Look at this plot, the number of daily COVID tests in the US, according to the COVID-19 tracking project.
So far, since the start of the insanity, there have been 35,512,916 tests. Call it 36 million.
This plot is the number of daily tests. On 5 July, for instance, there were 654,489 new tests. I repeat, this plot is the number of new daily tests by day. 650 thousand reported tests per day!
If your jaw is not dropping, you have not understood this plot. It is not total tests. Testing is increasing everywhere, day by day. Testing is going nuts. Testing is out of control. Testing is rampant. Testing is at insane levels and only growing.
Why is this important? I’ll tell you: because we hear from every propaganda source that we are seeing a “surge” and “spike” and “record” new “cases”.
OF COURSE THERE ARE RECORD CASES! WE’RE TESTING LIKE MAD!
It would be a shock if we didn’t see a surge in new “cases” with all this testing!
Pardon my screaming, but we have gone, as the phrase has it, stark raving mad. I am beside myself with frustration trying to explain this to people who are so panicked they can’t listen to reason.
Now look at this picture, the official weekly dead according to the CDC (as of 2 July for week ending 27 June, the latest data available Monday morning):
Notice anything? You might not have reached the apex of probability like I, the Statistician to the Stars! have, but surely you can see the most salient point. DEATHS ARE DECREASING, EVEN AS NEW “CASES” “SURGE” “SPIKE” “SOAR” “SET RECORDS”.
Here, next, are the reported daily deaths, according to the media (as of 5 July, COVID Tracking Project)—which longtime readers know are always about 10% higher than the CDC’s figures.
There is more variability than the weekly data, given the daily nature. You can see the weekly cycle, and the occasional spike because different localities and states report at different times. In any case it’s clear DEATHS ARE DECREASING, EVEN AS NEW “CASES” “SURGE” “SPIKE” “SOAR” “SET RECORDS”!
They are decreasing even in data we know is too large, compared to the CDC.
There are some refinements, niceties, and fine points to make about this, which will be done below, but for now, this data shows the latest phase of the panic is absurd.
Everybody is Karen shaming about masks—wear one or die, you murderer!—which might have made some kind of sense at the beginning or peak of the crisis. But now with deaths dropping to zero, and with testing out of control, it’s nuts.
The whole damned thing is nuts.
What is accounting for this tremendous increase in daily tests? Something must be causing it. Are people flooding in to be checked in ever greater numbers, are government programs to mass check coming on line, or are these the result of routine hospital checks as people return to seek usual care after the initial panic? These questions must be answered.
Please share this article with everyone calling for panic and shouting about new lockdowns. You can keep reading to get all the refinements and nuances, but this section has the real meat.
Dear reader, help me understand how much the latest insane panicked hysterical gibbering response is due to the idiocy or evil of those appointed over us. It is obviously a mix, and it depends on the entity issuing orders or reporting news. But no matter how you slice it, sanity has left the building.
If the experts appointed over us can’t see, or didn’t think to check, data like that above, then they are idiots. If they did check, then they are evil for pushing new measures, new lockdowns. Which is it?
Take the case of The Godmother Andrew Cuomo. We are seeing, I believe, regression to the mean. The man’s father had something upstairs, but Cuomo senior’s sons did not share in the inheritance. In The Godmother’s case, I believe we have an equal mixture of stupidity and arrogance. But I’m willing to be corrected. What do you say?
The lower echelons of the media are like Cuomo: equal parts dumb and evil. The top is all malevolence.
The gaslighting has already begun. Remember how it was okay to riot, loot, and commit random acts of mayhem? That all experts agreed you must, damn all to coronadoom? But you wanted to grill out on the Fourth and you were told how awful you were to do so, especially without a mask.
We’re not the only ones noticing the madness.
(This was a video of Noble chemist Michael Levitt, in which is excoriated experts. But YouTube whacked it on Monday! Which shows how scared they are of the truth. I’m leaving the discussion, and the dead video link, so you can share the joke.)
He’s right, except that it wasn’t just Sweden. Taiwan did fine, Japan, fine. And some others. All without lockdowns. South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas too, and five other states all fine, no lockdown. Levitt nailed the arrogance, the politicization, the hubris, the do-you-know-who-I-am of experts, the idiocy.
On July 3rd I was listening to Michigan radio, which ran several times a public service announcement saying free coronavirus testing was going to be available over the weekend, at such and such places. Given the fresh burst of panic, I expect many new tests, which will, as we say above, of course produce many “new cases”.
And thus lead to further unnecessary government action. Sigh.
Just what is a “case” anyway? This video explains. This is Alex Jones, but forget that and concentrate instead on the Texas bureaucrats.
“Probable” is now a case in Texas. “Deaths” do not now have to have confirmation on COVID to be called COVID deaths. Texas flipped out and the mauve Governor ordered all to wear masks. In the sunshine killing germicidal air. Brilliant. (Given this and other actions, my thinking is Abbott, the governor, was promised something in a Biden administration.)
Here’s an official source from last week:
Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.
— Toronto Public Health (@TOPublicHealth) June 24, 2020
Besides testing, why are we seeing so many new “cases”? A “case” is now an infection, past or present. That’s not what doctors used to call cases, which were infections requiring or seeking treatment. Now any positive test is a “case”. Naturally, since infections are greater than cases, calling everything, past and present, a “case” exaggerates the count.
The latest phase of the panic is driving people to get tested, which reveals new cases, which causes more panic, which drives more people to get tested, which….
One Blue Cheka said , “My parents friends went to get tested for coronavirus. They waited in line for two hours and then decided to leave without getting tested. Hours later they got a phone call saying they tested positive.”
This is an unconfirmed anecdote, but I’ve heard it more than once. Something besides just increased testing must be accounting for the uptick in case. Like this, for instance:
I wonder how many of the positive #COVID19 tests are retests in ppl who have previously tested positive and are now tested for discharge planning reasons
— ChristosArgyropoulos (@ChristosArgyrop) July 5, 2020
Experts have lost the ability to think. A Blue Cheka health “CEO” said, “The truth is simple, and horrifying. We are about to have dozens of NYCs around the country. The next 8 weeks are going to brutal, no matter what we do. ICUs overflowing, ventilators rationed, hundreds of thousands of deaths.”
No matter what we do hundreds of thousands of deaths.
This guy doesn’t appear evil, just stupid.
USA All-Cause Deaths
We recall it’s easy to inflate COVID deaths by classifying those “dying with” or even “dying with suspected” as dying from. But what can’t be twiddled so easy are the all-cause deaths. Here they are, with the usual caveats about late reporting (the CDC is always two-three weeks behind, which is not their fault).
That’s per capita, to put things in perspective. The dots are the last three weeks, numbers which will rise as data is updated. Now here’s the blowup, in raw counts:
The last week is cut out, being too low. The dashed line are the all-cause deaths minus official COVID deaths.
Again, it’s clear the crisis is over, even with late reporting. It’s also clear that deaths spiked from causes other than COVID, which I’ve been saying for the last two months.
Now the CDC is saying it, too. “Heart conditions drove spike in deaths beyond those attributed to covid-19, analysis shows“. They estimate some 20 – 50 thousand more deaths, not caused by COVID. That’s the bump in the dashed line.
The lockdowns caused some of these deaths. So did the coronviruas “treatments” some received. (Will Ghislaine Maxwell be strapped to a ventilator?)
England & Wales All-Cause Deaths
All cause per capita weekly deaths, through 19 June, in England & Wales:
Coronadoom did not beat two different flu years. What a grand panic they had, though.
Here’s the all cause totals, minus official COVID:
Dashed line as above, the all cause deaths minus coronadoom. Looks like England killed off a lot of people with coronadoom “cures.” It’s also clear the crisis is over there, too.
Refinements To Testing Arguments
“But Briggs, yes testing is rocketing up past the ionosphere, but hospitalizations are up, too! This is still dangerous! Why do you hate people so much?”
Here are the deaths per hospitalization. Notice how more people are “surviving” their hospitalizations? Doctors haven’t got better (if anything, the opposite is true). Instead, the switch from cases to infections means less sick, and even asymptomatic, people are being classified as cases.
Look, everybody. If you go to the hospital to have your bunions scraped, you automatically get tested for coronadoom. If “positive” you are classified as a “case”—and as a COVID hospitalization! This is all accounting tricks.
How else might we know this? Let’s look at the deaths per number of tests:
We saw first above that tests are soaring. Deaths aren’t keeping pace. Again, this is all the result of extra testing.
“But Briggs, I heard that the positive rate of tests is increasing. That has to mean doom, right?”
Let’s look: positive to number of test ratio:
Our critic is right. There is an uptick in positive results. Since deaths are not also increasing, what could explain this?
Several things: (1) A change in the way tests are done (see this article criticizing PCR tests; ordinary cold coronaviruses are sometimes classed as coronadoom); (2) extra “vigilance” in classifying tests as positive, under the better-safe-than-sorry theory (recall we saw one anecdote about this); (3) classifying past infections as current (any antibodies at all); (4) re-tests (also noted above); (5) classifying positives found by contact tracing and NOT testing as “cases” (here’s an article showing how this is done); (6) deaths are lagging and we’ll save have 100s of thousands dead, as the panicked gentleman above said.
Six (6) is the only scary possibility. There is some indication in some states, like Arizona, that more deaths are being attributed to COVID. Let’s look at Texas (new lockdowns), Arizona (panic), Oklahoma (never locked down!), and Florida (no panic, but media criticisms).
First the number of tests:
Even Oklahoma, which maintained its sanity, and which never locked down, is seeing an increasing in daily testing. The media is likely driving this. Like it is in the other states.
Here’s the positive tests to total tests ratio:
Oklahoma has many days of 0 positives and low numbers of tests will all positives. But we do see the increase in positive tests rate in the other states, as we saw summed across all states. Now let’s look at hospitalizations, which is quite revealing:
Texas doesn’t have any data, says the COVID Tracking Project (same link as above). Look at that Arizona spike, which occurred right after the lockdown was lifted. But it’s the same point in time at all states, which is weird. It’s much more likely that this is caused by a change in testing and classifying, and not in a sudden and simultaneous increase in virulence, to be so abrupt. This has the mark of bureaucracy, not biology.
Note the difference in scales. Slight up-ticks everywhere, which could be real, but are more likely a change in vigilance in attributing dying with infection (and not cases!) as dying from. The change from case to include even asymptomatic infections is enough to explain this.
This is why we must continue to look to all-cause deaths are the best indicator. It’s just too easy to cheat, fudge, shade, tweak, adjust, or whatever word you like, with COVID deaths.
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Addenda Forecasting for COVID-19 has failed, Ioaniddis et al. “It is likely that a large number of the daily reported infection numbers are purely due to viral debris”, via Coronavirus: Why everyone was wrong.
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