Archive for August, 2020

Shocker: Americans uneasy about violence in the streets…

August 31, 2020

…. and, it’s showing up in the polls with big implications.
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Let’s start with the big picture…

Prior to each Presidential election, Pew surveys Americans to find out which issues are most important to them.

Below are Pew’s results for 2016 and 2020

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Here’s how to interpret the chart and the key takeaways…

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Aug. 31: Election Odds & Polls

August 31, 2020

RCP – Betting Average  of 6 “live” betting books
Biden 50.6  Trump 48.7  Gap +1.9

Yesterday:            52.0 47.8 +4.2
Biden July HIgh :
   60.9 30.6 +24.3 
Pre-conventions:   55.6 43.3 +12.3

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RCP – Poll of Polls
Biden 49.7  Trump 42.8  Gap 6.9  Undecided 7.8
Note: No polls since Aug.25

538 – Chance of Winning
Biden 61  Trump 39  Gap 21

Aug. 31: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 31, 2020

187,215  Deaths-to-Date

362 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 944    (peak 2.229 April 23)

32,709  New Cases
> 7-day average  39,689

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Details below…

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Aug. 30: Election Odds & Polls

August 30, 2020

RCP – Betting Odds
Biden 52.0  Trump 47.8  Gap +4.2

Biden July HIgh :   60.9 30.6 +24.3 
Pre-conventions:   55.6 43.3 +12.3

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RCP – Poll of Polls
Biden 49.7  Trump 42.8  Gap 6.9  Undecided 7.8
Note: No polls since Aug.25

538 – Chance of Winning
Biden 61  Trump 39  Gap 21

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Aug. 30: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 30, 2020

186,789  Deaths-to-Date

888 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 945    (peak 2.229 April 23)

39,656  New Cases
> 7-day average  39,671

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Details below…

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Aug. 29: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 29, 2020

185,865  Deaths-to-Date

1,069 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 952    (peak 2.229 April 23)

47,560  New Cases
> 7-day average  40,287

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Details below…

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The odds have shifted !

August 28, 2020

RealClearPolitics (RCP) tracks betting odds at 6 live betting “books”.

At the end of July, the RCP Betting Odds had Biden up 24 over Trump — 61 to 37.

By the start of the Democratic Convention, Biden’s advantage had narrowed to 12 … 56 to 43.

Coming out of the conventions, Biden’s lead is down to 6 … 53 to 47.

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Let the games begin.

“Science” takes another u-turn…

August 28, 2020

CDC covid testing guidance goes from haphazard to ass-backwards
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Earlier this week, the CDC revised its guidelines for covid testing.

For background, the CDC categorized people into “five populations” for which COVID-19 testing may be appropriate:

  1. Individuals with signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (“aka “symptomatics”)
  2. Asymptomatic individuals with recent known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 (e.g. in close contact for more than 15 minutes with an infected person; living in a high COVID-19 transmission area;  having  attended a public or private gathering of more than 10 people (without widespread mask wearing or physical distancing)
  3. Asymptomatic individuals without known or suspected exposure in special settings (e.g. frontline medical personnel and nursing home caregivers)
  4. Individuals being tested to determine resolution of infection (e.g. to establish a safe return to work after a prior positive test)
  5. Individuals being tested for purposes of public health surveillance (e.g. to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 in a targeted locale such as an apparent hot spot city or campus)

The CDC previously recommended testing for people in categories in the first 3 categories.

Here’s the big change to the CDC guidance … and why it’s wacky.

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Aug. 28: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 28, 2020

184,433  Deaths-to-Date

780 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,001    (peak 2.229 April 23)

36,713  New Cases
> 7-day average  40,700

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Details below…

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The consequences of Big Science’s bad bet…

August 27, 2020

Minimal research into coronaviruses and no drugs or vaccines in the pipeline.
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In a prior post, we channeled a report titled “The Road Not Traveled” by investigative reporter Christine Dolan.

For details, see: 15 years ago, scientists bet that the next pandemic would NOT be a coronavirus and Why the bad bet?

In a nutshell, Dolan concludes that circa 2003:

The scientific world bet that the next big pandemic would emanate from a more traditional flu and not a coronavirus like Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Obviously, that bet proved wrong … deadly wrong!

And, the implication of the bad bet:

“Although coronaviruses have been recognized as human pathogens for about 50 years, no effective treatment strategy has been developed.”

The fundamental reason: economics.

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Aug. 27: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 27, 2020

183,533  Deaths-to-Date

1169 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,028    (peak 2.229 April 23)

40718  New Cases
> 7-day average  41933

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Details below…

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The science community’s bad bet left us unprepared for the coronavirus.

August 26, 2020

Why the bad bet?
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In a prior post, we channeled a report titled “The Road Not Traveled” by investigative reporter Christine Dolan.

For details, see: 15 years ago, scientists bet that the next pandemic would NOT be a coronavirus …

In a nutshell, Dolan concludes that circa 2003:

The scientific world bet that the next big pandemic would emanate from a more traditional flu and not a coronavirus like Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Obviously, that bet proved wrong … deadly wrong!

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How did the science community collectively miss the mark?

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Aug. 26: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 26, 2020

182,348  Deaths-to-Date

1,235 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,040    (peak 2.229 April 23)

39,021  New Cases
> 7-day average  42,538


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Details below…

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15 years ago, scientists bet that the next pandemic would NOT be a coronavirus …

August 25, 2020

That bad bet left us scientifically unprepared for the current crisis.
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Christine Dolan is a former Political Director for CNN and is now an Investigative Journalist, for a site called Just the News.

One of her latest reports provides some important context for this year’s response to the coronavirus.

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Dolan’s story starts way back, circa 2003…

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Aug. 25: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 25, 2020

181,113  Deaths-to-Date

509 Daily New Deaths     (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,057    (peak 2.229 April 23)

41,448  New Cases
> 7-day average  43,236


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Details below…

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Trump’s 2nd Term Priorities

August 24, 2020

Pre-convention, Team Trump released the President’s “core” priorities for his 2nd term.
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Here is the initiative in each category that caught my eye:

  • Jobs: Provide “Made in America” Tax Credits
  • Covid-19: Launch vaccine by end of 2020; nationalize all critical medicines and medical supplies.
  • China: No Federal Contracts for Companies who Outsource to China
  • Healthcare: Cover All Pre-Existing Conditions and Protect Social Security and Medicare
  • Education: Provide School Choice to Every Child in America
  • The Swamp: Pass Congressional Term Limits
  • Police: Fully Fund and Hire More Police and Law Enforcement Officers
  • Immigration: Block Illegal Immigrants from Becoming Eligible for Taxpayer-Funded Welfare, Healthcare, and Free College Tuition
  • Innovation: Win the Race to 5G and Establish a National High-Speed Wireless Internet Network
  • Foreign Policy: Stop Endless Wars and Bring Our Troops Home

Here’s the full list…

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Aug. 24: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 24, 2020

180,604  Deaths-to-Date

430 Daily New Deaths     (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,068    (peak 2.229 April 23)

32,718  New Cases
> 7-day average  43,117


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Details below…

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Aug. 23: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 23, 2020

180,174  Deaths-to-Date

974 Daily New Deaths     (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,081    (peak 2.229 April 23)

43,829  New Cases
> 7-day average  43,706


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Details below…

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Aug. 22: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 22, 2020

179,200  Deaths-to-Date

1,170 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,101    (peak 2.229 April 23)

50,455  New Cases
> 7-day average  45091
(below 14-day average since July 26)
> 14-day average    50,810


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Details below…

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Let’s end the week on a high note…

August 21, 2020

B of A says “the Coronavirus is rolling over”.
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If you’ve been following our Daily C-19 Data Dashboard, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the 7-day moving average of confirmed cases has fallen by over 30% since its peak on July 23.

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That’s good news but the case counts– as we oft repeat —  are a very fuzzy-math number since they are impacted by the number and mix of people being tested.

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Positivity Rate

Dr. Birx says to watch the percentage of people testing positive — the so-called “positivity rate”.

It’s currently at 6.5% — about 1/3 of the rate during the NY-area outbreak.

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That’s also good news but, again, “positivity” is an equivocal metric since it’s impacted by the mix of people being tested.

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So, the B of A analysts say to focus on hospitalization rates.

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Aug. 21: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 21, 2020

177,424  Deaths-to-Date

1,090 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,009    (peak 2.229 April 23)

45,341  New Cases
> 7-day average  46,442
(below 14-day average since July 26)
> 14-day average    50,810


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Details below…

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What do New York and Sweden have in common?

August 20, 2020

Hint: Glance at the covid-19 death curves.
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Let’s reprise the oft-cited “Flattening the Curve” concept one more time…

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…. and, we presented data that strongly suggests (i.e. proves) that NY didn’t flatten the curve at all — it conformed to the “no mitigation curve” … while press-maligned Florida does seem to fit the flattening curve model.

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For details, see A covid tale of two states

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Now, let’s look at NY’s Cuomo-claimed “beautiful response” from still another angle

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Aug. 20: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 20, 2020

176,337  Deaths-to-Date

1,283 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,031    (peak 2.229 April 23)

44,957  New Cases
>  7-day average     47,701  (below 14-day average since July 26)
> 14-day average    50,810


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Details below…

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Survey: Trusted medical experts.

August 19, 2020

Coincidently, I received 2 related emails this morning.

The first was a Georgetown broadcast email to faculty (even retired ones) and students:

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Reasonable advice from Dr. Anthony “Wide Left” Fauci:

“Trust respected medical authorities”.

Hard to disagree with Fauci on that one.

But, begs the question: Who are the medical authorities to be trusted?

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A second message came from a reliable HomaFiles’ source.

He reported that a survey was conducted asking people: “Which  medical authority do you trust most?”

And, there was a clear-cut winner…..

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About Cuomo’s “beautiful” response to the coronavirus…

August 19, 2020

Hardly a model of “flattening the curve”
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Talk about Chutzpah…

NY has amassed over 30,000 covid-related deaths (about 20% of the US total) … and, almost 1,700 deaths per million residents (2nd only to NJ’s 1,800; almost quadruple Florida’s 455).

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Cuomo was bold enough to commemorate New York’s death toll (chart above) on an anatomically accurate “Victory Poster” (image below). Note the shape of the deaths’ curve.

Today, I want to make a very simple (and irrefutable point)….

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Aug. 19: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 19, 2020

175,065  Deaths-to-Date

1,349 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,072    (peak 2.229 April 23)

43,906  New Cases
> 7-day average    48,988

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Details below…

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Fauci greenlights voting in person …

August 18, 2020

Let’s see if the Dems turn on him.
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Dr. Anthony “Wide Left” Fauci made news in an interview with ABC’s Deborah Roberts.

Roberts wash baiting Fauci to endorse mass voting by mail this November.

To her shock and dismay, Fauci said:

“If people follow appropriate precautions, safe in-person voting should be possible during the upcoming 2020 general election.”

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Fauci explained…

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Aug. 18: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 18, 2020

173,716  Deaths-to-Date

589 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,079    (peak 2.229 April 23)

40,612  New Cases
> 7-day average    50,222

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Details below…

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Obama: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f–k things up.”

August 17, 2020

Say, what? C’mon, man.
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Holy Smokes.

Over the weekend, hard-left Politico ran an article sub-titled “What Obama really thinks about  Biden”.

Since it’s the eve of the Dem convention, I expected it to be puff piece.

Suffice it to say that I was surprised.

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In Obama-speak, the former President “took Joe to the hoop”…

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Aug. 17: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 17, 2020

173,128  Deaths-to-Date

522 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,073    (peak 2.229 April 23)

36,843  New Cases
> 7-day average    51,410

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Details below…

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Aug. 16: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 16, 2020

172,606  Deaths-to-Date

1,071 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,077    (peak 2.229 April 23)

53,523  New Cases
> 7-day average    52,983

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Details below…

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Aug. 15: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 15, 2020

171,496  Deaths-to-Date

1,081 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,060    (peak 2.229 April 23)

59,915  New Cases
> 7-day average    53,079

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Details below…

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Two Kamala Harrises make headlines in the same week.

August 14, 2020

What are the odds?
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OK, everybody knows that on Thursday, Aug. 12, Hidin’ Joe Biden officially named Kamala Harris to be his VP running mate.

Coincidentally, another Kamala Harris made headlines this week; former WWE wrestler James “Kamala” Harris.

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According to politically correct CNN, Mr. Harris passed away earlier in the week… Aug. 10 to be precise.

Here’s what makes that story interesting…

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Aug. 14: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 14, 2020

170,360  Deaths-to-Date

1,229 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,079    (peak 2.229 April 23)

54,148  New Cases
> 7-day average    53,454

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Details below…

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Blood tests ID covid patients most susceptible to rapid health deterioration and death…

August 13, 2020

Five “biomarkers” can alert docs to the need for aggressive, immediate treatment

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According to an article published in Future Medicine by George Washington Univ. researchers

Currently, physicians determine risk for COVID-19 health deterioration and death based on age and certain underlying medical conditions, like having an immunocompromised state, obesity, and heart disease.

People over the age of 65 and those with underlying conditions are typically less able to fight off any infection, not just COVID-19.

But coronavirus has proven deadly to scores of otherwise healthy, relatively young people too – and scientists are still not sure exactly why some COVID-19 patients quickly spiral downward and others have no symptoms at all.

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George Washington University (GW) researchers found five biomarkers, medical indicators found in the blood, associated with higher odds of clinical deterioration and death in COVID-19 patients.

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Aug. 13: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 13, 2020

169,121  Deaths-to-Date

1,376 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,074    (peak 2.229 April 23)

53,972  New Cases
> 7-day average    54,092

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Details below…

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A covid tale of two states…

August 12, 2020

One flattened the curve, the other didn’t … which is which might surprise you.
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Let’s start with the basic concept that has been the basis for the slow-the-spread lockdown and other covid mitigation initiatives: flattening the curve.

The concept is simple and intuitively appealing: Try to contain the spread of the virus so that the hospital system isn’t overwhelmed … and to “buy time” for the development of vaccines and other therapeutic drugs and treatment protocols.

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Makes sense, right?

OK, so let’s throw some actual data against the problem and see what we get…

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Aug. 12: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 12, 2020

167,562  Deaths-to-Date

1,370 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,050    (peak 2.229 April 23)

52,539  New Cases
> 7-day average    54,403

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Details below…

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Ohio Gov. DeWine tests negative … after testing positive.

August 11, 2020

Not a surprise according to Bayes’ Theorem
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According to the NYT and many other sources…

As part of a screening by the White House, Mr. DeWine first received an antigen test, a newer type of test that provides faster results but is less accurate than traditional laboratory testing.

He tested positive for Covid-19

He was later twice-tested using a more standard procedure known as polymerase chain reaction, or P.C.R., an accurate but time-intensive method that requires samples to be processed at a laboratory.

That test result was negative for the Covid-19.

DeWine’s experience is a classic “false positive” … to be expected based on Bayes’ (Statistical) Theorem.

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Let me explain…

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Aug. 11: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 11, 2020

166,161  Deaths-to-Date

538 Daily New Deaths     (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,025    (peak 2.229 April 23)

48,932  New Cases
> 7-day average    54,344

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Details below…

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The good C-19 news that the MSM will likely ignore…

August 10, 2020

Data indicates that the worst may be behind us … at least for now.
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The 7-day average for new cases has been trending down for more than two weeks, from more than 67,000 on July 22 to 47,849 on Sunday.

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There are 49,039 Covid-related patients currently hospitalized.  Hospitalizations are trending down and are below the 60,000 peaks reached on April 21 and July 27.

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The 7-day average for new reported deaths has also apparently peaked., trending from 1,246 on July 31 to the current 1,036, which is less than half of the peak reached on April 23 (2,229).

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The arrows are pointing in the right direction!

Aug. 10: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 10, 2020

165,617  Deaths-to-Date

535 Daily New Deaths     (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,036    (peak 2.229 April 23)

47,849  New Cases
> 7-day average    54,289

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Details below…

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Aug. 9: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 9, 2020

165,070  Deaths-to-Date

980 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,025    (peak 2.229 April 23)

54.199  New Cases
> 7-day average    54,459

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Details below…

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Aug. 8: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 8, 2020

164,076  Deaths-to-Date

1,272 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,047    (peak 2.229 April 23)

62,541  New Cases
> 7-day average    55,063

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Details below…

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How many people are walking around infected with Covid-19?

August 7, 2020

Finally, some C-19 “prevalence” estimates…
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Loyal readers know that I’ve been frustrated by the lack of practical, personally-relevant data that the public health “experts” have been gathering, analyzing and disseminating.

For example, I’d like to know how likely I am to bump into a person who is infected with C-19 if I leave my house.

Reasonable question, right?

In infectious disease speak, that number is called the “prevalence rate” … the percentage of people in an area who are infectious-likely at a specific point in time.

Current testing procedures don’t answer the question (see: Why is COVID testing still so haphazard?) … so, the “experts” fixate on metrics that are muddled and potentially misleading (see: Birx: “Key metric that I watch is the positivity rate”).

Finally, I’ve stumbled on some “machine learning” analyses that take a stab at answering my question: What’s the Covid prevalence rate?

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OK, let’s get to work…

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Aug. 7: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 7, 2020

162,804  Deaths-to-Date

1,203 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,074    (peak 2.229 April 23)

58,611  New Cases
> 7-day average    56,258

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Details below…

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C-19: State-level Cases, Deaths, Rates

August 6, 2020

Today, let’s drill down for some perspective…
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First, as oft-reported, NY & NJ lead the list for total deaths … the 2 states represent about 30% of the US total.

The Top 10 states account for 2/3’s of the US total.

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Let’s dig deeper…

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Aug. 6: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 6, 2020

161,601  Deaths-to-Date

1,319 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,109    (peak 2.229 April 23)

56,148  New Cases
> 7-day average    57,681

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Details below…

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Gov. Cuomo says to follow the data, so…

August 5, 2020

Let’s compare NY (and its North East neighbors) to the spiking  Sun Belt states. 
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According to Gov. Cuomo, the fawning  MSM and  Dr. Anthony “First Pitch” Fauci:

Gov. Cuomo did a stellar job managing the covid crisis … and, all of the Sun Belt governors (except CA’s Gov. Newsome) are reckless dufasses.

Really?

I hate to ruin a good narrative with data, but since Gov. Cuomo says to follow the numbers…

Below is a current Covid recap for 4 North East states (NY, NJ, MA, CT) … 4 Sun Belt states (TX, FL, AZ, GA) … and California.

click to enlarge chart
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Here are a couple of takeaways….

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Aug. 5: C-19 Data Dashboard

August 5, 2020

160,215  Deaths-to-Date

1,287 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 1,128    (peak 2.229 April 23)

52,055  New Cases
> 7-day average    59,220

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Details below…

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