Saturday, March 21, 2020

HEROIC: How COVID-19 Should Really Be Fought

The buffoon President Donald Trump is in way over his head as far as the COVID-19 panic is concerned and he is being controlled by the clearly sadistic fearmonger Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Fauci has created panic in the country including among many in the medical community, sometimes with outright lies. Many are not thinking straight thanks to Fauci. The steps taken to shut down the entire country over a virus that has indications of being no more dangerous than the common flu is absurd and extremely destructive.

We should be sheltering those most at risk that is all.

We need informed voices to deliver this message.

One such voice has had an op-ed published in The New York Times.

Here are key snippets from that op-ed written by David L. Katz, the founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center:
The data from South Korea, where tracking the coronavirus has been by far the best to date, indicate that as much as 99 percent of active cases in the general population are “mild” and do not require specific medical treatment. The small percentage of cases that do require such services are highly concentrated among those age 60 and older, and further so the older people are. Other things being equal, those over age 70 appear at three times the mortality risk as those age 60 to 69, and those over age 80 at nearly twice the mortality risk of those age 70 to 79.

These conclusions are corroborated by the data from Wuhan, China, which show a higher death rate, but an almost identical distribution. The higher death rate in China may be real, but is perhaps a result of less widespread testing. South Korea promptly, and uniquely, started testing the apparently healthy population at large, finding the mild and asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 other countries are overlooking. The experience of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which houses a contained, older population, proves the point. The death rate among that insular and uniformly exposed population is roughly 1 percent...

We have, to date, fewer than 200 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States — a small data set from which to draw big conclusions. Still, it is entirely aligned with the data from other countries. The deaths have been mainly clustered among the elderly, those with significant chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, and those in both groups...

The clustering of complications and death from Covid-19 among the elderly and chronically ill, but not children (there have been only very rare deaths in children), suggests that we could achieve the crucial goals of social distancing — saving lives and not overwhelming our medical system — by preferentially protecting the medically frail and those over age 60, and in particular those over 70 and 80, from exposure.

Why does this matter?

I am deeply concerned that the social, economic and public health consequences of this near total meltdown of normal life — schools and businesses closed, gatherings banned — will be long lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself. The stock market will bounce back in time, but many businesses never will. The unemployment, impoverishment and despair likely to result will be public health scourges of the first order...

Such is the collateral damage of this diffuse form of warfare, aimed at “flattening” the epidemic curve generally rather than preferentially protecting the especially vulnerable. I believe we may be ineffectively fighting the contagion even as we are causing economic collapse.

There is another and much overlooked liability in this approach. If we succeed in slowing the spread of coronavirus from torrent to trickle, then when does the society-wide disruption end? When will it be safe for healthy children and younger teachers to return to school, much less older teachers and teachers with chronic illnesses? When will it be safe for the work force to repopulate the workplace, given that some are in the at-risk group for severe infection?

When would it be safe to visit loved ones in nursing homes or hospitals? When once again might grandparents pick up their grandchildren?

There are many possible answers, but the most likely one is: We just don’t know. We could wait until there’s an effective treatment, a vaccine or transmission rates fall to undetectable levels. But what if those are a year or more away? Then we suffer the full extent of societal disruption the virus might cause for all those months. The costs, not just in money, are staggering to contemplate.

So what is the alternative? Well, we could focus our resources on testing and protecting, in every way possible, all those people the data indicate are especially vulnerable to severe infection: the elderly, people with chronic diseases and the immunologically compromised. Those that test positive could be the first to receive the first approved antivirals. The majority, testing negative, could benefit from every resource we have to shield them from exposure...

If we were to focus on the especially vulnerable, there would be resources to keep them at home, provide them with needed services and coronavirus testing, and direct our medical system to their early care. I would favor proactive rather than reactive testing in this group, and early use of the most promising anti-viral drugs. This cannot be done under current policies, as we spread our relatively few test kits across the expanse of a whole population, made all the more anxious because society has shut down.

This focus on a much smaller portion of the population would allow most of society to return to life as usual and perhaps prevent vast segments of the economy from collapsing. Healthy children could return to school and healthy adults go back to their jobs. Theaters and restaurants could reopen, though we might be wise to avoid very large social gatherings like stadium sporting events and concerts.

So long as we were protecting the truly vulnerable, a sense of calm could be restored to society. Just as important, society as a whole could develop natural herd immunity to the virus. The vast majority of people would develop mild coronavirus infections, while medical resources could focus on those who fell critically ill. Once the wider population had been exposed and, if infected, had recovered and gained natural immunity, the risk to the most vulnerable would fall dramatically.

A pivot right now from trying to protect all people to focusing on the most vulnerable remains entirely plausible. With each passing day, however, it becomes more difficult. The path we are on may well lead to uncontained viral contagion and monumental collateral damage to our society and economy. A more surgical approach is what we need.


  1. Maybe societal shutdown is exactly what the "elite" want?

  2. I to resent this contrived idiocy, but as usual you are blaming the wrong person. Sadly, there has been an over reaction. A pandemic to me means dead bodies piled in the streets and this nowhere near that. I do enjoy seeing Trump smack the press around as they so richly deserve it. If only we could only be so lucky to see a number of them drop dead from something.

    Always remember though you are the open border libertarian who think disease infected turd world people should be allowed to come in mass from places with less desirable public health and sanitary infrastructure without any restrictions.

  3. I can't believe this Mr. Katz is heroic in any sense. His organization is just another division of the CDC. His suggestions are just pulling on different levers of the centralized control bureaucracy. More testing is not helpful. More focused testing is less helpful. Why? Because the virus and its interaction with humans is complex and changing. Tests may become obsolete before they amount to a statistically significant set. The examples of South Korea and China showing identical distributions but different death rates may simply show that two different methods resulted in similar outcomes (death rates are questionable because neither the numerator or the denominator are constants). This could suggest that the virus has its own time frame and the government coercive interference resulted in unmeasured harm without changing the ultimate outcome. The complexity of the situation suggests that the only effective response is individual and voluntary. Precisely what people were doing before politicians and bureaucrats (like Katz) created hysteria by announcing unsupported statistics. What we need is freedom. What we need is a compete and total separation of government coercion and the health care industry.

    1. Katz is more sane but not heroic.

      He wrote, “We could wait until there’s an effective treatment, a vaccine or transmission rates fall to undetectable levels.” A vaccine that is not properly tested (are any of them?) and a fall in transmission rates to undetectable levels will take months. For the most part effective treatments are already being used.

      Katz also wrote, “Those that test positive could be the first to receive the first approved antivirals.” This assumes the the tests and the “approved” antivirals (also vaccines) are effective and are not worse than the disease. Based on what I understand I would have to be forced to take a vaccine or antiviral for COVID-19.

      Here is a snippet of the post 911 “THE MODEL STATE EMERGENCY HEALTH POWERS ACT
      As of December 21, 2001” which as of August 1, 2011, forty states have passed various forms of:

      Section 603Vaccination and treatment.
      During a state of public health emergency the public health authority may exercise the following emergency powers over persons as necessary to address the public health emergency–
      (a)Vaccination. To vaccinate persons as protection against infectious disease and to prevent the spread of contagious or possibly contagious disease.
      (1)Vaccination may be performed by any qualified person authorized to do so by the public health authority.
      (2)A vaccine to be administered must not be such as is reasonably likely to lead to serious harm to the affected individual.
      (3)To prevent the spread of contagious or possibly contagious disease the public health authority may isolate or quarantine, pursuant to Section 604, persons who are unable or unwilling for reasons of health, religion, or conscience to under go vaccination pursuant to this Section.