What’s Going On? – Part I The Mess

The invidious death of George Floyd may prove to be an inflection point on the arc of American history. It caused multiple groups who seek the fundamental transformation of America to coalesce and intensify their efforts. Surely, more things are going on than meets the eye. It could be that the undiscernible things that are going on are more important than the ones that are. The discernable things, however, are monumental and well worth sorting out.  

Even this partial list of some of the discernable things that are going on is reason for alarm and validation of Benjamin Franklin’s doubt[i] that the country would be able to keep the republic the founders proposed:

  • Mass protests about police brutality, injustices, and income disparities experienced by black Americans.[ii]
  • Black groups demanding redress of and reparations for multiple grievances and significant governance changes, including the elimination of police forces and varying degrees of socialism,[iii]
  • A BLM leader threatened, “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking … figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation… I just want black liberation and black sovereignty, by any means necessary.”[iv]
  • The multigenerational efforts by 1960s revolutionaries to turn K-University education system into leftist indoctrination/social justice warrior training centers is at last bearing the intended abundant fruit.[v]
  • Mobs are demolishing statues[vi] and intellectuals reframing America’s history, e.g., “The 1619 Project.”[vii]
  • Antifa and other fringe groups using fascistic tactics to cow and silence people who do not support Antifa’s political objectives.[viii]
  • A pandemic and a botched response to the pandemic.[ix]
  • The loss of credibility by public health experts,[x] “experts” generally,[xi] polling,[xii] government agencies,[xiii] politicians,[xiv] mainstream media,[xv] and the intelligentsia.[xvi]
  • An unprecedented aggregation and exercise of dictatorial power by governors[xvii] and local officials.
  • Federal and state government officials establishing a state religion of scientism,[xviii] while infringing on or attempting to banish traditional religions.[xix]
  • The mainstream media are rejecting journalistic standards[xx] and becoming the propaganda arm of a leftist uprising[xxi] (and China[xxii]).
  • The reality and power of Deep State are becoming more evident and ominous.[xxiii]
  • Globalists are attempting to exploit the chaos to advance their agenda.[xxiv]
  • An acceleration of the cancel culture is underway.[xxv]
  • Republican leadership revealing their fecklessness or complicity in the face of the leftist uprising.
  • An unprecedented push to replace America’s cronyistic economic system with socialism[xxvi] (which would merely replace a “crony capitalism” system with a crony socialism system), and
  • The absurdity of the two major political parties offering up Trump or Biden as the best candidates they could find.

The above mess could be the result of a perfect storm (multiple groups independently snapping into action to prevent this crisis from going to waste), a mastermind puppet master pulling strings at his disposal, a conspiracy executing its plan, the inevitable culmination of universities’ 100+ year project to undermine the limited government established by the Constitution and 50+ year project to replace science and reason with postmodernism, or God using a variation on the Babylonian theme[xxvii] to punish human hubris (destroying Babylonian’s ability to progress by making it impossible for various peoples to speak to each other — “talking pass each other” instead of communicating could achieve the same result).

Whatever the cause, the mess needs some sorting out.

[i] When asked as he exited Independence Hall in Philadelphia where the Constitution was hammered out what kind of government the convention produced, Franklin said, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

[ii]George Floyd Protests: A Timeline

[iii]The Agenda of Black Lives Matter Is Far Different From the Slogan

[iv]Black Lives Matter leader states if US ‘doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system’

[v]The Revolution Is Winning

[vi] A list of the statues across the US toppled, vandalized or officially removed amid protests

[vii]Project1619,” “NYT Admits, at Last, That Its 1619 Project Is Wrong,” “The 1619 Project: An Epitaph” and “The Fight Over the 1619 Project Is Not About the Facts

[viii] By Its Own Definition Antifa is Fascist

[ix]The President and Governors Alike Botched the Pandemic Response

[x]Public Health Experts are Embarrassing Themselves” and “Health experts fear long-term damage to CDC’s credibility” and “Coronavirus: Five Reasons Public Health Experts Have Lost Credibility

[xi]Science’s ‘Replication Crisis’ Has Reached Even The Most Respectable Journals, Report Shows

[xii]The Crisis of Polling” and See “These Truths” by Jill Lapore,” There was a time when polls had a chance of knowing what “Americans” think. When Gallup started polling in the 1930s, the response rate of people contacted by pollsters was above 90%. The response rate during the 2012 presidential race was less than 10%. In 2016, a past president of the American Association of Public Opinion Research said, “Election polling is in near crisis.” (And, of course, polling completely blew the election predictions.)”

[xiii]Victor Davis Hanson on Hubris, Nemesis in the Deep State

[xiv]The Articles of Unity

[xv]Now What the F**k is Going On? Sensemaking Series” and “Collapse Of Trust In Legacy Media Will Lead To Its Inevitable Demise

[xvi]The Intellectual Yet Idiot 2” and “The Intellectual Yet Idiot

[xvii]Virus Unleashes Newsom’s Inner Dictator,” “Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Signs Sweeping Mask Order Threatening Violators With $500 Fine” and “When Are COVID-19 Control Measures ‘Arbitrary’ and ‘Unreasonable’?

[xviii]Scientism – COVID Stuff

[xix]California Churches Sue Gov. Newsom over COVID Lockdowns

[xx]Journalistic standards decline as the industry obsesses with war against Trump

[xxi]Bret Weinstein and Matt Taibbi: Corruption and its Consequences,” “Media Keeps Confirming It’s The Propaganda Arm Of The Democratic Party” and “Bari Weiss’s resignation letter

[xxii]Chinese Propaganda Outlet Has Paid US Newspapers $19 Million For Advertising, Printing” and “The Expansion of Chinese Communist Party Media Influence since 2017

[xxiii]Glenn Beck Presents: The Democrats’ Hydra” and “Glenn Beck Presents: Democracy Does Die In Darkness

[xxiv]UKRAINE SCANDAL EXPLAINED: Chalkboard on DNC Collusion, Joe Biden, Soros, Trump & more

[xxv]Is Bari Weiss the New York Times’ James Damore? Insider Spills the Beans on Stifling Cancel Culture,” and “No Safe Spaces Movie

[xxvi]The Rise Of American Socialism” and “Ocasio-Cortez: Collaboration with Sanders ‘Substantively Improved Biden’s Positions’ on Climate

[xxvii]The Tower of Babel” and “Genesis, Chapter 11


Everyone should be aware of “The Articles of Unity – A Patriotic Plan to Save our Republic.” It is a plan to address the problems that result in every four years Americans being left with the option to choose between two people whose primary expertise is evading questions, bunkum, balderdash, and bamboozling. As things are now, only people who have that expertise have a chance of winning the presidency. The exceptions to having to choose between the lesser of two morally flawed, technically incompetent, and often corrupt candidates have grown rarer over time.

The country has survived that growing trend because a large percentage of American voters used to believe in the American Creed and The American Experiment. Over recent decades, students are either not taught about those things or are taught to reject them.

Our incompetent and corrupt governments that resulted from the above situations cannot long endure. Much of the rancor, turmoil, and growing demands for fundamental change we are now seeing is the result of such corrupt and incompetent governments. Lesser of two evils politicians, who rely on pitting citizen against citizen, have proven that they will only exacerbate those problems and deliver mostly feckless outrage and gridlock.

@Unity2020 is a plan to elect competent patriots, one centrist conservative and one centrist liberal, as president and vice president who are not beholding to the powers that be. They will agree to share power in a way that will have a chance of saving the republic from the disastrous path we are now on.

I’m neither enthusiastic about all of the plan’s details nor optimistic about its success. It is, however, something that has a chance of effectively getting the country on a sustainable course. At a minimum, with a sufficient groundswell of support, politicians should be more inclined to change their corrupt ways. Without a groundswell, it will go nowhere.

For that reason, I have signed up in support of this challenge to the status quo. I urge you to do the same.

For more details see “The Articles of Unity – A Patriotic Plan To Save Our Republic” and “The Articles of Unity – A Patriotic Plan to Save our Republic (Bret Weinstein).”

Dr. Fauci, The Stone Caster

On July 9, 2020, The Morning Dispatch reported[i] the following:

“‘Some states, admittedly, opened up too early and too quickly,’ Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Wall Street Journal yesterday. ‘So that was something that probably should not have happened that led to this.’”

It is hard to tell whether this comment reveals Dr. Fauci’s lack of self-awareness, gracelessness, or political hackery.

Dr. Fauci made monumental decisions about when “flattening the curve” measures should be imposed and how severe they should be. When criticized for his recommendations, his most common defense is that his decisions were appropriate based on the scant information/data available at the time. Most Americans who believe the initial response was too severe assume that Dr. Fauci was not aware of how faulty both the Imperial College and the original IHME models were. Consequently, most of them have the grace to excuse Dr. Fauci’s judgments based on prediction models that either have proven[ii] or might be proven to have wildly overstated the danger of COVID-19. (There is a consensus among modelers even now.[iii])

Since the initial decisions, sufficient information/data has accumulated to reveal that his mitigation/suppression measures have killed and damaged the health of many people.

“…the disease has been responsible for 800,000 lost years of life so far. Considering only the losses of life from missed health care and unemployment due solely to the lockdown policy, we conservatively estimate that the national lockdown is responsible for at least 700,000 lost years of life every month, or about 1.5 million so far — already far surpassing the COVID-19 total.”[iv]

Most people have the grace not to say of Dr. Fauci’s directives, “So that was something that probably should not have happened…” I have searched in vain for an admission by Dr. Fauci that his original “lockdown” advice was, in light of subsequent events, too harsh.

Dr. Fauci has said, “staying closed for too long could cause ‘irreparable damage’” and “I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go.”[v] To avoid such “irreparable damage,” states must reopen. Is Dr. Fauci unaware that the governors have insufficient data to determine precisely when or how rapidly to reopen? In other words, is he unaware that governors are in the same predicament that he was in when he advised the country “lockdown?” Though it is improbable, one cannot rule out the possibility that he is insufficiently self-aware to realize that he is doing unto others what he criticized others doing to him.

If Dr. Fauci is so unaware, he could redeem himself. For examples, he could admit that the severity of his “lockdowns” was overkill (literally), or have the grace not say about governors who must make agonizing and highly consequential decisions, “So that was something that probably should not have happened…,” or he could have gotten the National Institute of Health[vi] to help the governors avoid “irreparable damage” to the people of their state and the country.[vii] He has done nothing that I can find to redeem himself.

On the other hand, that may be too much to expect from someone in Dr. Fauci’s position. The primary expertise of anyone who becomes the head of any federal government agency is having the political skill and cunning to surpass all the other politically avarice people seeking the same job. People who have those traits tend not to have the level of expertise concerning the agency’s mission compared to those who devote their working hours to the agency’s mission. Politically avarice people also tend to be highly motivated to achieve political objectives.

Dr. Fauci has sowed fear-inducing confusion and has failed to explain the rationale for pivotal epidemiological issues, which people need to understand in order to assess the amount of danger COVID-19 presents. Such confusion and wondering adds to people’s anxieties (which weakens people’s ability to fight diseases) and fostered massive amounts of discord.

Fear and discord are quite useful if one seeks to transform a country fundamentally. Is that what Dr. Fauci is doing? Although there are signs that is his motive, a regular citizen can’t know. Sadly, however, the other explanations for why he is doing what he is doing are, at a minimum, unflattering.

[i]The Morning Dispatch: New COVID Cases Hit Daily Record” 7/9/2020

[ii]  “We Will Regret Not Taking the Economic Effects of Mass Quarantine More Seriously” and “The Worldwide Lockdown May Be the Greatest Mistake in History

[iii] The Madness of Competing COVID-19 Projections

[iv] The Doctor Is In: Scott Atlas and the Efficacy of Lockdowns, Social Distancing, and Closings

[v]Dr. Anthony Fauci says staying closed for too long could cause ‘irreparable damage’

[vi]The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19—Part IV, The Herd Immunity Messaging Problem” and “CDC to Revise School Reopening Guidelines After Trump Says They’re Impractical: Pence

[vii] Kids and Teachers Are Going to Need Therapy if Schools Follow the CDC’s Recommendations for Classrooms

The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19—Part VII, Dr. Katz To The Rescue!

The goal of “The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19” series of posts has been to sort out the real issues that will determine when and how economies will reopen in an economically effective and reasonably safe way. I’ve been frustrated that the information broadcasted by the Heath Experts Advising Politicians and The Public (“HEAPPAs”) has (1) caused too many people are too scared to begin to consider when and how to ease nonpharmaceutical interventions (“NPI”), (2) used incorrect and misleading data, and (3) generally failed to advise the public concerning the real COVID-19-related issues facing the American people. HEAPPAs sowed confusion rather than clarity. Confusion fostered doubt that stymies the adoption of useful strategies to move forward.

Having ushered the country into NPI strategy without an exit strategy, HEAPPAs owed the American people useful advice on how to get out of the mess they created. Instead, the little guidance they offered was typically impractical or uselessly sketchy.

Examples include:

  • HEAPPAs, without explanation, moved the goalposts concerning the purpose of “flattening the curve.” At first, it was to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Then it was a general-purpose means “to save lives.” Their explanations concerning the first were clear and sound. The reasons concerning how lives would be saved by “flattening the curve” in the absence of hospitals being overwhelmed were virtually non-existent. Their failure to respond to credible critiques of “flattening the curve” being a general purpose life saver by many respected epidemiologist and others left the impression that HEAPPAs could not defend their position or were motivated by non-health objectives.
  • HEAPPAs have been mostly mum about the mental and physical harm and death inflicted by NPI — information essential to reasonable decisions about the costs and benefits of reopening. HEAPPAs ignoring their responsibilities to inform on these critical health issues have added unhealthy angst, stress, and discord to an already tum situation.
  • After months of silence on the subject, Dr. Fauci’s recently said[i] that he “totally supports” easing NPI because longer lockdowns could do “irreparable damage” to local economies. (Note: He couches the issue in terms of health vs. money, i.e., he talks about the thing about which he has no particular expertise and is silent on the negative health consequences of NPI). Then, he neutered the comment by adding “in a proper way in the appropriate setting,” without providing details concerning what way is proper and what setting might be appropriate.
  • The CDC adds to the messy messaging by publishing reopening strategies that are impractical.[ii]  While Dr. Fauci’s and the CDC’s lips are saying “carefully reopen,” the practical effect of their words is “remain closed” — without explaining why staying closed is better than reopening. In other words, they have not explained why delaying the COVID-19 deaths is with measures that are killing people is the right approach.

Politicians and the public desperately needed information and constructive advice to make informed decisions and to get the required buy-in by the public so that customers and suppliers would be willing to engage in commerce. They have gotten roughly squat from the HEAPPAs.

As I’ve mentioned before, respected epidemiologists, who were not HEAPPAs (although some have testified to Congress), have disagreed with leaving NPI entirely in place.[iii] Yet, to my knowledge, until a few days ago, no one has advanced a concrete proposal as to how to proceed. Dr. Katz came close on May 7 but did not pull the trigger.[iv] A few days ago, Dr. Darria Long and Dr. David L. Katz came through with a sound framework, which, hopefully, will soon become the basis of a strategic plan.

I highly commend to you:

As Cities Move Toward Reopening, How to Manage Risks

[i]After Weeks of Silence, Dr. Fauci Is ‘Totally in Favor’ of U.S. Reopening if Done ‘the Proper Way’

[ii] For example, see “Considerations for Schools.” How can enough busses be built, bought, and delivered between now and the start of school to achieve 6’ spacing, i.e., two kids per row and only odd or even rows are available. That means that only 14 kids per trip can be transported in a bus designed for 39 kids. Will the kids in the bus at the back of the long que of busses get to the school house door before first period is over?

[iii]WHO hails Sweden as a ‘model’ for fighting coronavirus without a lockdown” (pulling the rug from under Swedish model bashers), “Why lockdowns are the wrong policy – Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke,” “Perspectives on the Pandemic | Dr. John Ioannidis Update: 4.17.20 | Episode 4,” “Perspectives on the Pandemic | Dr. David L. Katz | Episode 3,” “Perspectives on the Pandemic | Professor Knut Wittkowski Update Interview | Episode 5,” Michael LevittExplains this Viral Lockdown – Fully!” and Carl HeneghanUK coronavirus outbreak peaked before ‘unnecessary’ lockdown,” and “Dr. David Katz | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO).”

[iv]A More Surgical Strategy: Dr. David Katz | Rich Roll Podcast.”

Texas Reopening — The Data

Before states started easing non-pharmaceutical interventions (“NPI”) to “reopen” their economies, misguided, but empathetic prophets of doom (“Doomsters”) gnashed teeth, wailed, and jeered those who they thought were enabling COVID-19 to slaughter people for the sake of money, leisure, spite, or political gain. They declared that easing NPI would cause spikes in deaths. They never bothered to provide theories as to how slowing the spread of the virus might decrease the ultimate number of infections, much less how such slowing could save lives during times when no hospitals were at risk of being overwhelmed. Neither did they offer data showing that carefully easing NPI would cause the ultimate number of COVID-19 deaths to be higher. Instead, they validated their beliefs only with assertions, mantras, and chants and ignored the deaths and damage to physical, mental, and fiscal health inflicted by NPI.[i]  (Sadly and irresponsibly, the people advising politicians and the public neither validated nor refuted the Doomsters’ claimsbut that is the subject of a future blog post.)

Though epidemiologists who speak from government podiums have not weighed in on the Doomsters’ claims, all epidemiologists assure us that the truth is in “the data.” So, let’s look at how Doomsters’ claims fare in light of data on how the epidemic has played out in Texas before and after NPI easing.

Texas’s first confirmed COVID-19 death occurred on March 15. Dallas/Ft. Worth officials ordered some business closures on March 16. “Shelter-in-place” orders for Dallas and Houston came on the 22nd and 24th, respectively, when just a few COVID deaths had occurred in Texas.[ii] Texas’s COVID-19 dashboard started on March 26. (That dashboard has all the problems I previously described the COVID Map[iii] has plus some others,[iv] but it is the best available information.)

Interesting items revealed by the above data include: Texas’s daily confirmed infections at the end of the first were 3.35 times the rate on the first day. Deaths were 3.83 times higher. At the start of the epidemic, COVID-19 was rapidly expanding. Note also that from the end of the first week, both rates have steadily declined. The confirmed cases and deaths on May 30 were only 1.14 and 1.1 times higher than the week before. Until May 5, the percentage increases in deaths were consistently higher than the increases in infections. Since then, the opposite has been the trend.

What is most striking, however, is that when Texas began reopening on April 20, the increase in infections was 4% per day. Forty-two days and six phases of NPI easing later, the rate of growth had fallen to 1% for a week. During that time, Texans progressively relaxed their NPI practices more than recommended by NPI guidelines, and some people abandoned NPI altogether. In short, despite the progressively greater social interaction since NPI started easing, the rates of infections and deaths have fallen steadily. There is reason to believe that the reported daily infection rate will soon show falling rates of infections despite increased easing.[v]

In reality (as opposed to the reported numbers), if it were not for the significant increases in antibody testing in May.[vi] Part of the increase in confirmed cases was due to testing more people in the later period. In other words, in reality, Texas’s daily infections are likely falling rapidly right now. The Doomsaying has been debunked by the data!

What is especially remarkable about this news is that, while NPI has proven to be mostly ineffective in protecting the vulnerable (despite politicians solemnly swearing to protect them), progress toward herd immunity has advanced while infection rate increases have fallen. Wherever tried, reopening economies will hasten the day herd immunity is achieved. That will be the day people will be less scared to engage in normal commerce, and vulnerable people can finally breathe easy and be comfortable around their loved ones.

That the Doomsters vehemently continue to insist that not following NPI will cause more ultimate deaths makes clear they have been relying on emotions rather than data and analysis. To their great discredit, epidemic experts who have commanded the stage and bathed in its limelight have neither validated Doomsters’ declarations nor clarified what is wrong with them. Rather than debate the epidemiologists and others who do point out the errors in the Doomsters’ thinking, they stand idly by as YouTube, Facebook, etc. takedown contradictory content. (That they prefer silence to losing the debate is a fair assumption.)

Doomsters’ claims fly in the face of the too few experts who are brave enough and willing to counter the established groupspeak on these subjects. For example, Yale’s Dr. David Katz[vii] says, “If all we do is flatten the curve you don’t prevent deaths, it simply changes the date of their death.” Variations on that theme have been provided by Dr. John Ioannidis,[viii] Knut Wittkowski[ix] and Professor Johan Giesecke,[x] Professor Sunetra Gupta,[xi] and others.[xii] As the Doomsters shouted, “Wear a mask, save lives,” the data and many responsible experts are saying calmly and convincingly that the Doomsters do not know much about what they are wailing (while Dr. Fauci or Dr. Birx remain mostly mum on the subject).

The Doomsters’ “thinking” did include a true factoid. Until the virus fades out, increases in social interaction/contact will cause the rate of infections to be higher than would otherwise be the case — at least for a while. Easing NPI increases social interaction/contact. Increased social contact causes increased infections until a high enough percentage of the people interacting are immune to the virus, i.e., when herd immunity is near or achieved.

Unless a sound argument that NPIs still saving lives is made, worrying about increased infections is misplaced. It is like fearing that a bucket will drain faster if a hole in its bottom were enlarged. The same amount of water will leak out regardless of the rate at which the water leaves the bucket. The only sure way to drain COVID-19 from the environment is for the population to achieve herd immunity. Delaying easing is delaying the inevitable number of infections that are needed to achieve herd immunity will ultimately save no lives. However, NPI will ring up deaths until eased out of existence.

When fears of hospitals being overwhelmed, insufficient medical supplies being available, and/or doctors needed time to discover how to diagnose and treat the new virus, “lockdowns” may have been justified, i.e., the damage from “lockdowns” might have been less than the damage the lockdowns were inflicting while those problems persisted. Now that those reasons for aggressive NPI no longer apply, ignoring the compounding damage NPI designed for bygone concerns inflicts is irrational. By ignoring the damage NPI inflicts, Doomsters are blind to the goal the ultimate goal of epidemiology, “draining” the environment of COVID-19 as quickly as possible without overwhelming the healthcare system.

As is so often the case, Doomsters are harming (killing, sickening, weakening, and otherwise ruining lives of) people they believe they are helping.

[i]The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19—Part II

[ii]Timeline: Tracking the spread of COVID-19 in Texas.”

[iii]COVID-19—THE DATA or ‘the data’?” and “It Was ‘the data.””

[iv] “‘How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?’

[v]Stanford Professor and Nobel Prize Winner Explains this Viral Lockdown – Fully!

[vi]Texas COVID-19 cases rise, governor’s office says more testing being done

[vii] David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM is a Preventive Medicine specialist and globally recognized authority on lifestyle medicine. He is the founding director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center (1998-2019).

Preview(opens in a new tab)

[viii]Perspectives on the Pandemic | Dr. John Ioannidis Update: 4.17.20 | Episode 4

[ix]Epidemiologist Dr Knut Wittkowski: ‘Lockdown Has No Benefit, Only Negative Effects’

[x]Webinar: Weekly COVID-19 Pandemic Briefing – The Swedish Approach

[xi]Professor Sunetra Gupta: the epidemic is on its way out.”

[xii]Paul Romer on the COVID-19 Pandemic” See comment section. See also, “Reaching Herd Immunity Would Require Significant Deaths. Some Experts Think It’s Inevitable.”

Biden’s Bigotry

Joe Biden telling some blacks, “you ain’t black,” tells much about Joe Biden.

Let’s set aside the arrogance of Biden’s presumption that he has the privilege to judge who is and isn’t black. Instead, let’s sort out the embedded bigotry and self-interest revealed by Biden’s comment.

Having once been one, I can confirm with confidence that most Democrats would prefer not to entrap black people into government dependency. They have a sincere desire for blacks to thrive and believe they have the innate wherewith all to do so. (BTW: Though most Democrats seem to deny or doubt it, the same is true of all but a tiny and impotent fraction of white people.) Sadly, however, they vote for people like Biden, who consider entrapping blacks in poverty is a small price to pay to gain the fame, fortune, and power they seek.

Pursuing his self-interest over the public interests, however, is not the worst of Biden’s failings. Biden epitomizes the kind of people infused with what Bush II called “the soft bigotry of low expectations” for blacks (and certain other minorities). In general, they presume that blacks lack the innate capacity to think, provide, or make sound choices for themselves. These people, who are afflicted with a savior complex,[i] believe that blacks could not make it without them. (That belief is demonstratively false.[ii]) Blinded by the vainglory of being a savior, they do not see the quixotic damage they inflict on the people they believe they are saving. Ironically, they do not realize that the reason so many blacks do not provide or make sound choices for themselves is that the white saviors prevent too many of them from going to schools that will teach them to do those thing while telling them that learning isn’t important because the system is so rigged against them that no amount of learning would do them any good. (Pay no attention to the 35,000 black millionaires in America  and the legions of middle and upper-middle-income blacks?) Even if it were true, which is is not, that messaging alone would discourage many blacks not to try. Many, if not most, who would have tried absent that messaging would have succeeded.

Biden’s comment reveals his belief that blacks who can think for themselves and reach conclusions different from the majority of people with a similar hue are so different from blacks that they belong to a different race. (Note that Biden would never believe or say those things about whites or some other races.) Biden’s only slightly veiled presumption is that blacks cannot think for themselves, and, therefore, should not be permitted to have the freedom of thought that other, he presumes more capable races have and should have. It’s disgusting.

Biden and other Democrats are telling blacks that if blacks step out of the self-destructive boxes constructed for them by white politicians (and blacks who make a living or gain power by supporting those politicians), they will be disparaged and exiled from their race. People of all hues should condemn that malignant, discouraging, and disabling messaging to blacks. If, however, the vast majority of blacks continue to accept that dehumanizing message, LBJ will be proven to have been a perceptive, cunning, and ruthless politician willing to sacrifice the futures of many blacks to retain power for Democrats “for 200 years.”[iii]

People of color are paying a high price for Biden’s kind of thinking. Sadly, however, white Democrats are paying that price for such bigotry, they are being rewarded for it. “The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.” Teju Cole. They are also elected to office.

Yet, there are signs that many blacks are catching on to the false promises of politicians like Biden. The Blexit Movement is a growing force in America. Hopefully, Candace Owen’s, Larry Elder, and similar efforts to free blacks from the bondage of Democrat party will be successful.

[i]  “The White-Savior Industrial Complex.” A slice of Teju Cole’s insightful piece, “What innocent heroes don’t always understand is that they play a useful role for people who have much more cynical motives.” White savior’s beliefes and attitudes toward problems in Africa are quite similar to their beliefs and attitudes toward problems in poor black neighborhoods.

[ii] Thomas Sowell, “Despite the grand myth that black economic progress began or accelerated with the passage of the civil rights laws and “war on poverty” programs of the 1960s, the cold fact is that the poverty rate among blacks fell from 87 percent in 1940 to 47 percent by 1960. This was before any of [Civil Rights and “War On Poverty”] programs began.

Over the next 20 years, the poverty rate among blacks fell another 18 percentage points, compared to the 40-point drop in the previous 20 years.

[iii]Did LBJ Say, ‘I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for 200 years’?

The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19—Part VI, About The Drumbeat For COVID-19 Testing

On May 15, 2020, Russ Roberts published another splendid podcast interview of Paul Romer, “economist and policy entrepreneur, is a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences and University Professor in Economics at NYU,” and more.[i] The podcast focused on several aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While I highly recommend that you listen to it, Romer adding his mallet to the drumbeat for widespread testing advocates is unhelpful.

Widespread testing (“testing”[1]) was among the podcast’s topics. According to Romer, testing is the key to getting people comfortable enough to actively engage in commerce—which both Roberts and Romer believe to be of paramount importance. Enough people being that comfortable is essential to any semblance of a recovery. His “case” for how and why testing would accomplish that goal was this:

“The idea with testing, though, is that if there’s some information we don’t have, what we’d like to know is whose infectious right now. If we knew that information, what we could do is say we’re going to isolate those people for a short period of time, a few weeks, and we can then suppress the virus without interfering with anybody else’s daily lives.”

Note, however, that “case” does not identify either how or why testing should or will cause people to be more comfortable.

Other advocates of testing offer different rationales:

Dr. Fauci: “The one thing we hopefully would have in place, and I believe we will have in place, is a much more robust system to be able to identify someone who’s infected, isolate them and then do contact tracing.”[ii]

CDC: “CDC has a strategy for using antibody testing as part of surveillance efforts to better understand how much of the U.S. population has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and how the virus is spreading through the population over time.”[iii]

WHO: “identify, isolate and contact trace people with the disease,” “vital part of understanding the scale of the outbreak and how it is evolving” and “Effective testing and quarantine measures help ease the pressure on health services, which can quickly become overwhelmed as demand surges for respirators and other critical lifesaving equipment.”[iv]

The Media: The media doesn’t even try to explain testing’s goal other than identifying hotspots (which happened without testing) or whether tracing could be effectively and acceptably implemented.[v]

Those rationales aim to slow or stop the virus’ spread, i.e., “flatten the curve” or some unidentified way to permanently stop the virus from infecting people. They offer no insight as to how testing is a substitute for herd immunity to stop the pandemic. Tinkering with the timing of when the virus infects and kills is of great value only when hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed. Otherwise, “If all we do is flatten the curve you don’t prevent deaths, it simply changes the date of their death,”[vi] Time is not on the side of the especially vulnerable.[vii] Rarely do people believe that fiddling while Rome burns is a good strategy—but here we are.

Let’s sort that out why testing and tracing are impractical and inapplicable to America.

One of the goals of testing is to enable “contact tracing,” i.e., find someone infected, identify everyone the infected person encountered, and whisk them all away to confinement. For sake of argument, let’s assume that the needed infrastructure (wireless surveillance, electronic notification systems, human catchers, detention centers, staff, and supply chains, courthouses to try habeas corpus cases, etc. and popular acceptance and adoption thereof) could be in place and running smoothly before the economy collapses. Is that the society in which we want to live? By forcing people to wear ankle bracelets and accept detention, S. Korea[viii] pulled it off, as did China by forcibly removing people from homes and throwing them into coronavirus detention facilities.[ix] Americans will not go there peaceably.

America tried a milder version of contact tracing. Here is what Romer said about that:

“…[America’s early attempts at contract tracing] partly colored by our experience, which was: the contact tracing system was the system we were using in January when this virus exploded, and it just completely failed. The people who say, ‘Okay, well contact tracing is going to work, give us a do-over,’ I don’t see the evidence that it’s going to be different if we do it again.”

Consider the practicality of widespread tracing. America’s population is about 325 million. People are spread across and between 35,000 cities and towns. Consider the following variables to be normalized in order to make sense of COVID-19 test results concerning how many people are infected; have become immune, seriously ill, and/or died:

  • What are the mixes of preexisting conditions, age, race, and abilities/willingness to follow protocols;
  • What protocols were established, when, and how aggressively; and
  • Which local politicians/officials were smart (the jury is still out on this) or dumb[x] in their speeches and policies; and
  • What other variables play a role, e.g., temperature, humidity, and sunlight.

Each of these variables varies significantly from place to place. For example, compare COVID-19’s impact on the comparably sized populations of New York State and Florida. As of 5/17/2020, confirmed cases were 350,121, and 45,588 and deaths were 22,478, and 1973. The pandemic will have run its course before all the significant variables are identified and quantified sufficiently to be actionable.

Consequently, sampling must be done on a granular level to be useful. Collecting, analyzing, and applying that much data effectively is too massive to be accomplished. For example, if an average of 2000 tests were taken in 35,000 towns (forgetting about all the places in between), 70 million tests must be taken, shipped to labs, and analyzed per round to obtain the needed information. However, both diagnostic and serological tests are required. So, 140 million tests would be necessary.  At 770,000 tests per day, America is leading the world in the number of tests per day. That is about 0.5% of the tests needed per round.

Consider how often test rounds are needed. Infected people typically shed high amounts of virus soon after infection and are asymptomatic for at least a few days. Irrespective of symptoms, people can be infectious for 10 days or more.[xi] Let’s say a person goes to a testing facility, and three days later learns the test was negative. However, she may have become infected when she pulled the handle of the facility’s exit door. She would soon start shedding COVID-19 for many days while believing that she is virus-free. “To be safe,” she should get tested every day until she finally tests positive or the pandemic has run its course. People are already not showing up at test sites.[xii] Because the virus can spread so quickly, the shelflife of test data is too short to be of much practical use—and getting close to enough tests everywhere is impossible.
For random sample testing to work, the people tested need to be representative of a larger group. Unlike randomly calling people, people who are willing and able to get tested could be very different from the larger group. People with no better way to earn money than getting tested will not be representative of the whole. People are already growing tired of being prevented from working, standing in breadlines, and staying at home. That sentiment is likely to increase until nonpharmaceutical interventions (“NPI”) stop. Will the data collected before a general abandonment of NPI be relevant when people have thrown off their masks and left the house? Will the people of all cities start abandoning NPI at the same time or the same rate? If not, most of the data collected will be of little practical use.

As noted above, tracing is for finding people to quarantine. However, as Dr. Jay Bhattacharya says, “That works fine if you have a small number of people who have been infected [which is not the case in the places where COVID-19 is a big problem] and… we’ve seen a very large number of people don’t have very many symptoms and, yet, can spread it, this kind of strategy will not work. It is doomed to fail. In fact, it’s going to be counterproductive to do a strategy like this… [if when they show positive, they will be quarantined] people will say they don’t want to be tested.”[xiii] To be effective, quarantining must be enforced. Believing that forced testing/quarantining would work outside an authoritarian state is likely irrational, but certainly would produce unrepresentative/invalid test results.

Romer suggests that problems with quarantining might be solved by the government paying people to be quarantined. There are people on whom that might work and others on whom it will not, e.g., Jeff Bazos or the owner of a successful restaurant. The disparate results of randomly testing/quarantining poorer people is not a compelling strategy.

When pressed on how test results would be used, Romer said, “it’s premature to worry too much about what we do with that information.” He also made some of the “arguments” discussed above. However, they have the failings discussed above.

If there were a good argument for testing, surely Paul Romer and many other testing advocates would know what it is and would have already widely disseminated it. I’ve looked in vain for a sound argument.

On the off chance, a credible case for widespread testing exists, epidemiologists owe the public:

  • a clear presentation of the case,
  • an explanation as to why delaying the spread of the virus is not merely putting off the inevitable deaths that COVID-19 will cause.[xiv] and
  • an identification of the point at which NPI will cause more illness and death than COVID-19 will (to say nothing of the lost dignity, security, thriving, and fun being destroyed by NPI).[xv]

Absent that: The public should reject the claim that NPI easing must await widespread testing.

Let’s hope that people will soon realize the impractically and inapplicably of the testing “solution.”[xvi]


[1] Unless the context in which the word, “testing” is used is talking about individual testing for nonepidemiological reasons, “testing” refers to widespread testing.

[i]      Wikipedia: Paul Romer

[ii]     “Fauci: Improved testing and tracing can help reopen country.”

[iii]    “Serology Testing for COVID-19.”

[iv]    “The World Health Organization has called on countries to ‘test, test, test’ for coronavirus – this is why.”

[v]    “MSNBC: COVID-19 Testing & The Road To Reopening.”

[vi]    “Dr. David Katz | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO).”

[vii]   “The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19—Part IV, The Herd Immunity Messaging Problem

[viii]    “‘[South] Korea was able to successfully flatten the curve on COVID-19 in only 20 days without enforcing extreme draconian measures that restrict freedom and movement of people,’ writes ministers of the South Korean government in their April 15 coronavirus playbook.

[ix]   “Videos appear to show people in China forcibly dragged off to quarantine.

[x]  “PA Health Secretary Moved Mother Out Of Personal Care Home After Ordering Nursing Homes To Accept COVID Patients,” “Why Cuomo Reversed His Order That Forced Nursing Homes to Accept Coronavirus Carriers,” “8 times Bill de Blasio downplayed the coronavirus” and “Tucker: How local leaders failed their cities.”

[xi]    “People ‘shed’ high levels of coronavirus, study finds, but most are likely not infectious after recovery begins

[xii]   “As coronavirus testing expands, a new problem arises: Not enough people to test

[xiii]   “Dr. Jay Bhattacharya: His new MLB COVID-19 Study and the Dilemma of the Lockdown” @14:24

[xiv]   “The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19—Part IV, The Herd Immunity Messaging Problem

[xv]   See Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of “The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19”

[xvi]   “Solutions

The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19—Part V, About The Drumbeat For COVID-19 Testing

Due to error an error in the title of this post (it should have been labeled “Part VI” instead of “Part V”), this post, with the correct title, has been replicated and moved to here:  The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19—Part V, About The Drumbeat For COVID-19 Testing. I apologize for the inconvenience.

To Mask Or Not To Mask?

Whether one should wear a mask us a multifaceted issue. This post will address only two of them

I’ve seen posts in which people say that masks do no good. That is wrong. They do both good and bad.

Many seem to base their claim on the fact that the holes in masks through which air passes are larger than COVID-19 molecules, i.e., molecules come through to the wearer and go out to possibly infect other people.
While that factoid is true, the area of masks is mostly material. COVID-19 molecules and saliva teeming with COVID-19 get caught on the inside and outside of the mask. So, masks stop some of an infected person’s shedding of COVID-19 molecules (and wearing a mask does not prevent COVID-19 molecules from getting to the wearer).
On the other hand, “viral load” is a very big deal. Each COVID-19 molecule that enters a body starts multiplying. As soon as a well functioning immune system detects the presence of the virus, it starts fighting the virus, including producing antibodies against the intruder. Each antibody can kill only one COVID-19 molecule. How ill a person becomes very much depends on whether the pace of the body’s antibody production exceeds the pace at which the virus is reproducing.
A person’s immune system is much more likely to outpace the virus if the “load” that enters a person’s body is a single COVID-19 molecule (as opposed to say, a person at the peak of their viral infection coughs in the face of the person at the same moment they happen to be taking in a deep breath. An immune system trying to outpace many thousands of multiplying COVID-19 molecules is less likely to catch up before it is too late.
The flip side is that one of the body’s ways of fighting the virus is to eject them by coughing. If the virus gets caught in a wearer’s mask, some of the molecules will go right back to where they came from each time the mask wearer breaths in. Once back in the body, those recycled molecules will continue to replicate.
ADDENDUM: Shortly after I published this post I ran across THIS VIDEO. I haven’t verified the extent to which it is true, but there is reason to believe that it is not entirely false.

The Real Issues Concerning COVID-19—Part V, The Good News

Discussing anything positive about COVID-19 amid the heartbreaking tragedies it has wrought will understandably be considered to be perverse by many. Letting that perversity prevent the good news spreading and calming fears is counterproductive. People need to be fully informed to make sound decisions about how to proceed. Closing one’s eyes to the light at the end of the tunnel is not helpful.

We hear, “COVID-19 is a unique virus” frequently. That statement is true but insipid (all viruses are unique ). Some of COVID-19’s quirks are especially bad, and others are especially helpful to the task of easing nonpharmaceutical interventions (“NPI”) to improve health outcomes and get the economy turned back in the right direction. Sooner is better than later. Let’s sort some of those out.

The Good News About Covid-19

A Selective Savage.

  • The Victims. COVID-19 is unusually selective concerning which groups it severely affects or kills.[i] While we would prefer that it killed no one, a virus that slaughters children and young adults in the prime of their lives would be devastatingly worse than COVID-19. The death of an aged parent fraught with medical problems and much nearer death than their progeny is sad but is often coupled with relief that suffering has come to an end. Additionally, most parents would prefer to trade their lives to save the lives of any of their children or grandchildren, to say nothing of multiple children and grandchildren.

Deaths by Age Mass

    • The average age of people killed by COVID-19 in Massachusetts as of 4/22/2020 was 82.
    • Of all fatal cases in New York State, two-thirds were in patients over 70 years of age; more than 95 percent were over 50 years of age; and about 90 percent of all fatal cases had an underlying illness.”[ii] Data from New York City on 4/18/2020 indeed is not entirely representative of everywhere in the US, but it is nevertheless telling as to how the virus discriminates by age.
    • For people 20 – 65, the risk of having severe symptoms from the virus is approximately 80 times lower than for people 75+,[iii]e., the risk is negligible.
  • The Spared Many. While exceptions[iv] to the rule that COVID-19 spares harm to virtually everyone younger than 21. With the possible exception of NYC, the risk of adults dying from COVID-19 is about the same as the risk of getting hurt driving on highways of a congested city for several hours.[v] Dangerous, but not a reason to upend everything.