Cases Are Not Surging or Raging, Testing Is: Coronavirus Update XL

Cases Are Not Surging or Raging, Testing Is: Coronavirus Update XL


Please share this article widely.

Because most have no familiarity with medical statistics, they are unable to put the coronavirus into perspective. The media and government has been shockingly remiss in providing this education, too, having more interest in panicked presentation of numbers and rushing headlong into the next “solution”.

We showed in The Price of Panic that lockdowns do not work and cause great harm. The WHO agrees. In a 2019 report, quoted often here and in the book, they recommend not locking down during a pandemic, especially when it becomes clear what the various mortality rates are. These are presented below.

Lockdowns cost lives, they do not save them.

The public, media, and government alike seem to have adopted a zero-tolerance policy on COVID deaths, or even “cases”. The scare quotes are necessary because what you hear called “cases” are largely not. They are mostly merely infections, the majority of which are past, mild, asymptomatic, and false—i.e., not real. There are also many repeats on the same individuals reported as “new”. A case is an individual seeking and requiring treatment, which most people infected with this bug do not.

We will never reach zero COVID deaths. We have never reached zero flu and pneumonia deaths. And never will. We have had a flu vaccine for half a century, but deaths have not ceased.

There are many reasons why you hear about “surges” in “cases”, and even hospitalizations, some of which are discussed below. But one is because deaths peak each and every winter, because we all go inside and spread bugs among ourselves. People have forgotten there is such a thing as “cold and flu season.” Our seasonal voluntary lockdowns spread bugs.

How is it, then, that the government “solution” to stop disease is the very thing they used to know caused it?

Lockdown 1.0 did not stop the bug from spreading. Summer did. Just as summer stops the flu and other viruses from doing most of their damage. (There are some twists to this because of timing of how the coronavirus bug started late and migrated throughout the country. But it now appears to fit the normal seasonal pattern.)

We never panic about flu, yet we do about the coronavirus. Hospitals are routinely “overrun” every year because of flu, yet none remember press headlines about this—and there have been plenty. It’s not the press didn’t try to juice a panic before, it’s that their efforts failed, because we are so used to flu.

Below you will see the Perspective Plot, which contrasts COVID deaths with flu and pneumonia and all other deaths. Here, some official CDC numbers (source links below), the calendar year sum of flu and pneumonia deaths: 2020 is partial through week 38, after which CDC stopped reporting these numbers separately (no COVID included).

2014, 193,755
2015, 193,539
2016, 181,918
2017, 188,286
2018, 191,689
2019, 174,810
2020, 217,557

Shall we lockdown in perpetuity to avoid these deaths? This question is arch, because it is self-lockdowns responsible for most of them. For comparison, as of this date (Monday night), CDC says there were 228,444 deaths with or from COVID (they say “involving”). There is a concern that some of this number are better classed as flu or pneumonia, though, as discussed below.

In any case, because of massive increases in testing of people who have no symptoms, we are registering low-grade and even non-existent infections, which the media are calling “cases”. People hear “case” and they think a person near death and lucky to escape it. This is not so.

We must rid ourselves of the false idea that we can reach zero COVID deaths. This coronavirus is, as the name says, a coronavirus, which are common (and usually cause colds). It’s not going to go away.

But it will fade into the background—-as soon as we stop giving in to fear.


Review: The Year of Living Safely: A Review of ‘The Price of Panic’


Hot wine review: I have a lump in my throat and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Tom Shakely podcast.

Gabe Takes Over The Studio podcast.

There are many more, but this is long enough already.

Website of similar name: price of panic.


Sources: daily tests, CDC official toll number one, number two (the old weekly file, now suspect). Deaths by age. Covid & flu. All current as of Monday night.

Daily tests:

This is the number of daily tests. The date of the media’s (COVID Tracking Project) peak attributed deaths is noted: attributed deaths have been steadily declining since then (they will never go to 0).

I don’t know how to convey to you how crazy these levels are. They are in no way aligned with the actual COVID illnesses. Indeed, they are the opposite. It is this ridiculous level of testing that drives media-led panic.

The test is becoming increasingly routine. Many have it multiple times because of official requirements: each positive is counted as a new “case”. These are almost all not cases, but merely positive tests, which indicate past infections, current by mild infections, asymptomatic infections, and even no infections at all. False positives.

If you are not ill, you should not be getting tested. Yet many, many, many are. All these tests lead to reports of “surging” “cases”, which is not so. It is not so.

Here’s the proof of all this. If testing was at all related to actual deaths, a plot of number of tests per number of deaths should be somewhat flat, all things considered. Here’s what the plot looks like in reality:

Last two weeks not included because of CDC late reporting (otherwise it’s 30,000 tests per death at the end!). There is early variability in March because deaths and testing was low. After that, testing no longer had any relationship to number of deaths. Testing is purely its own phenomenon, utterly disconnected from any medical reality.

It is testing that is driving the “surging” “raging” “cases”. Not the disease. I beg you will pass this information on.

The coronadoom test has a high false positive rate: estimates vary, but it is large, perhaps 4%, sometimes much, much higher. Math exercise: given a 1-5% prevalence rate, with this false positive rate, how many false positive tests will be reported in 1.7 million tests? Every single day? If you know the math, please do this. Be sitting down when you do.

Here are CDC the weekly attributed coronavirus deaths:

These are attributed deaths, which include all those dying with or dying from the coronavirus. With and from are not the same. There is even some concern some flu and pneumonia deaths are being counted in this total. This is why I say “attributed deaths”. Early in the year, CDC did a study and determined only about 6% of the total attributed deaths died exclusively of COVID. The rest had almost 3 serious comorbidities on average.

Yes, indeed, attributed COVID deaths peaked early in the year, and then as it spread to the south, it re-peaked. It is now joining the great chorus of bugs that circulate every winter. It will peak in winter, and subside again in spring. This year’s totals will be higher than next year’s, and there always be fluctuation, just like with flu.

Here’s the proof of that claim. The CDC weekly ALL CAUSE death counts, or the Perspective Plot. The late drop off is late counting, which takes up to eight weeks to get all, but most are in by three. We need to look at all cause deaths because we can’t quite trust the COVID numbers.

The black line is all deaths, including COVID. Weekly deaths are now at a low, even COVID is small. The dashed is all minus attributed COVID, and the red, for perspective, is COVID. (Again, the drop off is late counts.) The blue line, about the same order as the doom, is flu+pneumonia (it’s the pneumonia that kills most flu patients).

The CDC (suspiciously) stopped reporting separate flu and pneumonia deaths midway through 2020, but I estimate them after by subtracting deaths “involving” COVID from those “involving” (their word) pneumonia or flu or COVID. That’s the dashed blue line.

It’s suspicious because of that word “involving”, which is the CDC admitting it’s not always easy to know what somebody died of. And it is most curious to see the shocking decrease in flu+pneumonia deaths, given what they normally look like. This is why there is a chance some of the deaths “involving” COVID are really better classed as flu or pneumonia deaths.

Now go back up and re-look at the sum of yearly flu and pneumonia deaths since 2014.

There is no need to panic. Here is the CDC official population mortality rates for the all causes other than COVID, and “involving” COVID (with and of).

Here are the same population fatality rates in tabular form:

                 Age      COVID    Other Cause
1       Under 1 year 0.00000690    0.00370
2          1–4 years 0.00000100    0.00016
3         5–14 years 0.00000095    0.00010
4        15–24 years 0.00000960    0.00061
5        25–34 years 0.00003800    0.00110
6        35–44 years 0.00011000    0.00170
7        45–54 years 0.00029000    0.00310
8        55–64 years 0.00066000    0.00690
9        65–74 years 0.00150000    0.01400
10       75–84 years 0.00370000    0.03300
11 85 years and over 0.01000000    0.10000

No matter what age, there is at least about a 10 times or larger chance of dying from something else then COVID.

Young (< 65) healthy people are not being killed by COVID—or much of anything else. Yet it is this demographic most panicked and most influential.

Here it the proof of that. The CDC flu tracking results (pulled Monday night). The different colors represent different virus strains.

October is the usual start of the flu+pneumonia season. Yet the samples checking for flu have dropped into the gutter. This seems to imply flu has disappeared.

It hasn’t. Testing for it has (the same is true at a global level: see past updates on this site for comments about the WHO’s global flu tracking). Perhaps everybody is concentrating on the coronavirus tests, ignoring flu tests.

The CDC used to report flu deaths on their flu update page. No longer. Now they report “pneumonia, influenza, or COVID.” That they can’t keep these separate means hospitals can’t, either. So we should not panic when we hear of “hospitalizations”, since these always occur this time every year.

About masks, see this article.

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  1. DavidCH1

    There’s a rumor going around Canada doing a hard lock around December. All work except ambulance, fire, police suspended for 6 weeks!

    What the hell are we going to do and what power do we have? I live in this damned country! At least some american states are against it. Here we have 35 million conformists. I think in Vancouver they had 100 people doing protests. 100 out of 500K in Vancouver, another 500K in Surrey. It’s ridiculous.

    What’s the point of pointing it out when they’ll keep doing what they have been doing for 10 months? They do not listen to the scientists, politicians, doctors, nurses saying its *wrong* because many more don’t care or are scared to do anything about it!

    Pfizer is talking about 90% success using 94 people out of the 43 thousand or so of the total. And they want to authorize it based on that result! I want to say I want to take the vaccine to kill me, the chances are either nothing will happen and I will have to go through this or I’ll be very sick and crippled during this horrible period!

    I am very scared, and I’m very frustrated. I’m 35 and I’m starting to hyper-ventilate at times due to this. I knew bad things were going to happen in the future, I did NOT know it would happen in just a year. And they way they are going about it is the worst – pretending they are doing for the good.

  2. JR Ewing

    I thought it was the election that was driving this, but the election has come and gone and their man won. Why are they still doing this?

    You’d think the press would start walking back some of this nonsense. Maybe Fauci. Maybe some governors. But none of them are.

    But that means the only “logical” explanation that fits the overblown panic is that this is bigger than the election and is come kind of George Soros United Nations takeover. That they want to tear down society and ruin the little people. But I’ve never bought into those Cloward Piven Totalitarian conspiracy theories because the people in charge just aren’t that smart.

    I simply can’t believe that Gavin Newsom is Dr Evil. Nor is Cuomo. Or Whitmer. Or any of these governors. None of them are that smart. But that’s the only endgame that’s left. They’re all base and petty enough to overblow a flu bug to win an election, none of them are evil geniuses who can see beyond the next election. They’re just little tyrants who want to stay in power and eat at the French Laundry and ride in limousines. They don’t care about anything bigger than that.

    I’m the biggest government skeptic there is, but it just doesn’t make any sense. I can’t understand the motives of perpetuating the fear.

    The ONLY explanation that even come close is that maybe it has only been two weeks and the press is just doing its trained dog thing keeping up the same act that’s been going on for the past nine months, but that doesn’t explain why the democrat governors are ratcheting up. They should be loosening and dropping hints about flu season and gradually walking back restrictions.

    The election as the only explanation that made sense and now it doesn’t make sense.

  3. But that means the only “logical” explanation that fits the overblown panic is that this is bigger than the election and is come kind of George Soros United Nations takeover.

    Perhaps we should come up with a name for this. How about “The Great Reset”?

  4. “I’m the biggest government skeptic there is, but it just doesn’t make any sense. I can’t understand the motives of perpetuating the fear.”

    Continuing the panic into January sets the PC-Prog/Globalist/Neoconmen operators up for two options, they’re playing both sides against the middle:

    1. Trump’s legal challenges to the election frauds bear fruit. The election is adjudged in his favor. Of course, “cases” will continue to skyrocket! Forever! Orange Man Bad did it! The losers’ violence and destruction is justified–the man’s a killer! We must take him out, by any means necessary.

    2. The presidency is awarded to Biden’s handlers. Orange Man Bad caused the horrible, deadly doom virus to spread everywhere! By late February, though, Kamala will have solved the crisis–“cases” will plummet. Restrictions disappear, economies open, schools open. Kamala is heralded as the second coming of Albert Schweitzer (or maybe Booker T. Washington)! Doom is defeated! Long live Kamala!

    Meanwhile, until the election is decided, they continue to sow fear and confusion, setting themselves up for winning in either eventuality.

  5. Dean Ericson

    Thanks Briggs for staying on this topic and getting the truth out. It is good and helpful, even though it may seem futile at times. At the least, it cheers me to see you landing such fierce blows against Behemoth, even though the monster is so big they hardly seem to register.

  6. Dean Ericson

    Kent, those two options look plausible. Here’s a third: lockdown doom never ends since it has proven to be a highly effective terror tactic for advancing the Overlords’ drive to world power.

  7. Hun

    “I thought it was the election that was driving this”

    It wasn’t. All of West, including Eastern European EU countries are going through the same thing. Getting rid of the Orange man was one of the minor goals. Demoralization, destruction of normal human interaction, forcing people to stop using cash and the demolition of small businesses are the big goals, still not accomplished.

  8. Amateur Brain Surgeon

    The media and government has been shockingly remiss in providing this education,

    It would be shocking if the media accurately reported the facts.

    Jews control the media and they hire LIARs (Low Information Activist Reporters) to read the propaganda put before them. If they refuse to do that they will lose their well-paid job.

    Jews represent less than 3% of the American population but they run The Media, Hollywood, The Banks, Foreign Policy etc and so the real question is Is the reset/pandemic good for the Jews?>

    Obviously yes.

    But, ABS, you can’t say that or you will be accused of anti semitism, even though anti semitism is never – NEVER – defined.

    True. The reason anti semitic is never defined is because a definition is confining – it means one thing and not another; that is, it adheres to the principal of non-contradiction – and the charge of anti semitism is meant to silence all speech Jews find offensive especially if it has to do with objective facts about them and is free of all hatred.

    You are saying that once Jews gain control of a society that society is lost?

    Yes, and that is exactly what Civilta Cattolica(Catholic Civilisation, the Pope’s paper) taught following the French Revolution.

    It does not matter for whom you vote, or even if you vote at all. No majority of moral persons ever voted for abortion, sodomy, usury, unjust wars, mass migration but all of those things – every one of them – is part of The Jewish program to forever change once Christian America.

  9. Hun

    “I believe China is the driver”

    Did you notice that there are no more new Covid deaths in China, a country of 1.4 billion people?

    China may have started this, but the drivers are Western “elites” and they should be held responsible.

  10. Dean Ericson


    ”Perhaps we should come up with a name for this. How about “The Great Reset”?

    For its creepy, innocuous, and sinister vibe, “The Great Reset” is marketing evil genius: “Hey little guys, we’re taking over, because we have billions and we are your new Overlords. We’re big, we’re huge, we have all the money and power, we bought your countries and now we own you. So, listen up and shut up: we’re resetting things to our liking. You will obey or face punishment.” —Toujours Chutzpah L’audace, Chairman of the Board, The Great Reset, LLP

  11. LS5

    The insanity of it is so insane that in the end will they use it to justify reducing free speech so people no longer can say such things? Clearly they are reducing what you can use your credit card to purchase. Will they do the same with your bank account? The great reset will become be a good progressive or by default you are the oppressor who should be shamed and destroyed. They are moral relativist who currently like the flavor of Marxist secular humanism. Here is something that says what you say about covid and the demagogues who are to be the new priests for this new religion that itself spreads like a plague.

  12. awildgoose


    I would counter that the CCP is paying and promising the Western elite into driving the situation.

    The CCP has no use for silliness like Thanksgiving and Christmas in their vision of the new world.

  13. Sheri

    Come on, it’s okay to kill with cars. No one shuts down the interstates and ALL driving because a few hundred thousand die, more in India and South America. Why the big whoop with a virus?????? Because THEY HATE YOU. Because THEY LOVE TYRANNY. Because THEY ARE EVIL. Next question?

    Why use the very thing they used to know caused it? Because THEY ARE EVIL AND HATE YOU.

    Our jerkwad, wannabe popular idiot running the state is talking mask mandate. I hope hell, where he will undoubtedly end up for lies and deceptions of his life, is FILLED WITH THOSE DAMN MASKS. Maybe the masks can have the number of lives snuffed out by the evil these people bring on them. The mask mandates are a LIE meant to increase the number of deaths. Mask mandates are mass murder. Stalin and Lenin are dancing in hell.

    Yes, lock everything down and everyone starves. Problem solved. No one left to hate on. Evil dies. No more pandemics.

    Masks are to cover MASSIVE INCOMPETENCE in our hospitals and health system. It’s only the beginning. People are too damn stupid to run hospitals (after a degree in “prissy politics”), so they LIE and pretend it’s lack of mask wearing spreading illness, since window screen can stop viruses, you know that. People are stupid and believe. This will not go away with Covid. The stupid is very, very strong. It will kill and the numbers will only increase.

    The Chinese may never have actually had the virus. We don’t know that. If they had it, it could have been in a location completely shut down. Humans are so gullible China didn’t need bodies, just a great movie to show us the damage. Now THEY own the world and we commit suicide.

    JW: It was NEVER the election. It was worldwide. THINK.

    DavidCH1: Been going on for far longer than year. People just refused to see what was going on. It’s scary now because you missed all the signs. I do have sympathy for one so young. It’s going it get ugly–I can’t lie to you. Just stay out of the way as much as possible.

    Dean: Yep.

    ABS: Nope, you’re racist and nasty. But an adorable racist, nasty critter.

  14. Thanks, Briggs, for a fine article. I will indeed pass it on to my credulous relatives and friends. However I do have a slight quibble.

    “The coronadoom test has a high false positive rate: estimates vary, but it is large, perhaps 4%, sometimes much, much higher. Math exercise: given a 1-5% prevalence rate, with this false positive rate, how many false positive tests will be reported in 1.7 million tests? Every single day? If you know the math, please do this. Be sitting down when you do.”

    I believe you need more than sensitivity, you need specificity number also to calculate probability of having wuhan flu if tested positive. I’m taking numbers from an article in BMJ (see here: which looks to be pretty cautious: they give lower limits to use of 70% for sensitivity and 95% for specificity. Taking your figure of 1.7 million =1700k as the number of daily tests and 4% as the prevalence, you get 68k as the number of true positives, 1632k as number of true negatives being tested; then with 95% specificity, you get 1550k testing negative who are negative leaving 82k testing positive who are negative. With a 70% sensitivity, you 68×0.7= 48 k (rounding) testing positive who are positive. This gives a probability of being positive if testing positive = [48/(48+82)] = 0.37, not terribly accurate. Of course diagnostic information can increase a prevalence rate and narrow the sample size to make the probability higher.

  15. OK, ABS, let’s round up all the Jews and send them to “conversion centers.” (We won’t of course, say what’s going to happen in those “conversion centers.”) And this will hasten, presumably, the Last Days. Isn’t the conversion of the Jews one of the events that must happen before Armageddon?

  16. Hun

    “I would counter that the CCP is paying and promising the Western elite into driving the situation.”

    Why, you think the Western elites are incapable of being evil by themselves? They need to be held responsible. No excuses, no “the devil made me do it”.

  17. Vigilant Citizen

    Bob: does that factor in CT? The way the tests are being done assume a consistent CT rate, which we know isn’t happening and is part of the operation to get certain results, depending on the rate. According to the creator, it was never to be used for this (…and there’s this –

    Dean: Bingo!!! The covid is just a means to and end and there will be more “covids”, cyber crime, and other scare tactics down the road to herd people in the direction that TPTB want you to go. Just look at the WEF conference going on this week. It should scare the he** of you. Six mos to a year from now, you may start to see reports of the grid going down. Mark it!

  18. Dale

    Occam’s Razor: no dark cabal, just everyone panicking and losing their marbles and all that metastasizing. Yes, stupefying conflation of CFR and IFR from WHO. But the media is most complicit. Breakfast, lunch and dinner … months on end … “YOU COULD GET THIS AND DIE.” Run same footage of overrun hospital in Italy. Run same footage of loading body bags on a refrigerator truck. Run same footage of distraught frontline nurse. Rinse and repeat …

  19. Dennis

    It won’t end unless and until people stop clutching their fear and paranoia like a security blanket, and stop humoring the politicians and so-called health experts and their illegal and unjust decrees and disastrous rules, whether about masks or family get-togethers for holidays, etc. Just wake up – discard your blankie, and just stop playing the game.

    Problem is, I think many people actually enjoy the game. They enjoy LARPing as heroes “doing their part” to help humanity fight off a supposedly grave risk. But it’s gone on long enough, and it’s not a fun game. Time to stop playing games and return to life and the real world. Then first order of business should be to prosecute and punish those responsible for inflicting the criminal Covid response on humanity – the greatest collective crime against humanity ever perpetrated.

  20. Rudolph Harrier

    People who spend all their time watching the news are just panicked, and not part of a larger conspiracy.

    But it is not panic that is causing the news stories to be phrased in the way that they are.

    Watch MSM reporting with the frame that everyone involved is an active enemy of the people. It will make more sense than watching it with the frame that they are trying to give accurate information.

  21. PaulH

    I keep saying cases are bunk, but often the response is, “Well you’re not an epidemiologist or a medical professional so what do you know?” I shake my head. How can you reason with someone who refuses to think?

  22. Fredo

    I don’t know what could go wrong with the most expensive election in
    U.S. history and a class of millionaires and billionaires seated in every
    representative office of government. Representative of just who exactly?
    When Donald Trump drove through that million man MAGA march to play
    golf with that limp wrist-ed wave nothing could be clearer. Prepare accordingly,
    it’s all nothing but grand theater for the marching in ‘lockstep’ masses.

  23. Sheri

    Fredo: You prefer the Turnip in the Basement and his sidekick Sleeps with Anyone in Power?

  24. Fredo

    Have no fear Sheri no one is going to jail and he will concede graciously.
    What people still haven’t figured out is that it’s a one party system.

  25. John B()

    Kip asked a question awhile back

    WUWT has a survey (Same questions):
    1 How many people do you know are currently sick
    2 How many people last nine months
    3 How many people you know died

  26. Amateur Brain Surgeon

    OK, ABS, let’s round up all the Jews and send them to “conversion centers.” (We won’t of course, say what’s going to happen in those “conversion centers.”) And this will hasten, presumably, the Last Days. Isn’t the conversion of the Jews one of the events that must happen before Armageddon?

    Dear Bob. When a response to an accurate summation of a problem is wanting, one goes with an absurdity.

    According to the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 21, there is no time for that to happen once the end times arrive. Not a few men think the conversion of the Jews refers to those individually converted since Deicide and until Parousia.

    As regards the Christians letting Jews gain control over them La Civilta Catholic was right:

    ..any country which turns away from laws based on the teaching of the Catholic Church and God’s eternal law will end up being ruled by Jews…

    .”By force or by love, this will result in redress. And perhaps the Hebrews themselves will be constrained to ask that this be initiated. For the overpowering force set in motion by that revolutionary right has today resulted in the Jews constructing an abyss, as wide as it is deep, into which all will go. And at the first burst of the engine that they, with their arrogance, provoke, the nations that have foolishly exalted them, will hurl them over it so completely, that through this means the Jews will also prosecute those nations who have exalted them, to an extent unprecedented in those nations’ histories and unprecedented in the annals of modern audacity.”

    Forty three years after this was published, Hitler was named Chancellor.

    Yes, the protestant revolution resulted in them disconnecting from the authority of The Catholic Church but they ended up in a far worse situation- such as America now exists – but the protestant ethos and ideology (America is protestant all the way) is that “Well, we don[t need to recognise the Kingship of Jesus and legislate according to His will, we can have liberty and do as we wish and all we have to rdo is elect the right man and all will be fine.”

  27. Dixon Craig

    Here in Alberta, the government posts daily COVID data at
    I looked at data from March 13 to October 29 and tabulated the frequency of deaths per day; i.e there were 66 days where only one death was recorded , 25 days where 2 deaths were recorded, 25 days where 3 deaths were recorded and so on. I copied and pasted the data below. (please excuse formatting).
    Note the large number of days where EXACTLY one death was recorded, yet not a single incidence of a day where no deaths were recorded. Believable? I think not!!!
    1 66
    2 25
    3 25
    4 8
    5 5
    6 5
    7 4
    8 2

  28. ABS, you’ve evaded my question. If, as you proclaim, all Jews are evil and the source of societal evils, which of the following solutions would you advocate: 1) conversion centers; 2) kill them all; 3) exile them to Africa or some other out of the way location? 4) or ??? . Please supply a definite answer, not an evasion, so I and other readers can be clear as to your position. If you won’t, one can only assume that your views are not rationally based and therefore it doesn’t pay to engage in rational debate with you. As the Church says, one cannot argue in the face of invincible ignorance.
    At any rate, this will be my last attempt to engage in any discussion with you about Jews are about science.

  29. The Ghost of Ken Earle

    Cases are increasing. I work in a medical laboratory and our positive test RATE (not only the absolute number of positive results, but the percent positive rate) has been steadily increasing for about 4-5 weeks. There is nothing surprising about this. We predicted COVID-19 would be seasonal, and it is. The good news is we are not getting anything close to the number of hospitalizations we had in the spring. They are going up for sure, but not at the same rate. Deaths are also increasing (rate), but not anything close to the spring. The case fatality rate is much lower than the spring. I know the fear of some kind of social takeover is out there, but what’s happening medically from my viewpoint is expected, is fine, and our governor (NJ) is reacting to it differently than he did in the spring, suggesting they understand the danger does not warrant lock downs. Let’s hope it stays this way.

  30. Briggs


    Many thanks for this. Of course, your governor is a rarity. Too many are panicking—again.


    Let’s try to keep on topic.

  31. Fredo

    Jews are the grand foil you’re supposed to think they control everything.
    The power behind the throne is not the Jews they are the obsequious and fawning
    handmaidens of power, collecting the rents, managing the estates, making
    the loans, reporting the news. If they have one flaw it is that they don’t disabuse
    you of this notion. they after all don’t own two thirds of Canada.

  32. Briggs


    Let’s try to keep on topic here. This article is being widely shared.

    We want to calm people down.

  33. Fredo

    Sorry it’s all ABS’s fault…

  34. Rudolph Harrier

    There is much doom and gloom in MN about the state approaching 3000 deaths.

    Little said is that the UMN models used to justify the old lockdown, predicted at least 12,093 deaths by March 2021:

    Note that this is the absolute best case scenario. That number assumes a longer lockdown than what actually occurred, tests which are far more accurate than what we have, an insanely high testing rate that we have only recently hit (but which the model assumes from May), the implicit assumption that high testing will automatically lead to effective “contact tracing” and cut down on infections, and on top of all that this number is read from the bottom of the confidence interval. While I suppose there are about 4 months to the “full year” in the model (since it started from March) it’s absurd to think that there will be 9,000 more deaths in that time, and the model had most of them happening before now anyway.

    The scenario which most closely matches reality (in terms of the assumptions behind it) is Scenario 5. But this predicted 29,030 deaths over the year (with 1,441 by the end of May!)

    The model has never been disavowed and the modelers are still being consulted to inform public policy.

  35. Richard Hill

    Dear Mr. Briggs, You blame the media for “juicing” and other sins. Are they really guilty, or, is it us? They only say what people want to hear. Stop watching and reading and it will go away. But, I love your work. Please keep going.

  36. Dale

    It’s started again tonight. March-like panic is washing over the planet. News tonight is back to ‘heart-breaking scenes’ in Italian hospitals, US doctor breaking down, same roving nurse demeaning her dying patients for denying Covid in their final hours, panic buying and empty grocery shelves, lines for testing over the horizon …

  37. On specificity and sensitivity. The RT-PCR test has a pretty high specificity – well over 99%. If it is positive, it’s because SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA is present, or there’s contamination. However, the presence of that RNA doesn’t mean an infection is active, but it does mean the virus was present in that person – asymptomatically or symptomatically. One problem with the way the tests are done here is they keep running the PCR through multiple cycles, and the more cycles, the more sensitive it is – the smaller the amount of the RNA needed to get a positive result.

    But… if one is to apply the Bayesian logic – with high but not perfect specificity, it is only reasonable to also bring in another prior: people being tested have a higher likelihood of actually having the virus than the population in general. That’s why we see higher test positivity percentages, when testing is limited – and testing in the US is still way below a reasonable level. Sick people, and exposed people are more likely to get tested than the average citizen.

    So I don’t buy into the idea that the current “surge” is just an artifact of more testing. It’s not that simple.

    Also, the rise in hospitalizations and COVID19 deaths is consistent with an actual increase in sickness, not just test artifact. The site is very useful for looking at this stuff. I’ve been tracking my home state – Arizona – on it for a long time, and the COVID19 deaths do track – lagged of course – the positive test curves (not to be confused with positivity rate).

    Anyone can try it – go to the site, go down to the fourth graph – cases normalized by population. Select 7 day moving average “cases” for the test curve. Then select “additional data” and select 7 day moving average of deaths, being sure to set it to scale separately from the cases. Then look at the curves. Very good correspondence.

    They don’t have Arizona hospitalization data there for some reason. But, it’s available as graphs on the state health department website. It also tracks nicely – hospitalizations, ICU usage, ventilator usage.

    Deaths do drop off as a percentage from earlier in the year – but that’s not surprising, given better isolation of vulnerable, the deaths of many of them already, and better treatments.

    I put in as my website for this comment (it’s not – I don’t run it) – so you can click on it.

  38. Bobcat

    I’m no statistician, but after hearing about the coronavirus being hyped up over and over again by the lameass media and how there was constant talk about the spread of the virus and nothing about the simple cures you can take to fix the problem if you ever got, I figured it was bunch of politicized bullderdash after a point.
    I don’t even think they’re even helping the situation more by requiring everyone to wear masks everytime you go to the store and soforth since that doesn’t do much but reduce your oxygen levels and perhaps makes you even more susceptible to illness. Maybe wearing a mask temporarily in a large crowd might help for a short while. But wearing a mask all the time at work and everywhere? I doubt it.

  39. Rudolph Harrier

    The only way that US testing can be “way below a reasonable level” is if “a reasonable level” means universal testing.

  40. Scott

    You’re laugably wrong on everything it’s insane. Reading this is a danger and will prolong the pandemic.

    I will start and end with your thesis, testing means raters are higher. California is testing by far more than any other state and is ranked 41 (total) and 46 (last 7 days) in case per 100K

    Do not believe this! This is a clickbait ad trying to sell you a book. Don’t waste your time or money.

  41. Briggs


    You’re wrong, and laughably wrong. I’ll let somebody else see if you’re insane. Reading your comment is a danger and will prolong the panic. You need to read more carefully.

    First, these are not “cases”. They are positive tests. You can’t go by positive tests per 100,000 because we’re only interested in total testing and how that contributes to false reports of “cases”. You can compare deaths per 100,000, say, but it’s testing that is driving the number of wrongly reported “cases”.

    Here are the top 6 states on the 15th, in order of tests, using the COVID Project’s numbers (always higher than the CDC’s). CA is on top all right.

             Date   State       Daily deaths         Daily tests
    6  2020-11-15    CA            35                   195189
    48 2020-11-15    TX            89                   136061
    38 2020-11-15    NY            30                   133202
    35 2020-11-15    NJ            18                   128343
    11 2020-11-15    FL            30                   122779
    17 2020-11-15    IL            74                    84831

    Now here are those states in daily tests followed by daily deaths. Testing is out of control and has no relation to deaths.

    State tests

    State deaths

  42. mesocyclone, do you have a reference for that “99% specificity” figure? Thanks. If that is correct, it would change the probability (still using the 70% sensitivity figure from the BMJ) of having wuhan flu with a positive test to 75%, still not impressive.

  43. Amateur Brain Surgeon

    ABS, you’ve evaded my question. If, as you proclaim, all Jews are evil and the source of societal evils, which of the following solutions would you advocate: 1) conversion centers; 2) kill them all; 3) exile them to Africa or some other out of the way location? 4) or ??? .

    Dear Bob. It is the New Testament that teaches Jews are the adversary of all men 1 These 2:15.

    Also, in todays’ readings there is Luke 19:27 You better not read it, you are too delicate for truth. The exegesis is that Jews who do not accept Jesus as Messias will be condemned to Hell.

    As for that is to be done with Jews, you are as ignorant about that as you are angry about the idea there could even be a solution. Pope Saint Gregory the great who authored the famous “Constitution of the Jews,” Sicut Judaeis non

    The Cliff note version of the Cliff notes is that Jews are to be allowed to worship as they desire and should not be forcibly converted, harmed or killed but Christians should not let them ascend to positions of authority because of their Talmudic immorality.

    The redoubtable H.W. Crocker III in “Triumph” rightly notes that had Germany maintained the Inquisition Hitlr woulds never have risen to power.

    But, go ahead Bob, accuse ABS of saying things he never has because fear of the jews is even ancient, ever new.

    Dear Briggs. OK, ABS will stop the point about Jews because its is so huge it can not be seen

  44. Sheri

    Fredo: Thank you for totally ignoring the question and making an irrelevant comment. I asked if you preferred the Turnip in the Basement and his sidekick Sleeps with Anyone in Power? It’s a simple question that for some reason seems to have kicked in the defenseive Fredo….
    I know that no one is going to jail and it’s a one-party system with the Democrats (communists) in charge. Has been for most of my life. That does not answer the question.

  45. Ganderson

    My prediction here in Massachusetts is that Baker is going to lock the state down again. The signs are everywhere. My question for those assembled here is, what can we non Branch Covidians do? Mass protests? The problem as I see it is that huge numbers of Americans, perhaps half, think this is the Black Death and it’s impossible to convince them otherwise. And most of. The Branch Covidians have real power- they run the governments at various levels, the schools, the colleges- all in the hands of people who have a religious commitment to masks lockdowns, regulations on how many people you can have for Christmas dinner. On another Forum Someone observed that it’s going to be easier to celebrate Christmas in China than it is in many parts of the US. So what do we do?

  46. ganderson

    And they’re moving the goalposts- lots of talk about how a vaccine (which I suspect is being overpromised) will not mean the return to normal. Of course not.

  47. Dennis

    “And they’re moving the goalposts- lots of talk about how a vaccine (which I suspect is being overpromised) will not mean the return to normal. Of course not.”

    Indeed. Went form “flatten the curve” for a few weeks, to nothing can be normal until no one is at risk (which can by definition never happen), to just until a vaccine…but wait, even with a vaccine Fraudci says still have to have mask and anti-social distancing, etc.

    I agree vaccines are being oversold. I highly doubt the claims of Pfizer and Moderna of 90%+ effectiveness. After decades on the market, even flu vaccines are only about 50% effective. Yet, we’re supposed to believe that experimental vaccines for a supposedly “novel” virus, created in less than a year (which cannot be done without cutting some corners, since the vaccine testing and approval process usually takes about 10 years), are 90%+ effective? Yeah, right.

    And in any case, the focus on vaccine is simply misguided and unnecessary anyway for an alleged virus with an IFR a low as this one. Not worth worrying about. People just need to wake up form their politician and media-induced stupor and start acting like normal, sane people, and quit worrying.

    As for Thanksgiving and Christmas, people just need to do what they wish and ignore inane, unjustified, and illegal diktats from tyrannical government officials. What are they going to do, send police around to arrest everyone Christmas morning?

  48. Rudolph Harrier

    I’ve been disappointed by the public reaction before, but I think the make-or-break point will be Easter. If they say that we have to cancel Easter again, then it should be clear to everyone that this is permanent. One time cancellation of an event might be necessary due to extreme circumstances, but if it is regularly cancelled it’s never coming back. We will also be past all possible excuses outside of “we have to keep doing this until COVID-19 and all respiratory diseases are completely eradicated.”

  49. Ganderson

    Easter! Jesus! And, as Tom Woods has pointed out, while they are locking us in they are taking away most of out pleasures. Union College just announced their cancelling Winter Sports, That leaves only 5 ECAC teams playing hockey this winter. My bet is Hockey East packs it in before Christmas. As the threat recedes the restrictions increase.

  50. Ganderson

    They’re. Misspelling a sign of Covid?

  51. Dennis

    Easter!? There better be some massive changes before then (April 4 next year, so still just over 4.5 months off).

    Though I saw this week that the NCAA is already discussing fan-less tournament and games all in one location next year…too many things already being put off or massively re-organized that are still many months off…people just assuming and accepting ongoing tyranny and never normal. This must end soon. Life cannot go on like this.

  52. Briggs

    Mary a.k.a. Dan

    You, madam or sir, cannot read. Read what is above instead of propaganda from CNN.

  53. Sheri

    Mary Joseph:
    Number of deaths for leading causes of death:
    Heart disease: 655,381
    Cancer: 599,274
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 167,127
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 159,486
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 147,810
    Alzheimer’s disease: 122,019
    Diabetes: 84,946
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 59,120
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 51,386
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 48,344
    Source: Mortality in the United States, 2018, data table for figure 2
    (I could not find 2019–it’s probably too complex for them to have counted in only a year.)

    I have no idea where CNN came up with their garbage figures, but in 2018 over a million people died from heart disease and cancer. To date, less than a quarter of a million of died from Covid, unless you’re going by the madeup numbers of Biden and Harris.

  54. Doctor Doctor

    As a biomedical researcher and healthcare provider of over 30 years I find your analysis full of false interpretations and dogmatic assertions. Forget the number of cases look at the hospitalizations and deaths. Your divisive political viewpoint rather than honest, neutral description of the data clouds what is a public health issue. Leave medical decisions to those trained and qualified to make them.

  55. Briggs

    “Doctor Doctor”,

    If you are a physician, you can’t read and are full of it. Good grief. The whole article is about deaths and you say look at deaths.


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