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New coronavirus losing potency, top Italian doctor says


Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Additional reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by Giles Elgood | ROME (Reuters) | May 31, 2020

URL Of the original posting web site: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-virus/new-coronavirus-losing-potency-top-italian-doctor-says-idUSKBN2370OQ

The new coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, a senior Italian doctor said on Sunday.

“In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in the northern region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of Italy’s coronavirus contagion.

“The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago,”he told RAI television.

Italy has the third highest death toll in the world from COVID-19, with 33,415 people dying since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21. It has the sixth highest global tally of cases at 233,019However new infections and fatalities have fallen steadily in May and the country is unwinding some of the most rigid lockdown restrictions introduced anywhere on the continent.

Zangrillo said some experts were too alarmist about the prospect of a second wave of infections and politicians needed to take into account the new reality.

“We’ve got to get back to being a normal country,” he said. “Someone has to take responsibility for terrorizing the country.”

The government urged caution, saying it was far too soon to claim victory.

“Pending scientific evidence to support the thesis that the virus has disappeared … I would invite those who say they are sure of it not to confuse Italians,” Sandra Zampa, an undersecretary at the health ministry, said in a statement.

“We should instead invite Italians to maintain the maximum caution, maintain physical distancing, avoid large groups, to frequently wash their hands and to wear masks.”

A lifeguard wearing a protective face mask takes the temperature of a woman at a newly reopened beach after months of closure due to an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Punta Hidalgo, in Punta Ala, Italy May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

A second doctor from northern Italy told the national ANSA news agency that he was also seeing the coronavirus weaken.

“The strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength it has today,” said Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the San Martino hospital in the city of Genoa.

“It is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different.”

Horowitz: The CDC confirms remarkably low coronavirus death rate. Where is the media?


Most people are more likely to wind up six feet under because of almost anything else under the sun other than COVID-19.

The CDC just came out with a report that should be earth-shattering to the narrative of the political class, yet it will go into the thick pile of vital data and information about the virus that is not getting out to the public. For the first time, the CDC has attempted to offer a real estimate of the overall death rate for COVID-19, and under its most likely scenario, the number is 0.26%. Officials estimate a 0.4% fatality rate among those who are symptomatic and project a 35% rate of asymptomatic cases among those infected, which drops the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) to just 0.26% — almost exactly where Stanford researchers pegged it a month ago.

Until now, we have been ridiculed for thinking the death rate was that low, as opposed to the 3.4% estimate of the World Health Organization, which helped drive the panic and the lockdowns. Now the CDC is agreeing to the lower rate in plain ink. Plus, ultimately we might find out that the IFR is even lower because numerous studies and hard counts of confined populations have shown a much higher percentage of asymptomatic cases. Simply adjusting for a 50% asymptomatic rate would drop their fatality rate to 0.2% – exactly the rate of fatality Dr. John Ionnidis of Stanford University projected.

More importantly, as I mentioned before, the overall death rate is meaningless because the numbers are so lopsided. Given that at least half of the deaths were in nursing homes, a back-of-the-envelope estimate would show that the infection fatality rate for non-nursing home residents would only be 0.1% or 1 in 1,000. And that includes people of all ages and all health statuses outside of nursing homes. Since nearly all of the deaths are those with comorbidities.

The CDC estimates the death rate from COVID-19 for those under 50 is 1 in 5,000 for those with symptoms, which would be 1 in 6,725 overall, but again, almost all those who die have specific comorbidities or underlying conditions. Those without them are more likely to die in a car accident. And schoolchildren, whose lives, mental health, and education we are destroying, are more likely to get struck by lightning.

To put this in perspective, one Twitter commentator juxtaposed the age-separated infection fatality rates in Spain to the average yearly probability of dying of anything for the same age groups, based on data from the Social Security Administration. He used Spain because we don’t have a detailed infection fatality rate estimate for each age group from any survey in the U.S. However, we know that Spain fared worse than almost every other country. This data is actually working with a top-line IFR of 1%, roughly four times what the CDC estimates for the U.S., so if anything, the corresponding numbers for the U.S. will be lower.

As you can see, even in Spain, the death rates from COVID-19 for younger people are very low and are well below the annual death rate for any age group in a given year. For children, despite their young age, they are 10-30 times more likely to die from other causes in any given year.

While obviously yearly death rates factor in myriad of causes of death and COVID-19 is just one virus, it still provides much-needed perspective to a public policy response that is completely divorced from the risk for all but the oldest and sickest people in the country.

Also, keep in mind, these numbers represent your chance of dying once you have already contracted the virus, aka the infection fatality rate. Once you couple the chance of contracting the virus in the first place together with the chance of dying from it, many younger people have a higher chance of dying from a lightning strike.

Four infectious disease doctors in Canada estimate that the individual rate of death from COVID-19 for people under 65 years of age is six per million people, or 0.0006 per cent – 1 in 166,666, which is “roughly equivalent to the risk of dying from a motor vehicle accident during the same time period.” These numbers are for Canada, which did have fewer deaths per capita than the U.S.; however, if you take New York City and its surrounding counties out of the equation, the two countries are pretty much the same. Also, remember, so much of the death is associated with the suicidal political decisions of certain states and countries to place COVID-19 patients in nursing homes. An astounding 62 percent of all COVID-19 deaths were in the six states confirmed to have done this, even though they only compose 18 percent of the national population.

We destroyed our entire country and suspended democracy all for a lie, and these people perpetrated the unscientific degree of panic. Will they ever admit the grave consequences of their error?

Nolte: Politico Admits Democrats ‘Dread’ Fast Economic Rebound


Reported by JOHN NOLTE | 

URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/05/26/nolte-politico-admits-democrats-dread-fast-economic-rebound/spencer-davis-yqXH4v6UTJA-unsplash

Spencer Davis / Unsplash

Thanks to these lockdowns, some 40 million people are unemployed, some 40 million lives have been shattered; lines at food pantries seem to go on forever; countless small businesses are in danger of closing or already have… Nevertheless, what America’s oh-so compassionate Democrats dread most is a quick economic rebound that might undermine their grasping desire to hold on to and obtain power.

“The general election scenario that Democrats are dreading,” the Politico headline reads.

 And what is that scenario?

“We are about to see the best economic data we’ve seen in the history of this country,” a former economic adviser to Barack Obama told a bunch of bigwigs from both parties last month.

His name is Jason Furman and Politico says he “laid out a detailed case for why the months preceding the November election could offer Trump the chance to brag — truthfully — about the most explosive monthly employment numbers and GDP growth ever.”

Furman’s counterintuitive pitch has caused some Democrats, especially Obama alumni, around Washington to panic. “This is my big worry,” said a former Obama White House official who is still close to the former president. Asked about the level of concern among top party officials, he said, “It’s high — high, high, high, high.”

And top policy officials on the Biden campaign are preparing for a fall economic debate that might look very different than the one predicted at the start of the pandemic in March. “They are very much aware of this,” said an informal adviser.

What Furman already sees are signs of what’s known as a “V” recovery, as a opposed to a slower or gradual  recovery,  or a recovery that takes a while to get back to where we were before these stupid lockdowns began. Furman sees an economy that’s already unleashed.

Consumption and hiring started to tick up “in gross terms, not in net terms,” Furman said, describing the phenomenon as a “partial rebound.” The bounce back “can be very very fast, because people go back to their original job, they get called back from furlough, you put the lights back on in your business. Given how many people were furloughed and how many businesses were closed you can get a big jump out of that. It will look like a V.”

Furman’s argument is not that different from the one made by White House economic advisers and Trump, who have predicted an explosive third quarter, and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who said in late April that “the hope is that by July the country’s really rocking again.”

White House officials were thrilled to hear that some of their views have been endorsed by prominent Democrats.

While no one expects the second quarter numbers — the numbers that will tell us the GDP between April 1 and June 30 — to be anything but terrible, if we can come to our senses nationwide and get these absurd lockdowns behind us, the third quarter numbers (that will be released at the end of September) could show real growth. This would be good for the incumbent president, especially since that incumbent president has been predicting a “pent up” desire within the American people to get back to normal.

Good news for America and Americans would, of course, be terrible news for Joe Biden, who is desperate to strangle our economy with record high taxes and an obscene amount of regulations. Biden’s policies would hurt a flourishing economy, but they would kill a post-lockdown recovery in the same way the Obama-Biden economic policies of 2009 killed any hope of a real rebound after the 2008 economic crash. It’s no accident the Obama-Biden administration oversaw the worst “recovery” since the Great Depression. Their taxes, regulations, and constant threats of more kept a boot firmly on the neck of our economy for eight long years.

Plus, no matter how much Biden might crybaby about Trump’s Twitter account, his golf game, and his violation of the establishment’s “precious norms,” the American people tend not to fire a president when the economy is humming — especially if we are coming out of a downturn.

But what does it say about Democrats that with nearly 40 million lives shattered, they “dread” a fast comeback for those 40 million people?

Obviously, that’s a rhetorical question, but it does answer the question as to why — and for no valid scientific or medical reasons, a number of mercenary Democrat governors are desperate to push these pointless lockdowns as far into next month as possible (especially in swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania).

It is all about doing whatever damage they can to those third quarter GDP numbers; even if that means more pain for those who cannot work from home — primarily the working class.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNCFollow his Facebook Page here.

D.C. Mayor: No Coronavirus Deaths in Last 24 Hours for First Time Since March


Reported by EDWIN MORA | 

URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/05/26/d-c-mayor-no-coronavirus-deaths-in-last-24-hours-for-first-time-since-march/

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a press conference on May 11
SAUL LOEB/AFP

D.C. confirmed its first case of COVID-19, the disease produced by the virus, on March 7.

“Today, we report that no D.C. resident lost their life to COVID on May 25, which is a good thing,” Bowser told reporters on Tuesday. Data provided by Bowser’s office showed that D.C. marked its first day with no deaths since March on Monday.

After seeing a slight increase in new cases over the weekend, Bowser indicated that the city is back on track to begin a gradual reopening on Friday, “barring any new spikes.”

“Tomorrow, we hope that the [downward] trends will continue, and we will be able to provide next steps on Phased One opening to be effective on this Friday, May 29,” Bowser said.

However, the mayor suggested that the target date for reopening could change if conditions on the ground call for it.

“We will continue to follow the science and begin our phased reopening when the data suggests that we can,” she said on Tuesday.

Bowser announced that the district stands one day away from the 14-day sustained decline in the community spread — based on a five-day moving average — it needs to begin reopening non-essential businesses shut down to stem the spread of the highly contagious disease.

“If the trend holds, we will be able to report 14 days of decline tomorrow,” she proclaimed. “We, of course, track community spread to understand whether we are able to manage and rapidly respond to any new increases.”

D.C. also has sufficient healthcare capacity, data unveiled by the mayor showed. The district was reportedly operating at a bed occupancy rate of over 70 percent as of Sunday, which means hundreds of beds were still available, independent and city government assessments showed. The hospital bed occupancy rate has been below 80 percent for over 14 days, double the amount of days needed for reopening, Bowser’s data noted.

In D.C., the COVID-19 transmission rate has also been low for 14 days, well beyond the three days required for a phased reopening, the mayor’s data further revealed.

Currently, the nation’s capital can test all priority groups, as mandated by the district’s reopening guidelines.

D.C. also has a “sufficient” capacity to contact trace all new cases and their close contacts, information from the mayor’s office showed.

As of noon on Tuesday, 8,334 D.C. residents had tested positive for coronavirus, about 20 percent of the people tested, and 440 had lost their lives. The cumulative number of new cases is still increasing.

CDC’s Latest ‘Best Estimate’ of COVID Death Rate Is 13 Times Lower Than Initial WHO Claim


Reported By C. Douglas Golden | Published May 25, 2020 at 8:57am

It’s a number that informed so many of our public policy decisions regarding COVID-19: 3.4 percent.

On March 3, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made a remark during a media briefing that guided how we viewed the threat posed by the novel coronavirus.

“Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected.”

Now, was this based on incomplete information? Of course. At some level, it’s difficult to blame individuals working from a very limited data set.

On the other hand, that limited data set influenced how we approached the disease — and it turns out that, if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current “best estimate” of the COVID-19 death rate is accurate, it’s 13 times lower than the initial WHO claim.

According to statistics “based on data received by CDC prior to 4/29/2020,” the death rate from COVID-19 could be as low as 0.26 percent.

The numbers are based on the newest of “five COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios that are designed to help inform decisions by modelers and public health officials who utilize mathematical modeling,” the CDC said.

“Each scenario is based on a set of numerical values for biological and epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19. These values — called parameter values — can be used to estimate the possible effects of COVID-19 in U.S. states and localities. The parameter values in each scenario will be updated and augmented over time, as we learn more about the epidemiology of COVID-19.”

Scenario 5 — the operative scenario at the moment, at least given the data that we have — has some interesting data regarding the death rates for the novel coronavirus.

According to the CDC’s data, the symptomatic case fatality percentage is 0.4 percent.

Reading further into the data reveals it’s even lower than that.

Scenario 5 includes data on “[p]ercent of infections that are asymptomatic.” That, according to the CDC, is 35 percent.

So, do the math: It turns out that means the death rate is only 0.26 percent, according to the CDC’s own numbers.

Now, does this mean the death rate is truly 0.26 percent? Of course not. Even now, we’re in the early days in terms of statistics for the novel coronavirus. However, what’s clear is that, when all is said and done, we’re going to be nowhere close to the 3.4 percent originally predicted by the World Health Organization.

Now, does this mean that the president or any of the others who predicted this are doctors or epidemiologists? No. However, they had a basic understanding of how statistics work. They knew that, in the early days of the virus, with limited testing and limited data, the numbers were going to seem a lot higher than they actually were.

And yet, Tedros wasn’t the only one who thought the death rate for the coronavirus was an order of magnitude higher than current data says it is. In February, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it was 2 percent.

“If you look at the cases that have come to the attention of the medical authorities, in China, and you just do the math — the math is about 2 percent. If you look at certain age groups, certain risk groups, the fatality is much higher,” Fauci told Congress, according to CNBC.

There’s a reason this matters. If there’s a disease that spreads rapidly and has a death rate of 2 or 3 percent, yes, locking down the populace is a reasonable reaction. If we’re talking about something closer to 0.26 percent, putting the world into a new Great Depression seems a bit of an overreaction.

We don’t know the final death rate for the novel coronavirus yet. One thing’s for sure, though — it’s not 3.4 percent or anything close to that. It might not be 13 times lower, but it’s a lot closer to that than anything predicted at the beginning.

That has a lot of implications going forward, including when we start second-guessing what we did to our society and economy in order to arrest the spread of the disease.

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Today’s THREE Politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Corn Pop Music

There’s Pop Music and then there’s Corn Pop Music by Joe Biden with “you Ain’t Black” if you don’t vote for him.

Biben, You Ain’t BlackPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated –  $1.00 – $5.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and has had his toons tweeted by President Trump.

Oxford epidemiologist on COVID-19 lockdowns: ‘We might have done better by doing nothing at all’


A University of Oxford professor who produced a competing model to the apocalyptic Imperial College model said there’s a chance that doing nothing would’ve been a more effective COVID-19 response than the various lockdowns implemented around the world.

During an interview on UnHerd, Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology at Oxford, said the virus is on its way out in the United Kingdom, and the true infection fatality rate is likely extremely low.

“I think the epidemic has largely come and is on its way out in this country so I think it would definitely be less than 1 in 1,000 (0.1%) and probably closer to 1 in 10,000 (0.01%),” Gupta said.

Gupta is opposed to the lockdowns, pointing out that the coronavirus outbreak has followed similar patterns in different countries with different lockdown policies.

“In almost every context we’ve seen the epidemic grow, turn around and die away — almost like clockwork,” Gupta told UnHerd. “Different countries have had different lockdown policies, and yet what we’ve observed is almost a uniform pattern of behavior which is highly consistent with the SIR model. To me that suggests that much of the driving force here was due to the build-up of immunity. I think that’s a more parsimonious explanation than one which requires in every country for lockdown (or various degrees of lockdown, including no lockdown) to have had the same effect.”

She blamed government overreaction from the worst-case scenario projections from the Imperial College model, which showed the potential for 500,000 deaths in the U.K. and more than 2 million in the United States.

“I think there’s a chance we might have done better by doing nothing at all,” Gupta said. “Or at least by doing something different, which would have been to pay attention to protecting the vulnerable, to have thought about protecting the vulnerable 30 or 40 years ago when we started cutting hospital beds. The roots of this go a long, long way back.”

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