All the good stuff, caveats, code, data sources and explanations are linked, some in Update III, and the most important in Update II, Update IV, Update V, Update VI, Update VII, Update VIII, Update IX, Update X, Bayes Theorem & Coronavirus, and the Sanity Check Perspective, so go to them first before asking what-about-this-and-that. Skip to the bottom for the latest model. Thanks to everybody emailing me sources, including Ted Poppke, Jeff Jorgensen, Jim Fedako, Joe Bastardi, Philip Pilkington, John Buckner, Harry Goff, John Goetz, Warren McGee. Sorry I’m slow answering emails.
My friends, this is a long one. I wish I had time to write a shorter one. But it is a good one. I suggest reading in pieces. Start at the global model, then go to USA! Then the Super Juice, its companion and then H1N1 update. End at the top.
- There are many new things in this week’s update.
- As I predicted, they’re mining history to dig up old deaths. Now the forecasts won’t look as bad.
- The man in charge of Pennsylvania’s health system got caught juicing coronavirus death numbers. How embarrassing.
- America’s reported case ratio is 32% of world total. America’s reported death ratio is 24% of world total. In best medical system. Either we’re dying off fast, or our numbers are being juiced.
- We have shown for weeks true infection rate must be higher; here’s why.
- Estimated true cases about 20 to 40 million, worldwide.
- Estimated true cases about 5 to 10 million, US.
- Testing therefore can and will be used to drag this all out, by making it appear virus is spreading.
- An interesting H1N1 comparison.
- All-dead stats in comparison with other years is not in here. But it’s coming.
In no way do I want anybody to go away thinking I said coronavirus is nothing and does not kill. It is something; it kills. C’est la vie et la mort. Did you think you wouldn’t die?
I do want you to go away thinking the response in many places was asinine.
Maybe that’s not the exact wording. But there was something about an elite saying “state lockdown could be ‘two-year affair'”.
How many non-elites could last two years? Don’t answer that. It’s rhetorical. We know the answer. The elites, not all being corona-addled flea-brained progressive over-credentialed midwits, well, they must know it, too.
And they don’t give a bat’s rathole about the answer. What’s the difference to them if a few of you have to hungry, or get tossed from your homes, or end shriveled up in some gutter? Whatcha gonna do, vote for the other guy who’s just the same as the first, only with a different party label?Go on, sucker. If one elite gets voted out, the elite that was elected in his place will hire the first into some government sinecure or corporate boardroom. He’ll want the same favor some day, too.
Pardon my sputtering and insensitivity. There’s only so much of this idiocy one can take without lashing out.
Incidentally, when I say elite, I mean to impugn with sarcasm those who would be our leaders. I do not mean superior, which used to be a rough synonym.
The government flack in the story is Virginia’s Health Commissioner. Which means you’d expect to know the difference between a zit and a donut. You’d be wrong, though. Because this “top health official in Virginia said the state could be in lockdown for the next two years.”
Look, it doesn’t matter that this prediction was walked back. He still made it. This must mean that he is monumentally ignorant, which means his boss is incompetent or evil, or that he knows what he said, and doesn’t care. In which case he is evil, or a coward.
This one over-promoted bureaucrat is not the point. It’s that we’re surrounded with such clueless, uncaring, condescending, selfish, brutal elites. Not superiors: elites.
And, no, I do not forget our bishops looked out upon the world and said, “Be afraid. But please keep sending in your donations.”
Latest Computer Model Predicts Between 0 And 12.6 Billion New COVID-19 Deaths By Summer https://t.co/jzoDjHYc2o
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) April 27, 2020
Month or so back I predicted coronavirus models would be treated like global warming models. In them, the modelers are always “discovering” new lower temperatures in the past (to make our times hotter). In the same way, and in order not to admit model failure, they’d have to make up the corona body deficit. Models said around median 175 thousand dead in the US even with full lockdowns.
I’ll repeat that: even with full lockdowns.
When it became clear we weren’t coming anywhere near the original huge numbers, Fauci first modified the forecast. Like a proctologist discovering his missing pen, he pulled “60,000” out of his…stethoscope. Nobody questioned him on how he arrived at that figure.
Even that number began to look doubtful, though, as we saw. That’s when they switched from “dying form” to “dying with”. When that wasn’t enough, we heard of “dying with suspicion”. Remember that NYC “discovered” a few thousand deaths they called coronavirus, but which were never measured? Or did we already forget?
Even NYC’s “discovery” wasn’t enough. I predicted that since you can’t make up dead bodies, like you can with Chicago voters, for total all-death counts, they’d have to reclassify some older deaths as COVID.
They’re doing it!
Headline: U.S. deaths soared in early weeks of pandemic, far exceeding number attributed to covid-19 (long quote)
In the early weeks of the coronavirus epidemic, the United States recorded an estimated 15,400 excess deaths, nearly two times as many as were publicly attributed to covid-19 at the time, according to an analysis of federal data conducted for The Washington Post by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health.
The excess deaths – the number beyond what would normally be expected for that time of year – occurred during March and through April 4, a time when 8,128 coronavirus deaths were reported.
The excess deaths are not necessarily attributable directly to covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. They could include people who died because of the epidemic but not from the disease, such as those who were afraid to seek medical treatment for unrelated illnesses, as well as some number of deaths that are part of the ordinary variation in the death rate. The count is also affected by increases or decreases in other categories of deaths, such as suicides, homicides and motor vehicle accidents.
But in any pandemic, higher-than-normal mortality is a starting point for scientists seeking to understand the full impact of the disease.
The Yale analysis for the first time estimates excess deaths, both nationally and in each state, in those five weeks. Relying on data that the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released Friday, the analysis paints a picture of unusually high mortality that will come into sharper view as more data becomes available.
The analysis calculates excess deaths by using a model to estimate how many people probably would have died absent the pandemic, and then subtracting that number from the overall deaths reported by the NCHS.
The analysis suggests that the deaths announced in the weeks leading up to April 4, based on reports from state public health departments, failed to capture the full impact of the pandemic. Those incomplete numbers were widely cited at a time when many states were making critical decisions about closing businesses and taking other actions to stem the spread of the virus.
The analysis also suggests that the death toll from the pandemic is significantly higher than has been reported, said Daniel Weinberger, a Yale professor of epidemiology and the leader of the research team. As of Sunday, more than 54,000 people had been killed by the novel coronavirus, according to numbers reported by state health departments and compiled by The Washington Post.
They did stick a caveat in there. Why not? It will be forgotten instantly. “The excess deaths are not necessarily attributable directly to covid-19”. Yep. They could have been caused by, oh I don’t known, flu, as is usual. But no one will remember this clarification. Only the higher death “toll” will be quoted.
Now “excess deaths” are calculated via statistical modeling, as we saw. These are statistical deaths. Not verified deaths. Yes, it’s “usual practice”. But it does not follow that usual practice equates to good practice. See, e.g., p-values. There is never proof in these models the peaks we see every fall are all caused by flu, that’s just an assumption. It’s usually not a terrible assumption. The assumption is now the peak was coronavirus. This is less justified, for all the reasons we’ve discussed over the past six weeks.
I believe, however, that if you add the flu numbers, which before CDC had reported around 24 thousand for the season, and which they stopped reporting on the main flu page, to the juiced numbers we have, we’ll make the 60,000, and we might even be somewhat closer to the face-saving 100,000, the original lower bound.
This must be done! Can you imagine modelers stepping up the mic and saying “Oops. Sorry for the multiple trillions lost and millions of lives ruined and worse. We forgot to divide by 2.”
Besides embarrassment, is there another reason for the “discovery” of extra deaths? You bet!
Here’s that reason: ‘”The national tally also shapes the public’s perception of how serious the disease is, and therefore how necessary it is to continue social distancing despite economic disruption.”
How it’s NECESSARY to stay locked down. Because people died in the past.
Before we leave this topic, note that that newly “discovered” deaths are not yet included in the official totals. Those are still just “dying with suspicion.” Be interesting to guess if and when this move will be made. To do that, we’ll wait until the US model below.
As our homeboy The Real Spark would say: Hold up. Wait a minute. Some’un ain’t right! It seems that others recognize that numbers can be juiced.
It’s true that in many cases deaths are under-reported on a daily basis. I’ve warned us dozens of times medical data is noisy, and reporting is a human process. So daily numbers bounce around a lot. It’s possible some deaths really caused by COVID-19 will be classed as caused by something else because of reporting inefficiencies. It’s not at all likely, given the evidence adduced, that this will happen at any important level.
Much more likely is that we’ll see more of the Keystone Cops.
Pennsylvania tried to juice some county-level deaths, but got busted. The state’s Health Secretary is a man named Levine. He’s confused about his own sex, so it’s not surprising he got mixed up over coronavirus death totals. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Twice in the last week, Pennsylvania’s official COVID-19 death count spiked.
Then, on Thursday, the number plummeted.
Officials from the state Department of Health provided several justifications for the fluctuations, citing technical issues, lengthy investigations, and the addition of “probable” deaths — those considered to be caused by the coronavirus but without confirmation from a test.
But facing mounting questions about the accuracy of the count, officials on Thursday removed more than 200 probable deaths from the tally, further complicating the state’s accounting of the pandemic.
Levine said “We realize that this category can be confusing, since it does change over time.”
…[T]he state’s coroners — tasked with investigating suspicious deaths — have grown increasingly frustrated by the Health Department’s reluctance to seek their help.
Some have said the department’s numbers did not match what coroners were seeing. Those concerns caught the attention of State Sen. Judy Ward (R., Blair), who is advocating for a bill that would give coroners a bigger role in the crisis.
“There’s a discrepancy in the numbers,” Charles E. Kiessling Jr., president of the Pennsylvania Coroners Association and coroner in Lycoming County, said Thursday. “I’m not saying there’s something going on…. I’m not a conspiracy theory guy. But accuracy is important” [ellipsis original].
Not every conspiracy is a theory. Is this one?
The confusion began Sunday, when Pennsylvania raised its coronavirus death toll to 1,112 — an increase of 276 overnight. On Tuesday, the department reported another spike, from 1,204 to 1,564 deaths.
This man Levine said “the surges reflected deaths that occurred days, even weeks, in the past.” Which can happen. But he first tried to blame the surge on “a computer glitch.” Where’s Bill Gates when you need him. Selling birth prevention products to Africa and vaccine-tracking systems to the West? Never mind.
Eventually the discrepancy was “explained as a ‘reconciliation’ of multiple reporting systems and the ‘culmination of that data-validating effort.'” Yes. Bureaucracy-speak is always convincing, ever comforting.
Stay with me here. This is the proof about numbers juicing, which we predicted would happen.
On Tuesday, Levine reported 300 probable deaths in the day’s count but appeared to indicate the situation was new…
That same day, department spokesperson Nate Wardle told Spotlight PA some probable deaths had been included in the count for at least a week or maybe longer.
Then, on Wednesday, Wardle backtracked, saying that although probable deaths had been added to the reporting systems as of April 13, the day before federal guidance changed, they weren’t included in the state’s official count until Tuesday [my emphasis].
Wardle added that despite Levine’s public comments, none of the deaths reported Sunday were considered probable, meaning the first surge was due almost entirely to lags in reporting.
Remember how we said the new guidance would lead to numbers juicing? We saw it in the numbers almost immediately. We see it here in the paperwork. Or maybe it’s all “lags in reporting”?
Despite coroners’ claims that they are well equipped to manage probable cases and legally obligated to be notified of suspected COVID-19 deaths, the Health Department hasn’t budged, insisting the majority of deaths caused by the virus do not need to be reported to a coroner…
If the dispute had been resolved a month ago, with coroners included in the department’s COVID-19 investigations, Kiessling said, the public trust in the state’s numbers would be stronger…
Jeffrey Conner, the coroner in Franklin County, said he was blindsided by the department’s news on Tuesday that 10 people had died of COVID-19 in the county. As of Wednesday afternoon, he said, he was aware of only one death.
“Coroners are frustrated,” Conner said. “There is a lack of leadership from the Department of Health and a lack of definitive answers.”
On Thursday, the state’s revised data reported just one death for the county.
Oops. Busted. Not reporting lags after all. Just juicing.
“Briggs, this is only a couple of numbers. Big deal. You don’t know it’s happening anywhere else.”
I don’t. Or didn’t. But Justin Hart does.
3/ Example #2: San Mateo, CA. You remember the 2 new deaths out of Santa Clara from autopsies performed on deaths which showed the earliest known victim here in the US? Those were added just yesterday as 2 NEW deaths… because (broken record) ALL THE DATES YOU HAVE ARE WRONG
— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) April 25, 2020
Follow this fine gentleman. As he says “As we’ve pointed out ad nauseam… there are a treasure trove of unreported bad data reporting, misreporting and straight up scandals that reporters could uncover if they wanted to… but I get the sense that they’re much more comfortable with an increase in deaths daily.”
How about these two docs? Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi. Video, which I don’t like because they take too long. But this one hour is worth it.
Better watch it fast. YouTube is purging it everywhere it appears.
“Millions of cases. Small amount of death.” We see that below, too, and prove it a different (opposite) way. Their numbers are better than mine, as you’ll see, because I went with a much higher (x10) case fatality rate.
They do, but we haven’t done the chance of dying since the Bayes post. Not much has changed. It’s very low.
“We do thousands of flu tests every year, but we don’t report every one. Because flu is ubiquitous.”
Juicing the numbers talk because at 31 min.
Doctor Erickson: “We aren’t pressured to test for flu. But ER doctors now, my friends that I talk to, say, ‘You know, it’s interesting. When I’m writing up my death report. I’m being pressured to add COVID.’ Why is that? Why are we being pressured to add COVID? To maybe increase the numbers and make a little worse than it is? I think so.”
An annoying off-camera reporter asked about “physicians being pressured to make the number look worse than the are.”
Doctor answered, “They’re being pressured to add it to their diagnostic list.”
Reporter: “Where is that pressure coming from?”
Doc (paraphrasing, as reporter kept interrupting “…probably coming from the Hospital Administration…They said, ‘We’re being pressured in house to add COVID to the diagnostic list when we think it has nothing to do with the actual cause of death.'”
“The actual cause of death was not COVID, but it’s being reported as one of the disease procesess and being added to the death list. They died from COPD. They had COVID. COVID didn’t kill them. Twenty five years of tobacco use killed them.”
Somebody asked me to answer a comment I didn’t see. Seems some commenter had himself an AHA! moment because last week I forgot to include Swine flu comparisons. I have 2 to 4,000 words in each of these updates; they are always too long. And besides, the comparisons haven’t changed.
Worldwide estimates of H1N1 were ~152-575 thousand, with 375,000 being the median. We have 211,000 (inflated, juiced) deaths now. And we’re on down slope. Which will put us almost exactly in middle of H1N1. Below, the updated global model predicts 245,000 in total.
In the US, the old estimates (which weren’t political, and also came from “excess death” models) were around 18,000. But there was no public forecast goal to meet with that one. Certainly, reported COVID deaths already beat that 18.
Here’s a comparison our friend forgot. Suppose everything about Swine flu and our numbers are now right. I mean, the death toll really was 18 thou for Swine flu, and will be, oh, 75 thou for coronavirus.
There were no lockdowns in Swine flu, and we had (we’re assuming) 18 thousand dead, with a worldwide total similar to our current one. There are massive punitive idiotic life-killing lockdowns now in the US, and we have triple, quadruple the body count.
Our Global Model
I’ve said it a hundred times, and we’re sick of hearing it, but our naive model is a model of reported numbers, not actual cases and deaths. Nobody knows what the actual cases and deaths are. I have presented evidence that actual cases must be higher (and will again below) and actual deaths lower (as above). But I make to no claim to know the right totals.
My global data source succumbed to the virus the middle of last week (they have had same “[we] will be back soon” message for several days). So I had to switch to Worldometer. There are differences in the counts between the two sites, as there are between all sites. I’ve told you a hundred times that medical data is messy. My US source remains the same, and even their numbers differ from everybody else’s, which also differ from everybody else’s. As expected.
Global reported totals:
New total reported cases 3.3 million; new total reported deaths 242 thousand. Last week: “New total reported cases 2.8 million; new reported deaths 218 thousand.” The cases are not of direct interest, but the deaths are. They’re still inching up. Give this trend (in the model under-predictions), it’s not out of the question we will reach that 375 Swine flu median.
Here, before the global deaths, are why we know (1) the reported cases massively under-count the actual cases, and (2) deaths are over-ascribed.
This is the reported deaths divided by reported cases. Recall that I said all along we’d know this crisis was ending when the plot stopped increased and leveled off. It has.
That 7% naive case fatality rate is proof of our contention of the actual numbers being far different than the reported numbers. If you’re going to pass anything around, pass this one. There is no way this disease is killing 7% of everybody it infects.
Now one big reason for the leveling off is the increase in testing. Increased testing can make it seem (as I said) that the virus is spreading, leading to IT’S-WORSE-THAN-WE-THOUGHT headlines. When, in fact, the virus is already been there, done that, and we’re now just measuring it. Proof?
Reported daily cases:
Ignore the model, look at the data. It’s plain where the increased testing, reported everywhere, started. I’m guessing we’ll see that “plateau” continue for a week or so. It must, if testing increases. Deaths, they can make up. But you can only record a new case if it’s measured. (Well…)
Incidentally, it would be of interest to do a crude, don’t-quote-me back-of-the-envelope calculation of true case number. If deaths are exactly as reported, which I don’t believe, and if the disease kills x% of those it infects (on average), then there are at least 211,000/x cases (where x is as a rate).
If x = 0.01, then actual cases are at least 21 million. It is x = 0.005, then actual cases are at least 42 million. It’s “at least” because not everybody who has it and will die has died, so our numerator is too small.
Anyway, 20 to 40 million is close enough. If testing goes on at the same rate, they can make it seem this crisis is lasting at least another 6 months as new cases are “discovered”. Not that they’d do this! Our leaders are as anxious for this to end as we are! Oh yes!
Reported daily deaths:
Not much to say here that wasn’t already said above. Looks like ~1 May the data GOES EXPONENTIAL! Downwardly exponential, that is.
Of course, there could be a boost to this if they decide to include the newly “discovered” deaths from times long since in the totals. As to when that might happen, if it happens, we can guess using the US model.
USA! USA! USA!
New total reported cases 1.1 million; new total reported deaths 57 thousand. Last week: “Total cases 850 thousand; total deaths 45 thousand.”
Close readers will have noticed the proportion of American counts to total worldwide. The best medical system in the world is contributing the most to the worst. If the numbers are right.
Right now, per sources listed above, America’s reported case ratio is 32% of world total. America’s reported death ratio is 24% of world total. At the end, per our naive model, 36% of reported cases, and 24% of deaths.
USA is 4% of the world’s population.
China is lying, which goes without saying, and we never would, which goes with saying.
No. The problem is the same. The reported numbers aren’t the same as the actual numbers. Reported deaths by reported cases again:
There you are: same problem as above. Obviously, the virus is not killing over 5% of those it infects in the US. So we’re way low on cases, and too high on deaths.
We can do the same trick and guess the actual cases, assuming the reported deaths are actual. We get 5 to 10 million, assuming the virus actually kills 0.5% to 1% of those it infects. Again, with only 1 million cases reported, and between 4 and 9 lurking waiting to be discovered, they—our elites—can drag this out for months more if they want.
Naturally—and you mathematically inclined readers already know this—if the virus kills at even lower rates, the actual cases numbers are much, much higher.
Our leaders will read these numbers and realize it’s time to end the panic. Right? Right?
That is, if they’re not enjoying their few found dictatorial powers. Gavin Newsome doesn’t want Californians to be on the germicidal beaches because he worries about jellyfish stings. Not because he wants to show them who the boss is.
Reported daily cases:
There it is. The same testing plateau. Well, given US is a third of all global numbers, the signal had to be there. Seems to be a slight downward trend to it. It will keep up, too, for at least a week, if not three or four.
Reported daily deaths:
Seems we’ll hit the GOING EXPONENTIAL in a day or two. They can add the new discoveries any time, though.
If they do, I’d doubt they’d put them all at once. They’d probably spread the around. If so, the shape of the curve wouldn’t change, but of course the totals would rise.
On the other hand, as I’ve often warned us, report spikes are common, even in the good ol’ USA.
1/ Modifying a phrase from the game Portal:
"The date is a lie."
One headline yesterday read:
"Colorado deaths increase by 22%"
Reports and dashboards said 120 people died in Colorado yesterday!
That's a lie. Only 2 did.
— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) April 26, 2020
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