Coronavirus Update XXII: Mask Madness: Updates At End

Coronavirus Update XXII: Mask Madness: Updates At End

As I was writing this (Monday morning), a minor government official came on the radio and promised “We haven’t seen the worst yet.” What accounts for this monumental level of inaccuracy? Stupidity or mendacity?

Truly, 2020 is the year experts pretended to forget everything we knew about viruses.

A Failed Test

Please stare hard at this picture:

This is the number of daily reported coronadoom tests. This picture should amaze and appall you. If you are not stunned by this picture, you have not understood it. This is not total tests. This is the number of tests per day, which are growing, growing, growing, rising like mad.

This makes no sense on its face. Deaths are dropping, the infection is petering out, yet testing continues to soar. This is insanity. Just a couple of days back (on 10 July), there were 823,375 tests in just one 24-hour period! Over 800 thousands tests in just one day!

If you are not astonished, you do not understand.

Let me try and help. Here are the weekly deaths, updated 13 July, by the CDC.

The CDC does play “tricks” with this data, adjusting it as time goes on, adding deaths that were estimated or attributed to COVID even a few months before. But whatever. Ignore that. Deaths are still dropping.

Reported deaths, that is. This picture shows attributed deaths, estimated deaths, which we know, as we have discussed innumerable times, is most likely higher than actual coronadoom deaths. Recall the dozens of discussions and examples of “dying with” versus “dying from”.

Even given the inflation in death totals, reported deaths are dropping.

Yet testing has gone mad. Why?

Every day we’re subjected to propaganda shouting “Record number of new cases!” Demands from propagandists and government officials that you panic about this are everywhere. The mask mandates now also surging across the nation strengthen the fear.

I have said hundreds of times that propaganda works. I say it again: propaganda works. People are just as fearful now as they were at the peak of the crisis, maybe even more, because of the addition of mandated masks. The propaganda says Fear!, so people fear and rush to get tests. We’ll see below stories about the panicked waiting in endless lines to be tested.

This massive testing leads to “new” “cases”—which are almost all indications of past infections, of this bug and even other cold viruses. We know this is true because deaths are dropping. These are not, for the vast majority, true cases needing palliative treatment (there is no cure, remember?). Cases used to be symptomatic illnesses, now they are positive results on a test, even if asymptomatic.

The “new” “case” totals are added to the propaganda machine, which causes more fear, which drives more tests, which creates even more “new” “cases”, which are added to the propaganda machine, which causes more fear….

Do you get it yet?

This is mass madness. There is no other explanation. The madness is caused by propagandists and government officials who benefit by the madness. And, it must be admitted, because Americans love excess. Almost everywhere else in the world (maybe not England) the screeching pitch has subsided or is rapidly falling. Not here. We love to go crazy.

We need to find something to slow this testing down. There is no way to stop the propaganda, especially in an election year. Government officials are now actively working against citizens. What can we do?

All I can think of is get the word out that this is madness. Tell everybody you know to CALM DOWN. As somebody quipped, how deadly can the virus be if you have to be tested to know if you have it? (Or had it.)

This crisis will not end until people snap out of their fear.

Assorted Nitwittery

AP ran a story, picked up by the long-since-gone-hysterical Drudge, that showed enormous numbers of cars waiting in endless lines full of people anxious to be tested. About one man’s attempt to get the precious test, this:

The first time, he showed up an hour before the public testing site was set to close and was told they had reached capacity. He was turned away from a second center when rain shut it down, and voluntarily left a third after someone ahead of him said they had been waiting in line for more than three hours.

They continue:

Testing has been ramped up nationwide, reaching about 640,000 tests per day on average, up from around 518,000 two weeks ago, according to an Associated Press analysis. Newly confirmed infections per day in the U.S. are running at over 50,000, breaking records at practically every turn.

“More testing tends to lead to more cases found,” they allow. Tends? No! More testing, more cases period, no tends about it. They next say the positivity rate of tests is increasing, which we discussed last week and will do so again below.

Another headline: Arizona Is Awash in COVID-19 and Testing Is a ‘Shitshow’. The story was identical to the first, only with names changed. I mean the thing was written by some approved algorithm: all propaganda sounds the same.

The media, and weak government officials, are responsible for this panic shitshow. They’re scaring the crap out of everybody insisting they get tested, and then any hint of the virus is called a “new” “case”.

This whole thing couldn’t come down to money, could it? Nah. That’s a conspiracy theory.

Unmasked Evil

Did you ever notice the official coronadoom test requires sticking a long rod up into your skull, the only way to get a good sample they say, but the merest breath seeping out of a mask is enough to infect a stranger?

It was only at the end of the crisis, when deaths were dropping to near zero, that governments began in earnest the mask mandates (unless you’re going to a riot). The timing was not an accident. The excuse was always that the masks will save lives, which might have had some force at the ramp up or peak of infection rate, but is not true now. It is now clearly about control.

Karens, we have seen, are loving it. They get to lecture everybody about how evil they are about not covering their face. Government loves it because they get to show who’s really in charge.

Government has usurped the power to force people to wear masks. They did not have it before this bug hit: they assumed it for themselves after. Unless forced, they will never give it up. Imagine thinking you can make all your citizens wear masks, even indoors in their own homes!, just because you said so.

And even when the evidence shows all reasons for panic and concern are ending.

The people in charge of us are not very intelligent. They are also not very moral. Coronadoom, plus the riots and endless government-complicit vandalism, have exposed the immense rot at the top.

Alas, only those able to overcome their abnormal fear of death have recognized this rot.


What besides propaganda-driven fear accounts for the gargantuan increase in daily tests? Things like this:

Some get tested multiple times, and “cases” are over-counted. That causes an increase in positive tests. The tendency to over-ascribe deaths—-calling deaths with or deaths suspected as deaths from—is enough to account for the small uptick in daily attributed deaths we’re seeing in some localities. We are bound to get more falsely attributed deaths because of the ridiculous (and rising!) levels of testing. (Yes, some may be genuine, but good grief.)

It’s not just me saying this:

People really are nuts when it comes to testing. Suppose you get a test and get word you are a negative. You therefore likely don’t have the bug, or haven’t had it. Will you never get it, then? No. The only thing you can do is keep going, keep getting new tests, until eventually you get a positive result.

And if you’re asymptomatic, why get the test anyway? If you don’t have any symptoms, what do you hope to accomplish? Why are you getting tested? Because government and propagandists told you to. And you obey.

The increases in testing can’t be accounted for just by people lining up to be tested. We’re almost at a million tests per day. Hospitals must be ramping up testing on everybody walking through the door, for any complaint. Anything and anybody they can get their hands on is being tested, almost certainly many times per person in some cases (it’s not unusual for other diseases). That too could account for increasing positivity rates.

The “experts” in charge of us must know all of this. Why are the over-reacting?

Want to see the weekly all cause deaths?

They’re down at usual levels. Nobody in authority cares. This thing has now become entirely political, if it ever wasn’t. (Last three weeks are dots; the dashed line is all cause death minus reported coronadoom deaths.)

Look, it does not take a genius level intelligence to figure this stuff out. Any scientist back in days of yore could quickly discern what is happening. The testing is driving “case” discovery, which is driving testing and over-attribution of deaths.

So why aren’t more scientists saying so? The data isn’t hard to get. It costs almost nothing in time to do the analysis. The only answer is that scientists are: (1) infatuated with models over observation; (2) frightened to speak out against government, their money source; or (3) they’re in on it, hoping to benefit.


Still, maybe it is growing worse out there, as this thread suggests. Please do NOT comment on it unless you read it in its entirety.

What about those ICU beds?


Florida COVID-19 Testing Numbers in Doubt After Orlando Health Admits Widespread Reporting Errors

The Florida Department of Health is scrambling after fraud was discovered in how COVID-19 testing rates were being reported across the state.

After the health department released a report showing a stunning statewide positivity rate of 11 percent, analysis of the numbers revealed severe irregularities. Many labs reported 100 percent positivity, meaning that every test came back positive.

In addition to the labs reporting 100 percent positivity, there were other testing facilities that reported abnormal levels of positive tests. FOX 35 found that Centra Care reported that 83 people who submitted tests were all counted as positive. The Orlando Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center reported a 76 percent positivity rate, NCF Diagnostics reported tests at a 88 percent positivity rate, and Orlando Health reported a 98 percent positivity rate.

I’m wondering if this is even wrong, since if these tests are picking up any coronavirus antibodies, as some are suggesting, and given everybody has had a cold before, then the tests would tend to come back with a lot of positives.

Orange County inflated its coronavirus test numbers by mistakenly including antibody tests, officials say (LA Times)

Serology tests, which officials say are not meant to be included in the cumulative testing figure, determine whether the body has mounted an immune response to the virus in recent weeks or months. Those tests are not reliable in determining whether someone is sick at the moment of testing, experts say.

I believe we have all had enough of “experts” by this point.

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  1. John B()

    Did you ever notice the official coronadoom test requires sticking a long rod up into your skull, the only way to get a good sample they say, but the merest breath seeping out of a mask is enough to infect a stranger?

    Never noticed – ’nuff said

  2. crank

    With the greatest respect for all the truly admirable work that you have done over the months to correct the statistical chicanery, straighten the false narrative and produce a most dependable estimation of the actual effects of ncov2, I really do not think that there is much chance -at this point, of persuading Covid-devotees away from their emotional investments. We are clearly descending further into a spiral of hysteria and crowd mentality – the essence of which is the rejection of anyone who threatens the individual’s sense of ‘belonging’ to the mob psyche. Powerful political and economic forces clearly are at work to stoke and shape this hysteria for purposes of a transformation – the extent of which we can only guess at.
    If reason can be so totally inverted, where that leaves any of us I am either unknowing or unwilling to express here.
    God help us all, and thank you for your writing.

  3. John Garrett


    Briggs nails it.

  4. Anita Dunne

    This is possibly the most sensible article I have yet read about COVID. It should – must – be retweeted indefinitely until it breaks the net.

  5. JR Ewing

    Down here in suburban Houston (and presumably elsewhere in Texas and the USA), schools are starting to chicken out about the upcoming school year because the TEACHERS ARE SCARED OUT OF THEIR WITS. And we don’t even have a union here. A large majority of the teachers are just refusing to go back. Some of it is just laziness wanting to keep lounging around the house as long as they can, but most of it really is fear that if they go back they will get sick and die. They really believe that.

    They’ve been spoon fed the panic for so long they are incapable of letting go of the fear. And now the kids are going to suffer even more from the lack of structure and socialization and extracurricular activities and competition.

    Might need to revise the old aphorism: “Those who can, think for themselves and look past the propaganda. Those who can’t, refuse to teach.” yada yada yada

  6. JR Ewing

    I meant to conclude by saying that the only way out of this is through. People are just going to have to see for themselves that it’s not the end of the world and it’s not especially risky for normal people to live normal lives. If the teachers just went back for a month, they’d see the truth and their fear would dry up. You can’t force them to do it, but there will have to be some sort of observable reality before they change their minds. Hell, I myself have thought about volunteering to teach at my kids school for the first semester if it meant that some other teacher realized that they were being silly and selfish.

    And really, that’s the answer for society and is the reason for mask orders and the pivot to cases. Government loves this shit and CANNOT allow people to go back to normal because if they do, this whole thing ends in a matter of days.

  7. awildgoose

    Is anyone else completely embarrassed by their fellow Americans falling so hard for this hoax?

    “Land of the free, home of the brave.”

    Yeah, right.

  8. Michael Dowd

    Thanks for the update Briggs. The Virus and the stock market have something in common. Both overextended and overblown. Wonder which will crash first.

  9. Sheri

    Not astonished at the testing rate. Saw it coming. I said testing was evil and would bite us.

    After thoroughly educating the sales clerk at Menards about my feelings on the sheep mask crap and nearly making her cry (another 30 seconds…..) which she deserved, I will NEVER go near that communist craphole again. They know what they can do with their mask.

    Masks are what the medicine men wore in days of old, while rattling their gourds and dancing about in a headdress and feathers. Think of that every time you see an idiot with a mask. At least it adds humor to the mass insanity.

  10. Nym Coy

    I hope the schools stay closed and more and more families switch to homeschooling, eliminating the primary indoctrination route. What an amazing own-goal by the establishment! So many new homeschools opened in NC this month that the website crashed.

  11. David

    I’m already against the next virus related safety measure.

    Also, stop using the enemy’s language. 45 people did not die of Covid in Florida yesterday. There are 2 very big lies in that statement.

    45 people that were or probably were Covid positive patients at time of death, that may or may not have died of covid, died over the past 2-3 months, and those deaths were reported in Florida yesterday.

  12. crank

    ‘Here’s a little summary of Burundi’s recent history:

    The president of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, dismissed covid19 as nonsense.
    The president of Burundi was vilified in the Western press.
    The president of Burundi expelled the World Health Organization from his country.
    The president of Burundi died suddenly of a “heart attack”.
    The NEW president of Burundi immediately reversed his predecessor’s Covid19 policies.’

  13. Sheri

    Why you should never trust the “official” numbers when science and math say the reporters are LIARS. I think they were emboldened by climate science, where lies get bigger all the time and no one blinks.

  14. awildgoose


    So that’s what the CIA is spending our tax dollars on these days!

  15. Rudolph Harrier

    They put through a mandatory mask order in my city. What I found most notable were the exceptions. For example, there is an exception for when you are driving, if you are not with anyone of another household. And there is an exception for when you are exercising outside, if you are at least 6 feet from anyone else.

    But the ordinance itself only applies to indoor public businesses and enforcement is done primarily through threatening the business’s license for non-compliance. So there shouldn’t be any way for the city to force you to wear a mask outside or in your car period. And looking through the laws, they really don’t seem to have any mechanism for doing that.

    But they put through “exceptions” for special cases to give you the impression that they do have control over all of your actions once you leave your front door (and possibly before?).

  16. Rudolph Harrier

    More generally, here is the situation in Minnesota:

    Huge amount of testing. About 1 in 7 people have been tested. Current testing is about 20,000 per day in a state of about 5.6 million people.

    Daily deaths have been steadily trending downwards since June 6. Now there are less than 10 deaths per day and generally at least half of these occur in long term care facilities.

    Hospitalizations have also been trending downwards since the end of May. Currently we have less cases in hospitals than we have had since mid-April.

    So of course Governor Walz today extended the state of emergency. The rationale given was, of course, the increased number of cases.

  17. Only one family of viruses cause the common cold. That’s the rhinovirus family. Only one family of viruses cause influenza. That’s the influenza virus family. Other families of viruses cause cold-like or flu-like illnesses. Coronaviridae is but one of these.

    Please stop making classification errors and untidying your mind.

  18. Ray

    I remember the Hong Kong flu of 1968-69 that killed an estimated 100,000 people in the USA, when the population was about 200 million. Nobody panicked as the flu killed thousands of people. I was on active duty in the Navy, deployed to beautiful SE Asia, and we made a port call in Hong Kong. Nobody cared if there was a flu epidemic or worried about catching the flu. I don’t recall anybody contracting the flu. Today there are too many frightened snowflakes who want the government to keep them safe.

  19. Fredo

    We’re on tap for 29 million foreclosures and evictions this month,
    10 trillion has been put on the collective credit card, and stocks
    are surging. Covid is the gift that just keeps on giving now sit back and
    watch as the pyramid swells at it’s base. Last haircut was 2008 we were
    overdue, social unrest is a welcome sign we’re moving in the right
    direction. This of course is just a random act of nature that the really
    smart people saw coming in ‘Event 201’. And don’t worry they’ve also
    game theorized the solution and ‘The Great Reset’ is just waiting in the
    wings. They haven’t tried to hide anything and are just here to help you
    stay safe as they reap the whirlwind of ever greater concentrations of
    wealth and power. If you feel helpless it’s because you’re supposed to.

  20. FatimaNow

    The only way out of this is through reparation to God. We have turned from Him and don’t even realize this. During the Prussian French War the parents of the future St Therese of Lisieux pondered if anyone had asked Sister Bernadette (Lourdes) to pray for intervention. It was reported that Sister Bernadette said there was nothing she could do because not enough Catholics were praying. When asked if she was fearful she said she only feared bad Catholics. Please pray the rosary every day and offer reparation for sins of blasphemy, heresy, athiesm, communism and the desecration of holy days. Pray for the consecration of Russia by the Pope and all the Bishops of the world, regardless of who the pope is! That’s not our problem ~ we just have to do the praying. Make sacrifices and do good works and if we turn back to Him, He will answer our prayers and heal our lands.

  21. Peter

    The only good outcome of all this scaremongering is that we are finally moving the workforce online, allowing us to work from home (anywhere in the world), away from overpaid micromanagers, less time in traffic but more time with family. As such, i will play along with the scaremongering for a while longer.

  22. Joy

    dquarles, (not @dquarles but in support of:)
    Yes, URTI and LRTI by clinical description, upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Nobody in the clinic is confused. Or let’s say nobody with clinical decision making responsibilities

    Over and over ‘we’ see assertions implying otherwise but always based on responses from non clinical staff and usually politically motivated members of the public or media spokespeople.
    “For information about covid go to Twitter????” (the blue link at the bottom of the post). That’s not rigorous, it’s a recipe for a circular argument

    I did hear on CNN, BECAUSE I CAN”T GET FOX, that one hospital is asking for another twenty ventilators, fourteen physios and twenty eight ITU nurses.
    It isn’t a horse race…it reminds me of some of the discussions about sea ice extent only they were worth staying up for learned loads from reading those discussions

    I’m too irritate to comment any further.
    Going to find music instead
    You’re all rubbish and I hate you all

  23. Dean Ericson

    Our daily dose of sanity.

    Thank you.

  24. Joshua

    @Jonathan Graehl

    Briggs has linked in the past as the source for the weekly deaths. They’re based on death certificate codes. It’s easy enough to copy into a spreadsheet and make your own chart if you have doubts – I did.

  25. Ray

    Jonathan has the chart for the cumulative COVID-19 deaths in the United States. Just take the derivative of that chart and you should get Dr. Briggs chart of the death rate.

  26. Uncle Mike

    Dear Joy,

    No, you don’t.

    Thanks for the Sandy Denny reprise. Sadly her time went by quickly, like a falling star.

  27. John B()

    Uncle Mike

    You’re sweet


    As Briggs’ ALL CAUSE chart shows there are 3 “undefined /under reported” points (actually there are 4).

    6/20/2020 …… 2961
    6/27/2020 ….. 1876
    7/4/2020 ………. 967
    7/11/2020 ……. 905
    We had been falling by 1000 +- since mid May
    falling by 2000+-from mid April to Mid May
    We now have “the second wave” starting after the fourth
    I’m guessing it won’t be much of a “wave” but we’ll probably hover around 900 for a while until things iron out

  28. Pasquale Rollo

    This was excellent and so well thought out. Brilliantly written, I couldn’t say it better. I will add though that we may be at the point of no return for our society. The Mask Nazis have practically won, the propaganda is spreading faster than the virus at it’s peak. We are proving it everyday how susceptible we are to lies, and to think that there is even more panic now when we are nearing the end of the virus while the rest of the world has moved on. We should have followed Sweden’s lead but instead, our President pokes fun at Herd Immunity, Anti-bodies, & T-Cell Immunity. Up is down, right is wrong, nothing makes sense anymore and science is fiction. I’ll keep fighting every day, but unless we wage war, and I mean full out war with the left in this country, we may as well change our name to Ameritopia.

  29. Sheri

    Interesting thing about masks. The “Karens” prove the wearers KNOW the masks don’t work. If they did, it would not matter if others wore them. At best, people MIGHT believe the masks keep one from spewing out germs. However, the protection is absolutely ONE WAY. The masks stop nothing whatsoever from coming in. If there are Covid virus in the room, they run right through those masks. It has to be that way. If the masks actually worked, people wearing them would be protected and maskless people would not. It’s all a LIE and that’s so obvious if you have a brain (a commodity in sadly low numbers, I know). It’s a sheep cult mask and it identifies the people who don’t understand science and who can be easily herded with a couple of well-trained dogs to keep them in line.
    (Considering NONE of the surgical and certainly not the homemade versions are certified to protect against Covid and the manufacturers and CDC and Mayo Clinic and on and on all say the masks DO NOT have any proof of protection, it is amazing how stupid humans are. Might as well use an acifidity bag. At least it encourages social distances, often of more than six feet.)

  30. Joy

    Ah.. Uncle Mike is always sweet

  31. John B()

    I was trying to be a bit provocative

    WorldOMeter seems to show that we’re “redoing” “June” in July

    I realize it’s almost impossible to correlate WorldOMeter data with CDC data
    It does seem to suggest that you can make vague allusions to CDC data with WoM and by extrapolating the “missing deaths” in the CDC data does seem to support a flat wave (Call it a tidal pool) since July 4th and will at least continue into the next report if not until the end of July.

  32. Brad Tittle

    I do wear my mask into the stores. My apologies for not trying to educate anyone on the idiocy. I suspect most people are not the Mask Nazis. At least most of the people I interact with are just playing the game. As nice as it might be to win a war with the barrista at the coffee stand, she doesn’t want to wear her mask. At the same time, she doesn’t want to have to deal with a brawl in front of her stand as Maskers and Anti-maskers face off. I want my coffee bastards, go fight over there in the park. Leave the nice barrista alone.

    Peter managed to get a lot of people elected.

    I am guilty of night standing up and fighting the people who are just trying to get their job done as efficiently as the idiots let them and get home to their family.

    Unfortunately, everyone one in this forum is guilty of letting this happen. Our host tried valiantly to head this off at the pass. But to head it off at the pass, someone has to spend a significant time paying attention to what our STTS has been teaching. Most of us found him because we were questing to find better answers to the idiotic that was running in front of us. Briggs, Brignell, and Milloy all had answers much closer to what seemed to be true than any in the mainstream…

    15 years ago, one of the top professions to get into was “EPIDEMIOLOGIST”. None of us applied.

    To be fair, none of us would have been hired.

    Perhaps I exaggerate.

  33. Joy

    (I don’t hate anyone)
    Masks are a side show. The only fights about them are in the media and on social media, evidently. It’s silly to get in a tiz because you’re mandated to wear one while there’s an infectious disease going round.

    Discussions about effectiveness and indication for wearing masks is at least fifteen years old according to our deputy chief medical officer.
    A prior knowledge of infection control in general is helpful in knowing what to do for the best. The average member of the public can make their own choices but in a world where media claims there are black and white answers always, and never any risk, politicians feel forced to make sweeping rules. Left wing politicians just take advantage of the situation to demonstrate power and control, or to undermine the right wing government to promote negativity about the leader. Joining in and criticising is helping the other side.
    Instead of declaring war and saying “it’s a hoax” while your fellow countrymen are all hands on deck, rather leave it to the rapid response of anyone who is charged with the helping out:

    Army, Navy, Airforce, medical staff, engineers, logistics people, porters, chemists, executive deciders, administrators, mopper uppers, tea ladies, head cooks and bottle washers …
    On testing:
    Direct response from the Austrian and German “designated experts”, (*during another interrogation session in select committee by zoom call, from very early on), revealed that they are as yet unclear about WHY they have had less death! This was seconded very recently by one of our virology scientists who said it is as yet unclear that massive testing is the true reason why Germany had less fatality from the disease. Anyone with a small amount of imagination can work this out from the numbers. *not that I trust most countries to tell the truth, but they can’t hide the bodies. Most of us have some grasp of what countries ae really like on the inside

    There are other theories floating about. Testing is simply an integral part of the diagnostic and treatment tool kit. One which should not be denied and modern health care provider if at all possible. Each country had a different epidemic. Totally different seeding, that’s my theory, or one of them.
    London Heathrow is the busiest airport in the world; Obviously a hub, like New York, with similar amounts of travel…the whole thing can be tracked back through time which will give massive clues. If your initial seeds are from mobile individuals you’ve got a bigger problem than if they’re all stuck in one institution of wall flowers.

    Saw a brilliant Texas, Sherif being interrogated by a haughty news anchor. He said he’s not going to be the mask police!
    Bless him.

    He was all there and half way back. People on the right shouldn’t be panicking either, the way the comments imply that they are. I say to them,
    “it’s not the end of the world”. Nobody said it was
    If the media and commenters were allowed inside every medical room all the time, they’d be even more of this rubbish. It would literally be bedlam.

    Checking worldOMmeter’s numbers
    There have been an extra three or four hundred on the serious/critical list over the last few days which suggested there will increase in rate of death for a time at least.

    “We should have followed Sweden’s lead”!!
    It’s like ground hog day.

    Sweden’s authorities would not agree since they have reconsidered with hindsight that they could have saved more lives with an earlier and more enforced shut down.

    As mentioned, Sweden and the UK were called “Outliers” or worse, because we didn’t shut down or have imminent plans to do so. Sweden did lose more people than their Scandinavian counterparts. When questioned by media, they have explained that they never planned NOT to shut down, it was not ruled out. Their epidemic course was different from other countries and the jury’s still out on what was and was not avoidable, (aside from the plainly obvious).
    There’s no point repeating something which isn’t true. It will make people even more confused.

  34. Veronica

    Pardon me if this is an ignorant question but I would really love to know the answer. Who is paying for all these tests (in the US)? Obviously, if you get tested at a clinic or hospital, your insurance or Medicare or Medicaid would be responsible (I guess), but what about at these massive, free walk up testing facilities set up in high schools, churches, sports stadiums? I read somewhere that the tests cost at least $155 apiece, and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the pharmaceutical companies are not giving these out for free out of the goodness of their hearts, but rather are making serious bank. Who pays for all these “free” tests?

  35. john b()

    Good question – I’m making a guess
    I believe CDC or US Gov is paying for actual testing
    Manning the operations are probably up to the state.
    (I remember seeing a YouTube of a congresswoman holding the CDC’s feet to the fire about who would pay for the care of the uninsured … CDC was?)

    Masks – A day too late for this article

    Started watching Critical cases too late to make any judgments there
    I’m encouraged that US “Closed Cases” ratio continues to climb despite new cases climbing

  36. Joy

    John B
    Just checked on the “now/yesterday/2days” switch and the number doesn’t show the rise from the late fifteen thousands to now approaching mid sixteen thousand people in critical care.

    Since the vaccine’s going to save the day, along with the improved management responses (at all departments of healthcare), executive and clinical, people bleating about hoaxes will have more fodder to show there was “nothing to worry about, see?” and those on the left can just keep picking over the bones and winding everybody up.

    Veronica: I’m guessing: iIt depends who’s doing the accounting. If they want to inflate the cost they count the wear on the shoes of the people standing out in the rain and the cost of the biscuits for tea break.
    If they want tit to sound cheap they say it’s about a couple of pounds per test, which it is.

    Thee are enough people who would be willing to work for nothing to administer tests should the cost be so much of a problem
    That might be a good way of getting people involved in doing something
    Testing is a necessary cost. Unless one is of the opinion that the entire thing should have been left to chance, to which there’s no answer, I suppose.

    The idea IS to go out and HUNT DOWN cases. Not for political point scoring, but to get a hold of information about the virus and track it. Would that we had more testing earlier on, we’d have had a different supposed ‘mortality rate”.
    I’m ho[ping they eventually count all the antibody positive people so that can be added to the cases count.

    One of the reasons Trump asserts a low rate of death, quite rightly, is because his country has tested so many early on. That’s a good thing, on paper, at least. How people have managed to construe it otherwise is remarkable.

    Fauci could have made so many things so much clearer but he let Trump flounder as a non medical person would. In front of the microphones and cameras. This was only possible because of Trump’s off the cuff style, which is usually refreshing compared with the staged, insincere statements of his predecessor.

    How would it be if Fauci were questioned on matters of trade and business while his hired help (which is Fauci’s position) made no amendments, preempted NO ambiguity, clarified nothing?

    What is Fauci’s actual job if it isn’t all of those thing?

    “Experts should be on tap not on top”

  37. Joy

    @ Sir SFT William The Bloggerer and Twitterpator:
    Cptn Tom’s being awarded by the Queen today
    If you’re good, you could be on the list! one day…

  38. Joy

    G for galant, not F for frog

  39. john b()


    Staff SGT Willie “not Soon” Briggs would have to wait another 30 years and raise money for a cause he *ahem* denies.

    I think I remember that at one time one in six people in ICU died from CoViD?
    (8 out of 9 died if put on ventilator – I guess now it’s around 1 in 3 that die on ventilator). Last week critical patients were in the mid 16000’s as well. Even if only 1 out of fifteen now die in ICU, that represents ~1000 future deaths.

  40. john b()

    G for gallant, not F for frog

    Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of being a king? And then became one
    Well, except for the names and a few other changes If you talk about Briggs, the story’s the same one

  41. The thing I watch, mostly, is the actual deaths to date to expected deaths to date by week. Locally, this thing has not been bad. There were several hot spots over time. Most weeks have been under expected (model/guessed) deaths.

    What we need to know but don’t: True prevalence, true and false positive rates for each kind of test, true and false negative rates for each kind of test, so we can work out the positive predictive value (which our host stresses!).

    What we also know, or should, if we knew biology: 1, An unknown fraction will be immune just because they do not have the proper receptor. 2. An unknown fraction will be immune via cross-reactivity from other, similar infections. 3. An unknown fraction will spread it, unknowingly, because they are asymptomatic (this may change over time). You become infectious before you get symptoms, if you get them. Symptoms are from local tissue damage and response to such damage. Responses are stereotypical, so not only not unique, a feel for true prevalence must be there to properly classify true cases. 4. An unknown fraction will get a mild illness, from which they recover (they’ll die from something else). 5. An unknown fraction will get a moderate fraction will get a more severe illness, some of whom will recover and some will not. 6. An unknown fraction will get a severe illness, some of whom will recover and some will not; where more of these will not. The more sickly of the population will likely have more of those who have a severe illness and succumb, either directly from it or via worsening of the other conditions. 7. Everyone’s physical body will die, some sooner than others. And the span of a man’s years shall be 120.

  42. John B()

    RE: Extrapolating ? From 7/14/20
    6/20/2020 …… 2961
    6/27/2020 ….. 1876
    7/4/2020 ………. 967
    7/11/2020 ……. 905
    No Dead Reckoning allowed (pun not originally intended)

    New Numbers as of today 7/16/20:
    6/20/2020 …… 3258
    6/27/2020 ……. 2501
    7/4/2020 ……… 1440
    7/11/2020 ……… 413

  43. Joy

    Did some rigorous investigation to check my facts and discover the The Frog King is the same as the frog prince!!

    I’m sayin’ nuffin’

    I have a frog prince Christmas tree decoration which. From many years ago.
    I do like frogs, real ones, they’re adorably cute

    I’m going to work them into my children’s story which (you were right) I have been writing, for little girls, proper ones.

    Problem is, having been strongly influenced by such works as the Tale of Jeremy Fisher, it could pose some diplomatic problems with one of the main characters. In light of his dietary requirements.

    When you said about writing a story the other day, My Dad had been telling me to get the story out and start working on it again. It’s on the defunded computer which my brother now has on a memory thing. It was just something I did while waking in the night a couple of years back.

    Real girls need proper stories, like the ones we were loved as children.

    I’ve got a page on ventilators and covid 19 but being a Squirrel Nutkin, I’m a bit busy for all that right now. The US has got it covered. They can do at least as well as the UK, which it’s going to be shown, did pretty well, after all.

  44. John B()


    Re: Jeremy and dietary needs

    Are you referring to Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise eating salads

    … or Jeremy eating a butterfly sandwich (later roasted grasshopper with Isaac Newton)

    I would not say you are intentionally impertinent

    I like the Story of Miss Moppet (where being too small is no excuse)
    The Frog King is at the 2:00 minute mark

  45. Eli Rabett

    Chuck Woolery announced Wednesday his son has tested positive for COVID-19, he then tweeted “To further clarify and add perspective, Covid-19 is real and it is here. My son tested positive for the virus, and I feel for of those suffering and especially for those who have lost loved ones” and deleted his account.

    Hope the son recovers.

  46. Joy

    John B talking to you is like talking to me
    even though we don’t necessarily agree
    I knew those lyrics to sing, but didn’t twig

    “defunded”? … defunKed, broken

    Don’t like to be a pedant, but really those lyrics don’t make sense, the frog wasn’t some wandering minstrel, OH! I see, Mr Diamond’s trying to elicit sympathy with his fans!

    Doubt these fellows realise that girls have Dads who’ve tried all the sympathy tricks?

    He was under a spell from some wicked witch, turned into a frog and had to find a fair maid to kiss him better, or something, I checked at source AND it’s been very well peer reviewed in the public domain

    The story doesn’t make sense but then I listened to some guy on YouTube who later in the comments admitted he was drunk when he recorded it!

    What I recall, the Frog turns instantly into a prince but has to acquire a kiss, first.
    It wasn’t a well it was a Lilly pond. The golden ball is just a ploy to induce gratitude, so she was only saying thank you really, hardly a recipe for happily ever after!
    On the ventilators and covid, it’s Cuomoesque, to think ventilators are the cause of the demise of the patients in every example. Like claiming everybody who breathed dies so breathing causes death. Cuomo kind of implied this during his daily briefings

    Appropriate candidate selection and tightening of respiratory care standards are the real reason for the increased number of good outcomes in intubated patients. Early use of respiratory support intervention and use of CPAP, the latter not being a new phenomenon but media wants you to think so

    SARS 1 & 2 were not the first instance of ARDS/SARDS, as it was called.
    So ITU staff had some clue.

    The media again are trying to further mystify the disease because fear of the unknown is what they seek to harness, in much of the talk about the condition

    On hearing how they speak about patient management one of the notable themes is how they think everything being done is brand new in terms of interventions. The news reporter knows NOTHING, so they assume the staff know nothing either. Not a way to help public trust in medical care, similar to what they’ve done to the reputation of the police, lately.

    Briggs is a cynic about medical Drs,
    BLM want to do away with cops
    It’s rebellion against public authority

    Use of Dexamethasone knocked out one in eight deaths amongst ventilated patients.
    Even though it was one of the many options, not necessarily innovative, clarification on its effectiveness will have taken strain off ITU and improved survival rate.
    So it’s a tightening and sharpening of the treatment intervention.
    Discovering best practice. How healthcare works all the time but some are getting upset about this revelation about another fact of life
    Mr Rabbit,
    When they said they didn’t think it existed, I thought they were just exaggerating! Can people be so stupid?

    What is wrong with people

  47. john b()

    @Briggs :
    (did you see tucked in with your Florida update?)

    Briggs is a cynic about medical Drs,
    This is wrong; Briggs is a cynic about medical Drs. who are “experts”
    [Briggs: I believe we have all had enough of “experts” by this point.]

    RE: When they said they didn’t think it existed, I thought they were just exaggerating!
    I don’t think Chuck Woolery said that it didn’t exist

    Rabbit, Joy :: that was NOT apparently Chuck’s last tweet (according to Heavy):
    The media, politicians, and Media have significant impact on our economy, elections, and our way of life, and I believe reporting theories as fact is very dangerous thing to do. We need facts.
    — Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) July 13, 2020

  48. Joy

    Media are the ones wheeling out the ‘experts’, who just so happen to be saying what MEDIA want people to hear and think. The politicians tell people what PEOPLE want to hear given what they’ve been led to believe. That’s the direction and drain on quality of information flow and it therefore determines who has power, as Wooley’s quote describes. It is mind control and Churchill was right.

    One would have thought It easy enough to break that chain of transmission without impinging on the holy freedom of the press.
    Starting with the internet and more choice for customers on so called search engines which seem more like supply chains of media class
    One example of Briggs’ cynicism would be his claiming that Drs put patients on ventilators because they cough. Or objecting to a positive test being called what it is. I expect he’s joking but…
    “Nuke’m from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure” was one of his funniest lines. Probably because he doesn’t mean it

  49. john B()

    Media are the ones wheeling out the ‘experts’, who just so happen to be saying what MEDIA want people to hear and think.

    When they can! I was ‘listening’ to a podcast and the podcaster replayed CNN or MSNBC or some such outlet and in the segment a correspondent was talking to pediatricians discussing the effect this was having on yung’uns.
    At the end of the segment, the correspondent asked whether schools should reopen and to a person the pediatricians said “Yes! The schools should reopen.” I guess the primary host was at a loss and it showed.

    I’m assuming the segment fell out of rotation or it was severely edited.

    Briggs’ attitude about drs. A post awhile ago spoke about pressures put on some NY drs. whom Briggs had worked with/for – he expressed admiration for them.

    yes Briggs can be prone to hyperbole

  50. John B()

    Here’s the YouTube (with a sarcastic edit) – yes MSNBC


    (I dropped my old FireFox and lost my defaults – so my name has been all over the board with caps and lowercase)

  51. Joy

    John B, perhaps someone could do a montage of the times when the news anchors don’t get the answers they expected. I love it when that happens
    Briggs’ attitude about drs. A post awhile ago spoke about pressures put on some NY drs. whom Briggs had worked with/for – he expressed admiration for them.

    That’s one of the things that lead me to say things like “he’s not really a curmudgeon but wants to be talked out of it”

    I’ve seen those kinds of remarks as well in the distant past.

    Briggs calling, though he doesn’t know it yet, is to work closely with clinicians, along with quite a few know alls on here who’re such good thinkers and excellent at armchair ‘logic’.

    Clinical reasoning doesn’t give you the time, for perfection, and decisions aren’t always made in a philosophically ‘clean’ environment.

    In research, people get help with their ‘studies that show’, or their quality research even. There’s a disconnect and a huge gap which needs filling. Working out the practicalities and costs though could be problematic.

    I’m thinking they should make all statisticians involved in clinical work, (as students), do one year’s placement, shadowing and generally getting under the foot, working with not just senior clinical staff but in settings where it really all happens (while the consultant’s on the golf course)

    That way, they can get more into the thinking of some of these people. There’s NO evidence, that I have seen, so far, to show that anything like this ever goes on. I say that with RESPECT to some of the most objective and experienced commenters on here with that kind of background; with possible exception of those who know they don’t know

    John Lennox said something about this but I can’t find the video any more. He is involved with palliative care. He said something along the same lines about the void.

    Even legal eagles, architects;- have to do time, Medics, even physios (in England, US ones aren’t the full ticket)

    *Statisticians can do what they like, so they usually do, charging telephone numbers for their services.
    (*)that was hyperbole

    Research is the theory, clinical work is the reality of what happens and is bound to be closer to actual cause/truth.

  52. R

    Fantastic information. Thanks for sharing.

  53. Rhetocrates

    Dr Briggs,

    May I ask where you are getting your data? I ran a quick sanity check on the CDC’s data that I got from (webpage: and my weekly deaths graph looks like this:

    I think this still basically supports your points above about the insane disconnect of the narrative vs the actual pandemic, but more importantly I don’t want to be hoodwinked and I don’t necessarily trust my data source, so if you have a better one, I’d love to see it.


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