# Thread: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

1. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by wanderwegger
He thinks coronaviruses and influenza viruses are the same thing. Makes sense the resulting confusion.
He also thinks clinical testing of influenza is same as COVID19 testing...

2. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

He thinks coronaviruses and influenza viruses are the same thing
Who thinks this???

3. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

The poster who repeatedly confuses how math works and calls Covid (corona) a bad flu (influenza) season.

4. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by wanderwegger
The poster who repeatedly confuses how math works and calls Covid (corona) a bad flu (influenza) season.
Now you're just trolling :-<

5. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by Stario
0.06% is also considerably lower than 0.1% (about 40% lower). Again this is nothing more than a bad flu season.
Those are two different measures, you're comparing the lowest possible IFR of COVID-19 to the CFR of seasonal flu. The CFR of COVID-19 is at least 2%, which is at least 20 times that of seasonal flu. If you're going to use an estimate of COVID-19's IFR, then you need to find an estimate of the seasonal flu's IFR to compare it to, which is no doubt a tiny percentage. CFR and IFR are not interchangeable terms.

6. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by Stario
Now you're just trolling :-<
I would never troll someone for not getting how math works. I think it is fairly common for people to confuse covid and flu. You would be shocked how stupid some people are when it comes to covid.

7. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by Stario
Who thinks this???
You argued that they have similar death rates. For influenza, you used clinically tested numbers (meanwhile vast majority of influenza cases go untested), and compared those numbers to COVID19 numbers that are accumulated by an active campaign to test as much as possible.

8. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by sumskilz
The CFR of COVID-19 is at least 2%
Sweden's Influenza-A CFR = 5.7% (2016-17 season).

In any case, this is largely a meaningless issue as the real question is how many will ultimately die before herd immunity is reached. That number will likely not be dramatically different between Sweden and its neighbours.
The myth that somehow if we instituted draconian testing, contact tracing, and monitoring of all human to human contact that we could “stop” the epidemic is wishful thinking no matter how utilitarian it may be for those who want maximum economic damage.

If this analysis is right, the ultimate population fatality rate will be 0.06%, that’s much much less than expected annual mortality, which in the US is roughly 1%. That seems like a relatively mild epidemic to me by historical standards. And it raises the question of why we went through with the economic depression + loss of our rights & freedoms.

@wanderwegger, you don't seem to understand the topic at hand (I suggest you read the study I posted earlier here again & try understanding it this time).

@PointOfViewGun, again read the analysis here.

9. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by Stario
@PointOfViewGun, again read the analysis here.
I have read it. I have commented on it. I have raised multiple points about it. You have been unable to address them. In fact, you have built your position on ignoring the points people have raised against you. It's utterly embarrassing at this point.

10. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

One thing is the Case fatality rate. Another thing is the Crude fatality rate.
The case fatality rate is the number of confirmed deaths divided by the number of confirmed cases, not total cases. During a pandemic, the case fatality rate is a poor measure of the mortality risk. The crude fatality rate measures the probability that any individual in the population will die from the disease; not just those who are infected, or are confirmed as being infected. It's calculated by dividing the number of deaths from the disease by the total population.
Here and today, August 2, is the case fatality rate is 3,4%.
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A detailed explainer on what can and can not be said based on current CFR figures. Already posted before, Mortality Risk of COVID-19 - Statistics and Research
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Let's not play down the risks of the so-called COVID's "little flu". Already posted before, and very well summarized here, a few months ago, What Really Doomed America's Coronavirus Response

Without using systemic thinking, in isolation, the case-fatality rate may not have seemed that alarming, especially because the virus seemed to disproportionately affect the elderly. But viewed through a systemic lens, even a small fatality rate foretold a disaster. It is true that the flu kills tens of thousands annually, but the choice here wasn’t between worrying about this coronavirus or seasonal influenza. It was about assessing what adding a COVID-19 pandemic on top of a flu season would mean—and how it would overwhelm health-care systems.

If the flu kills about 40,000 people annually in the U.S., and car accidents kill another 40,000 people annually, their combined impact is pretty much just that. They are both predictable events for which we have built infrastructure and expectations; our system anticipates both. But adding one more flu-like illness (as COVID-19 was presented) isn’t a linear event. Tipping points, phase transitions (water boiling or freezing), and cascades and avalanches (when a few small changes end up triggering massive shifts) are all examples of nonlinear dynamics in which the event doesn’t follow simple addition in its impacts—that’s why this coronavirus was never just about its R0 or CFR.

..Hospitals in wealthy nations have some slack built in for surge capacity, but not that much. As a result, they can treat only so many people at once, and they have particular bottlenecks for their most expensive parts, such as ventilators and ICUs. The flu season may be tragic for its victims; however, an additional, unexpected viral illness in the same season isn’t merely twice as tragic as the flu, even if it has a similar R0 or CFR: It is potentially catastrophic.

Worse, COVID-19 wasn’t even just another flu-like illness. By January 29, it was clear that COVID-19 caused severe primary pneumonia in its victims, unlike the flu, which tends to leave patients susceptible to
opportunistic, secondary pneumonia. That’s like the difference between a disease that drops you in the dangerous part of town late at night and one that does the mugging itself. COVID-19’s characteristics made it clear that the patients would need a lot of intensive, expensive resources, as severe pneumonia patients do: ICU beds, ventilators, negative-pressure rooms, critical-care nurses.

This is why the case-fatality rate for COVID-19 was never a sufficient indicator of its threat. If emergency rooms and ICUs are overloaded from COVID-19, we will see more deaths from everything else: from traffic accidents, heart attacks, infections, seasonal influenza, falls and traumas—basically anything that requires an emergency-room response to survive.
If COVID-19 causes a shortage of masks for emergency-room workers, hospitals will stop everything that looks “elective” or nonurgent to fight that fire, but that means people will then suffer and die from things that those surgeries were intended to treat or improve.An angioplasty may not be urgent that week, but it is still a lifesaving intervention without which more people will die. This is true for even seemingly optional health interventions: If people can’t get knee-replacement surgeries, for example, they will be less active, which will increase their health risks.
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Edit,
Trump says, "The United States has done far more 'testing' than any other nation, by far!"
No, significantly less than China's reported total -90,410,000 total tests. Irrelevant, anyway. What really matters- tests per one million population, the USA is in 18th place, with 180,822 tests/1M pop.
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Meanwhile in Germany,

45 police officers injured. Up to 17,000 covidiots. Right-wing populists, far-right extremists, libertarians, anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists.

Thousands protest against coronavirus measures in Berlin

One banner at the march called for politicians such as German Health Minister Jens Spahn, Bavaria's state premier Markus Söder, Chancellor Angela Merkel and leading Christian Drosten to be "locked away."
Protesters also "aggressively asked" journalists to remove their masks by protestors, newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported.
The interior minister for the city of Berlin, Andreas Geisel, said on Friday that neo-Nazi organizations had also called for people to participate in the march. German media outlets noted that "Day of Freedom" was also the name of a Nazi propaganda film documenting the party's 1935 party congress in Nuremberg.
(1)

(Kudos for the best comment, "So the US has no monopoly on idiots")

(1) Reference,

11. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by Vanoi
How's Florida going tgood?

https://www.wesh.com/article/florida...ly-30/33470214

Looks like you finally reached over 200 deaths reported in a day. But those are just people right?
Florida’s number of confirmed fatalities rose by 62, for a total of at least 7,084. The state reported another 7,104 positive cases – down from 9,619 the previous day – for a cumulative tally of 487,132.

After battling record-breaking COVID-19 cases and deaths last month, the state’s daily positive rate of infections dropped below 10 percent for the first time since June 24.

More positive signs out of Florida included the continued decline in the number of new patients being hospitalized for COVID-19. The number of patients being treated in hospitals rose by 178 – down 261 from the previous day and down more than 1,000 from peak levels two weeks ago.
https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-c...y-deaths-cases

https://tallahasseereports.com/2020/...avirus-battle/

If we had shut back down every person would be holding up these numbers and going "see, thank God we locked back down so the numbers are falling".

Sweden down to 0 deaths for three days in a row... any minute now right? right?

12. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by tgoodenow
https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-c...y-deaths-cases

https://tallahasseereports.com/2020/...avirus-battle/

If we had shut back down every person would be holding up these numbers and going "see, thank God we locked back down so the numbers are falling".

Sweden down to 0 deaths for three days in a row... any minute now right? right?
One day of low reported deaths? Thats it? Cause only 4 days ago Florida had over 200 deaths. That one statistic you bragged about Florida not reaching.

Texas is also still surging with over 200 deaths a day reported in the last two days.

You keep pointing to Sweden. I'll keep mentioning Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, California, and Texas.

13. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun
I have raised multiple points about it. You have been unable to address them. .
You have raised multiple points? Where? What points have you raised?

14. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

@Ludicus,

Infection fatality rate (IFR) also applies to outbreaks of infectious diseases and represents the proportion of deaths among all infected individuals. It is closely linked to the CFR but it seeks to compensate for both asymptomatic and undiagnosed infections in addition.
The IFR differs from the CFR in that it is intended to estimate the fatality rate for all those with infection: the identified disease (cases) and those with undetected disease (asymptomatic and non-tested).
IFR will always be lower than CFR, as long as all deaths are accurately attributed to either the infected or the uninfected class.

One source of concern for COVID-19 is indeed mistaking of the CFR for the IFR. Take the flu, for example, CFR for the flu is about 3%, about the same as COVID-19. But the IFR of the flu is one-tenth of one percent (one out of 1,000).
We studied the flu sufficiently to know the difference between the CFR and the IFR of the flu. However, because COVID-19 is less studied, we have less understanding of its characteristics. We know its CFR is about 3% (depending on what one reads might slightly differ but roughly about 3%), similar to the CFR of the flu, but we don't know the IFR of COVID-19.
Research however has provided us with insights into the IFR of COVID-19 over the last few weeks. It looks very much like an IFR of the flu. This is because there are many, many more infections that are asymptomatic or mild for every COVID-19 infection that causes illness.
Even Sweden, which is one European country that has not been locked down IE. shops, restaurants, bars & schools remained largely open, is producing the same bell curve as its lock-down neighbors. The data is starting to suggest that society has over-reacted at a high cost.

15. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by Stario
You have raised multiple points? Where? What points have you raised?

• Diabetes, obesity, hyper tension and other conditions are not rare in the public. They are present in the majority.
• Such conditions, while present in a great chunk of COVID19 related deaths, are manageable conditions with simple medicine.
• You've been banking on a blog article by a controversial self-described climate scientist Nicholas Lewis.
• You have tried to equate death rate of influenza (based on clinically tested cases) with COVID19 death rate (based on actively tested cases).
• You have falsely argued that Sweden's strategy was limited to voluntary measures.

These alone are from the last two pages and only from me. You either ignore points raised against you claims or continue to lie about them.

16. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun
• 1. Diabetes, obesity, hyper tension and other conditions are not rare in the public. They are present in the majority.
• 2.Such conditions, while present in a great chunk of COVID19 related deaths, are manageable conditions with simple medicine.
• 3. You've been banking on a blog article by a controversial self-described climate scientist Nicholas Lewis.
• 4. You have tried to equate death rate of influenza (based on clinically tested cases) with COVID19 death rate (based on actively tested cases).
• 5. You have falsely argued that Sweden's strategy was limited to voluntary measures.

1. I am not claiminging/never did claim that such "conditions are neither rare/not rare in the public". My claim was that "In the absence of a change in trends, it seems likely that the epidemic will peter out after a thousand or so more deaths, implying an overall infection fatality rate of 0.06% of the population (0.04% excluding COVID-19 deaths of people in care homes). This is broadly comparable to excess deaths from influenza infections over two successive above-average seasons, such as 2016–17 plus 2017–18".
This has nothing to do with the 'rarity' of Diabetes, Obesity, HTN, and other conditions.

2. Again how does this disprove my point!? That is if the paper is correct -the final population fatality rate will be 0.06%. This seems to me to be a relatively mild epidemic according to historical standards. And it begs the question of why we went the direction we have. The myth that somehow if we set up draconian testing, contact tracing, and monitoring all human-to-human contact that we could "stop" the epidemic is wishful thinking no matter how utilitarian it may be for those who want the most economic damage.

3. Lewis has become prominent in the climate debate due to his forensic review of important results of climate science. But again, here you are deflecting; again you do not address/disprove any points in the study I posted. There's nothing to debate here because you didn't address the study.

4. NOT at all! I am simply showing (as per the study), that interestingly the IFR for those under 70 is below 0.1% this shows that covid19 is comparable or even less serious for most people than flu. To a large extent, I personally blame hyper-partisan and dishonest media. They have continuously portrayed high CFR rates (often above 10%) as meaningful when scientists know they are not.

5. I never claimed Sweden's strategy was limited to voluntary measures. My argument is that Sweden did not lock-down IE. shops, businesses, bars, restaurants, and the majority of schools remained opened; that is a fact- google it.
In any case, 0.06% of the death toll is about 8% of the expected annual mortality and therefore this "epidemic" will hardly be a noticeable blip on annual mortality. Intelligent people would see that they are much more likely to die from cancer or heart disease in a matter of months, and not to favour causing the worst depression in history likely resulting in millions of deaths.

17. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by Stario
1. I am not claiminging/never did claim that such "conditions are neither rare/not rare in the public". My claim was that "In the absence of a change in trends, it seems likely that the epidemic will peter out after a thousand or so more deaths, implying an overall infection fatality rate of 0.06% of the population (0.04% excluding COVID-19 deaths of people in care homes). This is broadly comparable to excess deaths from influenza infections over two successive above-average seasons, such as 2016–17 plus 2017–18".
This has nothing to do with the 'rarity' of Diabetes, Obesity, HTN, and other conditions.

2. Again how does this disprove my point!? That is if the paper is correct -the final population fatality rate will be 0.06%. This seems to me to be a relatively mild epidemic according to historical standards. And it begs the question of why we went the direction we have. The myth that somehow if we set up draconian testing, contact tracing, and monitoring all human-to-human contact that we could "stop" the epidemic is wishful thinking no matter how utilitarian it may be for those who want the most economic damage.
These two points go hand in hand. You have been reluctant to address them and continued to argue as if since only people with such conditions are in danger there is nothing to worry about. That is obviously a false assessment. It's no wonder why you're once again trying to deflect instead of talking about the actual points. You're not really addressing these points. It shouldn't have been this hard if your position had any merit.

Originally Posted by Stario
3. Lewis has become prominent in the climate debate due to his forensic review of important results of climate science. But again, here you are deflecting; again you do not address/disprove any points in the study I posted. There's nothing to debate here because you didn't address the study.
It's not a study. It's a blog post by a controversial self-described climate scientist who is know to be using faulty data in his writing.

Originally Posted by Stario
4. NOT at all! I am simply showing (as per the study), that interestingly the IFR for those under 70 is below 0.1% this shows that covid19 is comparable or even less serious for most people than flu. To a large extent, I personally blame hyper-partisan and dishonest media. They have continuously portrayed high CFR rates (often above 10%) as meaningful when scientists know they are not.
You have repeatedly argued that COVID19 deaths are comparable to influenza. You did that over and over and over and over again. Pretty much every word you utter is wrong there. For starters, you're not basing your number on a study but on a blog post. Then you're comparing two incomparable numbers. On one hand, you have a rate for influenza that is calculated based on clinical testing which only covers the most severe cases. Vast majority of influenza cases go untested even when someone gets treated for it. People with the flue usually simply use over the counter medicine to weather it. On the other hand, you have a rate for COVID19 that is calculated by a campaign to test as many people as possible. Testing there goes beyond severe cases to anyone showing symptoms or even those with no symptoms to randomly pluck out people with the virus. A basic understanding of statistics and sample bias would make this quite clear. This point too you have ran away from quite religiously.

Originally Posted by Stario
5. I never claimed Sweden's strategy was limited to voluntary measures. My argument is that Sweden did not lock-down IE. shops, businesses, bars, restaurants, and the majority of schools remained opened; that is a fact- google it.
In any case, 0.06% of the death toll is about 8% of the expected annual mortality and therefore this "epidemic" will hardly be a noticeable blip on annual mortality. Intelligent people would see that they are much more likely to die from cancer or heart disease in a matter of months, and not to favour causing the worst depression in history likely resulting in millions of deaths.
Nope. You kinda have as you said no to me pointing out that Sweden utilized many lock down measure. This has been a point you consistently ignored. Sweden closed all schools except primary schools and that was done to keep healthcare workers away from their homes. Restaurants and bars have restricted to table service only at at least 1 meter distance which greatly diminished their capacity. Many establishments that have violated social distancing measures were shut down right away. Gatherings over 50 people were banned as well. So, no, what you say is not a fact. It's a distortion of facts. Google reveals as such.

18. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by Stario
@Ludicus,The IFR...the CRF... The data is starting to suggest that society has over-reacted at a high cost.
Let's put it in a simple way. Case fatality rate can only be considered final when all cases have been resolved: died or recovered. Let's look at our national study (previous post) evaluating a database of more than 20,000 infected individuals,one of the largest population studies on COVID-19 to date. The Role of Health Preconditions on COVID-19 Deaths ... - MDPI
There are 502 deaths registered in the database representing an overall lethality of 2.5% of all infected cases at that point (note that cases registered later in the database may not have their final outcome yet). A total of 14.7% of patients needed hospitalization, associated with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 11.1%, while 1.3% were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with an associated CFR of 10.3%.
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No, the society has not over-reacted. I bet you don't work in an hospital, Stario. You probably live in a parallel universe. Here's why, (post 2030)

If the flu kills about 40,000 people annually in the U.S., and car accidents kill another 40,000 people annually, their combined impact is pretty much just that. They are both predictable events for which we have built infrastructure and expectations; our system anticipates both. But adding one more flu-like illness (as COVID-19 was presented) isn’t a linear event.
case-fatality rate for COVID-19 was never a sufficient indicator of its threat. If emergency rooms and ICUs are overloaded from COVID-19, we will see more deaths from everything else: from traffic accidents, heart attacks, infections, seasonal influenza, falls and traumas—basically anything that requires an emergency-room response to survive.
If COVID-19 causes a shortage of masks for emergency-room workers, hospitals will stop everything that looks “elective” or nonurgent to fight that fire, but that means people will then suffer and die from things that those surgeries were intended to treat or improve. An angioplasty may not be urgent that week, but it is still a lifesaving intervention without which more people will die. This is true for even seemingly optional health interventions: If people can’t get knee-replacement surgeries, for example, they will be less active, which will increase their health risks.
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A seminal article. Getting to the heart of the question. Why the Pandemic Is So Bad in America - The Atlantic

Despite ample warning, the U.S. squandered every possible opportunity to control the coronavirus. And despite its considerable advantages—immense resources, biomedical might, scientific expertise—it floundered.
The U.S. fundamentally failed in ways that were worse than I ever could have imagined,” Julia Marcus, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, told me.

Since the pandemic began, I have spoken with more than 100 experts in a variety of fields. I’ve learned that almost everything that went wrong with America’s response to the pandemic was predictable and preventable.
...sluggish response by a government denuded of expertise allowed the coronavirus to gain a foothold. Chronic underfunding of public health neutered the nation’s ability to prevent the pathogen’s spread. A bloated, inefficient health-care system left hospitals ill-prepared for the ensuing wave of sickness. Racist policies that have endured since the days of colonization and slavery left Indigenous and Black Americans especially vulnerable to COVID‑19.The decades-long process of shredding the nation’s social safety net forced millions of essential workers in low-paying jobs to risk their life for their livelihood.
The same social-media platforms that sowed partisanship and misinformation during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa and the 2016 U.S. election became vectors for conspiracy theories during the 2020 pandemic.

The U.S. has little excuse for its inattention. In recent decades, epidemics of SARS, MERS, Ebola, H1N1 flu, Zika, and monkeypox showed the havoc that new and reemergent pathogens could wreak.
In 2018, I wrote an article for The Atlantic arguing that the U.S. was not ready for a pandemic, and sounded warnings about the fragility of the nation’s health-care system and the slow process of creating a vaccine.
But the COVID‑19 debacle has also touched—and implicated—nearly every other facet of American society: its shortsighted leadership, its disregard for expertise, its racial inequities, its social-media culture, and its fealty to a dangerous strain of individualism.
Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. has withdrawn from several international partnerships and antagonized its allies. It has a seat on the WHO’s executive board, but left that position empty for more than two years, only filling it this May, when the pandemic was in full swing.
Since 2017, Trump has pulled more than 30 staffers out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s office in China, who could have warned about the spreading coronavirus. Last July, he defunded an American epidemiologist embedded within China’s CDC. America First was America oblivious.

Even after warnings reached the U.S., they fell on the wrong ears. Since before his election, Trump has cavalierly dismissed expertise and evidence. He filled his administration with inexperienced newcomers, while depicting career civil servants as part of a “deep state.” In 2018, he dismantled an office that had been assembled specifically to prepare for nascent pandemics.

As usual, health care was a matter of capitalism and connections. In New York, rich hospitals bought their way out of their protective-equipment shortfall, while neighbors in poorer, more diverse parts of the city rationed their While the president prevaricated, Americans acted. Businesses sent their employees home. People practiced social distancing, even before Trump finally declared a national emergency on March 13, and before governors and mayors subsequently issued formal stay-at-home orders, or closed schools, shops, and restaurants. A study showed that the U.S. could have averted 36,000 COVID‑19 deaths if leaders had enacted social-distancing measures just a week earlier.

Social distancing worked. But the indiscriminate lockdown was necessary only because America’s leaders wasted months of prep time. Deploying this blunt policy instrument came at enormous cost.
Unemployment rose to 14.7 percent, the highest level since record-keeping began, in 1948. More than 26 million people lost their jobs, a catastrophe in a country that—uniquely and absurdly—ties health care to employment. Some COVID‑19 survivors have been hit with seven-figure medical bills
In the middle of the greatest health and economic crises in generations, millions of Americans have found themselves disconnected from medical care and impoverished. They join the millions who have always lived that way.
The coronavirus found, exploited, and widened every inequity that the U.S. had to offer
Elderly people, already pushed to the fringes of society, were treated as acceptable losses. Women were more likely to lose jobs than men, and also shouldered extra burdens of child care and domestic work, while facing rising rates of domestic violence.

In half of the states, people with dementia and intellectual disabilities faced policies that threatened to deny them access to lifesaving ventilators. Thousands of people endured months of COVID‑19 symptoms that resembled those of chronic postviral illnesses, only to be told that their devastating symptoms were in their head.
Latinos were three times as likely to be infected as white people. Asian Americans faced racist abuse.Far from being a “great equalizer,” the pandemic fell unevenly upon the U.S., taking advantage of injustices that had been brewing throughout the nation’s history.

Of the 3.1 million Americans who still cannot afford health insurance in states where Medicaid has not been expanded, more than half are people of color, and 30 percent are Black.* This is no accident. In the decades after the Civil War, the white leaders of former slave states deliberately withheld health care from Black Americans, apportioning medicine more according to the logic of Jim Crow than Hippocrates.
They built hospitals away from Black communities, segregated Black patients into separate wings, and blocked Black students from medical school. In the 20th century, they helped construct America’s system of private, employer-based insurance, which has kept many Black people from receiving adequate medical treatment. They fought every attempt to improve Black people’s access to health care, from the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the ’60s to the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

Americans often misperceive historical inequities as personal failures. Stephen Huffman, a Republican state senator and doctor in Ohio, suggested that Black Americans might be more prone to COVID‑19 because they don’t wash their hands enough, a remark for which he later apologized. Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, also a physician, noted that Black people have higher rates of chronic disease, as if this were an answer in itself, and not a pattern that demanded further explanation.
In every outbreak throughout the existence of social media, from Zika to Ebola, conspiratorial communities immediately spread their content about how it’s all caused by some government or pharmaceutical company or Bill Gates,” says Renée DiResta of the Stanford Internet Observatory, who studies the flow of online information. When COVID‑19 arrived, “there was no doubt in my mind that it was coming.”

Sure enough, existing conspiracy theories—George Soros! 5G! Bioweapons!—were repurposed for the pandemic. An infodemic of falsehoods spread alongside the actual virus. Rumors coursed through online platforms that are designed to keep users engaged, even if that means feeding them content that is polarizing or untrue.
Beginning on April 16, DiResta’s team noticed growing online chatter about Judy Mikovits, a discredited researcher turned anti-vaccination champion. Posts and videos cast Mikovits as a whistleblower who claimed that the new coronavirus was made in a lab and described Anthony Fauci of the White House’s coronavirus task force as her nemesis.

Ironically, this conspiracy theory was nested inside a larger conspiracy—part of an orchestrated PR campaign by an anti-vaxxer and QAnon fan with the explicit goal to “take down Anthony Fauci.” It culminated in a slickly produced video called Plandemic, which was released on May 4. More than 8 million people watched it in a week.

Rather than countering misinformation during the pandemic’s early stages, trusted sources often made things worse. Many health experts and government officials downplayed the threat of the virus in January and February, assuring the public that it posed a low risk to the U.S. and drawing comparisons to the ostensibly greater threat of the flu.

The WHO, the CDC, and the U.S. surgeon general urged people not to wear masks, hoping to preserve the limited stocks for health-care workers. These messages were offered without nuance or acknowledgement of uncertainty, so when they were reversed—the virus is worse than the flu; wear masks—the changes seemed like befuddling flip-flops.
The media added to the confusion. Drawn to novelty, journalists gave oxygen to fringe anti-lockdown protests while most Americans quietly stayed home. They wrote up every incremental scientific claim, even those that hadn’t been verified or peer-reviewed.And at the center of that confusion is Donald Trump.

During a pandemic, leaders must rally the public, tell the truth, and speak clearly and consistently. Instead, Trump repeatedly contradicted public-health experts, his scientific advisers, and himself.
A month before his inauguration, I wrote that “the question isn’t whether [Trump will] face a deadly outbreak during his presidency, but when.” Based on his actions as a media personality during the 2014 Ebola outbreak and as a candidate in the 2016 election, I suggested that he would fail at diplomacy, close borders, tweet rashly, spread conspiracy theories, ignore experts, and exhibit reckless self-confidence. And so he did.
In the early days of Trump’s presidency, many believed that America’s institutions would check his excesses. They have, in part, but Trump has also corrupted them.

Still, there is some reason for hope. Many of the people I interviewed tentatively suggested that the upheaval wrought by COVID‑19 might be so large as to permanently change the nation’s disposition. Experience, after all, sharpens the mind. East Asian states that had lived through the SARS and MERS epidemics reacted quickly when threatened by SARS‑CoV‑2, spurred by a cultural memory of what a fast-moving coronavirus can do.

But the U.S. had barely been touched by the major epidemics of past decades (with the exception of the H1N1 flu). In 2019, more Americans were concerned about terrorists and cyber attacks than about outbreaks of exotic diseases. Perhaps they will emerge from this pandemic with immunity both cellular and cultural.

COVID‑19 is an assault on America’s body, and a referendum on the ideas that animate its culture. Recovery is possible, but it demands radical introspection. America would be wise to help reverse the ruination of the natural world, a process that continues to shunt animal diseases into human bodies. It should strive to prevent sickness instead of profiting from it. It should build a health-care system that prizes resilience over brittle efficiency, and an information system that favors light over heat. It should rebuild its international alliances, its social safety net, and its trust in empiricism. It should address the health inequities that flow from its history.

Not least, it should elect leaders with sound judgment, high character, and respect for science, logic, and reason.
The pandemic has been both tragedy and teacher. Its very etymology offers a clue about what is at stake in the greatest challenges of the future, and what is needed to address them. Pandemic. Pan and demos. All people.

19. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun
You argued that they have similar death rates. For influenza, you used clinically tested numbers (meanwhile vast majority of influenza cases go untested), and compared those numbers to COVID19 numbers that are accumulated by an active campaign to test as much as possible.
Instead of denying other peoples' stats based on convenient whataboutism, logical fallacies, and whatever selective stats that ignore the reality you have relied on, what is your argument that the death rates are not just near influenza death rates?

You're dogmatically adhering to the "official" numbers without citing them which in turn must necessarily justify every silly leftist position you support so yeah, I call on your silly argument.

20. ## Re: Coronavirus outbreak - From China to the World.

Originally Posted by Pontifex Maximus
Instead of denying other peoples' stats based on convenient whataboutism, logical fallacies, and whatever selective stats that ignore the reality you have relied on, what is your argument that the death rates are not just near influenza death rates?
You're dogmatically adhering to the "official" numbers without citing them which in turn must necessarily justify every silly leftist position you support so yeah, I call on your silly argument.
Love these salty responses... Nothing I said is based on whataboutism or logical fallacies. It's mostly based on reality and common sense. Now, how about out instead of throwing this knee jerk reaction you actually address what I pointed out there? Are you suggesting influenza testing is done comprehensively? That there is no campaign to test as many people as possible for COVID19?

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