Yes, You May Have A Happy Thanksgiving: Coronavirus Update XLI

Yes, You May Have A Happy Thanksgiving: Coronavirus Update XLI

Panicked Reactions

Do not listen to this man. He is not sane. That this man with this big a departure from sanity became the Health Secretary for an entire state should give you a strong clue that much of the hyper-overreaction of the virus is politically motivated.

This is absurd. Because, as you’ll see below, even if you don’t have the bug today, you can get it tomorrow. Testing has to be endless.

Regular readers will recall when mandatory vaccination was a conspiracy theory.

Of course, now all communicable diseases will require mandatory vaccinations. You will have to carry with you everywhere you go certification you have received whatever is the current list of vaccines.

To make others safe, of course. The vaccine the other guy took does not protect him. The one they may you take will protect him. It’s science.

Now not all communicable diseases have vaccines. Therefore anybody who engages in behavior that put them at risk of HIV cannot travel.

Or Ebola

Or on and on and on and on.

Or is that the coronavirus is the only disease? All others no longer exist.


Had too busy of a week to do anything much about the book.

Andrew Harrod (review): COVID-19’s Catastrophic Pandemic Fear.

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. WHO flu tracker. 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).

Two million a day now. Not one. Two. Million. As in two thousand thousands. Maybe I should have a contest to predict the first day of three million. Comment below.

Each positive test in the media 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, why are you getting tested?

“To be sure I don’t have it, Briggs! You uncaring fool.”

That so? So you got tested yesterday?

“Yes, a negative.”

But you might have caught it since then. Right? You need to test every day if you’re that concerned. Right?


And every day forever, since this bug will never go away.

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. There is early variability in March because deaths and testing was low. Testing no longer has any relationship to number of deaths. Testing is purely its own phenomenon, disconnected from all medical reality.

LATE HOMEWORK Posted this last week and nobody has yet done it. Get busy! 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. The CDC says deaths “involving” COVID.

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 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.

Here is another way to look at the same data, week of the year all cause deaths, along with a model (black line) of what deaths would look like without COVID.

Ignoring the late counts, deaths are exactly where we expect them to be. There is no reason or justification to panic.

Here is what the CDC said this week about the flu (the refresh this page all the time, so go and look now):

Please note, the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) monitors outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI), not laboratory confirmed influenza, and as such, will capture visits due to other respiratory pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, that present with similar symptoms. In addition, healthcare seeking behaviors have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are accessing the healthcare system in alternative settings which may or may not be captured as a part of ILINet. Therefore, ILI data, including ILI activity levels, should be interpreted with extreme caution.

They also say “Flu activity is unusually low at this time but may increase in the coming months.” Which is amusing.

Here is the WHO’s global flu tracker:

Flu has gone missing. Flu + pneumonia kill about 200,000 each and every year in the US. Not anymore. That is, we don’t know any more, because nobody is bothering to check.

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 OtherCause
1       Under 1 year 0.00000710    0.00380
2          1–4 years 0.00000100    0.00017
3         5–14 years 0.00000098    0.00010
4        15–24 years 0.00000980    0.00063
5        25–34 years 0.00003900    0.00120
6        35–44 years 0.00011000    0.00180
7        45–54 years 0.00029000    0.00320
8        55–64 years 0.00068000    0.00710
9        65–74 years 0.00160000    0.01400
10       75–84 years 0.00390000    0.03400
11 85 years and over 0.01100000    0.10000

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

About masks, see this article.

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  1. John B()

    “…Two million a day now. Not one. Two. Million. As in two thousand thousands. Maybe I should have a contest to predict the first day of three million. Comment below…Each positive test in the media 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….”

    Despite testing “NEW””NOT””CASES” appear to have plateaued and may very soon be falling unless the three million tests can make up for the falling cases

  2. JR Ewing

    @John B()

    This is why they MUST increase testing. If they quit testing, “cases” will start to go down. That’s against the approved narrative.

    I keep a daily graph of tests vs positives – more complicated than you think, because they go back and revise historical data on a seemingly random basis – and the correlation between total tests and total positives is striking. Since around the middle of the summer the correlation appears to be very precise.

  3. RW

    Giving the homework assignment a shot.

    Assuming a false positive rate of 4% and a prevalence of 5%, the probability of a healthy person testing positive is (0.04*0.95 =) 0.038, i.e. 3.8%. With 1.7 million tests daily, this comes out to (0.038*1,700,000 =) 64,600 false positives DAILY. Insane. And this will of course keep climbing as the testing increases.

    I am new to statistics and your site, so I would be grateful if you would point out any mistakes I might have made in my calculation.

    Thanks for a wonderful and inspirational site and the daily doses of sanity.


  4. Rudolph Harrier

    We are about at the point where they will admit that yes the plan is universal testing, and everyone must be tested multiple times.

    They are still saying “there’s not nearly enough testing.” But there’s no way to increase testing dramatically above what is already being done except to have universal testing with repeated tests required for everyone.

  5. Pk

    And, if we assume the test is 100% accurate for detecting true positives, then if you test positive your chances are roughly 20 to 55 percent that you actually are positive.

  6. Hun

    I find it interesting that Qantas and other big airlines are sill not bankrupt. They must be losing a lot of money. Lot more than after 9/11.

  7. 300

    Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine…”Do not listen to this man. He is not sane.” LOL! And biologically accurate. Another dose of reality from Mr. Briggs!

  8. Chad Jessup

    I hope Quantas carries through with that policy, the result being bankruptcy.

  9. Pat Cusack

    Asymptomatic about to go asymptotic.

  10. Mocheirge

    The drug store I pass each morning now has a line of cars waiting for a drivethruwuflu test. It’s getting longer every day. Using googlemaps, I measured the length at just shy of a quarter-mile (1250ft) today. Then I clicked on the drug store itself, and the top comment was a complaint about “3 hour wait for a covid test!”

    This is a single drug store in a suburb of a small city. The scale of testing is staggering… ly stupid.

    Why aren’t we testing everyone for Zika? Ebola? You might be asymptomatic, but you could still spread it according to 2020 mythoscience. Everyone is a potentinal Typhoid Mary!

  11. Dean Ericson

    Mochierge — crazy stuff.

    What they’re really testing is how far they can terrorize people into mass obedience, and how insane — literally “unhealthy” — you can make a society. Deliberately. The results of that ongoing test are astonishing.

  12. Sheri

    There’s a reason why I never fly…..

    “Of course, now all communicable diseases will require mandatory vaccinations.” HIV is still “special” and you can bang whomever you want without proof you’re not spreading a pandemic. It always will be special and exempt from all rules. I read in California there’s no penalty for spreading it to unsuspecting partners–you may feel free to infect away.

    Sorry. Predicting insanity outcomes is impossible. When we will hit three million involves totally insane people being listened to by the gullible and moronic. Cannot predict.

    You need a test when you’re not sick so if it comes out positive you can be forcibly quarantined and hopefully get sick because you BELIEVE.

    Minnesota was always full of crazy people and they have gotten worse. The violence and communist nature of the place is quite unnerving. I used to live about 2 miles south of the Minnesota border, but I would never go even that close to the place.

    Dean: I absolutely agree. Our complete insanity is being tested. We’re scoring high on insane, low on rational and functioning adult.

  13. Not only are the false positive and false negative rates not adequately published for the various tests, *NO ONE* knows what the true prevalence is; so, as stated, testing *today* has *no medical necessity* backing it. This is *pure power politics*.

    1 million tests per day and *zero* true prevalence means all million are false positive. A true prevalence of 5% means, if you have 100% true positives, only 50,000 true positives. At 5% false positives and 95% true ones, at 1 million tests, you have 5,000 false tests and 45,000 true ones, given a 5% true prevalence. That’s only if you have no false negatives. At 1% true prevalence, you have only *10,000* true positive tests if you don’t have any false negatives nor false positives. Such a waste of money! That’s why we have never done this kind of testing in the past, for a disease that’s not from a medical viewpoint, truly worrying for most folk. This is even more so for the specific disease called the common cold; which for nearly everyone is so mild it lasts about a week no matter what you do ;). I think that I’ve not made any math/logic mistakes here. If I have, I apologize.

  14. Luke

    RW did the math correctly above for the 5% prevalence, and with 1% prevalence it’s roughly 67000. Someone else can do 2,3 and 4 if they’d like. The daily reported “cases” are 7 day averages, ranging from 160000-170000. So about 40% of those test results are false positives. If you keep using 5% prevalence and 4% FP rate, and then look back at say August, about 70% of the test results then were FP.
    If I was in PR, I’d talk about the tests getting more “accurate” for sure.

  15. Dennis

    Everyone everywhere has an obligation to simply ignore absurd and dangerous diktats coming from governors and other politicians using Covid as the excuse for their tyranny, especially those claiming the right to “cancel” Thanksgiving or Christmas (I saw one UK politician say Christmas should be “postponed” for 6 months. Imagine being both so ignorant and arrogant as to think politicians can simply rearrange the liturgical calendar at will. You cannot “cancel” or “postpone” Christmas dearie – that’s several orders of magnitude above your pay grade).

    “Do not listen to this man. He is not sane.” Indeed. That this obviously mentally disturbed person who imagines himself to now be a woman was ever put in charge of state health policy in PA is even more of an indictment of the people of PA than the rampant election fraud they are condoning and ratifying. But it’s gotten to the point where I think it’s clear most governors, mayors, and health officials are either plain mad or willfully destructive. The truth is out there about this virus and about the measures they’ve been taking not working, yet they just keep doing more of the same (“Lockdowns and masks didn’t work the first time? We’re no better than places that didn’t adopt such stringent and tyrannical measures? Well, you plebs probably aren’t following the rules enough…we need more testing and more lockdowns and more tyranny to destroy the last remnants of bars and restaurants, and curfew from 10PM-5AM – is the virus especially virulent outdoors at those hours? – that’ll fix it!”).

    It won’t end until the insane obsession with testing ends. I saw a long line of traffic the other day that I couldn’t figure out at first, then realized it must have been some drive-thru test center. Most of the people driving hardly looked to be at death’s door, or even sick at all. Why is the truth not getting through to politicians and people at large? Why the continued obsession with all things Covid (To the point where any discussion of someone ill or in hospital has to be followed up with “no, not from Covid…” as if it’s assumed everything now is all Covid all the time and no one ever gets ill from anything else!). Madness. Governors everywhere should be pointing to the Danish mask study and telling people, “you know what, we were wrong…act like normal people again please,” but instead they just ignore it and even double-down issuing even more insane diktats.

    And it will only get words if Biden is installed in January, since he’s a hardcore Covid paranoiac and Great Reseter. Insane that 10 months on people are still blithely acting as if this way of life must be expected to continue for another 6-8 months, and are accepting it (and then there’s the obsession with a vaccine…over my dead body will I inject some experimental mRNA vaccine rushed to market in less than a year, whose long-term effects are unknown, for a virus with an IFR in the range of flu).

    As for people wondering how airlines are even still in business…I can only surmise that they must be getting huge government subsidies. After all, corporate welfare is where the bulk of the “stimulus” money went…the $1200 to individuals was just a minor sop.

  16. Dennis

    Also regarding PCR test, false positives, prevalence, etc.: Why are so may in positions of authority seemingly unaware of the infamous PCR test fabricated Whooping Cough Pseudo-Epidemic at Dartmouth in 2006 (and several other similar instances of PCR test misuse creating the appearance of epidemics that weren’t)?

    The problems with using PCR tests as diagnostic tools (even the creator warned against it for such use!) are long-standing and well known. I can only assume that people like Fraudci and other health bureaucrats advising politicians know, but are simply ignoring the dangers for political purposes in pushing mass PCR testing on the population of the world now for Covid. The bigger question is why they are doing so. Who do they really serve? What is their motive? Cui bono?

  17. Paul

    “Flu has gone missing. Flu + pneumonia kill about 200,000 each and every year in the US. Not anymore. That is, we don’t know any more, because nobody is bothering to check.”

    Could you cite that 200,000 number? It provides some great context but I can’t find it anywhere. Looking at CDC numbers and all I can find is an estimated 30,000 – 50,000 per year flu + pneumonia.

  18. Briggs


    It’s that weekly file linked in sources, week 38 (you have to change the week on spreadsheet name to 38 yourself). Just sum the flu+pneumonia in each calendar year.

  19. C-Marie

    And I used to wonder how Revelation 13: 16-17 could possibly come about. ot to say this is It, but is a sampling of their power to come.

    15And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Revelation 13: 16-17.

    As Jesus said, we are to be ready and to be in Him and Him in us, always!

    God bless, C-Marie

    God bless, C-Marie

  20. Dean Ericson

    C-Marie: ”As Jesus said, we are to be ready and to be in Him and Him in us, always!”

    Amen Sister, and thank you for your inspiring words. Good bless you, and all you scattered Briggsians, and true Americans, and, to second our host; may you have a Happy and joy filled Thanksgiving.

  21. PaulH

    I’m a bit late for the math test, but I’ll give it a shot.

    Given: We have a Prevalence Rate of 5% and a False Positive Rate of 4%, and we test 1,700,000 people.
    Assume: No other confounding factors like false-negatives, mishandled samples resulting in cross-contaminations, mistakes by fatigued testers, unexpected non-sterile conditions, etc.

    That means 85,000 people will have the WuFlu in our sample.

    With the FPR of 4%, 4% of the remaining 1,615,000 who are not infected will test positive. That means 64,600 false-positive test results, for a total of 149,600 “CASES!” dutifully reported by the expert media and political geniuses.

    To compute the Reliability of this mass-testing exercise:

    85,000/149,600 x 100 = 56.8%

    Therefore, if you test “positive” at your local pop-up drive-through CV-19 testing center, you have a 56.8% likelihood of being infected with WuFlu. That’s better than a coin-toss, but not by much.

  22. C-Marie

    A very Happy and Blessed and full of God’s Love Thanksgiving to all of us and especially to Matt and his!!
    In Jesus’ Love, C-Marie

  23. Milton Hathaway

    Covid insanity? I’m thinking more along the lines of innumeracy (which, btw, is also a book, by John Allen Paulos).

    I believe that most readers of this blog are quite numerate. The innumerate, you see, are very different from you and me. If a numerate tries to talk numbers with an innumerate, they’ll tune each other out. Communication drops to zero, and they end up talking past each other, each thinking the other is an idiot.

    Is numeracy better than innumeracy, or does society need both? Rush Limbaugh is an admitted innumerate, yet he sees the stitches on a fastball better than anyone. Covid is a problem of numbers, so if you are innumerate, you have to rely on ‘experts’. But the innumerate are inherently unable to differentiate between good and bad experts, and are likely biased toward the bad experts.

    When the Covid thing came up, I repeatedly dismissed it. Nothing in the numbers worried me, and my profession has trained me to tune out hyperbole. If you would have told me that it would cause Trump to lose the election, I would have laughed at you. Numeracy caused me to miss the big picture, that Covid would be used as an excuse to mail out ballots to huge numbers of disinterested low-information Americans, and the Republicans wouldn’t recognize the looming disaster. (With mail-in voting, the Demoncrats don’t even need election fraud, the signatures will match. Our republic simply can’t survive massive voter turnout.)

    My guess is that the innumerate make up at least 2/3rds of society, so the numerate need to adapt, to find means of communicating with the innumerate in ways they can understand. How to do that? I have no idea. Shared principles and values should work well, but those are in short supply, it seems.

  24. John F Hultquist

    Fellow travelers — relax – – I have had my Tetanus shot.

  25. KNK

    Maybe all those “green new deal” proponents can get on board with stopping the testing as it contributes to an astronomical amount of waste and non-recyclable materials being dumped. My brother-in-law works for a company that makes COVID-19 tests and the waste in test tubes, packaging, etc is in the truckloads per day. On a positive note, he mentioned they are running out of supplies for making tests, so maybe, just maybe there won’t be enough to keep up with 3M tests per day. For the love of Christ, people, STOP getting tested for the cold. My 2-year old had a snotty nose last Monday. Did I run off to get her tested? NO! She was fine after 2 days and neither of my older kids have any problems, nor me or my husband.

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