Covid-19

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Testing for Covid-19

Masks as Protection from Infection


Notes follow


[ https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/four-months-unprecedented-government-malfeasance/?amp%3Butm_source=housefile&amp%3Butm_medium=email&amp%3Butm_content=june2020govmalfeasance&utm_campaign=imprimis&_hsmi=91893262&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_21SIViIkohi0IJ0gPxmINHJKKoEgjKk5G6g02u05xJhDqd8c3SfDR31PItwNAttufNNAmYSmOxKKRXdeMG_iyNQI4Zw Four Months of Unprecedented Government Malfeasance], Imprimis, May/June 2020, Heather Mac Donald, is a strong condemnation of the repression by US cities and states.

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Professor Cochrane: Friday, October 2, 2020 Beat Covid Without a Vaccine is about the Kotlikoff idea of stopping covid entirely by massive testing using cheap, inaccurate, tests. It links to a good thread by a doctor showin how absurdly doctors' arguments against tests are.


From the New York Times via Steve Sailer:

When the coronavirus emerged in China in January, the World Health Organization didn’t flinch in its advice: Do not restrict travel.

But what is now clear is that the policy was about politics and economics more than public health.


Actually, though, if you follow the New York Times link, it doesn't support the newspaper's claim. The linked article actually doesn't mention any WHO position on travel restrictions. It's about declaring an emergency or not, and countries possibly responding to that declaration various ways. The closest thing to what the NYT claims was WHO's position is:

Although several countries, including the United States, have begun screening air travelers arriving from Wuhan, Dr. Tedros said that the W.H.O. prefers exit screening for people leaving affected regions.”



I have posts on covid-19 at The CDC's Job of Collecting Data

  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/covid-19-precautions/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Covid-19 Precautions</a>
  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/186-2/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Masks and Slobs</a>
  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/signal-and-noise/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Signal, Noise, and CDC</a>
  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/wp-admin/post.php?post=970&action=edit&classic-editor" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"> Masks</a>
  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/does-professor-menachemis-fairbanks-iupui-covid-19-study-of-indiana-infection-rates-have-a-biased-sample/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Does Professor Menachemi’s Fairbanks-IUPUI Covid-19 Study of Indiana Infection Rates Have a Biased Sample?</a>
  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/the-cost-of-covid-19/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Cost of Covid-19 </a>
  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/excommunication-by-covid/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Excommunication by Covid</a>
  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/church-and-state-and-virus/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Church, State, and Virus</a>
  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/covid19-august-2020/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"> Covid19-August 2020</a>
  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/pastor-doug-wilson-on-the-authority-of-the-church-to-require-masks/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Pastor Doug Wilson on the Authority of the Church to Require Masks</a>
  • <a href="https://www.rasmusen.org/blog1/economists-and-epidemiologists/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Economists and Epidemiologists</a>

    <a href="https://www.theblaze.com/news/san-fran-gym-owners-have-blunt-message-for-liberal-city-over-govt-gyms-opened-all-others-forced-to-close" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">San Fran keeps private gyms closed, but has reopened city-owned gyms. Furious owners call out city leaders.</a>


    {{{1}}}


     The Democratic governors violated the right to free association, probably without statutory support and going beyond their legal powers, and thousands of people died as  a result. This could be more deaths than all the race lynchings in history combined. 
    

    Democrats May Have Violated Civil Rights By Forcing Nursing Homes to Admit COVID-Positive Patients.

    The DOJ requested data from Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, each led by a Democrat governor. In June, House Republicans on the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent five letters to the governors of those states and to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), also demanding data on the link between nursing home policy and coronavirus cases. Each other state issued an order similar to New York’s (California’s came on March 30, Michigan’s on April 15, New Jersey’s on March 31, and Pennsylvania’s on March 18).

    The Democrat governors issued these orders in contrast to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance that explicitly does “not direct any nursing home to accept a COVID-19 positive patient, if they are unable to do so safely.” Indeed, the guidance urges that “nursing homes should admit any individual that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present” only if the nursing home can follow” CDC guidance.

    CMS Administrator Seema Verma also warned, “Under no circumstances should a hospital discharge a patient to a nursing home that is not prepared to take care of those patients’ needs.”

    According to House Republicans in June, New York had suffered 6,360 nursing home coronavirus deaths, Michigan had suffered 2,297, California had suffered 2,560, Pennsylvania had suffered 4,268, and New Jersey had suffered 6,432. Each of these numbers represented between 25 percent and 68 percent of the state’s coronavirus deaths and a sizable chunk of each state’s nursing home population.



    Yale stayed open during the Spanish flu, which was notorious for how many strong young people it killed. Three students died, out of perhaps 1,200 students, which would be a .25% death rate (a much higher death rate of those infected, of course[, https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2008/01/28/the-1918-influenza-quarantine/ The 1918 influenza quarantine] PATRICK LEE 12:00 AM, JAN 28, 2008:

    Members of the Yale community were not allowed to make contact with other civilians unless the participants obtained a special pass, which was restricted by the Council to “official assignments.” Visitors were banned from the military posts, and University secretary Anson Phelps Stokes canceled all on-campus public meetings...

    By Oct. 20, New Haven had already reported 209 influenza-related deaths, but by that same year, only one Yale student had lost his life to the pandemic. And by the end of the year, Yale had lost three students. }}


    Has New York City committed suicide? Chicago, too. There is a vicious cycle. A bad mayor is elected. Sensible people move out. The remaining voters are the most corrupt and crazy. So things keep getting worse. ["https://nypost.com/2020/08/17/nyc-is-dead-forever-heres-why-james-altucher/?utm_campaign=applenews&utm_medium=inline&utm_source=applenews New York City is dead forever],New York Post, by James Altucher, August 17, 2020. Big cities, and universities are in strategy trouble anyway because of the internet, and they are killing to goose that laid the golden eggs besides.



    From a comment on Sebastian Rushworth M.D.: "Do vitamin D supplements protect against respiratory infections?", August 3, 2020:

    Epidemiological studies indicate association but not causation. Causation requires defining a biological mechanism that can explain the epidemiological finding. In Vitamin D we have both. The associations noted in this study and the mechanism. It is not clear that the mechanism whereby vitamin D protects against death from COVID-19 is the same mechanism that protects against upper respiratory tract infections.

    The mechanism for COVID-19: COVID-19 is clinically 2 diseases: the much more common asymptomatic/mildly symptomatic viral like syndrome and the life-threatening immune dysfunction called the “cytokine storm”. The cytokine storm is to a autoimmune response what a CAT5 hurricane is to a thunderstorm. The mechanism of vitamin D for the life threatening immune system is understood to the extent that vitamin D is necessary to blunt an autoimmune reaction. Lung epithelial cells express high basal levels of CYP27B1 and low levels of CYP24A1, favoring conversion of vitamin D to its active form. When treated with vitamin D, these cells increase the levels of the TLR co-receptor CD-14 and cathelicidin (LL-37). In airway epithelial cells, treatment with vitamin D induces IkBa, an NF-kB inhibitor resulting in a decrease of viral induction of inflammatory genes. Vitamin D keeps the dendritic reticulum cell in an immature/immune tolerant state, alters the M1 pro-inflammatory macrophage to a M2 anti-inflammatory macrophage, and alters the TH1 response to a TH2 response, decreasing the autoreactivity of T cells. These help and blunt the immune response and the development of the cytokine storm.

    The anti-viral effect of vitamin D is not fully understood. Cathelicidin (LL-37) is able to disrupt the envelop of enveloped viruses. Vitamin D blocks the ability of viruses that bind to the carbohydrate moieties on cell surfaces. Many viruses, include the coronavirus, use this moiety to clin to the cell and thereby allow the virus to interact with the AEC2 receptor.

    The peculiar susceptibility of type 2 diabetics may be partially explained by vitamin D and cathelicidin. Cathelicidin is stored in neutrophils (and macrophages). In DMT2, the neutrophilic response is blunted (with resulting increase susceptibility to infections of all types.



    The <a href="https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-07-31/la-contact-tracers-struggle-to-keep-up-with-coronavirus-cases" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Los Angeles Times, July 31:</a>

    Public health officials had created a system to help contain such outbreaks: The county’s fast-expanding army of contact tracers would be notified within 24 hours of people who tested positive for the virus. The county workers would call the patients, make sure they were isolated and determine who else they may have infected.

    But the tracers never found the epidemic in the plant, famed for making Dodger Dogs.

    By the time the county began an investigation in May, at least 116 workers were infected in what had become one of the region’s biggest outbreaks.

    It’s been a grim pattern since the pandemic began. The county’s contact tracing system has repeatedly failed to find workplace outbreaks before they spread widely, placing an ever-expanding circle of employees, their families and others at risk. ... The number of people testing positive who tracers have been able to reach has fallen to 68% in recent weeks, down from 75% earlier in the pandemic, according to officials. And only 40% of those people have been willing to disclose who they may have exposed. ... Getting information has been so difficult that the county recently began offering $20 gift cards to people who agree to be interviewed. ... To compensate for the system’s weaknesses, the county now requires employers to report outbreaks when three or more workers test positive. But so far officials have done little to enforce that reporting requirement, and some companies have failed to comply. Last week, officials said they would begin imposing financial penalties on employers not following the county directives — but not until the end of August. ... In some places, like South Korea and Germany, however, aggressive use of contact tracing has helped to corral the coronavirus. American public health departments have used the technique for decades to control outbreaks of measles, tuberculosis and sexually-transmitted diseases. ... The county rapidly boosted its core force of 250 contact tracers to 1,600 by reassigning and retraining other government employees, according to county documents. They included librarians, who are already skilled at interacting with the public, a key to gaining patients’ trust. With infections surging anew, the county is continuing to add tracers, with 900 more in training.

    The workers are aided by a county health order in March that required doctors to immediately report each positive test result to the county, with the person’s name, contact information and occupation.

    The tracking is essentially a race against the clock. People who contract COVID-19 are most infectious two days before they first experience symptoms to ten days after, according to federal health officials. ... Most of the county’s contact tracers work from home. And it’s unclear whether the county is able to monitor the information on employers that the tracers obtain in their interviews of patients for clusters of infections that could be outbreaks. County officials declined to answer questions about whether a new software system installed in early April to help contact tracers record the interview information could be used to search for outbreaks. . Officials described the contact tracing data system that was in place before the upgrade in April as one that was “paper based.”

    The failures have many demanding answers. ... Ferrer also pointed out that her staff had initially decided that officials with the small city of Vernon, where the plant is located, should take responsibility for trying to stop the infections.

    The county had learned about the outbreak on April 17, about a month after the first known infections, when Farmer John managers called the city of Vernon to report that six workers had tested positive. Vernon city officials toured the plant and told the county that the company had installed safety measures to stop more infections.

    But the cases continued to spread unchecked, according to county documents. And the county’s contact tracers still didn’t find them.

    It was another month later, on May 18, that Vernon officials notified the county that the infections had greatly multiplied. By the time county officials sent a press release on May 24 to warn nearby communities, at least 153 workers had tested positive. Dozens of other workers were also infected at eight other nearby food processing plants in Vernon, a small industrial city that has few residents of its own. ... Darryl Blackwell, who works in the plant’s ham de-boning department where the first employees tested positive, said he and his colleagues initially received little information about the spreading infections. Blackwell said he had wondered why government officials weren’t responding to the outbreak and ensuring employees were safe. ... The county’s contact tracers also failed for months to discover an outbreak at the construction site of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, where the Rams and Chargers will play.

    The first construction worker at the 298-acre stadium site tested positive in late March.

    The county health department did not start an investigation until mid-June, and only after Times reporters had asked repeated questions about continuing infections at the site.

    The county says that 55 workers have now tested positive, with most of the cases reported in June and July.

    Sharon Balter, director of county’s acute communicable disease control program, said the SoFi case showed how contact tracing cannot pinpoint an outbreak at a sprawling worksite like the stadium, where there are 3,000 construction workers who are employed by a myriad of subcontractors.

    “It’s going to be complicated for us to detect this outbreak until someone reports it to us,” she said.

    Chris McFadden, a spokesman for Turner AECOM Hunt, the joint venture overseeing the construction, declined to say whether the joint venture had reported the workers infections to the county. Instead he said that the site’s management continued to “meet or exceed” the county’s guidelines.

    He said the joint venture had measures in place to keep people safe. He said the site had enhanced cleaning and disinfection and requires workers to keep six feet away from each other. Workers must also have their temperatures checked before entering the site, he said.

    If a worker tests positive or has symptoms, McFadden said, “we launch our own investigation to determine who they may have had close contact with.”

    At the bustling Los Angeles Apparel garment factory in South L.A., infections began in May and surged in June.

    But contact tracers didn’t detect the outbreak, which has been the largest in the county so far. A medical professional who became aware of conditions at the plant through a patient notified public health officials on June 19.

    The county immediately began investigating, but by then three people had died. More than 150 workers tested positive that same week.

    By July 10, when the county alerted the public through a press release detailing the company’s “flagrant” violations of safety rules, more than 300 workers had tested positive and a fourth had died.

    Asked why the county’s contact tracers had not found the outbreak, Ferrer repeated her staff’s findings that many people testing positive are afraid to tell the government who they may have exposed.

    She said the factory’s managers had put “their employees and their families greatly at risk” by not reporting the outbreak until 150 had tested positive.

    But Dov Charney, the founder of L.A. Apparel, said he believes the county’s contact tracers should have been able to detect the outbreak earlier.

    “If they were doing contact tracing, they would have found out by case 12,” he said.

    Charney said he had repeatedly arranged for his staff to be tested. And under the county’s system, each of those test results would have been quickly sent to government contact tracers.

    “When they saw elevated numbers, they should have come in right away,” he said. “They didn’t show up.”

    Charney said he had not tried to hide information about the infections.

    “Maybe our record keeping wasn’t there initially,” he said, “but it took a while to figure out what they wanted.”

    He said the county’s policy of requiring employers to report outbreaks had been confusing. First the county told employers that a cluster of five cases should be reported. More recently, he said, the county had changed the rules, saying that a reportable outbreak was three infections.



    . <a href="https://www.hoosiertimes.com/herald_times_online/news/covid19/new-data-suggest-coronavirus-deaths-in-nursing-homes-drastically-undercounted/article_af54d424-d1b8-11ea-8c05-7b4aceb5cfd2.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Herald Times: </a>

    Since April 8, nursing homes have been required to notify the state health department of coronavirus cases and deaths within 24 hours. For months, state officials declined to release the number of cases and deaths at specific nursing homes, most of which are government-owned.

    ... “It is concerning to see these discrepancies as they put out and release this facility level data, but it also demonstrates why it was so important to get this data out at the facility level,” said Sarah Waddle, state director of AARP Indiana, which represents the interests of older Hoosiers. Waddle wrote an open letter to Gov. Eric Holcomb in May urging him to release facility-level data, which he had refused to do until this month. . The new data, in addition to identifying which facilities have had COVID-19 outbreaks, finally allows the public to understand how severely the coronavirus has affected long-term care residents. We now know that at least 60% of the state’s deaths and 15% of the positive cases were in long-term care facilities.


    I should find out how many excess deaths there have been in the states, to see how important covid-19 is. Maybe the CDC data can show this. They seem to use some complicated and probably wrong seasonal adjustment algorithm. I should just compare with 2019. Then, as a second step, put in a time trend using  the ten-year trend, and see what difference that makes. Nothing too fancy, though-- this is an example of where transparency is infinitely better than technique. "Man is depraved, and people make arithmetic mistakes, so transparency trumps technique."
    

    Bock, Randy. From Lynn Chu on Twitter, July 28, 2020: </a>

    Deaths subside so now

    Nebulous "cases" to scare

    Healthy out of health


    https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1287761915398299649" 
    

    True story: if current trends hold, the number of people under 35 murdered in the US this year will RISE by more than the TOTAL number of people under 35 who die of #Covid.


    “Don't get excited about people getting covid twice. Suppose the false positive rate is .001. If you test 100,000 people who seem sick with covid but who really are not, you'll think 100 do. If 50 really do get it later, you'll think they got it twice.”