Archive for October 28th, 2020

Lessons learned from the White House COVID outbreak…

October 28, 2020

Now that the dust has kinda settled from the White House COVID outbreak, it’s a good time to step back and take inventory of lessons learned.

For what they’re worth, here are my takeaways:

> Screening — via temperature checks & rapid tests — doesn’t protect against viral breaches.

There are 2 stark realities:

  1. The tests are blunt instruments that are highly susceptible to false negative results.
  2. It only takes 1 infected person (i.e. an “index case”) to start the viral chain reaction.

So, other defense mechanisms (e.g. keeping a safe distance — especially from unmasked strangers) are absolutely necessary.


> Applying a Grandma Homa adage: Nothing is ever as good or as bad as it initially seems.

On a practical level, the WH outbreak wasn’t all that bad.

From what I’ve heard or read, about 30 people ended up testing positive, but …

  • Nobody died (which is slightly better than the 99% overall survival rate)
  • Only 2 people were hospitalized (Trump & Christie)
  • Nobody is showing any after-effects now — especially a re-invigorated Trump who seems to have benefited from a couple of full night’s sleep.

As a doctor-friend of mine likes to say: “Getting infected isn’t a death sentence”.


> The key: Find it fast and hit it hard!

The biggest advantage that the White House guests had was that they had ready access to re-testing via methods more reliable than the rapid tests … and, Trump’s infection lit a fire under all attendees to get tested, pronto.

That’s probably the best example yet of self-identified contact tracing.

Everybody who got infected (whether at the event or elsewhere) “found it fast”.

And, at least in Trump’s case, they “hit it hard”.

For months, Trump had been headlining the importance — and speedy development — of effective therapeutics.

When talking vaccine development, he usually added “… and therapeutics”.

Little did he know that he’d become a poster-child for the cause.

Whether it was the Regeneron or the uber-steroids that he was dosed, it’s indisputable that the combo of therapeutics got him on his feet and back in action at record speed.

Bottom line: Find it fast and hit it hard!

My view: Fast & hard is a resolute principle whether the disease is COVID … or, from our family experience, breast cancer … or, any other life-threatening disease.


Oct. 28: Election – Battlegrounds

October 28, 2020

Biden leading in RCP Poll-of-Polls, but Trump closing gap.
Trump leading in Trafalgar poll (by > 2 pts. in AZ, FL, NC)

RCP Average – 6 Battlegrounds
Biden  49.2  Trump  45.7  +3.5



Battlegrounds – State-by-State


Technical Note:

There are 2 pollsters who are generally credited with getting the 2016 election right: IBD/TIFF and the Trafalgar Group.

The Trafalgar Group leans right, emphasizes state polls & predictions (especially the swing states) and claims to have a proprietary protocol that elicits replies from the “shy Trump voters”.

Oct. 28: Election Polls & Odds

October 28, 2020

RCP – Poll of Polls – National
Biden 50.6  Trump 43.5   Lead 7.1

RCP – Poll of Polls – National – Latest 4 Polls
Biden 50.0  Trump 45.5   Lead 4.5


RCP – Poll of Polls – Battlegrounds
Biden 49.2  Trump 45.7  Lead 3.5


RCP – Betting Average  of 7 books’ odds
Biden 64.2  Trump 34.5   Lead 29.7

Predict It   online betting site
Biden 63  Trump 41   Lead 22


538 – Chance of Winning  Nate Silver
Biden 88  Trump 12  Lead 76


Oct. 28: C-19 Data Dashboard

October 28, 2020

232,084 Deaths-to-Date

1,039 Daily New Deaths  (peak 2,824 April 21)
> 7-day average 862       (peak 2.229 April 23)

75,072  New Cases
> 7-day average  69,751


Details below…