Monday, March 30, 2020

Who's Funding the Coronavirus Political Trolls?

By Daniel Greenfield  Sunday, March 29, 2020 5 Comments @ Sultan Knish Blog

Everyone gave something.

Steven Spielberg and his wife gave $100,000. His former partner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, gave another $100,000. The producers of Lost gave over $50,000. Jett actress Carla Gugino also chipped in.

Not to relief efforts dealing with the coronavirus, but to a hate campaign against Trump.

Everyone has their own brand of patriotism, and for some Hollywood celebrities, that meant giving big to Pacronym: a sleazy money machine targeting President Trump run by Tara McGowan. McGowan, a former 60 Minutes vet reporter turned Obama hack, was supposed to brilliantly transform Dem campaigning with innovative tactics like seeding fake news through fake local papers under Courier Newsroom, and Shadow Inc: the mysterious company behind the Iowa caucus disaster.

But McGowan has never found a sewer she couldn’t crawl out of and is relaunching her reputation by using the coronavirus crisis to run digital ads attacking President Trump. And donors to Pacronym, a PAC affiliate of McGowan’s Acronym, a non-profit, which somehow ties in with for-profits and a PAC, include Hollywood celebrities, writers, CEOs and financial whiz kids, helping divide America during a crisis.

The Hunt, which features lefty CEOs hunting down and killing conservatives, was written by Lost producer Damon Lindelof. The movie, shelved after criticism by President Trump, is back now that no one is paying attention. Lindelof is also a donor to Pacronym. As is the wife of Lost’s producer, J.J. Abrams, and CEO of Bad Robot, his production company, and Brian Weinstein, another Bad Robot executive.

Maybe The Hunt can get a sequel in which wealthy elites spread division and panic during a pandemic, while betting that they can ride out the effects of the virus inside their mansions and on their islands.

Other famous contributors to Pacronym include author Richard North Patterson, and Geraldine Brooks, the authoress most famous for penning, "Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women."

And then there are the hip CEOs. Acronym, McGowan's mothership, was co-founded by Dollar Shave Club CEO Michael Dubin. Pacronym donors include Smartypants Vitamins founder Gordon Gould, while SoulCycle CEO Elizabeth Cutler and Knot co-founder Carley Roney helped fund McGowan's ambitions.

The hip rich elites poured money into McGowan’s scams and as the Obama vet launches a divisive campaign to undermine the leadership of a wartime president, they should be held accountable. At a time of fear and uncertainty, a controversial Dem operative is plotting to seed digital ads across Facebook sowing misinformation, and encouraging people to distrust President Trump’s efforts to fight the coronavirus: an irresponsible tactic that can have dangerous public health consequences.

Pacronym’s Facebook digital disinformation campaign targets Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona, the same five states targeted by McGowan’s Courier plot to create fake local news sites. Coronavirus cases have sharply risen in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but McGowan is sticking to her plan to help elect Joe Biden by spreading uncertainty during a time when people need reassurance.

Americans need to know that they can trust the health advisories coming from the White House. It’s not a time to sow doubt and division. But Democrat political operatives have decided that it’s their moment.

The question is will Biden and other Democrats condemn McGowan’s dangerous campaign?

They ought to be asked that question. And asked to pledge that they will not hire McGowan or any other consultants and operatives who are undermining our response to the coronavirus crisis.

Will Steven Spielberg, Damon Lindelof, and, especially Michael Dubin, disavow the ugly monster they helped create?

Don’t count on it.

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee was a major Pacronym backer. Michael Halle, McGowan's husband, worked for the Buttigieg campaign. (As did Shadow Inc., which mismanaged the Iowa Caucuses that Buttigieg allegedly won). And Pacronym aren’t the only ones jumping in the sewer.

American Bridge, the Media Matters version of Pacronym, founded by unhinged smear artist David Brock, is running its own coronavirus misinformation ads meant to convince voters that the country is unprepared for the crisis.

“Coronavirus has the potential to infect millions of Americans and cripple our economy,” American Bridge president Bradley Beychok declared. "We’re going to make sure voters know just how dangerously the president is failing them.”

There's a special place in hell for hacks who see millions of potential pandemic infections as the perfect opportunity to hammer voters with messages of fear and doubt.

Beyond George Soros, American Bridge’s largest donors include Steven Spielberg and his wife who donated $500,000. Is that money now being used to divide the nation during a time of crisis?

Steven Spielberg could speak out and ask Pacronym and American Bridge to stop dividing the country.

The election is far away and there’s no urgent need to run digital ads right now. Attacking the President of the United States over the coronavirus undermines his leadership at a time when we need unity and decisive action. Instead Pacronym and American Bridge are encouraging fear, doubt and panic.

But don’t expect anyone in the media to ask Spielberg the hard questions.

Meanwhile the Never Trumpers of the Lincoln Project have rolled out their own ad comparing President Trump to the coronavirus. The ad, which masquerades as a warning about a virus, is meant to get the attention of a worried nation, but then switches to an attack on the President of the United States.

The only thing that the Lincoln Project’s ad proves is that even coronavirus lows have their own lows.

Diseases often breed in a swamp. And this feverish plot by the Washington D.C. consultant class to cash in on the coronavirus is something that could have only come out of the soulless swamp of D.C. politics.

But these schemes, by Pacronym, American Bridge, and the Lincoln Project, would go nowhere unless the funders of division are held accountable for incentivizing their dirty work with loads of cash.

No one should expect anything from creatures as fundamentally amoral as David Brock or Tara McGowan who long ago sold off anything resembling a soul for the opportunity to be players. They’re mercenaries, literally, David Brock was once just as rabidly to the right as he now is to the left, who cash in on the egomaniacal ambitions of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Wall Street donors who will roll up a dump truck full of money to the D.C. offices of any Obama or Clinton vet promising to use Facebook ads to brainwash flyover country voters into voting their way. They’re the supply, not the demand.

As America struggles with the consequences of a shutdown and a pandemic, it may be time to have a conversation about the role that power brokers in New York and California, some of the most affected states, have played in crippling our ability to respond to a national crisis that now threatens them.

Maybe when Tom Hanks gets over being treated for the coronavirus, he can talk to Steven about it.



Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine. Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation. Thank you for reading.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Coronavirus: The Survival Guide

By Melissa Taylor and Peter Zeihan on March 20, 2020 Visit the archives to re-read and share

Note from Peter: Dealing with health issues that impact family structure is not my strong point either topically or mentally. The bulk of this newsletter is the product of one Melissa Taylor who is both my chief researcher and a mom. If the text reads empathetic, instructive, and unambiguous, that’s Melissa’s voice. If it is snark in the face of despair, that would be me.

I just shared a lovely meal with my family. We all brought our own food and chairs, sat outside, and maintained a constant 6ft bubble around everyone, especially my parents. It was hard with a toddler running around, wanting to hug his uncle and grandparents. But despite that, it was comforting. This family gathering would have made most people laugh in disbelief a few weeks ago. But now it’s the new normal until we’ve been free from exposure long enough to relax… a little bit. That’s about 14 days, though even that might not be long enough to be sure.

Coronavirus manages to play into our weaknesses in a big way. Our brains are bad at comprehending risk, understanding probability, anticipating and accepting big changes, or dealing with uncertainty. So if this crisis has hit you like a ton of bricks, you’re not alone. And don’t worry, those spring breakers in Miami? They’ll have their own…moment.

I’m sure you’ve guessed from our company name – Zeihan on Geopolitics – that we are not doctors. But making the world a bit more comprehensible is what we do, so we have turned our efforts to compiling the best information that we could find to help you understand the virus and protect yourself. I assure you this is purely selfish. If you all get sick, who will read our stuff?

There are three reasons you should stay home and try your damndest not to get coronavirus. The first is that we do not know enough about the virus. Yes, it’s been around for 3+ months, but in part because of the Chinese attitude towards information control and in part because of the nature of viral medicine our understanding is limited. We don’t know if there are long-term consequences to infection for those that recover, but there are indications coronavirus can leave patients with permanent lung damage. There could be other permanent damage. We won’t know until we have people who have survived it get fully checked out months after their recovery. That will take, well, months.

Second, you need to protect yourself and your family. Yes, about half of cases are so mild that they’re mistaken for a mild cold. But “mild” in the medical lexicon means something else: that you simply don’t need to go to the hospital. Another roughly 30% of the cases are that flavor of “mild”: people who experience the worst flu-like symptoms of their life.

The next level up, “severe” affects an estimated 15% of cases. These people end up in the hospital because they require supportive oxygen treatment and are hardly able to use the bathroom on their own. Are most of these “severe” cases older and/or suffering from pre-existing conditions like asthma? Absolutely. Are they all? Absolutely not.

Finally, about 5% of sufferers experience “critical” symptoms. They need a ventilator to breathe. That’s the fancy way of saying they need to be on life support. The largest study – one out of China – indicates half the people in this category didn’t make it (although keep in mind that it appears roughly half of all cases are so mild that they were never diagnosed with coronavirus in the first place, so it’s believed the true fatality rate is far closer to 1% of all cases than 2.5%... as long as hospitals are functioning).

Which brings us to the final reason you should take this seriously. Regardless of the country you consider, no hospital has enough ventilators. America has more critical care beds than anyone else (almost more than everyone else) and we only have 100,000. Those who recover successfully from the “critical” category need a week or so of intensive care.

That means if everyone lines up and gets sick in a very orderly process, and no one anywhere has a heart attack or stroke or gets in a car accident or gets stabbed or shot or otherwise needs critical care, it’ll take nearly three years to cycle through everyone who coronavirus puts into ICU. Even then, this pie-in-the-sky scenario only gives everyone precisely one week of treatment. For many that simply isn’t enough. But with hospitals overloaded, no one will be allowed to linger in those critical care beds.

We have a word for what happens when you have to choose who gets help. Who to save.

Triage.

The Italians and Iranians have been mournfully struggling with that for days. They now have guidelines for who gets any time in critical care and who is left to die.

In the worst-case scenario, four times as many Americans will die than during the whole of World War II, including the lives of doctors and nurses risking their lives for you and everyone you love. You can literally save lives by staying home and binging Netflix. So do it. Now.

Here are some other ways to save lives. Maybe even your own. Let’s start with personal protection based on our current understanding of the virus.

Keep Germs at Bay – Washing your hands is the absolute best thing you can do. Watch this short video on doing it properly. Coronavirus may live on cardboard for a day, plastics and metals upwards of three days. So don’t wear your shoes in your house, clean or quarantine anything coming into your home from outside for at least three days, and use normal alcohol (at least 60% alcohol), peroxide, or bleach based cleaners frequently on commonly touched surfaces. Yes, some of this is overkill. Here at ZoG we are all about viral overkill.

Masks – Donate them. Seriously. There are doctors and nurses going without and everyone knows someone in the field. Reach out to them. It’s not that masks offer no protection, its that unless you’re up in someone’s face – like a health professional – the chances of your mask helping you with anything is extremely low. Keep a small stash in case you get sick to protect your family members from your germs. When more supplies are available, wear a surgical mask everywhere, but not for you. Masks for the general public are more about not spreading illness before you become symptomatic, than protecting you as an individual.

Leaving the house – If you must go out, bring hand sanitizer or alcohol wipes. Wear your glasses. Put on your least serial killer-looking pair of gloves. Don’t shake hands. (Peter’s greeting preference is the Bruce Lee fist-in-palm bow, Melissa goes with the hand-guns *pew pew*.) Keep distance. Pretend the people you’re interacting with are the extended family members you only see at holidays that you’d rather not see at holidays. Six feet is good. Two meters (six and a half feet) is better. Open air is better than enclosed spaces. Keep your hands off of your eyes, nose and mouth. That’s just gross even if there isn’t an epidemic. Most major grocery stores these days have apps which enable you to order and even pay for food ahead of time. That way you just need to pick it up. Use them.

Health – The heathier you are, the better. Get the flu shot. Not because it will protect you from coronavirus, but because you do not want to have the flu and coronavirus at the same time. Coronavirus at its core is a respiratory condition, so get in shape. Run, hike, swim, whatever it is that helps you breathe deeper and easier.


This graphic is from Our World in Data, an excellent
source of well researched, accessible data on coronavirus.


What you should know

Symptoms – Symptoms usually appear in about 5 days after exposure, but it could be as many as 14 days (or maybe more. See “We don’t know enough.”). Some people never show symptoms but still spread the virus. This means that if you have been in a risky situation, you should stay away from people with compromised health for at least 14 days. If you develop symptoms, they will likely include fever and a dry cough. You may get extremely tired or have muscle pain. If you are short of breath, you have likely progressed from the “mild” to the “severe” category…overnight. It’s time to call your doctor, immediately.

If You Are Sick – Stay home, even if it’s clearly not coronavirus. Isolate yourself from your family to the extent possible. If you get coronavirus, that does not mean your immediate family already has coronavirus even though you’ve likely been contagious for a few days. They should take precautions from you. The CDC has advice for disinfecting your home

    
SEE FULL SIZE IMAGE

A couple of things to not worry about

Don’t horde food – The United States is the world’s largest food exporter by a ridiculous margin. Your grocery store has been preparing for this and warehouses are full even if workers are struggling to keep retail shelves stocked. Tech supply chains fall apart because it’s difficult to make an iPhone if you only have 99% of the parts. Food supply chains are the opposite. A taco without salsa may not be fabulous, but you can still eat it. And you only have to have one of the 500 types of salsa which typically make it to your store to enjoy it. (Melissa lives in Austin, so really not exaggerating about the 500.) You may have to come back another day (so don’t let your personal food stores get too low), but more food is incoming. And because food will continue to be prioritized, this should be true even if things get much worse before they get better. And for goodness sakes, don’t horde tap water. It is strictly monitored, safe, and there is no reason to think it’s going offline. Regulations and practices for producing bottled water are not nearly as rigorous and producing bottled water is far more labor intensive (i.e. people cough all over that stuff).

Don’t horde gasoline – Heard of the shale revolution? The United States isn’t simply a net exporter of crude oil, it is the world’s largest exporter of refined product. Product like gasoline. Unlike manufacturing, oil production and refining and fuel transport are extremely low-employment activities. There’s zero reason to expect disruptions to any part of the system for at least the remainder of this calendar year.

How long will this last? We would love to tell you, but we just don’t now. You should start settling in. Best case scenario estimates are a couple months. But that probably just means that about then we will relax…only to a few weeks later have to cope with a flare up in this or that city. There are any number of treatment regimes which show promise, but what we really need is a vaccine. At the soonest that will be October. And that’s very unlikely.

My new book Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World published March 3. It is about the shape of a global Disorder when the Americans go home.

READ THE INTRODUCTION TO DISUNITED NATIONS

BOOK PETER FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT

Fight the virus, not carbon

Often obsessive focus on climate wastes scarce money and distracts from real health crisis

Paul Driessen and David Wojick

The many trillions of dollars proposed to be spent under dubious “green new deals” should be spent instead (effectively and within reason) on health care, especially virus prevention, protection and cures. This is the gist of an “Open Letter to World Leaders” from the Climate Intelligence Foundation.

The Foundation, or CLINTEL, makes this clear right up front: “Your Excellencies, compared to COVID-19, climate change is a non-problem! It is based on immature computer models, and it looks into the distant future. In the current health emergency, however, your attention to the peoples’ needs is today! Please, dont continue pushing your zero carbon emission ambition in a time that the world is dealing with a deadly global crisis. Yes, there is an emergency, but it is NOT climate.”

CLINTEL specifically speaks to the leaders of the UN and EU, saying “People need an inspiring narrative that promises them a hopeful future. Today, for instance, it is totally inappropriate that the billion-dollar Green New Deal focused on climate is still on the agenda of leaders such as Mr. Antonio Guterres of the UN and Mr. Frans Timmermans of the EU.” We do not have a manmade climate and weather crisis.

In the EU, green funds could begin flowing to the virus crisis almost immediately, by reprogramming €100 billion ($110 billion) of European Green Deal money. The GED has a Just Transition Mechanism to “help mobilise at least €100 billion over the period 2021-2027,” by way of “financial support and technical assistance to help people, businesses and regions that are most affected by the move toward the green economy.” All they have to do is replace the Mechanism’s “green economy” with “corona crisis.”

All the EU has to do is abandon its compulsory transition to a so-called “green economy,” which would in reality be very poor and uncompetitive, with tens of millions unemployed. The European Green Plan (EGP) proposes spending a trillion euros on a foolish attempt to control the global climate, even as China, India and other emerging economies build hundreds of new coal and gas-fired power plants, hundreds of new airports, thousands of fossil fuel-based factories, and millions of internal combustion vehicles.

CLINTEL says it would be far wiser to spend that money on improving health care, with priority to virus protection. Far more necessary, too. Anyone following the coronavirus news out of Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Britain and other EU countries, knows CLINTEL is right. Awake EU leaders know it too.

In the United States, President Trump has signed into law Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the $2.2 trillion emergency relief bill, the largest such package in US history. It will help hospitals and state and local governments, assist with critical medical needs, and provide relief for small businesses and furloughed workers. It eliminated most of the liberal wish list items in an earlier bill.

(By contrast, any European Green Deal would cost many trillions of dollars, as would the US Green New Deal endorsed by Democrat presidential candidates, to address conjectural future risks. Candidate Bernie Sanders pegs his pet version at “just” $11 trillion, while other estimates run as high as $93 trillion!)

Some of that spending should go to upgrading the health care system, testing people and getting COVID patients respirators and medicines that work, conducting clinical trials to evaluate anecdotal evidence about various treatments, and saving lives! Other spending should assist families whose breadwinners have been laid off by the lockdowns and quarantines, and businesses that have been closed down.

Right now, some 15 million workers are unemployed in the restaurant industry alone, plus millions more in restaurant support industries. If the business lockdown continues another month or so, some 75% of independently owned restaurants will never reopen, business insiders say. Moreover, across the USA, it is minorities who are most seriously harmed by the shutdown, since they dominate worst-affected sectors.

(A suggestion: Order an occasional takeout-pickup meal from local eateries – and leave a generous tip.)

The rest of the money should simply not be spent, especially since it’s mostly more government debt. Spending it would further damage the economy and future taxpayers, in Europe and the United States.

Any thinking legislator should endorse CLINTEL’s call for action, instead of foolish green new deals.

But instead, the manmade-climate-crisis-obsessed United Nations continues to pressure all nations to adopt expensive zero-carbon-dioxide plans, preferably as soon as its Glasgow climate summit in November. That underscores how wrongheaded and intransigent the UN has been for decades. No. The world needs to fix the current virus problem – and prepare for the inevitable next ones.

The economic crisis due to the corona pandemic will hit all countries, including those with relatively small virus outbreaks at the moment or in the future. With proper prevention and response systems in place, there is no reason these economic disasters should escalate. But those systems will not be in place in impoverished nations – largely because UN, EU, climate and other eco-imperialist activists for decades have prevented those countries from building fossil fuel, nuclear and even hydroelectric generating plants, forcing them instead to be content with minimal, unreliable, habitat-destroying wind and solar power.

CLINTELs strong advice to the world’s leaders is spot-on: “To revive the global economy, dont further increase government debts. Instead, apply the money intended for your costly Green New Deal to the present needs of people and society. Call it the COVID-19 RECOVERY PLAN. Be aware that, in todays crisis, the conjectural policy of CO2 reduction is highly counterproductive!”

The letter’s eloquent summary statement says it all: “The world is moving to an open global economy of ten billion people. Top priority must be given to significant investments in a global health system that makes any pandemic less catastrophic. Considering COVID-19, climate alarmists and climate critics should admit that global warming is a non-problem. Therefore, stop fighting, step over your own shadow and work together against the deadly virus. In this tough battle we need each other!”

Imagine what would happen if abundant, reliable, affordable electricity from fossil, nuclear and hydroelectric were replaced by expensive, limited, intermittent, weather-dependent wind and solar power. The impacts on our coronavirus response, healthcare, living standards and life spans would be horrific.

Without reliable, on-demand energy sufficient to power modern, industrialized society – which neither wind nor solar power can provide at current levels of technology – hospitals could not maintain sterile conditions. Food and vaccines could not be grown, developed, preserved or transported. Protective equipment to safeguard front-line health care workers from COVID-19, and respirators for critically-ill patients, could not be delivered where they’re needed, let alone manufactured in the first place.

We would not even have clean water or reliable sanitation systems. We would not have jobs, industries, decent living standards, or anything approaching a vibrant, functioning, job and tax-generating economy.

That’s the situation African and other impoverished nations found themselves with Ebola – and will find themselves if (when) COVID-19 reaches them. It is where a GED or GND would take the United States.

President Trump is absolutely right. We need to fight the coronavirus and keep it from spreading. But we also need to begin soon to balance the virus threat against threats created by our response to the virus: deaths from COVID-19 itself (which could be overstated) versus deaths due to mass unemployment and recession because of the shutdowns: from stress, depression, despair, strokes, heart attacks, suicides and murder-suicides ... amid bankruptcies, loss of life savings, and destruction of years’ of work and sacrifice.

And yet there are some who applaud the corona-economic recession for driving down fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions – or want more wind and solar mandates and subsidies built into any corona response plans.

Our health and economic emergency is real and immediate. The manmade climate emergency is years or decades away – if it even exists outside the realm of computer models that generate worst-case scenarios but cannot even forecast average global temperatures accurately ... and pseudo-scientific studies that blame every observed (and imagined) temperature shift, climate fluctuation and extreme weather event on fossil fuels.

Fight the virus, not carbon.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environment, climate and human rights issues. David Wojick is an independent analyst specializing in science, logic and human rights in public policy, and author of numerous articles on these topics.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Why Data on Coronavirus Sucks


By Peter Zeihan on March 27, 2020 @ Zeihan on Geopolitics

Throughout media of all forms, we are hungry for information on coronavirus. Some of this is a flat out are-we-doing-better-or-worse-than-they-are, but most of it is simply to try to put what we know into some sort of context that is relevant to our lives.

None of us have much luck with that.

In part it is the nature of data collection during crisis period. Most health care professionals are more interested in saving the life in front of them than typing data into a spreadsheet. But mostly it is because all data is a product of its local circumstances:

In China, even before one considers political motivations, the system strongly discourages the passing on of bad news. As concerned as the Communist Party is with its international image, it is far more concerned with domestic popular responses to continued negative news. That and the Chinese government has a, shall we say, fluid relationship with data. And yet to this point data out of China is still the only large data set on coronavirus infections we have.

I’ve been waiting for some time for South Korea – a country with a great health care system and a strong respect for the application of science. Unfortunately, their “epidemic” is nothing of the sort.

Until very recently, half of South Korea’s cases could be traced back to a single megachurch. It’s very useful as a cluster study and wow does it underline the impact of early, wide-spread testing, but it really isn’t the sort of broad-reach dataset that involves multiple regions and age groups that I was hoping to be able draw conclusions from.

Even “worse” most of Korea’s cases at that church involved young people. Their preponderance in the data skews Korea’s mortality data down significantly, so don’t fool yourself. The Korean experience to date of low mortality is not attainable for the United States because it hasn’t been a true broad-based epidemic.

Data out of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore are similarly less than useful as their systems were so strongly proactive that none of the three ever really had epidemics to study.

Next up is Italy, where the local health system was simply overwhelmed unexpectedly. By the time the Italians realized what was happening, hospitals were overflowing. That prevented meaningful testing regimens anywhere outside of the hospitals themselves. Since the virus tends to trigger more severe cases in older patients, only about 10% of Italy’s confirmed cases were in people under age 40, while 70% are among those over age 50. That’s hardly representative.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Italy’s data shows a death rate far above that of anywhere else. Italy is only now – in the fourth week of their epidemic – doing any significant testing outside of hospitals. So don’t overly fret. While South Korea’s low mortality figures are not America’s future, neither are Italy’s high ones.

All these countries’ experiences hold lessons for all of us, but what they do not hold are clear points of comparison. All the data must be absorbed within the context of which it was produced, in addition to being understood at a specific moment in time. (For the purposes of this post, the data in question is all from March 26.)

We still don’t have a reasonable understanding of the American data because we simply don’t have enough, but we are getting there. As of March 27 the United States has the results from over 500,000 tests, but as of March 19 we had only completed 100,000. The US is only now beginning to get its first look at viral penetration in its primary centers of inflection – and only its primary centers of infection. Testing will continue to increase rapidly both in number and in geographic reach, but kinks in the supply chain remain. Progress will not be in a straight line.

Which means the best comparative data the United States is likely to get before the epidemic washes over the country will be out of Spain and France, a pair of countries who had enough forewarning to begin at least some sporadic testing before their health systems were hit hard. Their data may be the best available, but as their epidemics are likely to occur no more than two to three weeks ahead of America’s, there will not be much time to parse and draw lessons from it. And none of it will be of use to New York City, which appears likely to suffer its heaviest caseloads right along with the Spanish and French.
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Friday, March 27, 2020

The Plan

By Rich Kozlovich

Just like Stalin always had a five year plan to prevent starvation, so too must the Democrats have a plan to fix pandemics.  Don't they?

What would be in the Democrats plan?  Will it be the same plan they adopted when they did nothing regarding the pandemics during the Obama administration?  That was mostly doing nothing while talking big, which pleased the media to no end.

But, I’m sure they have a plan.  Maybe one just like Obamacare. That was the plan Nancy said had to be passed in order to see what’s in it.

Their pandemic prevention and reduction plan must be in the planning stages, and once the planning stage is complete, they will have some idea what can be done, or if anything should be done. Until then, the current plan is to attack Trump for doing something, undermine the nation’s economy, and refuse to agree to anything unless their left wing agenda is adopted.

However, once the plan is in print, they can promote the plan. A plan based on science. It will fix global warming, it will ensure abortion on demand, it will give billions to their followers, it will be a multilateral, multigenerational, multigender, multicultural, race based plan.

Do you like some of the things Trump is doing? That’s okay, since they will say they will do those things also, but they’re going to change those things and do them better. Or, maybe nothing at all. Especially if actually doing something puts the nation back to work without nationalizing America’s businesses.

How will they do that? That’s being planned by brilliant minds. It’s ever evolving, ever changing, fully attuned to the latest philosophical flavor of the day in order to please everyone, and most importantly, to please the most radical party members, assuring Democrat party rule.

Their own Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, will keep you all updated, on the Black Plague, or whatever the current crisis is. Really, he’s right on top of this.  Joe knows all of this is because of Global Warming, fracking, anti-abortionists, racism, homophobia, immigration and not enough taxes and regulations.

They will do more, much more, with much more, even if it means doing nothing. But make no mistake about this. The plan cares about the average American. Of course, just because Stalin’s plans starved tens of millions of Russians to death doesn’t mean the Democrat plan will be that bad.

You know how much they care about the American people

Coronavirus, the Europe Guide

by Peter Zeihan on March 26, 2020  @ Zeihan on Geopolitics


In the age of coronavirus, Europe’s near-term future is bleak.

European headlines in coming weeks will be about coronavirus deaths. In large part the issue is demographic. Coronavirus is far more likely to kill those over aged 60. The average European is approximately a half-decade older than the average American. Only the Japanese are older.

Specifically, Italy hosts the world’s second-oldest population, while Germany ranks 5th. Meanwhile, many of the “new” European countries in Central Europe are not all that much younger, while also lacking German- or Italian-quality health care. Others, Ireland, Greece and Spain come to mind, have had to deal with financial crisis by cutting services. Services like health care. The United Kingdom, courtesy of the dual forces of Brexit and coronavirus, are seeing many health care professionals who are not UK citizens but who were able to work in the UK during the Kingdom’s EU membership, fleeing back to their home countries at the worst possible time.

   https://mcusercontent.com/de2bc41f8324e6955ef65e0c9/_compresseds/d2fc2811-66d6-4901-beea-0f784e670588.jpg

CLICK TO VIEW COUNTRIES BY AGE PDF

The demographic issue will hurt Europeans on more than simply mortality figures.

People under 45 tend to be a society’s big spenders. They buy cars and homes. They go to university. Such consumption is what drives most modern economies. But not in Europe. Europe’s young cadre is thin and getting thinner by the year. Most European countries – Italy and Germany most notably – have already aged to the point that any sort of demographic rebound is now impossible. They simply don’t have enough people who could even theoretically have children. There certainly aren’t enough people of the right age demographic to drive a consumption-driven rebound.

Which makes mitigating the economic damage of coronavirus structurally impossible. The sort of consumer stimulus which is the backbone of consumer-focused, anti-recession efforts in the United States simply wouldn’t work in Europe. On the whole, the European Union has aged into being little more than an export union. And in a time of global travel restrictions and virus-forced collapses in income and consumption, there just isn’t anyone to export to. All Europe can do is shelter in place, pray their health systems hold, and wait for the world to restart. So long as the coronavirus is impinging activity anywhere, a sustained European economic recovery is impossible.

But even if Europe had a favorable population structure, it lacks the institutional structure to hold the line against the virus anyway. It comes down to money.

Having its own currency enables the United States to print however much money it wants to risk, using that money to fund its own deficit spending. Neither W Bush nor Obama nor Trump would ever be confused with fiscal conservatives, but even now at the very beginning of the process we are seeing spending bloat unprecedented in American history – even at the height of World War II. By the second week of April, the Americans will have pumped over $2 trillion in financial relief into their system, or roughly 10% of GDP, in addition to monetary stimulus of a volume that stuns the imagination. The current spending wave has already seen the Federal Reserve hoover up over $1 trillion in securities, while the federal government is putting up to $1200 into the hands of the vast supermajority of American adults, with a $500 kicker for each child. Nor will this be the last such infusion. Expect another one sometime in the summer.

Europe lacks that sort of power and flexibility.

Part of the network of treaties that underpin the common European currency mandates not only fairly strict deficit ceilings (although those ceilings were suspended over the weekend) but far more importantly the Maastricht Treaty on Monetary Union took monetary responsibility out of member governments’ hands. European states can’t print currency. If they want to deficit spend, they have to raise the funds themselves. That takes time. That takes investors willing to put their money into governments’ hands.

Now technically, the European Central Bank can expand the money supply, and it will, but there are two problems. First, Europe never truly recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. Eurozone interest rates have been negative for years. What about unconventional measures? Much ballyhoo has been made in the United States about how the Federal Reserves purchased scads of bonds to prop up markets, purchases which peaked at just shy of 25% of GDP at the height of the financial crisis. The ECB’s balance sheet as of January 1, 2020, after a decade of calm and before coronavirus erupted, was twice that in relative size. It isn’t clear the ECB has much ammo to use here, conventional or unconventional.

Second, any ECB action raises the issue of whose bonds will the ECB buy? Will it be the country with the most likely chance of repayment (Germany), or the country facing the worst health crisis today (Italy), or the country likely to see the highest death rate (Spain), or the country in the worst financial position (Greece)?

Every time the Europeans face any sort of question that bridges the monetary and the budgetary, the eurozone finance and prime ministers have to meet to hash out their disagreements in marathon negotiating sessions that take days (if not months). In times of calm this is a questionable system which often borders on the comical. In times of crisis it is really really really really stupid.

It shows in the outcomes. During the 2008 financial crisis the Americans did more mitigation in three weeks than the Europeans did in nine years. This time around, the Americans did more in 48 hours than they did during the entire financial crisis.

The funding America’s Small Business Administration made available to provide bridge financing for America’s small businesses is a case in point. On day one $50 billion was unleashed, with another $350 billion to be available by April 1. The EU has no such established facility. Individual European governments are scrambling to raise the necessary cash for their own small businesses. Weaker EU states are unlikely to be able to raise the requisite funds without raiding their already rickety banks. With quarantines in place, entire countries shut down. Add in Europe’s far less flexible labor market and a workforce which remains wedded to old-style set-location facilities means European firms have more need for bridge financing than American ones, yet even Europe’s capacity to provide that financing is far lower.

Europe today is just getting going with its Rube-Goldberg-like-decisionmaking machine, and this time around coronavirus quarantines prevent the European leadership from even meeting in person to hash out a plan. The only European leader with gravitas, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is in isolation due to potential coronavirus exposure.

Which means “Europe” cannot be part of the mitigation process.

That leads us six places, none of which are good. First, European investors know all this and they aren’t flooding their money into European assets. Instead, it’s a massive flight to US dollar assets. Expect the USD to continue to rise throughout the crisis.

Second, an exception to that rule will only increase the light between the various European governments. Germany, unlike most of Europe, has steadily whittled away at its debt levels to the point that pre-crisis there was a shortage of high-quality, low-risk government debt on European financial markets. With Germany loosening the purse strings, investors will purchase German debt. It is the bulk of the rest of Europe that’s likely to be shunned. Deep, visceral splits between how the Germans and the bulk of the Union viewed finance existed before coronavirus.

Debates on the topic are already taking on the stench of desperation. On March 25 the leaders of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Belgium and Greece (aka countries who consistently find balancing their checkbooks difficult) called upon the EU to issue a joint debt instrument to deal with coronavirus. Germans are likely to have a different opinion.

Third, when the scale of the capital flight and budgeting shortfalls becomes apparent, when European governments realize the money they need to try to save their systems is leaving, they will take action. Expect strict European capital controls at all levels. (China of course already has capital controls. Expect them to intensify.)

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Fourth, the controls won’t be nearly enough. Even if the Europeans could prevent capital from leaving, raising capital to fund emergency spending the old-fashioned way isn’t as quick or effective as the American method of simply flipping the switch on the printing press. Firms would fold in the thousands, and the damage will not be limited to the small players. To stave off the subsequent economic and cultural carnage, expect mass nationalizations throughout European economies. Unsurprisingly, the French are already discussing the mechanics of how to manage this. Peugeot, Renault and Airbus have already indicated they will fight the process (although they’d still love help with recapitalization and operating costs).

Fifth, this is likely the end of “European” manufacturing. The European manufacturing system, especially the German manufacturing system, is based on the free movement of goods, people and capital across borders. That simply isn’t possible in an environment of national quarantine, capital flight, capital controls and nationalizations. Post-crisis things will still be made in Germany and Bulgaria and Sweden and so on, but not all that much is likely to be the result of a multi-national European supply chain.

This is doubly problematic in the short term as most European countries lack even small pieces of the medical supply chain. While the US can retool and China can get back to work, many European states simply don’t have anything within their borders they can use.

The dream of Europe was that open borders would enable Europe to have economies of scale of the Chinese or American type. But these are still separate countries, and the utter inability of the EU to ride to the rescue leaves individual states more or less on their own at the worst possible time. Germany, for one, is a major exporter of medical equipment, and it has already barred exports of many coronavirus-related materials. Even to its EU partners. Many Europeans already resent Germans’ unwillingness to share their wealth. Imagine how refusal to share medical equipment will go over once the death toll gets seriously scary.

Sixth, this is the end of the European economic and social model, and it risks being the end of “Europe” as an entity.
  •  Europe’s demographics make consumption-led growth impossible, even as coronavirus blocks export-led growth.
  • The Americans were backing away from the global security rubric that makes Europe’s export-led growth model possible before coronavirus, and the virus is only accelerating America’s turning-inward.
  • Europe lacks the institutional capacity to manage crisis response.
  • Europe lacks the financial capacity to cope with the crisis, much less apply the sort of financial fire-hose the Americans did almost reflexively.
  • Dealing with the virus’ spread has already forced the Europeans to abandon the free movement of people.
  • Dealing with their financial shortfalls will force them to abandon the free movement of capital.
  • Dealing with mass nationalizations and the loss of export markets will force them to abandon the free movement of goods.
That’s three of the four freedoms upon which modern Europe relies. The fourth freedom – movement of services – was largely something that only the UK cared about, and the Brits are gone.

There is one possible “solution” to these problems: drop the euro.

If the Maastricht Treaty were abrogated (or at least suspended) and national control over monetary policy reintroduced, individual European countries could then engage in unlimited quantitative easing, both to mitigate the current crisis and to help manage the subsequent damage and recovery. This would (obviously) hold (many) downsides, but if the goal is to have the necessary capital required to address the current crisis, this is the only path I see that still results in salvaging Europe’s current economic and social structure.

In theory, once coronavirus was in the rear-view mirror, Europe could go through the process of re-merging their currencies (perhaps this time without basket cases like Greece). Yes, I realize this would be monumentally messy, but we’re already in a world where economic and financial norms are in abeyance. Most of contemporary Europe’s “messes” require extensive multi-national negations. This “plan” has the advantage of countries doing things themselves.

Regardless of the path forward (or down) coronavirus is just the beginning of Europe’s problems. Demographics, economics, financials, supply chains, none of it works under coronavirus – and coronavirus is going to be with us until we either get a vaccine, herd immunity or mass serological testing, none of which is particularly likely to happen in 2020. Even then, it is far from clear that Europe has we know it can reconstitute in the world after coronavirus. And never forget that all Europe is not created equal. Germany is not France is not Italy is not Poland is not Sweden is not Portugal is not Romania.

An end to the concept of “European” being singular represents more than simply the return to the norm of European history, it removes one of the central pillars of the world we know. That cascading failure and the reordering to come will be a subject in subsequent installments in our Coronavirus Guides series.

And now the pitch: the Coronavirus Guides are our primer documents, intended not to finish the discussions of this or that topic, but to launch them. Contact us at Zeihan.com/consulting to inquire about rates and scheduling options for teleconferences, videoconferences and in-depth consulting calls.
                       
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China Boomeranging

Its bad behavior in the wake of COVID-19 will leave it in its weakest global position in memory. And the U.S. will emerge stronger.

By Victor Davis Hanson March 17, 2020

Sometime in late November the Chinese Communist Party apparat was aware that the ingredients of some sort of an epidemic were brewing in Wuhan. Soon after, it was also clear to them that a new type of coronavirus was on the loose, a threat they might have taken more seriously given the similar Chinese origins of the prior toxic SARS coronavirus and the resources of a Level 4 virology lab nearby.

Yet the government initially hid all that knowledge from its own people in particular and in general from the world at large. Translated into American terms, that disingenuousness ensured that over 10,000 Chinese nationals and foreigners living in China flew every day on direct flights into the United States (Washington and California especially) from late November to the beginning of February, until the Trump travel ban of January 31.

All this laxity was also known to the Communist apparat in Beijing, which must have been amused when Trump was roundly damned by his liberal critics as a xenophobe and racist for finally daring to stop the influx on January 31 — the first major leader to enact such a total ban.

Yet, no thanks to the Chinese, America, so far, has been comparatively lucky — despite the grave risks of damaging a multi-trillion-dollar economy with the strictest quarantining, isolation policies, and social distancing in its history. Half the country lives in the interior away from ports of entry on the coasts. Medical care, sanitation, hygiene, and meat markets operate on different premises than in China, the supposed fated global hegemon. Transparency in a consensual society together with a free-market economy is encouraging tens of millions of citizens to work in tandem and independently to figure out creative ways to ameliorate the epidemic, politically, medically, socially, and economically. The result is that as of mid-March, the U.S., the world’s foremost immigration destination and among the most visited of nations, had suffered fewer virus fatalities than some European countries a fifth or sixth of its population size.

No doubt when mass testing begins, the figures of known cases will soar, and fatalities will rise. Yet while we know pretty well the number of Americans who have died from the virus, we have in truth little idea of how many now carry it or how many have recovered from it, without knowing what sickened them or even whether they were ostensibly sick at all. In other words, the rate of new cases identified by testing may exceed the rate of new deaths, apprising us of a more precise — and perhaps lower — degree of viral toxicity. Whereas annual flu toxicity is adjudicated by modeling case numbers, and by sophisticated and learned guesses at the number of likely infections, so far the death rate of the coronavirus is calibrated a bit differently — apparently predicated both on known deaths and known cases. When we make facile comparisons between the flu and coronaviruses, they may prove valid, but for now it’s still wise to remember that annual flu cases could be fewer than what is guessed at through modeling each year, and corona infections may be higher than the current known numbers of confirmed positives. The former reality might mean that the flu is at times a little more lethal than we think and the corona virus a little less deadly. That is not to suggest that most strains of flu are as lethal as the coronavirus, only that for the vast majority of Americans the current U.S. COVID-19 case-to-fatality ratio of 2 percent may eventually prove less, and influenza’s commonly cited 0.01 lethality rate may prove higher. In any case, 98–99 percent of Americans may well recover from the coronavirus — a rate that is not typical of most of history’s plagues.

The realities are paradoxical: If the coronavirus infects as many Americans as an average flu strain, then ten times more Americans could die — mostly over the age of 65 — even as the vast majority of all Americans will not. Statistics change hourly, but the CDC as of the afternoon of March 16 reports that there are currently 3,437 cases of known coronavirus infections and 68 deaths attributed to the virus, or about two deaths per 100 infected — the majority of them again likely over 65.

To the degree that we are suffering death and economic hurt from COVID-19, we can also attribute the toll to the Chinese Communist Party. Had it just called in the international medical community in late November, instituted early quarantines, and allowed its own citizens to use email and social media to apprise and warn others of the new disease, then the world and the U.S. would probably not have found themselves in the current panic. The reasons China did not act more responsibly may be inherent in communist governments, or they may involve more Byzantine causes left to be disclosed.

Add in the proximity of a Level 4 virology lab nearby Ground Zero of COVID-19, which fueled Internet conspiracy theories; the weird rumors about quite strange animals such as snakes and pangolins birthing the infection in primeval open meat markets stocked with live animals in filthy conditions in cages; and pirated videos of supposed patients dropping comatose in crowded hospital hallways. With all of that, we had the ingredients of a Hollywood zombie movie, adding to the frenzy.

Plus, 2020 is an election year — echoing how the 1976 swine flu was politicized. The Left and its media appendages saw COVID-19 as able to do what John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe, the Mueller team, and impeachment could not: destroy the hated Trump presidency.

China will rue what it begat.

That is, it will come to appreciate fully that the supposed efficiency, ruthlessness, and autocracy of the Communist Party — what had so impressed foolish American journalists who once marveled at Beijing’s ability to enact by fiat liberal pet projects such as high-speed rail and solar industries — were China’s worst enemies, ensuring that the virus would spread and that China’s international reputation would be ruined.

The coronavirus could be the straw that breaks the proverbial back of the Chinese camel, stooped under the recent weight of a trade war with the U.S., the revelation of 1 million Uighurs in reeducation camps, the crackdown on Hong Kong democracy protesters, and news of the sprawling Chinese internal-surveillance apparat. The world is now both terrified and put off by China, and such anathemas will only harm its already suspect and misbegotten Silk Road neocolonial schemes.

Here in the U.S., COVID-19 will create bipartisan pressure to adopt policies of keeping key U.S. industries — such as medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and military applied high-tech — in America. Americans will not again wish to outsource the vast majority of their chemotherapy-drug, antibiotic, and heart-medicine production to a government that cannot be trusted and that sees such globalized output as a weapon to be used in extremis. Although we cannot see it now, spin-off effects from the panic and frenzy will eventually fuel more economic recovery. Oil prices are nearing record modern lows, ensuring cheap gas for spring and summer American drivers. Cheap mortgages and car loans likewise will spur buying, as will relief once the virus wanes and splurging ensue. It will be salutary for Americans to once again appreciate the value of muscular labor, as those who grow food, transport it, and provide us energy and sanitation while protecting us from danger, foreign and domestic, have allowed millions of Americans to stay home, sequestered and quarantined but safe with plenty of food, water, and uninterrupted sanitation and public safety. In these days of crisis, we should not forget that millions of often unmentioned Americans have made us the world’s greatest energy and most diverse food producer — a singular position that China, with over four times our population, envies.

Before the outbreak, China was trying to game its trade war in terms of how best to hurt the hated Trump administration. Ironically, its abhorrence only strengthened the U.S. in ways no one in the pre-COVID-19 days could have imagined.

Call it paradox, irony, karma, or even tragedy, but China emerges from its deceit about the coronavirus outbreak in its weakest position since its Westernization began under Deng Xiaoping. And the U.S., after some rocky months ahead, if it stays calm, will likely reemerge in its strongest state in memory vis-à-vis its rivals.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump. @vdhanson

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coronavirus in Perspective, Part III

By Rich Kozlovich

I promised to get this out earlier in the week, but this has been a difficult article. I’ve had to check and re-check my information over and over again. Sorting it out and confirming the accuracy has been a real challenge.  I’ve found trying to present it in a readable. and reasonably short presentation to be mind boggling. That was the biggest difficulty, plus, there’s so much out here I found deciding what to include and how to correlate it difficult. 

I found an error in my first article (since corrected) where I said there were only four cases of Ebola in America, but there were eleven. The information I initially used was a bit misleading in the way the information was presented. However, only two did die, that remains true. But considering they predicted up to over a million cases and were really wrong, I think I can be forgiven.

What’s worse is I’m finding this pattern plays out in all the information about all the afflictions I’m highlighting. The numbers are all mixed. The more sources you read the more mixed they become, including all the information about this variety of coronavirus.

So, there may be some errors, and I’m sure there are, but they’ll be small, and won’t change the conclusions or the message, which is to demonstrate pandemics come and pandemics go. They’re never as bad as the experts predict, and no matter how severe they were, no one wanted to shut down the country until now.

We keep hearing how amazingly dangerous, and how infectious this version of coronavirus is, which there are 40 of them, with estimates and predictions that are frightening the public to the point of hysteria. Hysteria that’s created a new affliction called moronavirus!

How true is all of this doom and gloom we keep hearing and reading about? How does this compare with these other infectious diseases that afflict mankind yearly? Diseases that impact humanity worldwide, including America!

I’ll tell you what, let’s talk about them. Starting with:


Norovirus: Number nine on the chart.

Norovirus is considered a very contagious virus that causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, stomach cramps, fever, muscle pain and all round not feeling well.

Commonly called “flu-like” symptoms. It impacts people of all ages, and on average there are 20 million cases reported in the United States alone……every year! Furthermore, norovirus kills between 500 and 800 people……. every year! As for herd immunity, well, overall, we can’t really get herd immunity because there are so many types of norovirus.

Apparently, outbreaks are quite common, it’s quickly and easily spread through food, water, contact and contaminated surfaces. Norovirus runs its course from November to April. Whether you get it or not depends on your particular genetics.

Worldwide norovirus is in the top ten deadly infectious diseases, coming in at number 9, killing 548 people “each and every day” around the world.

Solutions regarding how to avoid it? The usual stuff we have been told to do for seasonal flu season. Practice proper hand hygiene, make sure of the water you’re drinking or cooking with, wash fruits and vegetables and cook everything, including seafood thoroughly, when you are sick do not prepare food or care for others, clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces, wash laundry thoroughly. But most importantly, if you’re sick, stay home. But no one suggested shutting down the country.

With some variations, this will be repeated as the “usual stuff” in this article.

Rotovirus: Number seven on the chart.

There are approximately three million cases in the United States every year with 95% of these cased infecting children five years old and younger, with the highest rate of incidence among children, infants really, between three to thirty five months old. It’s considered very contagious causing diarrhea vomiting, stool containing blood or pus, very high temperatures, lethargy, pain, dehydration, sleepiness or unresponsiveness, with 400,000 physician visits yearly.  With what most would consider “flu like” symptoms. But it’s deadly!

Rotovirus causes over 215,000 deaths a year worldwide, and because there are so many types of rotovirus, reinfections are not uncommon, and they can infect adults. It’s easily spread and remains infectious for weeks on surfaces that haven’t been disinfected. Two vaccines available but because there are many types of rotavirus, it's possible to be infected, and more than once, even if you've been vaccinated, although repeat infections are typically less severe. It’s number seven on the most deadly infectious diseases list. How to avoid this virus? The usual stuff, but no one suggested shutting down the nation!

Shigellosis: Number six on the chart.

Shigellosis isn’t a viral infection, it’s a bacterial infection, but it’s on the top ten deadly infectious diseases list at number six killing 1644 people worldwide every day, with infants and children being impacted the most.

It causes stomach pain, vomiting diarrhea, fever, blood in the urine, with 165 million cases occurring worldwide yearly, and 450,000 cases in the United States yearly. Often considered “flu like” symptoms.

As I said it impacts children mostly, especially those between six months old and five years old, but it has a ten percent mortality rate, and no known seasonality. Contaminated drinking water is the main source of infection, but in America we have treated water and yet still have 450,000 cases yearly, and has developed antibiotic resistance.

How to avoid it? The usual stuff, and make sure to drink bottled water when traveling and dispose of diapers properly. But no one suggested shutting down the country.

Ebola Virus: Number 24 on the chart.

We had eleven cases in 2014. Two who contracted it from outside the U.S. who died, and two contracted it from within survived. It’s listed as number 24 on the chart killing 5.3 people every day. How to avoid it? If you travel to countries where they have it, you can’t! The mortality rate can be over eighty percent.  But no one thought shutting down the country was a solution. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) predicted a trajectory between 550,000 to 1.4 million cases by early the following year. What did they base this on? Computer modeling, but computer modeling is kind of like Game Boy science. You get out of it what you put into it."

SARS: Number twenty five on the chart.

SARS is a coronavirus, all of which are all zoonotic, starting in animals and migrating to people. It started in China and in 2003 infected a total of 8,096 people in 29 countries, with eight in the U.S. With an almost ten percent mortality rate, seven hundred and seventy four died but none of them in the U.S. The estimated word wide cost? Forty billion.

How to prevent it? The usual stuff, but no one suggested closing down the nation to prevent it.

MERS: Number twenty six on the cart

It’s called the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome for a good reason. In 2012 Saudi Arabia first reported it. It’s considered deadly with a thirty five percent mortality rate. The World Health Organization has counted nearly 2,500 cases of MERS in the Middle East and beyond, and more than 850 deaths. Very few in the U.S.

How to avoid, it? First, stay out of the Middle East, otherwise, the usual stuff, and no one suggested shutting down the country.

Swine Flu (H1N1): Not even on the chart.

Swine Flu (H1N1) may have killed as many as 6000 people in the U.S. and infected somewhere between 14 and 34 million people. Big spread there. Computer modeling? And estimated 63,000 to 153,000 were hospitalized. More computer modeling?

How to avoid it? The usual stuff, but no one suggested shutting down the country. And in point of fact, Dr Fauci, who's so hot to shut down America, “in September 2009, after millions had become infected with the H1N1 influenza and thousands had died, some of whom were young people and children, a relaxed and unalarmed Dr. Anthony Fauci told and interviewer, that people just need "to use good judgment."  As one of my readers pointed out, he's typical of so many of these academic doctors.  Big on quoting other's work but weak on practical advice, as in synthesizing a response for a patient.

So, there was no need to shut down businesses all over the country for what at this point was a much more deadly infectious disease than the China virus, AKA Kung Flu, the current coronavirus?

Did I get that right?

Annual Flu Season: Number eight on the chart.

“While everyone is in a panic about the coronavirus (officially renamed 1COVID-19  by the World Health Organization), there's an even deadlier virus many people are forgetting about: the flu.

 Flu season is hitting its stride right now in the US. So far, the CDC has estimated (based on weekly influenza surveillance data) that at least 12,000 people have died from influenza between Oct. 1, 2019 through Feb. 1, 2020, and the number of deaths may be as high as 30,000.

The CDC also estimates that up to 31 million Americans have caught the flu this season, with 210,000 to 370,000 flu sufferers hospitalized because of the virus.”

So, how do we avoid it? The usual stuff, but no one ever suggests we shut down the country, and remember, this is year in and year out, why aren’t they shutting down the country every year?

So, where does the world stand right now? This page has counters for each category, go here to see the changes, currently, at 10:52 AM EST, 3/26/20. there are 491,623 cases, 22,169 deaths, and 118,245 recoveries.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ETKfV6xWkAASqmw?format=jpg&name=small


Pandemics come and pandemics go, and in the last 75 years none of them were Spanish Influenza, the Black Death, and this isn't small pox, all devastating pandemics, all lasting for years and returning regularly.  The only cure was individual and herd resistance. 

Will there be another truly serious pandemic in the future.  Yes.  Will we be able to predict it? No!  Will we be able to stop it.  Most likely not!  Will a lot of people die?  Yes. 

But until then, this isn't going to be one of them, and when this is all over we're going to look around and ask:  Was that it?  Was that all there was?  Did we destroy our economy for this? 

The answer will be yes!

The next installment will deal with those responsible and what the consequences will be for the world, especially China.  Nothing is ever as it appears with China.  There's always a degree of speculation when dealing with anything coming out of China.  As for any official announcement from their government; I just assume they're lying.  All that's left to determine is to what degree.  It's part and parcel of their social paradigm going back through the centuries being ruled by the emperors and Mandarins.

We really need to get that!

Please enjoy my conronavirus series: