The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe — Coronavirus Update XXXV

The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe — Coronavirus Update XXXV


The book has finally arrived! Spread it far, and Spread it wide; Spread it till it hurts inside.

Here’s the PR:

For the first time in history, the world shut itself down—by choice—all for fear of a virus, COVID-19, that wasn’t well understood. The government, with the support of most Americans, ordered the closure of tens of thousands of small businesses—many never to return. Almost every school and college in the country sent its students home to finish the school year in front of a computer. Churches cancelled worship services. “Social distancing” went from a non-word to a moral obligation overnight. Moral preening on social media achieved ever new heights.

The world will reopen and life will go on, but what kind of world will it be when it does? It can’t be what it was, because of what’s just happened.

Professors Jay Richards, William Briggs, and Douglas Axe take a deep dive into the crucial questions on the minds of millions of Americans during one of the most jarring and unprecedented global events in a generation.

  • What will be the total cost in dollars, lives, and livelihoods of this response from governments, on advice from Science?
  • What role have national and global health organizations such as WHO played in this? To whom are they accountable?
  • What evidence do they rely on in sounding the alarm?
  • How did science bureaucrats, relying on murky data and speculative computer models, gain the power to shut down the global economy?
  • How did politicians, who know nothing of the science, decide whom to trust?

We need to know what and how it happened, to keep it from ever happening again.

You can see I’ve been promoted in the press release of the year’s only must have book to my old rank of professor—though the only rank of which I have ever been cared for was Staff Sergeant. I was fired from being a professor for the same charge they nailed Socrates on.

Although all three of us touched all parts, Richards mainly handled all the economics and moral arguments, Axe the biology and other science, and me the numbers. There’s a ton of material in here never put on the blog. We had to wrap up writing around the first of June, so all the most recent numbers you’ll still find here every week—until the government has the guts to call an end.

After you buy a copy (which all of you, of course, will do), please post a positive, glowing, embarrassingly fawning review at Amazon.


I and both of my co-authors are available any time for interviews. Use the Contact page.

Jay interviewed on Mornings with Gail.

Lockdown Reversal Shows That When Science Conflicts With Politics, WHO Chooses Politics

Dr. Anthony Fauci Should Listen to His Earlier Self: Put Not Your Trust in Models

An Alternative to Lockdowns: Declaration Offers Trump a Chance to Lead on ‘Science’. “It’s baseless to assume that the benefit of lockdowns outweighs their harm.”

Stats Hold a Surprise: Lockdowns May Have Had Little Effect on COVID-19 Spread. “Data suggest mandatory lockdowns exacted a great cost, with a questionable effect on transmission.”

The Idea for Pandemic Lockdowns Started With a High School Science Project.

Is The Wuhan Coronavirus Really A Chinese Bioweapon?

Are Healthcare Workers at Far Greater Risk of Death from COVID-19? The Numbers Say No.

Many more to come!


BMJ Open: A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers. “Results: The rates of all infection outcomes were highest in the cloth mask arm…”

Bwaha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…dear Lord save us from the Cult of Masks!


I repeat my fear that with the ridiculous and increasing levels of testing, the regular cold and flu season—and its associated infections, hospitalizations, and deaths—will be used to juice the panic. Be watchful for this.

Important: See the new perspective plot below.


Sources: daily tests, CDC official toll number one, number two (the old weekly file, now suspect).

Headlines everywhere are blaring—and lying—about “new cases!” Cases! Cases! These are not cases. These are positive tests, and the new ones are driven by the insane and getting insaner levels of testing. Here is the number of daily tests:

We now test an average of a million a day. A million. One million. And it’s only going up. Of course “new” “cases” will increase!

Even if there was no virus left anywhere, because of false positives and the insane level of increased testing, increasing numbers of “new” “cases” would be reported.

I beg you will pass that bit of information on.

Just to give you a bit of flavor, here are daily tests for nine states, most of which headlines report as having “new” “cases”. I despair. Be careful! The y-axis limits change for each state, as is natural because they have different population sizes.

Here are the daily attributed deaths for those states. Watch the y-axis!

There is no crisis anywhere. Iowa and Hawaii haven’t tailed off yet, but the number of attributed deaths (likely greater than actual deaths, as we saw) are small. It is effeminate, and nuts, to ask for 0 deaths before calling an end to the panic.

I should have rearranged these to show the difference between north/northeast and south/southwest. The bug spread, as bugs do, during the cold in the north, and then spread to the warmer regions, hence the two bumps you will see in the graph below.

Here’s the CDC weekly attributed coronadoom deaths:

Even with the increases in attributed deaths—dying with instead of dying from—and hospitalizations—admitted with and not admitted from—because of huge increases in testing, the numbers are still dropping, dropping, dropping.

How low does it have to go before the panic subsides? November 3rd? That’s a joke, son.

Here are the CDC official weekly all cause death counts. As always, last three weeks are dots, it takes up to eight weeks to get all counts, but most are in by three. Dashed line is all cause minus attributed coronadoom.

CDC is still shorting its original (week 41 now) data, cutting it off a year back. No explanation why they stopped this three weeks ago. Here’s what I mean, and why I’m suspicious. This is our most shocking (to some) new perspective graph. The percentage of weekly total deaths attributed to (a) pneumonia + flu, and (b) coronadoom:

The red line relies on that weekly file, which up to three weeks ago tracked the 2020 all death numbers. It then cut off the last year (2019). So I’m using that three week old file and the new one. The new official file does not separate out pneumonia and flu from the doom, which is screwy and curious.

Interesting, is it not, that pneumonia + flu always account for a big chunk of the dead? Did you think it would be so high? This is because most who die are old and pneumonia kills a lot of old people. Coroandoom did, too. But you see, supposedly, anyway, pneumonia and flu have distinct peaks that follow along with the doom this year. This is odd, and may be why the CDC is revisiting that file.

In any case, the doom is now under the traditional and expected pneumonia + flu counts, and is dropping. Whereas, the annual self lockdown we all engage in because of the cold will begin to push the pneumonia + flu numbers back up.

Unless they start tagging pneumonia + flu as coronadoom.

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  1. JR Ewing

    You know, on a way, I understand governments doing what they’re doing. They’re the proverbial scorpion. Any excuse to take away rights and expand their own power, they’re taking it. You can’t blame them or act surprised when they do.

    What I am more upset by is my fellow Americans credulously buying into this and acting like it’s all in our best interest. And blindly buying into the panic.

    I had an email discussion with a college friend a few days ago and he kept calling my skepticism “fringy”. We ended up talking past each other in the end: he said he couldn’t believe that I didn’t understand the necessity of “protective measures against something so serious” and I kept having to tell him that I didn’t think it was that serious in the first place. He couldn’t grasp the premise of my argument, so the conclusion was nonsensical to him.

    People keep wanting to point and say, “200,000 DEAD!” but…. last year’s flu season was mild, the numbers are admittedly inaccurate and probably juiced a little bit, and deaths are way off because we know how to treat it now (see Trump). It’s in the same order of magnitude as the flu, admittedly probably a tiny bit worse, but not THAT much worse, yet our reaction has been exponentially more severe and over the top.

    Some people – my friend included – see the government reaction and conclude that it must be bad because the government would never lie or do anything that wasn’t necessary.

    Good luck on the book sales!

  2. Sheri

    I am going to say this again because it’s important: THERE IS NO TYRANNY OF THE EXPERTS. There is the consequence for stupidity and apathy of the population. The PEOPLE are the ones to blame, not the experts. THE PEOPLE.

    Actually, it will be EXACTLY the same kind of world, full of stupid, stupid sheep who are willingly slaughtered rather than actually learn a thing. Nothing changed. The stupid is strong and will continue to be.

    IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN. Humans DO NOT LEARN. I’m sorry, but that is the way it is and always has been. Yet we insist on believing that magically little fairies overnight will show up and endow humans with intelligence above that of my dog. Not happening. Never has in history and there’s zero evidence it will ever happen again. Nature will destroy many of the stupid, life will be nasty and hard, then not so hard and we’ll do it all over again. HUMANS DO NOT LEARN.

    (Come on, Biblically this was made very clear.)

    Interesting that there are those who think such behaviors can be prevented. That’s as crazy as what did happen.

    I question whether it’s possible to have enough false positives when there is no virus left to have increasing cases. Mathematically, I don’t see it.

    Kansas and Missouri death numbers look suspicious, as does Hawaii. Covid numbers look a lot like accounting–lots of numbers leading to whatever conclusion is desired. Little to no truth involved.

  3. Ann Cherry

    Good Morning Dr. Briggs. Enjoyed reading your and Mr. (Dr.?) Axe’s TownHall column, linked on Free Republic:

    The CDC has been on many people’s radar lately. I started wondering about whether they receive $$$ from Big Pharma, googled it:

    “During fiscal years 2014 through 2018, the CDC Foundation received $79.6 million from companies like Pfizer, Biogen, and Merck. Since it was created by Congress in 1995, the nonprofit organization has accepted $161 million from corporations.”

    We know that “Web MD” is a Big Pharma-funded publication (and my neighborhood website’s “official medical authority”), but what about Dr. Fauci’s (and his agency’s) various financial interests and his own “pharma-phunding”, and so forth?

    We’ve always known that “Big Health” is in bed with “Big Pharma”. But is it appropriate for a taxpayer-funded federal agency that sets public health policies, to have a Pharma-Funded “Phoundation” slush fund? This creates, at the very least, the appearance of impropriety.

    When the CDC takes big dollars from Big Pharma, and then disses and de-platforms inexpensive, safe, low-profit generic prophylactics and therapeutics, such as hydroxy/zinc, in favor of very expensive new drugs that are far more profitable to their donors…might they have financial incentive for doing so?

    Similarly, when the CDC recommends “staying indoors”, despite several studies showing that high Vitamin D levels (sunshine), reduces death rates from this particular virus, do they really have our best interests at heart?

    And when the CDC tells us to “mask up”, despite forty years of their own studies showing that masks are, at the very least, ineffective at stopping viruses, we can trust them, right? And when they discount “herd immunity” and give credit to these same masks, and to the kind of “social distancing” you get from shopping at crowded Walmarts, Costcos, and other big-box purveyors of mostly Communist Chinese merchandise… when they credit this “social distancing” for decreasing and stopping COVID-19 deaths, we can trust them there, as well, right?

    A growing number of people are ready to wear masks all of the time now, even outdoors, and force their neighbors to do the same, because “experts say” we must be fearful without them. This should scare the hell out of us, and I know you agree.

    Concurrently, millions of tests are performed every day, at great taxpayer expense, and enormous financial gain for Big Pharma, for its global government partners, and suppliers of testing kits, testing labs, and Personal Protective Equipment, so they can get as many positive tests (New cases!) as possible and keep going the cycle of fear, and of profit. “Beware the Medical-Industrial Complex!” -Ike’s offspring, or somebody not Bill Gates

    Lastly, this article about vaccines is fascinating, but may be criticized as “anti-vax” and so forth. It may even be bad science, I wouldn’t know. The discussion of Fauci’s inconsistencies regarding immunity, in the second half of the article, may be of particular interest to you, as it was to me:

    Thanks again for this great blog, Briggs. We’ll purchase your book, recommend it to others, and post a glowing review.

  4. JC


    That sounds like a horribly frustrating and discouraging interaction. Don’t give up! The solution is to set an example by remaining calm when not wearing a mask anywhere, not being repulsed at the sight of a nearby human, and not otherwise asking for a Clorox wipe as the 2000s sitcom character Monk would. Your normalcy can’t be verbalized because humans are irrationally following the leader lemming. If you continue to walk a new direction, you may win over a few and provide a tipping point for others. I hope our friends who have fallen into line can see our example and wake up. Godspeed.

  5. Matt

    JR Ewing, your comment perfectly describes my thoughts/frustration.

    JR, exactly!

  6. Matt

    Sorry, meant JC that second time! 🙂

  7. I’ve been sharing the book announcement all morning. My copy arrives Friday.

  8. brad tittle

    @Sheri — I agree with you that the people are a big part of this. I also agree with the statement that the Experts managed to lead us down the path. There are some of the Karens who are totally devoted to protecting themselves and everyone around them. There are also Karens dedicated to trying to get everyone to stop wearing their masks.

    Briggs, Brignell, and Milloy have been fighting against this outcome for at least 20 years. I don’t know that they predicted this situation, but they have all been fighting epidemiology for at least 20 years. Maybe Briggs wasn’t in full “Blow the Ps out of the water mode” for the whole time. He was close.

    Those three people should be full members of the Intellectual Dark Web. Peterson, Weinstein, and Weinstein have been attempting to do similar types of conversations to keep this dumpster fire contained for the last 5 years. I get to drive by “THE EVERGREEN COLLEGE” periodically. Do not forget the “THE”. They have it emphasized on the signs.

    I would happily not wear a mask going into stores, but I feel for the clerks. They do not need to deal with the Karens battling each other over nothing. The masks should go away, but I don’t need to make a 19 year old Barrista get between a 45 year old Karen and 60 year old Karl as they start spitting insanities at each other. If you are fighting about this in the supermarket, there is a good chance YOU are the problem, even if you are truly doing the right thing.

  9. john b()


    Well said

  10. Sheri

    Brad: I refuse to wear a mask in stores. The clerks CHOSE to work there, so not my problem. Actually, I generally have them bring the merchandise out so I never have to interact more than a minute or less with the store employees. It avoids any chance of a Karen/Karl interaction. If, like my former now worthless pharmacies that don’t have drive-up windows or won’t bring out the meds, there are other pharmacies that have drive-up windows and I definitely go there. Yes, I have told the pharmacies why I left. Honestly, they could care less. Which is why I don’t spend money or support businesses any more than I have to. If I’m the enemy, forget getting my cash and if the store doesn’t care, I don’t either. As for their employees, they probably need a better employer or they can put up with the consequences.

    There were several stores who got tired of the battles and did away with the masks. If no one had battled, we’d all be wearing full PPE and be indistinguishable from one another.

    I understand that you prefer to not make noise and that’s fine. I’m not the quiet type, however.

  11. jwm

    I’m tempted to launch one more screed on the masks, and maskatroons, but Sheri has pretty much said all I would have said, anyway. This last Saturday my bicycle club held our monthly event, a large group cruise on the Huntington/ Newport Beach bike paths here in So Cal. Fully half the beach goers were muzzled up like animals in the hot autumn sun. It’s a sight so depressing that I can scarcely bear it.
    I was talking with one of the other riders, a guy who, like me, is raging furious about the mask business, and who also refuses to wear the face diaper of submission. He knows that it’s all bullshit, but did not know where to find any information to counter the fear mongering that blasts across the TV networks. I told him to come here and read the Coronadoom posts. The biggest obstacle to Truth is the media. Sites like this are the equivalent of a brilliant folk singer with an acoustic guitar trying to share a stage with some feral troglodyte rapper and a fifty thousand watt amplifier. It’s sort of -y’know- an uphill battle. Nonetheless all we can do is try


  12. Amateur Brain Surgeon

    Mr. Briggs has opened the eye and minds of many but one wonders if his ideas are ever spoken about at Fox News.

    Even though Fox is going to hell now that the mimi-murdochs are in control, Briggs would be a great get for Hannity, Ingraham, but especially Tucker.

    It is strange to get a response from a sibling or friend when ABS sends a link to them from Briggs. Everyone of them becomes angry because he “does not agree with the experts” or “he is just making stuff up.”

    When a person loses Faith the ideology of “experts” rushed to fill the existential vacuum.

  13. Stephen J.

    The secret to understanding the mask mania, I think, is to look at it from the same perspective as the comparison of fear of flying vs. fear of driving.

    Every single stat you can find shows that one is exponentially far less likely to be hurt or killed on an airplane than in an automobile. Yet far more people are frightened of travelling by air than of travelling by car or bus. The reason? In an airplane, we have no control over the outcome, and we perceive (rightly or wrongly) far less margin for errors both fatal and nonfatal. Masks cater to the same instinctive perceptions: they represent a tangible action we can personally take that does, technically, improve our odds (if in most circumstances by a ridiculously small amount) of a safe outcome, especially since the only “safe outcome” we perceive is not getting sick or passing on the bug at all.

    I wear masks myself only under two obligatory circumstances: when entering a store that requires it (as the only people I would get to argue with about it are ordinary schlubs just trying to do their jobs who have no power to change the regs) and when paranoid family members emotionally blackmail me into it with a heartfelt, “Please? It’ll just make me feel better,” or the like.

  14. DavidC1

    Ok, no matter how much stupid general folk are at fault, still the greatest criminal is the government.

    Sheep will do what sheep will do. You don’t fault the ignorant, stupid one, but the one that’s smart, manipulating and in control of them.

    It’s true though. We humans do not learn. For example, the holocaust deniers exist because it takes just one generation to start forgetting. Ultimately, each and every individual has to learn and experience himself.

    Was reading about Rwanda massacre the other day. The two groups, Hutu and Tutu were living in harmony for 500 years. It took 50 years, or roughly a generation of propaganda through the Belgian colonizers to incite such a hatred that the world hasn’t seen in several hundred years.

  15. ganderson

    Sheri- I agree with you, although like Stephen J. I do wear the mask of submission on those two occasions. But, as individual citizens, we can’t send out kids to schools and colleges that are closed, go to games that either are not being played or are not allowing spectators, concerts not being given; we can’t force restaurants to open their bars or seat more people at tables. Here in Massachusetts we are still largely locked down, and there’s not much the average person can do. I did tell a guy who yelled at me for not wearing a mask to bleep off. ( I used slightly different words- with some of the same letters that are in “fire truck”)
    The press is very culpable here I think- it seems patently obvious to me that the corona panic is manufactured- but there are huge numbers of people- smart people, people who should know better who are all in. And the press has stoked that fire. In a sane world people would treat this like we’ve always treated seasonal viruses. I’m baffled. In all likelihood Hockey East (if they play at all) is going to play in empty arenas, and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (Amherst, Middlebury, Williams, etc…) has cancelled all their winter sports. And I hear that the UK is going for lockdown, Mark II. Insanity at a level I’d have not thought possible.

  16. John Garrett

    Briggs is a national treasure.

  17. About tagging influenza and pneumonia as coronadoom, I expect just that; given the amount of corona testing and that we have not ever done this for influenza. Reminder, influenza and pneumonia get reported together because it is the secondary pneumonia (fluid in the alveoli) that kills way more than influenza does directly. Heck, I suspect much of what would have been called influenza wasn’t because corona displaced it. (You can be suffering from more than one viral infection at a given time, if you are susceptible and the viruses are prevalent enough.)

  18. Dean Ericson

    Book was delivered to my Kindle, looking forward to reading. Thanks to all three authors for getting this published.

    JR Ewing: “Some people – my friend included – see the government reaction and conclude that it must be bad because the government would never lie or do anything that wasn’t necessary.”

    Belief in Coronadoom co-relates to Kool-Aid consumption. Kool-Aid teetotalers have a healthy skepticism while Kool-Aidaholics slurp the sickly sweet, putrid purple propaganda pumped out by Globohomo’s organs. Disgusting stuff. Since all of us were served Kool-Aid from an early age many developed a taste for it that just won’t quit, even otherwise intelligent people. (No doubt some trans-humanist Globo-Gates mad scientists are working on ways to make women’s breasts secrete Kool-Aid instead of milk.)

    The needs to be an anti-Kool-Aid concoction, like Antabuse for alcoholics, that makes one nauseated by Kool-Aid… call it, “GloboNix” — one drink and you’re cured.

    Until then drink Dr. Briggs patented bitters, available here at a very reasonable price. Cheers.

  19. Rudolph Harrier

    Today the University of MN announced that they are easing restrictions on students because there has not been much spread of COVID-19 on campus. The only real change is that previously students had to be back in their dorms by 9 PM, now they do not have to be back until 12AM. If things go especially well, the curfew might be dropped entirely. But that is all that will change: there are no changes in any stage in terms of mask usage, distance requirements, classroom delivery options, etc.

    If you look through the announcements of the plan and the various FAQs, it is not explained how having an earlier curfew is meant to stop the spread of the disease. They imply that it does, but no justification is given for this.

    It’s almost as if they arbitrarily enacted a strict and meaningless requirement early on so that they could artificially relax on it later without changing any of the plans they actually care about.

  20. Ann Cherry

    This week our own Governess announced a 10:00 curfew for bars and restaurants, presumably because Covid checks its watch, and starts super-spreading after 10pm. As Rudolph points out, this meaningless requirement can then be lifted….eventually… allowing the children to stay up past their bed times once again, if they’re very, very good and she sees everyone wearing their masks outdoors. It’s sick.

    This was written by someone else, anonymously, about the craziness of mask rules at most restaurants. I understand that Gov. Gavin Newsom hopes to avoid these problems by mandating that diners lift their masks (with dirty fingers) to take a quick bite, and then re-engage their magical anti-germ barrier. Yum yum, enjoy the lovely atmosphere…of your own garlic-soaked CO2 blowing back in your face! We feel healthier just thinking about it, or at least we’ve lost our appetite for dining out.

    That’s okay, they’ve already had to admit that masks for non-medical personal are, in Dr. Fauci’s own words, “security theater”. Even he takes it off when the cameras aren’t rolling. But it serves to keep us in a state of fear and obedience! – ?

    Wear your mask!
    I swear, it’s magical!

    “Let’s go out to eat, 2020 style…

    1. Arrive at restaurant, fish three month old single-use surgical mask out of car’s filthy cupholder (still slightly sticky from this morning’s 84oz diet Pepsi).

    2. Strap up with three month old single-use surgical mask. *MAGICAL ANTI-GERM BARRIER ENGAGE!!!*

    3. Proceed into restaurant, opening door with same handle grabbed by 200 people so far today

    4. Hostess has immediate seating for your woke party of three. Walk past entire restaurant of unmasked people. It’s ok, they’re sitting.


    6. Safely within your anti-germ forcefield, remove mask. Browse menu while making relaxed inhales of the same recirculated AC air previously inside the lungs of the 200 people that also grabbed the door handle.

    7. Waitress drops off drinks bare handed.

    8. Grab drink with your bare hand. Sip leisurely, secure in knowing you’re within your anti-germ forcefield of seatedness.

    9. Too many drinks. Need to pee. Don the magical anti-germ barrier mask as you leave your anti-germ forcefield of seatedness.

    10. Walk past 40 unmasked restaurant patrons. Open bathroom with same door knob grabbed by 100 other people so far today.

    11. Return to table past same 40 unmasked restaurant patrons.

    12. Remove mask. Once again safe in your anti-germ forcefield of seatedness. Waitress takes your sweaty drink glass with her bare hand, refills, hands back to you. You accept with your bare hand. Grab some bread and eat it. Same hand. Yum Yum.

    13. Meal complete. Mask on. Walk past 40 unmasked patrons. Make full body contact with at least 4 people waiting at the hostess stand as you squeeze your way back to the door – no matter, they’re all also wearing their magical anti-germ barriers.

    14. Grab exit handle, which you are now the 220th person of the day to touch. Eating out successful.

    15. Breathe a sigh of relief knowing that even after leaving the protection of your home and venturing out into the scary world of the public, you are essentially sterile thanks to your state approved methods of magical germ mitigation.”

  21. DavidCH1

    Ann Cherry.

    It’s sick. These people are making me develop general aversion to all mask usage.

    I even walk out of restaurants that even suggest social distancing is somehow good and they are all doing us a favor. Mandated/Recommended/Suggested restrictions are all the same to me. My brother/father wears a mask while waiting in line for a restaurant! Yes, covid barrier engages when you are sitting down and you open your mouth to let food in!

    I want those businesses to be bankrupt, so they can learn the hard way.

    I almost want to filter people based on their viewpoint of the coronadoom. All are stupid, idiots, and morons.

  22. Ganderson

    Ann Cherry- I’m stealing that…

  23. Ann Cherry

    Ganderson, by all means steal it! “Let’s go out to eat 2020 style” was written by someone else, anonymously, posted on a news thread with permission to share.

    DavidCH1, these businesses are already “learning the hard way” but they really have no choice, if they get caught violating their governor’s “health orders”, they are fined thousands of dollars and even shut down. That is, the ones that are still in business, some 40% of our state’s restaurants, and counting, are gone for good.

    In our state, these shut-downs were affirmed by the state’s highest court, which consists of all Democrats (Democrat-Communists) judges but one. They gave our Governess “broad powers” in the event she declares a “health crisis”.

    Some Democrat governors are even saying that “systemic racism” should be declared a “health crisis”. And so, our U.S. Constitutional rights can now be declared “non-essential”, as a matter of law, by a state governor, for an extended period of time, maybe even forever. See how easy that was?

  24. Johnno

    If you want a laugh, check out this latest image of insanity…

    I will make it my business to make sure history records these things to mankind’s everlasting shame. I’ve found my calling in life.

  25. Nate

    Folks, be sure to pass along and sign the Great Barrington Declaration here, especially if you’ve got any ‘credentials’ (since our dear leaders take the opinion of experts as higher than regular folks).

  26. Nate


    A local restaurant near me was shut down by the Covid Stasi (sorry, “state police”) for ‘Deep Cleaning’.

    I’m sure it had *nothing* to do with the business prominently displaying a sign for a local politician who has been fighting the governor tooth and nail on his insane lockdown and mask wearing orders.


    My copy arrived in London this morning. I read over the past 12 hours. My Amazon review:

    In response to the covid-19 pandemic, the three authors have done a great job of explaining what is really at issue in the choices to be made by citizens and their political leaders. You may disagree with the writers, but you cannot say that they have not made their meaning clear. This is a book that an intelligent member of the public would enjoy. As it was intended to be timely, there had to be a cut-off date and in retrospect one could say that the authors, by finishing in the summer of 2020, only told the first half of the story: I should emphasize that I am writing from England, where the politics of covid now (October 2020) looks like it is turning into a soap-opera that will run and run.

    There is also a question of context : the covid story is I believe merely the latest chapter in a narrative that spans decades, starting maybe in the 1930s, with the first risk-assessments of workplace safety, or maybe the post-WW2 period, with the rise of consumer-safety campaigning.  More accurate testing technology has enabled the detection of ever-tinier risk factors, whose management and elimination have consequently been legally mandated. In a rich society, perhaps some overkill in this pursuit of the zero-risk product/ environment can be tolerated and absorbed. But what happens when this pursuit attacks the economy as a whole, not to mention the social and intellectual capital of society —- as Axe, Briggs and Richards suggest could be happening with covid? [This history — up to about 1990 — is well -presented in the late Aaron Wildavsky (et al.)’s ‘But Is It True? A Citizen’s Guide to Environmental Health and Safety Issues’ (with the caveat that the particular environmental issues he discusses may appear dated to today’s reader, eg. the hole in the ozone layer).]

    Highly recommended.

  28. Kip Hansen

    Cmdr. Briggs ==> Can you please once more supply the data links for the two CDC deaths data sets you graph? Just throw them in at the end of the next Corona-doom installment?


  29. alvs

    Well all those who are complaining,or dont believe in the lock down ,or wearing a mask–please do not go to the ER or any other MEDICAL FACILITY when you get sick!! Dont expose the hardworking health care workers to
    COVID 19! Those who wont hear will feel! They tried the herding in Northern Europe but it did not work!! Your hands are the biggest carriers of germs! Wash them! When you cough,sneeze,talk droplets come from your body and is deposited in the air! others can breathe it in!! Can you imagine if hundreds of people are doing that ,and it’s getting in your lungs,because you dont believe in wearing a mask? Same thing happened years ago with TB!
    Believe what you wish,but it’s your life,who am I to advise you if you dont give a damn? But remember others are out there who want to survive–be considerate! Guess the “social distance” is what is causing theupset!!Be patient,better days are coming,and we will all sing”happy days are here again”!

  30. Bill

    Question: Has anyone considered that this blitz on the COVID 19 could be politically motivated or even an attempt by a foreign power to disrupt our government? It certainly has caused immeasurable harm to our economy, jobs, health system, personal finance, food supply …you name it.

  31. Mack

    My dad sent this blog post to me. I tried to explain that at his advanced age he should reconsider taking public safety advice from a financial advisor and real estate developer.

    Ok. Hope this makes sense. Sorry for length but blog author needs the details.

    People who get tested are largely:
    – those people who have been exposed;
    – people who have symptoms;
    – people who are at higher risk.

    People who test positive ARE CASES. When you test positive for covid, regardless of whether you’re symptomatic, you are infected with the covid virus, and you can spread it to other people—making you a case, and someone also at increased risk of developing symptoms near term.

    Do you know what happens when someone contracts HIV? Absolutely nothing. NO SYMPTOMS. It can take a decade or more to show a symptom. But people who have a) been exposed, b) show symptoms, and c) are in high risk groups get tested regularly. Makes sense, yes? Sounds like the paragraph above, right?

    If someone has HIV but isn’t symptomatic, are they not “a case?” If they randomly test positive through screening among a, b, c groups above, shouldn’t they know so they can both avoid infecting others and also monitor their own health for possible symptoms? Or would you recommend testing less for HIV in order to avoid identifying HIV positive people in risk groups that have no symptoms despite being HIV Positive?

    Flu is different. People in high risk groups for flu (old people, sick people, high risk jobs (flight attendants) and little kids) are proactively vaccinated, minimizing the need for testing at that scale. If there were vaccines for HIV and COVID, there wouldn’t be a need for such extensive testing. But we don’t, so we do.

    More testing is good. Identifying more cases is good, because it enables protection of likely contacts of anyone testing positive, whether through the infected person self-quarantining or increased vigilance of those in recent contact with that person.

    Public health experts are focused on preventing further spread of a disease and minimizing additional morbidity and mortality. While they care about the “numbers,” they do so in order to protect the public, not to place blame on anyone, deny accountability, downplay severity, close businesses, or create panic. They aren’t there to make anyone look good or bad—people do a good job of that all on their own—they are trying to prevent disease spread.

    But if you want to focus on “the numbers,” look at test positivity rate and hospitalization rate. The former metric tells you the percentage of tests that are positive—Which should resolve arguments about too much testing. Hospitalization is a good measure of severe cases.

    The numbers follow a long lag time starting at the moment someone tests positive. So a spike in Hospitalizations will follow spike in positive testing by 2-3 weeks. Deaths follow time of positive test by 3-8 weeks.

    Fortunately we now know much more about the disease, and also treatments that prevent progression to ventilator-level illness. So with any luck we should anticipate a lower mortality rate than we did back when there was chaos in NY and NJ spiked in March/April.

    In terms of false positive tests, they happen, and so do false negatives. Scientists argue the the rate of infection is undercounted, not over counted. Same thing for mortality rate. Regardless of the direction, those are marginal factors and they exist with all diseases. The numbers are the numbers. They are the best we have, and I’m sure they will be reviewed when we return to normal. And even if they are as far as 10% off in either direction, does that change anything or any arguments? Do you know anyone who has died from covid? I assume you probably do. I know a handful.

    As to the politicization of a public safety issue it’s crazy that is where this landed. And that’s an issue for another message.

    But it’s a “crisis” because the general public needs to take heed, and follow simple—really simple—CDC guidelines: hand washing, distancing, and masks when in public.

    Doing so would reduce the infection rate, which would reduce contagion, illnesses, hospitalizations, and death rate (much further than they already have). In addition, a little common sense would actually allow more of the economy to return to near-normal, more quickly, and without outsized risk to public safety.

    Instead, public safety is a political livewire and half of the nation rejects simple guidelines, choosing to believe covid is nothing serious, which is reinforced by a guy who’s oddly some revered diety, who doesn’t believe in science unless it benefits his personally and instead believes that 85% of people who wear a mask get infected. But I digress…

    There should be no need to scream crisis from the rooftop. We should be far beyond that by now. It’s a crisis because PEOPLE! People prefer to listen to the president or their financial advisor for public health guidance instead of medical experts and disease control experts. If I asked my doctor for investment guidance (and he did his own “research”), I’d probably go broke pretty quick.

    If everyone wasn’t so friggin hard headed, we would all be happier sooner. A lot less lonely, angry, sad, depressed people.

    To the point about public health measures now working, look at the uneven distribution of disease spread, spike and valleys by location. In places where guidelines were followed closely, numbers declined. In other less impacted areas in April/may, the public became complacent. They spiked. Now with the weather, comorbid illness, and distancing fatigue we see spikes in places where guidelines are relaxing. If people, universally, followed the guidelines there’s no reason we need to close down the economy and should be able to return to something resembling normal sooner.

    Tell this guy to stick to the stock market. Also, as someone who works with models and projections, I figured the author would understand the difference between “projections” and “predictions.” You work with the date and information you have to describe the trajectory based on the current course, and then you provide projections based on assumptions that lead to more favorable and less favorable outcomes. That’s how models work.

    Oh and “science” is not a corporate entity or proper noun or proper name that you should rebel against like a petulant 14 year old.

  32. Mack

    Also, isn’t it amazing that our government was empowered to start a foreign war, largely backed by the general population, based on no evidence of imminent threats against the United States or her allies? Which led to how much expense, lives, and trouble for all involved? For better or worse, big bets are made based on limited information. Usually the driving force is fear and public safety, and these decisions are made based on limited data, extrapolated to project the plausible imminent threat to America. It’s always easy to play Monday morning QB once we have more complete information. Did we need to close the economy? Probably not, but it was the preventive, ultimate self-preservation move at that moment. No one is looking to do that again. Follow public safety guidelines and we’ll be happier and healthier much sooner.

  33. John B()


    They tried the herding in Northern Europe but it did not work!!

    Are you talking about HERD IMMUNITY? The ONLY Northern European country that tried was Sweden (it seemed to work without shutting the whole country down

    The remainder of your screed doesn’t make a lot of sense

  34. Joy

    Just noticed this post looks the same as the following week so missed this one, another.clever trick no doubt.

    Hope your’e still reading replies:
    John B is wrong about Sweden.
    American hostile media has been peddling the lie that Sweden, and for a while the UK “tried’ herd immunity”

    This is totally incorrect. Trump took it up for a while thinking no doubt it was true. That demonstrated to me just how bad information was over this disease at a very high level. How little trust there was/is on matters which really affect all humanity, where everybody should be on the same side?

    At NO stage is or was “natural herd immunity” a method of practice for controlling the virus.

    It ought be intuitively or logically obvious, that Epidemic control 101 is not considered the way to go or nobody would need do anything about any respiratory infectious disease.

    Historical and scientific facts are being confused here, by those repeating the Sweden lie.

    Sweden and the UK had the same or similar approach to the disease in the early stages of the epidemic. While in the absence of more information regarding community spread and rate of /force of transmission of the virus.

    Sweden did not lock down in the same way as the UK because it had a different epidemic course and spread. The Swedish authorities were pilloried by media, to which American media latched on, for NOT taking drastic measures.

    Natural herd immunity is a brute s scientific fact, not a method.
    Man made herd immunity is done via a vaccine. There are ways of manipulating elements of natural herd immunity but this is not a recommended strategy and NEVER was in the case of covid 19.

    A convenient misquote and twisting of something Patrick Valance said very early on gave opportunistic trouble makers in media of all kinds ammunition to those looking to attack government regardless of what they did.

    He said something like some natural spread is not entirely a bad thing because any disease which doesn’t cause serious illness will add to herd immunity effect. It was NEVER policy. Nor was it policy in Sweden. He was making a reassuring remark at the time since cases were being counted in ones and twos.

    Given enough time I can provide proof of the above but frankly, having done some of that and found people are wilfully ignorant about the situation, it’s best to leave it to divine providence that people finally listen to truth and reason, fact versus gossip.

    Sweden is not in great shape right now. Ask the Swedes. Don’t talk to the orange ones because they never answer.

    Your sentiment about telling people to stay away from medical departments is alas unrealistic, those who shout how “unpannicked” they are” make the worst patients, demand to be seen first and so on when their turn comes.

    The panic talk is all projection. writ large…

  35. Joy

    Correction / clarification:
    It ought be intuitively or logically obvious, that “herd immunity” as Epidemic control 101 is not considered the way to go or nobody would need do anything about any respiratory infectious disease.

  36. John B()


    Sorry I missed your comment (as a new commenter you must have been in moderation – it still happens to me on occasion if I mess up my name or email)

    First: Who is a Financial Advisor or Real Estate Developer?
    See here:

    Second: People who test positive ARE CASES. Not necessarily, false positives today are about 5% (earlier much higher). So the almost 9 Million cases currently reported may not be 9 Million (of course there are also false negatives so who knows).

    Third: How do you “catch” HIV (academic question)
    How do you catch Covid-19? Should be academic but … BREATHING … (remember when China/WHO said you couldn’t catch it that way? Experts … hmmm … we’ll get back to them

    Did we lockdown for HIV? (Christopher Monckton wanted to – wanted to “quarantine” anyone testing positive)
    Did we put a moratorium on sex? (Back when I was a kid, certain sex acts were illegal; some states had severe penalties – maybe they had it right after all)

    From the Diamond Princess we had a pretty good idea what this thing was about, what IT could do and what WE couldn’t do. Even though we KNEW the lockdown wouldn’t do anything, we did it anyway (it was ONLY 15 days and would flatten the curve). Guess what? Fifteen days turned into several months and people still died. People still caught the virus and died. People died from other causes. Many of the people who died of other causes died because of the lockdown in combination with the fear.

    Medical “experts” have been all over the map since day one – we are “experted” out. Military/Intelligence “Experts” told us to go to that war you mentioned. Intelligence “experts” told us Donald Trump was a Russian asset. Intelligence “experts” are suspiciously quiet about whether Joe Biden is a CCP asset. (Couldn’t resist the play on acronyms – when I was a kid, CCP meant Soviet Socialist Republic – today it’s Chinese Communist Party)

    What are your bona fides? (Other than being a concerned son). Pretty sure your father was already convinced that there was something rotten in Denmark. I don’t believe these posts turned him from your way of thinking. He sent the post to change your way of thinking.

    Good luck with him

    From the beginning WE said protect the vulnerable … instead Cuomo killed the vulnerable and praises himself for it. The Javitts Center was underutilized … the USS Comfort was underutilized … so Cuomo sends Covid patients to Senior Citizen Homes to be cared for by CNAs?

  37. John B()


    I love it – I missed Mack; you missed me

    RE: American hostile media – I love it (wonder who that refers to)

    YES – Sweden did NOT intentionally use Herd Immunity as a method to deal with Covid
    And YES – they did limit large gatherings – they advised social distancing and masks (last time I checked IHME, Sweden mask usage was around 1%

    Without meaningful lockdowns, unenforced social distancing and mask usage is de facto herd immunity strategy

    New cases seem to have peaked, their serious cases went from the single digits to double digits.
    Meanwhile the UK went from double digits to triple digits in serious cases approaching 1000.
    UK’s cases also seem to have peaked, and had a noticeable second wave of deaths. It looks to me that Sweden, intentional strategy or not seems to have worked

  38. Joy

    I’m going to make things worse for myself now, John B,

    “Without meaningful lockdowns, unenforced social distancing and mask usage is de facto herd immunity strategy”
    If you’ll excuse me John B, I think redefining “herd immunity ‘strategy’” is obviously where the argument is allowed to flourish. Of course you’re right if it is defined that way.
    The information I’m providing came from not simple experience and common sense, but direct statements from Chris Whitty and Patrick valance. It isn’t called that at all. So I trust that given their emphatic explanation on more than one occasion on that point implies that there really was misunderstanding about method of controlling epidemics.
    Herd immunity is just what happens over time either by force of nature or by man made intervention. It is not a strategy if the idea is to spread the disease in order to ‘save lives’. The idea was to try to achieve a kind of valve which could be tuned appropriately. Same as what’s happening now, actually but in order to get on top of the spread lock down was necessary. Just see the shape of the curve to see how man made the reduction was.
    I hope that makes sense.
    “ It looks to me that Sweden, intentional strategy or not seems to have worked”
    As long as I can hold you to that this in the fullness of time?
    Sweden say they have not planned NOT to lock down!
    It’s not over yet
    Sweden is not giving data out about their new cases or their recovered/current cases so how would you know for sure what’s actually going on?
    Sweden did what was right for Sweden. Had we continued in the same vein we would have been totally out of our depth and with no assistance from our European ‘friends’. We did the right thing, just two or three weeks too late. Given the same information at the time as they knew, I’d have done the same. *except I would have stopped flights back in January…said so at the time, before we even knew things were going to take off over here. Given the information we have now I still don’t think people would have taken advice from government because they were given the correct advice at the beginning. I’m quoted on here way back before our government took action saying the same thing and that was from clinical knowledge of respiratory diseases and the inflammatory process. Only when they saw people dying and saw idiots clearing supermarket shelf es and government having to hold briefings did the ignorant ones start listening.
    That they epidemic takes a different course in different countries and populations seems to be being ignored or overlooked as if it doesn’t happen? As if the viral effect on a population will always be the same wherever?
    It’s as if people think there’s a cut and paste method for dealing with this in all places around the world? Not so. That’s media’s attitude, anyway.
    PS, I’m not down on Sweden in any way, it seems perhaps you think I am?
    It’s just that people don’t separate the difference between theory and practice regarding human behaviour. Tell the same group of people the same thing on two occasions and the response isn’t the same each time. It isn’t a covid Eurovision contest, countries are learning from each other and sharing information as they have from the start. The evil ones are getting in between and muddying the information.
    “Loose tongues cost lives”.

  39. M

    If people take the vaccine, they will just change how they test. Covid positives will go down and they will say the vaccine “worked”. Meanwhile flu numbers will go back up.
    People….do not get duped into taking that r n a platform vaccine. There is risk of disease enhancement and autoimmune disorders from it!
    And covid will mutate…how MANY of these RNA transcriptase cell injections do you think your body can withstand? Before it turns on itself…because the vaccine programmed YOUR OWN CELLS to make the covid spike protein?

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