Intelligent Design

Time to End One-Size-Fits-All Virus Response

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Trump’s plan calls for protecting vulnerable age cohorts while letting the less vulnerable get back to work. The two charts below demonstrate why opposition to this proposal borders on the insane.

The first chart is from CDC’s website showing COVID-19 deaths by age cohort as of April 17. The total is only 13,130, because CDC is behind in sorting this data. According to Worldmeter, total US deaths as of April 17 are 37,230. The second chart assumes the rates stay the same as the data is compiled (and I see no reason we should not assume that). Then I calculate total deaths as of today by age cohort.

One number should jump out at you. 3,315. That is the total number of deaths in the three months since the beginning of the pandemic among people under 55. In a country with a population of 327,167,434, that is .001%. That is 1 one thousandth of a percent.

Fact: The overwhelming majority of deaths are among the elderly.
Fact: The overwhelming majority of deaths are among those with serious preexisting conditions.
Fact: The government response is to treat young healthy people with practically zero risk of death the same as sick, elderly people.

The third fact needs to end, and that is the administration’s plan. You don’t shut the county down over a 1 one thousandth of a percent risk.

91 Replies to “Time to End One-Size-Fits-All Virus Response

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    Shouldn’t the elderly be allowed to return too if they know the risks. They are no more likely to be infectious and pass the virus along. But isolating them is isolating tens of millions of people.

    I know some extremely healthy 65+ people. Some run marathons and compete in triathlons. Who gets out and who doesn’t? Seems a little totalitarian? This is one voting block I would not want to piss off.

  2. 2
    MatSpirit says:

    Wow. Just wow.

    Looks like you’ve won the Dr. Oz award for sure.

    Not that there could possibly be anything wrong with your math because you are a former CPA and all, but why do you use the figure 327,167,434? That’s the total population of the United States and the vast majority of the US population has never been exposed to Covid. They either live in dense urban areas that are practicing the kind of social isolation measure that Trump and the conservatives are trying to end, or they live so far out in the boonies they never see a stranger to catch anything from.

    Or they live in one of the states whose Republican governors have refused to order social distancing and they are just now watching their infection rates starting to soar.

    Why don’t you do a recalc with more realistic figures?

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Apparently, in liberal thinking, only impressionable teen age girls who choose death for their unborn babies during the pandemic are capable of making rational choices about the health and welfare of others when it comes to the consequences of what their own actions may be on others.

    Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said abortion is a “life-sustaining” health care procedure that must remain available during the coronavirus pandemic.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/17/gretchen-whitmer-michigan-governor-declares-aborti/

    World Health Organization: Abortion Is ‘Essential’ During Coronavirus Pandemic
    https://tennesseestar.com/2020/04/06/world-health-organization-abortion-is-essential-during-coronavirus-pandemic/

    Abortion is, by far, the leading cause of death in the world and makes the deaths caused by corona virus pale in comparison

    Abortions worldwide this year: (live update)
    12,642,227
    https://www.worldometers.info/abortions/

    Coronavirus Deaths (live update):
    159,033
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    Abortion again tops worldwide causes of death in 2019 at more than 42 million
    The number of children killed in the womb is significantly more than half the total of all deaths worldwide. – Thu Jan 2, 2020
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abortion-again-tops-worldwide-causes-of-death-in-2019-at-more-than-42-million

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    MatSpirit,
    What am I thinking? Of course you are right. We should destroy the economy and throw tens of millions out of work and kill hundreds of thousands from the economic depression that is sure to follow if we can save even one person from dying from this virus. And not only that we need to elect as the next president Joe Biden, an octogenarian career political hack with incipient dementia who was first elected to public office in the Nixon administration. He has all the answers we need. Sure, he would have continued travel to China, because as he said at the time, Trump’s decision to shut that down was “hysterical” and “xenophobic.” Tens of thousands more would have died. But that is a small price to pay for avoiding hysteria and xenophobia.

  5. 5
    Barry Arrington says:

    MatSpirit @ 2 unwittingly makes my point. Not only does one-size-fits all not work in the context of age cohorts, it also doesn’t work geographically. He may be right. High density areas like Manhattan need a different response than the plains of Kansas.

  6. 6
    MatSpirit says:

    Barry,

    I don’t see a new number to replace that 327,167,434 with. What would you suggest?

  7. 7
    Barry Arrington says:

    MatSpirit

    What would you suggest?

    I suggest that you learn how to evaluate the benefits you seek in light of the costs necessary to achieve those benefits. Don’t feel bad. It’s not just you. Progressives have a really hard time with that sort of calculation.

  8. 8
    MatSpirit says:

    Barry, look at a population map. Way over half of all Americans live in urban areas. In fact, a little Googling shows that 269,114,845 Americans live in urban areas compared to 327,167,434 total. That’s about 80 percent urban.

  9. 9
    Barry Arrington says:

    Yes, Mat a lot of people live in urban areas. So let’s put our two ideas together.
    Stay-at-home orders on the plains of Kansas are stupid, and should be lifted immediately. Stay-at-home orders for people under sixty are stupid even in urban areas. In urban areas we need to protect the demographic cohorts most at risk (sick elderly people), and let those who are at minimal risk get to work opening the economy. Why is this so hard? The only explanation I can think of is that you welcome a depression to give your octogenarian dementia patient a chance at winning in November.
    BTW, here’s the latest on your boy Biden when asked what he would do to respond to the virus:

    “Um, you know, there’s a, uh, during World War II, uh, you know, where Roosevelt came up with a thing, uh, that, uh, you know, was totally different than a- than the- it’s called, he called it, the, you know, the World War II, he had the war- the the War Production Board.”

    See here to watch (if you can bear it).

  10. 10
    MatSpirit says:

    Barry, I would say that progressives are a lot better at evaluating the benefits and dangers of a proposed policy than a conservative who’s suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. One of the symptoms of TDS is that sufferers can look at the last three years of White House Kaos and imagine that Trump is suddenly going to straighten up and fly right.

    Not that Trump is that unusual in conservative circles. We’re still stuck in W’s Iraq war, and then for a grand finale, he crashed the whole world’s economy without even using viruses.

  11. 11
    MatSpirit says:

    Of course, Trump still has that war production board – but he refuses to use it. He said he used it once, I believe to get GM to make ventilators, but it seems to have fallen by the wayside.

    I hear when the Army needs face masks or basic drugs, they have to order from China.

  12. 12
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mat,
    So your solution is to elect as the next president an octogenarian political hack with incipient dementia who was first elected to public office in the Nixon administration? Sure, he has all the answers we need. Take COVID-19 for example. He called Trump’s decision to shut down travel from China “hysterical and xenophobic.” He would have continued travel to China. I suppose you support Biden on that call. To be sure, tens of thousands more would have died if Biden had had his way. But that is a small price to pay for avoiding hysteria and xenophobia, isn’t it Mat?

  13. 13
    Barry Arrington says:

    I hear when the Army needs face masks or basic drugs, they have to order from China.

    Yes, it is a damn shame that the strategic stockpile for such things was not replenished during Obama/Biden’s eight years.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    “progressives are a lot better at evaluating the benefits and dangers of a proposed policy”
    – Matspirit

    LOL,, cue hasn’t got a clue “Nancy ‘let them eat chocolate’ Antoinette” Pelosi to enter stage right,

    GOP Mocks “Nancy Antoinette” Pelosi’s Quarantine Stash Of Expensive Ice Cream In A Very Expensive Freezer – Tim Hains – April 16, 2020
    As this clip from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s interview on CBS’s “Late, Late Show” began to circulate around the internet on Tuesday, the Trump campaign rapid response director Steve Guest pointed out that she is “eating $13 dollar a pint ice cream out of her $24,000 fridge.”
    “The Paycheck Protection Program ran out of money this morning because Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, blocked the necessary $250 billion replenishment for the program that Congressional Republicans tried to deliver,” the Republican National Committee said in a statement on Wednesday. “Now ‘Nancy Antoinette’ has to explain to America why she chose to show off her luxury refrigerators and $13-dollar a pint ice cream collection from her chateau in San Francisco instead of funding the Paycheck Protection Program which has saved millions of jobs all across the country.”
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/04/16/nancy_pelosis_quarantine_stash_of_very_expensive_ice_cream_in_a_very_expensive_freezer.html

    I wonder if the Democrats who were denied Paycheck Protection by Pelosi and company will remember who had their backs during this crisis and who didn’t come November?

  15. 15
    Barry Arrington says:

    MatSpirit:

    I would say that progressives are a lot better at evaluating the benefits and dangers of a proposed policy

    Let’s test that. On March 27, progressive New York governor Andrew Cuomo was running around like his hair was on fire calling for the production of 28,000 more ventilators for his state.
    Today: New York’s hospitalization rate is declining, and they never came remotely close to using all of the ventilators they already had.
    So, Cuomo’s proposed policy was: Do what ever is necessary to get me 28,000 ventilators STAT!”
    The cost of that policy: tens of millions
    The benefit of that policy: ZERO
    Yeah, Mat, I see your point.

  16. 16
    MatSpirit says:

    Barry: “Stay-at-home orders on the plains of Kansas are stupid, and should be lifted immediately.”

    Sure. Open up the restaurants, bars, churches, schools and sports stadiums. Let the long suffering people mingle and bathe in each other’s breaths. So what if most of them get Covid? Only a very few of them will actually die. You’re going for that Doc Oz prize again.

    Your dreams of healthy young Americans joyously going back to work are what we are going to do – when this virus is under control. Until then, it’s a death sentence.

    Here’s your problem if you’re a conservative. The corona virus has demonstrated that it can go from one infected individual on Jan 1 to one million infected people on April 1. That’s three months to explode. And the elections are in seven and a half months. And Trump thinks we can side-step social distancing without a vaccine and things won’t blow up. TDS.

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    Barry: “Stay-at-home orders on the plains of Kansas are stupid.”
    MatSpirit: “Sure. Open up the restaurants, bars, churches, schools and sports stadiums.”
    How many sports stadiums are on the plains of Kansas Mat?
    Mat, you have lost sight of the number one rule of debating on the Internet: “The ability to type is not the same as the ability to say something coherent.” Stop. You are embarrassing yourself.

  18. 18
    MatSpirit says:

    Barry: “Today: New York’s hospitalization rate is declining, and they never came remotely close to using all of the ventilators they already had.”

    Yes. That’s an example of what social distancing and shelter in place can do. And Trump thinks we can end that in starting in about a month. If he’s smart, he’ll wait till no more than a month before the election. Less time for Covid to blow up in his face that way.

  19. 19
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mat:

    Only a very few of them will actually die.

    Yes, Mat. That is kind of the point isn’t it. If opening up the economy will result in only a few deaths, we should consider whether the cost of the alternative — economic ruin (probably accompanied by even more deaths from other causes) — is a greater. You just got through telling me that a progressive like you is better at cost/benefit analysis than I am. How can you be better at it? You don’t even seem to understand why it is necessary.

  20. 20
    MatSpirit says:

    Barry: “How many sports stadiums are on the plains of Kansas Mat?”

    One in every high school. Putting a few hundred people shoulder to shoulder in bleachers should make for a very efficient virus transfer. It gets even better in basket ball season. No heavy coats.

    Barry: “Mat, you have lost sight of the number one rule of debating on the Internet: “The ability to type is not the same as the ability to say something coherent.”

    It’s impossible to forget that rule when you read Uncommon Descent regularly.

  21. 21
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mat,

    Yes. That’s an example of what social distancing and shelter in place can do.

    You seem to be suggesting that social distancing and shelter in place reduced the need for ventilators by 28,000 in just three weeks. Again, stop. It’s painful to watch.

    Two things: (1) It is obvious that Cuomo’s demand was a hysterical overreaction that took no account of cost/benefit.
    (2) Your comment is not cogent to begin with, because when he made the demand Cuomo assumed the additional ventilators would be necessary EVEN WITH social distancing and stay at home orders. You have to evaluate his demand based on whether it was reasonable then. It was clearly not.

  22. 22
    MatSpirit says:

    Yeah, that’s it. Open up the economy now, then watch it crash shut again when the virus reignites then maybe you might get to open it one more time before the election …

    Here’s an idea. Ignore Trump, follow Fauci. He actually knows what he’s doing. Trump doesn’t.

  23. 23
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mat,

    Here’s an idea. Ignore Trump

    Mat, I have a question for you.
    On March 27 Trump said in response to Cuomo’s demand: “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators.”
    Who was right Mat? Actually, that’s not the question. We all know the answer to that. This is the question: Should Trump have been ignored on March 27?

  24. 24
    MatSpirit says:

    Oops, now I finally understand. In the peak of the covid crisis, with thousands dying and things getting worse every day, Coumo planned for the worst case. Well, when you look at it like that, he should clearly be kicked out of office. If he’d just follow the Tao of Trump, he’d know that there’s always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and only fools plan for the worst case.

    I hear that he didn’t destroy those ventilators, though. There are plenty of other hospitals that were glad to get them.

  25. 25
    Seversky says:

    I don’t know. Maybe we should let all these people who want to open up the economy do their own thing. See which strategy works best.
    Survival of the fittest and all that.

    Pastor dies from coronavirus — only weeks after he defiantly held packed church service

    A Virginia pastor who defiantly held a packed church service on March 22 has passed away after being infected with the coronavirus, the New York Post reports.

    During the service, Bishop Gerald O. Glenn told his congregation at Richmond’s New Deliverance Evangelistic Church to stand, defiantly showing the world how many were willing to show up the despite stay-at-home orders meant to help curb the virus’ spread.

    “I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus. You can quote me on that,” he said, adding that “people are healed” in his church.

    Glenn vowed to keep his church open unless he’s “in jail or the hospital.”

    “I am essential,” he said, adding, “I’m a preacher — I talk to God!”

    But on Sunday, the church announced that he had died just a week after testing positive for the virus.

    “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved Bishop Gerald O. Glenn, the Founder and Pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church on Saturday, April 11, 2020 @ 9:00 PM,” the church wrote in a Facebook post.

    I wonder how many believers here are still attending closely-packed open services.

    Personally, I would advise strongly against it but you must do your own thing.

    KF, since we are morally-governed, should we be walking around taking no effective precautions when we could be shedding virus, without even knowing, that could make others ill, even cause their deaths?

  26. 26
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mat,

    Well, when you look at it like that, he should clearly be kicked out of office.

    This is a rhetorical device called “moving the goalposts.” We are not talking about whether Coumo should be removed from office. We are talking about whether his hysterical overreaction took proper account of a cost/benefit analysis, something you say progressives are better at.
    Sure, change the subject if you want to. I suppose if I were as spectacularly wrong as you have been in this discussion, I would be eager to do that as well.

  27. 27
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mat, are you still there? Who was right on March 27? Trump or Cuomo?

  28. 28
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev,

    should we be walking around taking no effective precautions when we could be shedding virus, without even knowing, that could make others ill, even cause their deaths?

    Aaaaand, here comes Sev with the straw man. Sev, who has argued for zero precautions for all demographic cohorts? Since you will not answer that question honestly, I will answer it for you. Exactly no one.

  29. 29
    MatSpirit says:

    I would say ignore Trump. This is an emergency, plan for the worst case.

  30. 30
    MatSpirit says:

    “hysterical overreaction”? In the midst of the worse outbreak of covid 19 in the world?

    TDS

  31. 31
    vividbleau says:

    Barry

    “You seem to be suggesting that social distancing and shelter in place reduced the need for ventilators by 28,000 in just three weeks. “

    This from stat news ( do your own diligence) I will post the link. Regarding the ad hoc
    use of social distancing,etc, to explain away the false predictions.

    “Even the predictions of daily deaths “have been highly inaccurate,” said statistician Sally Cripps of the University of Sydney, who led a team that examined IHME’s up-and-down projections. “It performs poorly even when it predicts the number of next-day deaths: The true number of next-day deaths has been outside the 95% intervals 70% of the time.” If the 95% calculation correctly reflects a model’s uncertainty, then textbook statistics say the true numbers can fall outside that range no more than 5% of the time.”

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/17/influential-covid-19-model-uses-flawed-methods-shouldnt-guide-policies-critics-say/

    Agreed it’s painful to watch.

    Vivid

  32. 32
    Ed George says:

    Putting all of this right vs left nonsense aside, I agree that it makes sense to allow the younger cohorts (under 55) to open the economy back up and put steps in place to continue to isolate the elderly. But what about the millions of those under 55 who are living with and supporting an elderly parent? Should they be excluded from this opening up? And what about the millions of younger people who are essential workers working in the health care system? Should they also be forced to follow in-place orders when they are not working?

    I think we all agree that we will have to open up our society fairly soon. Doing it slowly and wisely is critical.

  33. 33
    orthomyxo says:

    This is similar to the plan the UK had before the data came in from Italy, and is probably something so states will try for. It its an extremely risky approach though, as it depends on being able to absolutely isolate the vulnerable. If you simply “reopen the economy” the virus will take off again and sweep through >50% of the population. The new epidemic wave will create millions of opportunities for the most vulnerable to contract the disease and die or end up in an ICU. Unless you can keep the vulnerable away from the rest of society you are likely to see more periods of lockdown in the future.

    I think more countries will try some form of case-isolation and tracking once they’ve passed the first wave. The idea being to keep prevalence very low for a long time but actively finding cases and quarantining them. This will depend on keeping the number of contacts-per-case manageable low, so will probably mean some from of physical distancing will say in place for a long time (albeit not full lockdown).

  34. 34
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    There’s a meme going around that in 1918 the first wave of Spanish flu only killed single digit million people, the second wave killed dozens of millions of people. I would like to see that verified.

  35. 35
    Barry Arrington says:

    Cuomo called for 28,000 ventilators on March 27 (cost per ventilator is $40,000; total cost $1.12 billion).
    Trump said on the same day NY did not need 28,000 more ventilators.
    NY is past its peak hospitalization and NY was did not use all of the ventilators they had in stock. So it is clear they did not need more.
    I asked MatSpirit who was right, Trump or Cuomo. He says Cuomo was right.
    Huh? How can that be you ask?
    Simple, you have to learn progressive logic to see that not only was Mat right, he was inevitably right.
    I will explain for the uninitated:
    You see, when you are a progressive, the answer is not a matter of logic and evidence; it is a matter of “what do I need the answer to be to support my argument?” In this case Mat needed the answer to be that Cuomo was right to ask for 28,000 additional ventilators even though he clearly did not need them. So what is a progressive to do? Simple: Establish a new principle: Cuomo was right to demand a billion dollars be spent for more ventilators because of the “plan for the worst case” principle. It’s brilliant really. Cuomo demanded 28,000 ventilators he did not need. He was right to do so. Indeed, he was morally obligated to do so, because he was “planning for the worst case.” Notice how flexible this principle is. No matter how hysterically overstated Cuomo’s demand, he would have still been right to make it. 28,000 he did not need? He was right. 50,000 he did not need. Still right, because he was planning for worst case. 100,000? Still right. You get the picture.
    Of course, any child can see what Mat is doing here, and he convinces no one, least of all himself, because he knows as well as the rest of us that he is spewing BS.*

    So, let’s go back to the original question. Who is better at cost/benefit analysis?
    The bottom line: Cuomo’s call for an unnecessary billion dollar expenditure was a hysterical overreaction. The billion dollar cost was not justified by the zero benefit. Trump’s response that it was not necessary to spend that billion dollars to gain zero benefit was correct.

    Who was the better steward of limited tax dollars? Trump.

    _____
    *BTW, this length of this comment is a classic example of the BAP. “BAP” stands for “BS asymmetry principal,” the principle that dispelling BS requires far more effort than to sling it in the first place.

  36. 36
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    @Seversky My commission sales job involves dealing with a lot of customers every day, and we’re doing significant protocols to try to stop the spread of the virus, but I have noticed something, black women and men are wearing masks when they come in, and white women are wearing masks, but white men are not wearing masks. Ugh.

    A few miles east of me our idiot governor has reopened the beaches. I like to do my 750m swim as much as the next person(1), but it’s probly going to cause a second wave.

    (1: anybody who knows what sport I amateurishly compete in knows that number)

  37. 37
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mat,

    “hysterical overreaction”? In the midst of the worse outbreak of covid 19 in the world?

    Mat, as we saw above, Cuomo called for an unnecessary $1.12 billion expenditure. Is there any limit to the number of billions of unnecessary spending that you would not try to justify with the phrase “worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world”? You say you are so great at cost/benefit analysis. I just wonder if there is any upper limit on the cost of obtaining zero benefit?

  38. 38
    Barry Arrington says:

    Ed,
    You ask some cogent questions that will need to be addressed. Your stock just went up in my book. Too often progressive analysis is limited to: “Trump suggested it; I am opposed to it.” MatSpirit has demonstrated that with his painful-to-watch arguments in this thread.

    My off the cuff tentative take on your questions:

    what about the millions of those under 55 who are living with and supporting an elderly parent? Should they be excluded from this opening up?

    This is an issue that exists now. Millions of “essential” workers go home to homes occupied by elderly an infirm every day. I hope they are using common sense precautions in their homes. Even if they are not, I do not see how the government can impose, monitor and enforce rules of household behavior. This one is going to rest ultimately on the goodwill and commonsense of the average person.

    And what about the millions of younger people who are essential workers working in the health care system? Should they also be forced to follow in-place orders when they are not working?

    Why should they be?

  39. 39
    Barry Arrington says:

    Orthomyxo

    It its an extremely risky approach

    Maybe. But cowering in our houses while the world’s economy goes down the toilet is also extremely risky. We must make judgments about which risk to take. There is no risk-free option. Just yesterday the UN (no right wing group that) estimated that a severe depression will result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children in the developing world and plunge tens of millions more into grinding poverty.

  40. 40
    orthomyxo says:

    There were actually 3 waves in the 1918 flu: nice summary here https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/12/1/05-0979_article. The 2nd was the most deadly, possible because it evolved to be more virulent between (northern hemisphere) waves. This is partly the result of how sttongly seasonal flu epidemics are. The new virus is likely somewhat seasonal, but probably not to the same degree as flu.

  41. 41
    orthomyxo says:

    I would also be very careful about the idea that only those with other illnesses are dying. All the data I have seen to support this include conditions like obesity and hypertension that are very common in the general population too.

  42. 42
    orthomyxo says:

    Barry, I don’t think anyone is suggesting countries should stay at complete lockdown for many months. But how we manage the easing of restrictions matters a great deal, and having young people go back to work without extraordinary measures to isolate at-risk folks is very likely to lead to future lockdown (or many more deaths or both).

  43. 43
    Barry Arrington says:

    Orthomyxo

    Barry, I don’t think anyone is suggesting countries should stay at complete lockdown for many months.

    Then you haven’t been reading the news lately. Lots of progressives are suggesting just that.

    having young people go back to work without extraordinary measures to isolate at-risk folks is very likely to lead to future lockdown

    Which is why exactly no one is suggesting that. (Well, maybe some really really fanatical libertarians are suggesting that. No one has ever listened to the extreme libertarian fringe; no need to start now.)

  44. 44
    Denyse OLeary says:

    Barry, I worry most about the damage lockdowns do with respect to other heath concerns. Consider:

    I know for a fact that cancer surgeries are being put off in some places to accommodate pandemic hospitalizations that are not really happening. Cancer does not play fair. It will grow while the patient waits.

    Kids who are not in school and young people who are not at work have more reasons and opportunities to investigate drug abuse. There will be lives wrecked, jail time, deaths, later – and the link to COVID crazy will be erased.

    I am an oldie myself (b 1950) and I am NOT asking society to shut down to protect me. Whether I live long enough to be a problem to my adult grandchildren is not a big public concern. It’s not even a big concern of mine. But I hate seeing so many young people’s lives disrupted.

  45. 45
    MatSpirit says:

    Talk about the BAP. Coumo seems to have followed federal guidance (see Vividbleau’s link in 31) which showed the state would need 30,000 or 40,000 ventilators in a month or so and ordered them. We turned out not to need that many. Good all around.

    But I don’t understand your cost/benefit analysis. The ventilators still exist. They were passed on to other hospitals that needed them. The government paid for 1.2 billion dollars worth of ventilators, it got them, it used every one of them, and they are still being used. I don’t understand how anybody can call that an unnecessary expenditure. Can you show us some numbers?

    Remember too, that if by some miracle we do have left over ventilators when this is finally over, they can help rebuild the strategic stockpile. I just don’t see the waste here.

  46. 46
    Barry Arrington says:

    Denyse

    I know for a fact that cancer surgeries are being put off in some places to accommodate pandemic hospitalizations

    I too have hard rumors of empty clinics and bored medical staff. This is obviously not the case in Manhattan. But it does support the point of the OP. Maybe elective medical procedures should be postponed at New York Presbyterian. But is there an equivalent need to close them down in Colby, Kansas? Probably not; yet shut down they are.

  47. 47
    Truthfreedom says:

    @3 Bornagain77:
    Oh, don’t you know about this ‘theory’ that explains that by killing your children you ‘increase your reproductive success’?
    Look, that’s how it goes:
    1. You have 0 children
    2. Now you get pregnant
    3. Now you decide to kill the ‘parasite’
    4. Now you have no ‘parasite’ and you are a killer, but…
    You have ‘increased your reproductive success’.
    Please Bornagain77, be scientific. We owe so much to ‘evolution’! Pray Darw’.

  48. 48
    Barry Arrington says:

    MatSpirit.

    Talk about the BAP.

    What, are you in the third grade? Why didn’t you just write, “no you are!”

    But I don’t understand your cost/benefit analysis. The ventilators still exist.

    Now you are just making crap up. Stop it. Are you the only person on the planet who does not know that a couple of weeks ago the government signed a half billion dollar contract with GM to close the ventilator gap? I suppose that’s one explanation for your statement. The other, far more likely, explanation is that you are liar still trying to rescue your hopelessly bad argument.
    You have forgotten the first rule of being deep in a hole. Stop digging. Making up “facts” everyone knows are false is not only dishonest, it’s kinda stupid because of the “everyone knows” part.

    The government paid for 1.2 billion dollars worth of ventilators, it got them, it used every one of them

    So now you’re saying the government did not need to spend that extra half billion, because it already had all the ventilators it needed; it was just a matter of getting them to the right place. God help us but you are pathetic.

    if by some miracle we do have left over ventilators when this is finally over

    Please stop. The whole point is that we already have left over ventilators that NY never had to use from its original stockpile.

  49. 49
    Barry Arrington says:

    As many of our long time readers will have deduced, I have a weakness. Often times I get into lengthy back-and-forth discussions with progressives (in this case MatSpirit) who engage with equal parts stupidity and dishonesty. It is a clear violation of the pig rule: Never wallow in the mud with a pig; it does no good and the pig enjoys it. It is a truly unseemly part of my personality. Why do I do it you ask. I’ll tell you. Curiosity. Sometimes I am just curious (some would say morbidly so) to find out to what depths of illogical argumentation and outright dishonesty progressives will go. As Mat has demonstrated in this exchange, some times the depths are pretty astonishing. I mean really. Even I was surprised at the mendacity of his last comment. He is utterly shameless. He seems to be moored to no moral anchor that constrains him from saying anything at all if he thinks it will score a rhetorical point. And I find that fascinating. Repulsive, yes, but fascinating too.

  50. 50
    Truthfreedom says:

    @Barry Arrington
    Do not praise EG too much. He was complaining about the closed borders policy and said in January (with no data available) that COVID-19 was less deadly than the flu.

  51. 51
    orthomyxo says:

    Barry, I’ll admit to not following US news closely. So if there are people advocating many more months of lockdown, or plans to isolate at-risk individuals from society, then point them out and ill read them.

    I’ve said this before, but it’s extremely worrying to see you and Matt (and many others) fall into party lines when discussing this. Is the prospect of hundreds of thousands of lives lost can’t get you to break from these identities in not sure anything will.

  52. 52
    Truthfreedom says:

    @51 Orthomyxo

    If the prospect of hundreds of thousands of lives lost can’t get you to break from these identities in not sure anything will.

    We’ve been taught that we are meat-robots and that NS rulez. We can not help ourselves and morals are illusory. Sorry.

  53. 53
    Truthfreedom says:

    @25 Seversky
    So a person that believes that morality is subjective and illusory is asking for moral advice? How strange. Illogical even. Wait! Logic is subjective and illusory.
    Now makes sense.

  54. 54
    Barry Arrington says:

    TF
    “Do not praise EG too much.”
    When our opponents are right, they are right even though they are our opponents. We should graciously acknowledge it. There will be time enough for fighting again soon I am sure.

  55. 55
    orthomyxo says:

    Ok truthfreedom, but, as I understand it, it’s the people who you think day human life has no value that are most supportive of measures to protect lives? Seems a bit off to me?

  56. 56
    Truthfreedom says:

    @54 Barry Arrington:
    I said ‘not too much’, not do not praise him at all! 🙂
    Fair point.

  57. 57
    Barry Arrington says:

    Orthomyxo

    I’ve said this before, but it’s extremely worrying to see you and Matt (and many others) fall into party lines when discussing this. Is the prospect of hundreds of thousands of lives lost can’t get you to break from these identities in not sure anything will.

    Good heavens man. Sanctimonious much? It must be really nice having a God-like perspective so far above the fray from which you can pronounce judgments like that. I guess we don’t need to debate the issues anymore. Like supplicants coming to the Oracle of Delphi, all we need to do from now on is consult the great and wise Orthomyxo. “Arrogant” does not even begin to describe your comment.

  58. 58
    Truthfreedom says:

    @55 Orthomyxo

    Ok truthfreedom, but, as I understand it, it’s the people who you think day human life has no value that are most supportive of measures to protect lives?

    Could you please elaborate?

  59. 59
    Barry Arrington says:

    Yeah TF @ 58:
    That pronouncement from the great and wise Orthomyxo threw me too. But it must be true. After all, Orthomyxo assures us that he makes all of his pronouncements from his God-like perch above the fray. It must be our blinkered human perspective that prevents us from appreciating the truth, beauty and wisdom of his utterance (typos and all).

  60. 60
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    @Ortho what are the unusual things about this disease is the while you might think that it attacks the lungs and therefore people with asthma would be at greater risk, obesity seems to be a much harder signal for problems. Weird. But, that’s why we do science. Maybe that is part of the explanation for why American cases seem to be harder than other places.

  61. 61
    rhampton7 says:

    The Bladen County Health Department confirmed positive reports of the coronavirus at the Smithfield Food plant in Tar Heel, NC Saturday morning.

    The release didn’t specify how many cases have been confirmed at the plant. While the county is confirming there are positive cases, the company is not. Saturday afternoon, a public relations representative for Smithfield said over email that they are not confirming any positive cases of COVID-19 at their facilities out of respect for their employees’ legal privacy.

  62. 62
    Truthfreedom says:

    What I find fascinating is that all these people that say morality is subjective are fighting to show us who should win the ‘I am the most moral of all people’ prize, when according to them there is not an objective standard to measure that ‘morality’.
    No one can win then, because who is the judge here? And that judge bases his/ her judgements on what exactly?

  63. 63
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    The hydrochloroquine stories seem to be turning out very badly, but it sounds Like distancing seems to be helping though here in Florida there seem to be idiots and they’re going to cause a second wave.. hopefully in the next few months I’ll be moving back to Portland and when America falls apart from the religious crazies interfering with all kinds of problems, those states will form a better union that will fix things. It’s got to be weary when you’re in a productive state like New York and Connecticut etc and you’re having to pay for garbage states like Mississippi and South Carolina.

  64. 64
    rhampton7 says:

    Six employees of the Birds Eye food processing plant in Darien, WI tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, according to an internal company email shared with The Gazette on Saturday.

    Conagra is the company that owns the plant in Darien. Birds Eye is the name of the brand.

    The employee who spoke for an interview was concerned that workers—especially the seasonal workers at Birds Eye—were not in safe conditions, such as being closer than 6 feet from each other.

    Also, those who have been around positive cases were not told to quarantine themselves and are still working, the employee said.

  65. 65
    rhampton7 says:

    A senior spokesperson of Foster Farms said that three people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Kelso, WA facility. Ira Brill, the vice president of communications, has confirmed that those positive cases are two employees and one contract temp worker.

    He said the facility has a series of measures in place to protect employees, including active temperature monitoring and wellness checks, protective face masks that are issued to all staff, and an expansion of break areas to encourage social distancing. The company has also started installing dividers in workspaces where social distancing space is limited.

  66. 66
    rhampton7 says:

    Lincoln Premium Poultry says two more employees at its chicken processing plant in Fremont, Nebraska, have fallen ill with symptoms of COVID-19. The company confirmed its first case of the disease earlier this week.

    The company has implemented a mitigation plan over the past month: the plant began limiting visitors to the plant before its first case was confirmed and screens the temperature of anybody who enters the building.

    Social distancing is practiced throughout the plant where possible—like break rooms—and masks have been provided to employees. Lincoln Premium Poultry also gave workers a two dollar-per-hour raise starting in March.

    The plant is considering further mitigation tactics.

  67. 67
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    Maybe the the garbage Trump states will be able to survive without the welfare from more productive states, but I think it’s just going to become a Third World country when the United States leave the union. Only thing that will inerfere with secession at this point is Trump states realizing how poor they would be without the financial assistance of the wealthy progressive states.

  68. 68
    Barry Arrington says:

    Truthfreedom @ 62:

    No one can win then, because who is the judge here?

    Au contraire my dear sir. Go back and read Orthomyxo at 51. He assures us that he is above it all. We must hasten to ask him who is the most moral of all. I am sure he will enlighten us. I am placing my bet on the following pronouncement: “me.”
    I may never tire of mocking him. That may be the most pretentious comment I have ever read in my entire life. It is stunning in its absolutely pristine lack of self-awareness and arrogance. My jaw literally — not figuratively — dropped when I read it.

  69. 69
    Truthfreedom says:

    These people (evo-materialists), for whom everything is subjective, have proclaimed themselves as the rulers of what should be morally acceptable.
    Meaning that now they are the objective measurement tool, to guide us all, the same tool they deny it exists.
    And by saying ‘everything is subjective’, they are claiming and objective truth exists.
    Lol.
    It would be funny if it were not pathetic.

  70. 70
    orthomyxo says:

    I don’t claim anyone can (or should!) put their values to one side when discussing this. But you seem to treat this pandemic as another front in the old US culture war., going on about progressive this and liberal that. Forcing solutions to this pandemic into the old identity politics just removes any chance of moving forward. Perhaps a site dedicated to the ID movement is not the place to get past politics, but similar debates seem to be common in the US (and not so much in other countries that I’m aware of).

    Like I say, it really makes me sad. I lived in the US for a few years and still have many good friends there. The political culture in the country makes me very pessimistic than this will be handled well there. I’m not sure why saying this makes you so angry, but that’s the truth of it.

  71. 71
    Truthfreedom says:

    @68 Barry Arrington:
    Yes. They say: ‘there are no rules, but my rule is the one to follow’.
    The LNC is violated (again).
    People who are proud of being told they are mindless animals with no purpose.

  72. 72
    Truthfreedom says:

    @Orthomyxo
    It is a question of logic. No one wanted this pandemic. I am not angry. I feel sad.
    Why should we listen to people who say that we are beasts with no value and no purpose and that logic can change anytime? People who ‘value’ life while claiming we are ‘chemical trash’ and that killing babies before being born is ‘good’?

  73. 73
    vividbleau says:

    Ortho

    “I’ve said this before, but it’s extremely worrying to see you and Matt (and many others) fall into party lines when discussing this. Is the prospect of hundreds of thousands of lives lost can’t get you to break from these identities in not sure anything will.”

    Other than these two words “Trumps plan” and endorsing the overall thrust of the plan, which others regardless of political party agree with in one form or another, it was not Barry who made it political (see post 2) by Matt. So Barry is just expected to bend over and say to Matt “ more please” ?

    Vivid

  74. 74
    orthomyxo says:

    Vivid,

    I already mentioned Matt’s posts , I haven’t read every single one but I wouldn’t be surprised if others are feeding the flames too. Barry is welcome to defend trumps plan on its merits, or dismiss him (because conservatives don’t have to line up with the current leader of the more conservative party). I just wish more construction conversations were possible, and there was less reliance on fighting between teams.

  75. 75
    orthomyxo says:

    Truthfreedom,

    I think the fact that those people (or at least most of them) are now trying to save lives suggests that you misread them in the first place.

  76. 76
    Truthfreedom says:

    @74 Orthomyxo
    Please explain how to have a ‘constructive’ conversation with someone who says he/ she is a ‘meat-robot’.

  77. 77
    vividbleau says:

    Ortho
    “So if there are people advocating many more months of lockdown, or plans to isolate at-risk individuals from society, then point them out and ill read them.”

    Cass Susstein.

    Vivid

  78. 78
    MatSpirit says:

    Barry @ 48:

    MS: ” But I don’t understand your cost/benefit analysis. The ventilators still exist.”

    Barry: “Now you are just making crap up. Stop it. Are you the only person on the planet who does not know that a couple of weeks ago the government signed a half billion dollar contract with GM to close the ventilator gap?”

    What did I make up? The ventilators DO exist! NYC didn’t burn the ones it didn’t need, it forwarded them to other hospitals that did need them. And even then, we’re so short of ventilators that GM is making another half billion dollars worth of them.

    Do you know anything about the ventilator situation? We went into this epidemic with a smaller ventilator per capita ratio than Italy and our strategic reserves, which are supposed to cover a situation like this. were practically dry.

    Barry: “So now you’re saying the government did not need to spend that extra half billion, because it already had all the ventilators it needed; it was just a matter of getting them to the right place.”

    No, I’m saying we were so desperately short of respirators that even after emptying our inadequate strategic reserves, we still had to order an extra half billion dollars worth of them and we’ll probably need a lot more before this sorry mess is over.

    As anybody reading this has probably noticed, Barry has reached the point in his ‘arguments’ where he just lies about what his opponents said and starts slinging slander around. Childish.

    UD: Enough Mat. No one is listening to you. Move along.

  79. 79
    Truthfreedom says:

    Orthomyxo
    No, not at all. I have perfectly read them.
    Under materialism/ evolution, you are nothing more than a ‘deluded animal/ bag of chemicals’.
    The fact that they in practice do NOT behave according to that ideology means that their worldview is NOT true.
    Why should people then be taught a false ideology?
    Materialism leads inevitably to nihilism.
    It does not matter if it’s 10, 100, 1000 or 1000000 people who die. We are all equally meaningless.

  80. 80
    vividbleau says:

    Ortho
    . “I just wish more construction conversations were possible, and there was less reliance on fighting between teams”

    Me too and I am sure Barry does as well. But you can’t expect conservatives just to roll over either when attacked by the left. This is not a political disease and does not discriminate.

    Vivid.

  81. 81
    orthomyxo says:

    Please explain how to have a ‘constructive’ conversation with someone who says he/ she is a ‘meat-robot’.

    Very few people say this about themselves. Do you just be non-religious people? If so you can just ask them about their values and how they inform their preferences for different solutions. You might think its hypocritical to care about life and not belive in god. But is that important in deciding how to respond to a pandemic? If you just want to fight about religion that’s fine, I guess, but not the most pressing thing just now.

  82. 82
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    @ortho

    So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!

    3/09/20
    Current US deaths: 38,015.

  83. 83
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    Democrats were going to have an easy time putting a competent, non-racist President in charge in 6 months. But with the incompetent disaster looming overhead, it’s even more certain.

  84. 84
    Truthfreedom says:

    @81 Orthomyxo
    Again, it is a question of logic.
    -If there is not a transcendent reality (God)
    -We are nothing more than ‘molecules in motion’.
    Why should I care about ‘bags of chemicals’, please? Why? Why even lift a finger? Death is part of ‘evolution’, and I have been taught there is no prize neither there is punishment.
    Do not expect me to applaud irrationality.
    The best gift we have, IMO, is our capacity of being more than beasts.
    Embracing non-sense is harmful for society as a whole.

    And do not be confused, atheists are religious people. They believe that matter is the creator of everything.
    If you say logic should not be cherished, then you and I will never agree.

  85. 85
    orthomyxo says:

    But you don’t thin they are bags of chemicals. You can think it’s hypocritical for them to act morally while claiming to be bags of chemicals if you like, it might even be a good argument for a religious debates. Doesn’t help us deal with pandemic though.

  86. 86
    Truthfreedom says:

    @Orthomyxo
    Fighting a pandemic requires logic (science, hygienic measures) and a lot of effort/ personal sacrifice/ compassion/ hard work.
    If humans are nothing more than ‘purposeless beasts’ and everything is ‘void and meaningless’, then the conclusion follows.
    I-am-not-forced-to-care-at-all-nor-to-collaborate.
    Neither are you.
    The world can burn.

  87. 87
    Truthfreedom says:

    Orthomyxo, treating people as if we were beasts HAS consequences.
    Both atheists and theists are fighting the pandemic.
    But if you say human life is purposeless, then you can not ask me to act as if it had value.

  88. 88
    john_a_designer says:

    From the little non-expert research I have done Marie Antoinette never actually said, “Let them eat cake.” Nevertheless, a wealthy and prominent female American politician, in the midst of the on-going economic crisis spawned by the Covid-19 pandemic has basically said, “Let them eat ice cream, just like me”– if not in word, then in deed. Frankly this is more out of touch than what the 18th century French queen had allegedly said because it really happened. We have the video. I am sure that the MSM is going to be jumping all over this. (Yes, that last statement was meant to be sarcastic.)

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/17/dear-nancy-pelosi-you-dont-need-to-pay-13-a-pint-for-good-ice-cream/

  89. 89
    rhampton7 says:

    Though medical professionals had previously believed that the coronavirus mainly targeted the lungs and heart, new evidence has suggested that the disease can also shut down kidney function in a substantial number of infected individuals. As a result, many COVID-19 victims are in dire need of emergency dialysis treatment.

    New estimates heralded by Dr. Alan Kliger, a nephrologist at Yale University School of Medicine, suggest that between 20 and 40 percent of all patients in intensive care units due to the coronavirus are concurrently suffering from kidney failure.

    It is not only the machines that are in short supply. There is also a growing demand for the dialysis fluid and other supplies needed for the procedure, as well as nurses and doctors who are able to administer the treatment.

  90. 90
    MatSpirit says:

    Here’s a couple of interesting numbers to think about:

    13,130 – Your figure for US Covid deaths as of April 17 from the OP.
    47,275 US Covid deaths as of today, April 23. From https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/coronavirus-us-cases-deaths/?itid=lb_coronavirus-what-you-need-to-read_2

    US Covid deaths more than tripled in less than one week. And that’s with social distancing. If we stop all social distancing, Covid has demonstrated that we can get back to 47 thousand plus deaths in two or three months.

    Oh, hey! Check out Sweden. They’re not practicing any of this social distancing nonsense, their economy is open and their death rate from Covid is only ten times higher than the rest of Scandinavia and growing rapidly.

    Good luck opening up the economy before fall. (Did you notice that Trump distanced himself from Alabama’s plan to reopen soon? When The Donald starts to back-pedal, you know the situation is pretty bad.)

  91. 91
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    @MatSpirit Trump also said he doesn’t approve of Kemp reopening Georgia. He just doesn’t want the blame for the increase in deaths.

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