levels) is doing all it can to keep stoking the panic and not let people get back to normal.

    I wonder why that is?

  3. Edgewise

    So “testing” is the problem?
    So—if I choose to never get checked for cancer, but I do, if fact, happen to have a tumor, does that mean I “don’t” have cancer?

    If I have a cavity—but never learn about it because I decide to stop going to the dentist—does that mean the cavity doesn’t exist?

    So tell me, Mr. Briggs:
    how many lights do you see?…

  4. John B()

    Edgewise … seriously?

    What happens when you test positive for cancer? (academically speaking)
    What happens when you test positive for a tooth cavity? (still academically speaking)

    Now what happens when you “test positive” for the SARS-CoV-2 virus? Take us through that scenario, please … feel free to answer the other two if you need to contrast the scenarios

  5. Kevin

    I’ve been sending people to the CDC Daily Updates of Totals by Week and State page and saying that the most significant numbers to look at are in columns 3 and 4 of table 1. Mortality is not the problem it is _excess mortality_.

    It is true that we had severe excess mortality rates back in April and May. And it is very probable that COVID-19 was at the heart of it. But with Flu B hitting first (the first time in 30 years AFAIK) it was the people most susceptible to COVID-19 that were hit hardest because Flu B *spares* the elderly. Here in Texas over 50% of all deaths are from people who have exceeded the expected life span.

    But it’s even more interesting when you look at Table 1. Just a few weeks back I remember those numbers coming in fast and furious. Combined with FluView you could see close-ish to final numbers within 2-3 weeks. What are the numbers 2-3 weeks back? 70% of expected mortality.

    To me those two points imply that COVID-19 was paid in advance by a population spared by Flu B and that it may have borrowed some casualties from the future. Perhaps it’s just slowness in reporting. But the numbers from a month ago have to be wrong by 10% if we just want to maintain parity with the expected mortality rate.

  6. David B

    It’s now 42 days since the George Floyd protests started. 42. It takes on average 23 days from contact->symptoms(4-5)->death(11-18) being generous. We are 19 days past that.
    We are now 50% lower by 7 day moving average of deaths per day (by date recorded) according to worldometers.
    50% lower.
    What happened? How can social distancing be responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of lives and also lead to no deaths when social distancing is ignored for days, weeks, and now months!? You still have bands of BLM’ers walking the streets of major cities protesting daily.
    Where are all the dead bodies?

    Or, maybe, just maybe, since Vitamin D deficiency and being indoors are good ways to spread corona death (like being locked in a nursing home with no sunlight while a corona spreader is sent your way by the governor), that just being outdoors is enough to stop the virus? Maybe just maybe social distancing and masks are total bullshit?

    Of course if that’s true (hint: you know it is), every politician and public health official that advocated locking us down, closing our beaches and our parks and making us stand slightly apart from each other everywhere have a reckoning coming.

    And maybe they know it.

  7. NIdahoCatholic

    “My body, my choice. I choose a chest cold over cancer.”

    Mask wearing creates ideal conditions in the body to wake up dormant cancer cell – anerobic and acidic. How long until we see an upsurge in cancer deaths?

  8. Ken

    RE “…help me understand…”

    People are, macro scale, lazy. Including thinking. Considering data from media sources, filing that, later comparing to other factors they need to think to consider….requires work. It’s just easier to go with the mob.

    This is no different than what is described in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, compiled & written in 1874-ish. The first 100 pages are about financial “bubbles” (this reference may be the origin of the term). Many/most/all of those had a self-serving constituency to perpetuate for selfish financial gain, while a minority saw the madness in real-time and acted accordingly.

    Covid’s alarmist constituency is the media (bad news gets ratings/sells). Also political – can determine an election winner. Trump is failing miserably at rebuttal – he needs a thought out presentation aka Ross Perot-style, with similar charts and detailed explanations — something like an infomercial, tweets are too brief and insubstantial. Counterproductive even.

    A public conditioned to sound byte sized info packets is akin to a public with ADD. The news feeds cater to that … and that they are carrying the day (and election?) is entirely consistent with human nature and numerous precedents.

    Worse, even when the madness is revealed and apparent to all, the unlicensed will forget and move on. They really don’t have much stake in this once their worry subsides.

    For a glaring example of that: Michael Lewis book, Liar’s Poker. Therein he noted how the bond traders, to avoid getting stuck with losing securities, routinely dumped them and shifted the loss onto their customers. And why not, after all, “customers have short memories.”

    They are also prone to myriad superstitious and logically illogical rationalizations.

    I was lucky early on— my first stock broker was politely patient and didn’t withhold his disdain for analytical analyses of any short-term duration. “The market moves on emotion,” he oft said. So true. Long-term is different, as Buffet & Munger have proven, sort of.

    The current market of emotion is ‘something to worry about’ and many want reassurance, with a savior, and, evil villain to be vanquished. It’s the oldest plot theme in the human storybook. Trump is the villain and Fauci, Biden… on the side of good.

    Again, Trump team needs to tell the kiddies in detail all the truths So they understand the monsters under the bed are imaginary.

  9. Sheri

    Edgewise: When they have lines of people in cars being tested for cancer whether they have any symptoms or not, get back to us. Also, I can personally attest that cancer can be missed—THREE times for sure and that it can be falsely diagnosed and unnecessary surgery and chemo done. This is why we should not run tests without a good reason. Yes, we do colon cancer and cervical cancer and we do get false positives and bad outcomes. Now, do it “drive up”. without physician input or prescription, and free and see how many false positives we get. Also, try it with a test we developed two months ago, not what we have now. As for cavities, best not to go there.

    Ken: The monster under the bed IS Trump so statements from the monster are not going to be heeded.

    The experts know and they are simply evil. The rest of the population: the “drones” are idiots. The wannabe leaders and elites are evil. There, now is it clear? It’s probably not equal parts—the overlords are evil and the Brown Shirts stupid. (Regression to the mean certainly plays a part in the declining mental functioning of the world. We are stupider than the Neanderthals at this point.)

    We have NO ONE to blame but ourselves for what YouTube, Facebook and Twitter did. That electronic SOMA, the addiction to attention from a stupid box…We pleaded and begged for this. Do not complain when you get what you begged for.

    Maybe we should start testing EVERYONE for flu antibodies. That should help the panic. Sadly, I read Covid may drop below the epidemic level soon, so there may be no choice but to draft flu. Or bubonic plague—China can apparently help with that one.

    Probably and may ARE science now. It makes the lies so much easier. You KNOW that.

    Forget Covid. If we elect a senile, creepy guy in a basement, who cares about Covid???? We are so seriously lost and doomed, everything else is totally not relevant.

    Come on. The left understands the power of suggestion. Doesn’t anyone else? Why are we surprised and why did we cruelly and hatefully indoctrinate our children to believe this crap? Americans cheerfully trained and paid to train future terrified subjects of the new Little Kim-like regime running America.

    Blue Checkas can be faked and undoubtedly are. It’s so freaking easy to fool the idiots in this country.

  10. John B()

    Weren’t the Martians killed by a corona virus?

  11. Joy

    The chances of anything coming from Mars, are a million to one they said…

  12. john b()

    But still, they come!

  13. Shadowfax


    You are so right on every point. The mass of people are no longer able to think and just do what they are told. Perhaps if the media told them to strangle their best friends, most would comply.

    We did this to our children when we decided the best goal for their education was that they get into a “good school” so that they could get into a “good college” so that they could get a great job and make lots of money. And sports, dances, other extra-curriculars were really important, too. After all, the meaning of life is owning a big house, taking great vacations, and having everyone envy you. We stopped caring what was being poured into their minds and that they weren’t being taught to think critically–we just wanted them to be “successful.” Is it any wonder that these neglected kids think in terms of “privilege?” That’s what they lived, and they know it is empty and meaningless. Now, cut off from history, culture, virtue, and truth, they are trashing about trying to destroy as a way to find meaning to their lives. And the rest of us are being muzzled (masked) and being imprisoned in our homes over a lie for neglecting our duties to properly form our children.

  14. Joy

    John B
    The Martians are here! The joke’s on us! It’s the black raven event.
    As I type that monsters turned blue. My screen is about 30 inches so they look less like pixels and more like cubes. Where does it all end up that’s what I want to know.
    You’re right in implying that testing isn’t a problem.
    Any diagnostic tool is not enough on its own. That is basic.

    Testing may be carried out for a variety of reasons and in the case of the epidemic, for large sampling or individual decision making, just to cut it in two main groups. It’s good thing that those actually doing the work know what they’re doing. Cuomo’s help nor the reactionaries saying it’d eons’t exist are superfluous in the epidemic response.

    Clinical reasoning should include the rationale for testing.
    It’s wrong to decry mass testing. Just another half baked argument.

    Maybe Trump will soon be able, God willing and assuming the science is correct, that this time around, the number of positive cases will show a nearer accurate fatality rate.

    People are going to wonder at the relatively low number of deaths when they look at the two graphs together…(Testing versus mortality: early and late in the epidemic). At that point it will be obvious to those who need the visual help aid To see the wood for the trees.

    The problem early on in the epidemic in all countries which saw large epidemics, was the lack of availability of testing

    Our country had less per capita than almost any other. Since frugality with diagnostics and testing is common in the NHS, priority was heavily controlled and targeted as a military operation. It’s called prioritisation. A basic clinical skill in general.

    so looking at the “testing graphs” on the “NEWS” to some, not many, might look alarming, but that level of information was not available at the beginning of this pandemic. So the testing graph could only show the tip of the iceberg.

    Testing was hit and miss even in countries where massive testing was available, to make it even harder to track the virus.

  15. K

    Deaths keep dropping while increased testing identifies increasingly more cases that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Doesn’t that show the virus even less deadly than assessed earlier?

  16. Rudolph Harrier

    I’m calling it: when new cases stop rising as quickly (because we finally do so much testing that we’ve found nearly everyone with the disease) all the news stations will report, in lockstep unity, that the new numbers cannot be trusted. They will either go all out and say that the numbers are being hoaxed by the administration, or they will go a softer route and say that the number of cases is low because people are terrified by fake news into not getting tested (despite having record testing numbers).

  17. Fredo

    No doubt about it they’ve gotta get that death rate up even if it hair-lips
    everyone on bear creek.

  18. Joy

    It says recorded in New England! I always liked that voice, always liked Autumn
    Come Autumn /September there’ll be thirty million vaccines
    Come flu season there’ll be vaccines for those who are most vulnerable

    To be clearer:
    I meant “Trump will be able to demonstrate…”
    “insufficient testing was A problem”
    and that ‘too much testing’ isn’t a problem unless unaccompanied by truthful calm information and explanation to those receiving tests and those looking at the published numbers. Media are trying to rattle cages

    Never let the News media mediate for the public for patients or voters on behalf of the medics if there’s ever a chance to intervene

  19. Ken


    Examine the current hospitalizations data from the Covid cite you used. That shows a clear bottoming in mid-ish June, then a distinct rise of a bit over 10,000, to about 40,000 total. That’s a rebound of about one-third to the high of close to 60,000 hospitalized for Covid.

    The hospitalization trend appears to have some additional increases to come…,

    That’s distinct from the trends noted above, today … and from a health insurance burden seems significant (intuitively, did not crunch any $ estimates).

    Given only a smallish % of those will die, the impact on the macro level CDC numbers of total deaths will hardly appear, might go unnoticed. The lag between hospitalization and those deaths would seem to about now start to appear in those numbers.

    Thus, while the totals appear to suggest there are no significant increases other than what comes from increased testing, there in fact does appear to be a real surge.

    This is based on a quick scrub of the data in Excel. May have missed/interpreted something – analytical comments?

  20. Matt

    Ken, I wondered the same thing about why he (the president) doesn’t go out and give detailed presentations on these things. That said, he’d just be torn down even if he said the earth was spherical… “it’s an oblate spheroid, doesn’t he know that???“…

    As for hospitalizations “increasing”, there are now multiple sources indicating the classification of “covid hospitalizations” is a bit, uh, misleading. For example, in TN the Vanderbilt report noted the hospitalization “increase” data did not distinguish between people hospitalized FOR covid vs those who busted a leg or the like and happened to also test positive for covid. The latter are cases increasing quite a bit because more people are entering hospitals now. NY’s increases seem largely due to car crashes. Similarly for Tx and a few other states. I’m sure the money granted by the federal government per covid hospitalization (about 20k per) has nothing at all to do with that.

    I’ll note the Vanderbilt authors “believe” that contribution to be small, but provide no evidence for their, no doubt sincere, deeply held beliefs.

  21. Veronica

    Speaking to your testing question, here is what I am seeing in my mid-sized (100k) East Texas city, county and an adjacent county (home also to a mid-sized city). In the past few weeks, there has been a massive increase in walk up and drive through testing. Last week, for three days a large church downtown was converted to a testing center. The local news reporter said that the line was around the block and down another block, people were waiting for hours and some people had lawn chairs and snacks. (!) You did not have to have symptoms, and clearly given the fact that these people were willing to wait hours in the hot Texas sun, I’m guessing they weren’t exactly critically ill. This happened at several other testing sites, and this is new in the past few weeks.

    Meanwhile, in my county, we have had five total coronavirus deaths, only one of which has been since April and all of whom had comorbidities. Our hospitals still have room, and elective surgeries have not stopped.

    I cannot personally speak to what is going on in Dallas and Houston, although I have it on good authority that free rapid testing is all over Houston.

    Someone upthread commented that they can’t see the problem with mass testing and I hear you, EXCEPT in the case where the test being given is not testing for what most people think it is testing for. This is the elephant in the room and it is important.

  22. Uncle Mike

    Stupid or evil? I’d say 99% of the time it’s stupidity. Most people are not evil, but stupidity is widespread and has been throughout history. Most people wouldn’t survive daily life but for the smarts of a handful of geniuses.

    There is another optional answer, however, and that is fear. Most people are fearful most of the time. It’s a natural outgrowth of stupidity. If you don’t know, you are afraid. Fear also runs rampant.

    Greed is a natural outgrowth of fear, so greed must also be considered. Some people prey upon stupidity and fear to get rich or powerful or both. Predatory behavior is evil, but it would be less successful if people were less stupid and less fearful.

    If you are not a genius and don’t know one (whom you trust), there remains one antidote to stupidity, fear, and greed: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.”

  23. Joy

    Uncle Mike’s a genius, along with several others, but you must watch them, they can be crafty! That’s my favourite quote from the bible. I think. Maybe now I know why

    John B
    I YouTube’d it:
    “Jeff Wayne’s War Of The World’s 2021 | YouTube”
    “VIGRASS & OSBORNE – Forever autumn YouTube”

    You can hear the singers are American in that version.
    Equally good, voices.

    My ‘charge’ said, “that’s beautiful and broke into a dance”
    “you like it?”
    “yeah I love it”

    Good day Thank you everybody

  24. George

    One of the dumbest things I’ve read in my entire life. Congratulations!!

    Writing so much garbage can be debunked by looking at the number of Covid positive patients in ICUs in recently affected states like Florida or Texas. Just go to Texas Medical Center’s web or search for Florida’s available ICUs, every day the number grows more and more.

  25. Edgewise

    John B():
    I *really* hope you’re not suggesting that if no one knows you have a condition, that means your body doesn’t have it.

  26. Edgewise

    Mr. Briggs (*et al*):

    Can you refute (or *at least* weigh-in upon) this?—

    Should you take issue with any part of this, citing something(s) to back-up your disagreement would be appreciated.

  27. et al,

    I listened to ALL of the link. Which particular part is it that you think need refuting?
    Cuomo does have a habit of protesting the non contested, as do those on the other extreme.

    I know quite a bit about respiratory therapy. Nobody knows all about Covid 19
    What is the sticking point about this epidemic? As Cuomo said in your link,
    “why are we here?”

    What is your main point of contention?

    The problem is that so many lay down the gauntlet and challenge the opposition to such a degree that is would take a rare, magnanimous individual to admit reasonable argument when they see it. so I don’t anticipate any kind of response, as is par for the course.
    That’s the answer to Cuomo’s question, too

  28. Forbes

    Uncle Mike–I’d challenge your observation to the point of saying most people don’t investigate their beliefs, so while they might not appear overtly evil, they are not passively stupid–they’re actively ignorant. That is, they chose not to investigate. They’d rather avoid head-exploding cognitive dissonance by being ignorant of the facts, information, data, assumption that would disabuse them of their beliefs.

    They follow the current mantra: Feelings matter, facts don’t. They are evil. (As to the evil/stupid split, IDK.)

  29. john b()


    Sorry – just saw your response

    Maybe I should have put it from the prospective of the response from the medical field. How do they respond to the fact the you test positive for cancer … that you have a cavity … the you have the corona virus

  30. john b()


    You can hear the singers are American in that version.
    Vigrass and Osborne were a soft rock duo from the United Kingdom, consisting of Paul Vigrass and Gary Osborne. (Wikipedia)
    (It was recorded in “England” not “New England”)
    Equally good, voices. (Agreed – I liked Hayward’s more melancholy approach)
    Glad your “charge” liked it

  31. Joy

    John B,
    Thank you for the correction, it’s my eyesight, Imagination tends to get involved without permission when straining to see things. (like with a dyslexic person) I’m not always careful to check. There are a few classic examples going back on here
    Anyway listened to some more from Justin Hayward, so I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t made that error
    George, Edgewise:
    English people go out in the mid-day sun, Texans and Mexans go inside and put on the air conditioner. The sombrero doesn’t get squashed in the same way

    It’s similar in the winter in colder climates when everybody battens down the hatches and huddles indoors
    It was always plainly obvious this was the problem on board the ships

    Media’s trying to put across the false idea that this wasn’t known all along; with all the talk of aerosols, droplet sizes and speeds. It was absolutely assumed as a precaution

    I can prove without doubt that it was, (not that it should be necessary except media makes it necessary. So it’s those with the microphones who are withholding information which could save lives, not one man with a Twitter account like every other person

    It’s the messaging and interference with it, that has caused more illness. Media seem only interested in constructing a a political point but then pretend to care about the loss of life.

    It is THEY who are, as Michael Gove said yesterday, in a different context, “building a binary division”

    The public are more intelligent and actually common sense is all you need.

    That doesn’t happen when people are made to feel afraid, told over and over again, until some, either trusting or impressionable people are convinced, that they can’t evaluate for themselves. As if basic good hygiene is a complex matter.

    It’s a way of stealing power from people subliminally

    It’s rife in some surprisingly ‘reputable’ areas of health care, where money is involved.

    It is the one strong element of the NHS which I like. That’s also why Media are now all over the NHS like a rash and turning it into a political football and another branch of the left wing.
    Briggs is correct with the title of this post as it is a general rule.
    How would it have been early on in the epidemic if all the numbers of cases were known? It would have been transformative but impossible since the test had to be invented, manufactured, tested and rolled out…which it was, at remarkable speed and a big thank you is in order to those individuals.

    That’s what Trump’s getting at when he praises the response. The US has mobilised itself and still is.

  32. john b()

    Edgewise – what’s your fascination with Cuomo?

  33. John B()

    We’re not going to watch hours worth of pandering from a political moron who failed to keep his people safe. (I’ll vouchsafe that nobody could’ve done it with total success; but Cuomo failed spectacularly and still managed to flush his state’s economy down the toilet.)

    If you’ve gleaned some argument from Cuomo that says we’re full of –IT, tell us the argument and where we’re wrong. Don’t send us to the seventh circle of hell listening to endless dribble from Cuomo.

    As Briggs said about Cuomo: The gaslighting has already begun

  34. Edgewise,

    “So “testing” is the problem?
    So—if I choose to never get checked for cancer, but I do, if fact, happen to have a tumor, does that mean I “don’t” have cancer?”

    Funny you should ask. There’s an almost exact parallel situation with cancer testing and coronavirus testing–too much, too aggressive testing reveals asymptomatic cases and ruins lives.

    Prostate cancer: When men are autopsied, many are diagnosed with prostate cancer. These men, dead from other causes, had no symptoms of cancer, their cancers were “sub-clinical” or “preclinical.” See the excerpt and link to a study below. That is, they lived full lives, with no symptoms of their cancer, and died from other causes. If they had been tested for prostate cancer (via a blood test), they’d be subjected to horrendous and invasive further testing–needle biopsies, surgeries, and all the danger and complications that come with those.

    Does that sound familiar? People with no symptoms could be tested. But what’s the point? Finding out you have “covid antibodies,” or even a “covid infection,” if you don’t have symptoms–so what? Why? To scare others?

    So, yes: Testing is a problem. Mass testing of asymptomatic people, specifically. Not necessary. Not useful. Worse than useless.

    “On the other hand, prostate cancers are identifiable in some very young men and at an increasing rate with age, suggesting that this cancer is usually a slowly developing disease with a long preclinical phase. Symptom development and clinical diagnosis mostly occur in older men if at all: many men with prostate cancer die of other causes, long before any symptoms are clinically manifest.

    “This means biopsy has a high probability of finding prostate cancers that would never have caused clinical disease,10 causing overdiagnosis,11,12 and because many are treated to ensure that all cancers are treated, overtreatment. This is a problem because of the high rates of adverse effects of treatment (such as incontinence and impotence). Ideally, screening programs should only focus on the cancers that will progress, not those that will be harmless.”

  35. Michael Edward Wright

    My large employer’s, Intuitive Surgical’s, HR department is all-in to continue the government’s crime against humanity (shut-down), with their required “training”, their absolute statements such as mask stops the spread, no mask spreads disease, parabolic growth in cases requires shut-down through the end of 2021, etc.

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