Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 31, 2020

U.S. Virus Cases Are Off The Scale - But Its People Can Build A Movement From This

The latest Financial Times graphic for covid-19 cases per country shows that the U.S. case numbers are now literally off the scale.

Source - bigger

When John Burn-Murdoch created that daily updated chart he did not anticipate that any country would have more than a 100,000 total cases. That was a reasonable assumption as China, with 1.4 billion inhabitants, stopped the epidemic with less than 85.000 total cases even when it was surprised by the outbreak.

As of now the U.S. has 164.435 known cases. It will reach a total number of several dozens of millions and will have several hundreds of thousands of dead caused by the covid-19 disease.

Most but not all of those who will die from it will have one or more co-morbid diseases. The number of death in the U.S. will likely be higher than elsewhere because obesity, diabetes and heart problems are more prevalent in the U.S. than in most other countries.

Another reason why the U.S. will have a larger than necessary outbreak is wide mistrust in the authority of the state. A significant number of people will reject stay at home orders or other measures the authorities will have to take.

Then there is this:

Pouya Alimagham پويا عالي مقام @iPouya - 0:48 UTC · Mar 31, 2020

The regime doesn’t want to antagonize the religious classes. Thus, it isn’t doing anything about the fact that some religious sites remain open & clerics are encouraging worshippers to come & pray. These gatherings risk exploding #COVID19.

I’m talking about the US, not #Iran.

The U.S. also has many people without health insurance. The many newly laid off people will additionally lose theirs. These people will avoid seeing a doctor or to go to a hospital as the enormous costs would ruin them. The for-profit health system will reject sick persons who are unlikely to be able to pay their bills. The cases of people who die from such circumstance should be put into the death by lack of money category instead of being blamed on something else.

Congress has failed to take the necessary measures and to give everyone access to free tests and free care. This will come back to bite everyone as it makes sure that the disease will circulate longer and stronger than in other rich countries. Even the rich, who will gain most of the money Congress passed out, will be affected by this.


The reasons that the U.S. will have very high numbers are obvious and they have nothing to do with China.

When the SARS virus broke out the world united in defeating it. It did that by isolating all cases and by aggressively tracing anyone who had come into contact with them. The fight was successful. The SARS virus no longer exists outside of high security laboratories.

But when the SARS-CoV-2 evolved there was no united response. China did its very best to defeat the virus. It won the fight against the virus within its country but other states did not join in the effort to eradicate it. SARS-CoV-2 is more infective than SARS and we will never know if an eradication attempt could have been successful. There is no glory in prevention. But it is sad that we did not even try.

The Center of Disease Control botched its creation of a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease. The German designed test model the World Health Organization recommended was rejected by the CDC. It wanted to do its own test and failed. U.S. testing started too late and it then tested too few to get a grip on the size of the emerging epidemic.

U.S. President Donald Trump did not believe that the virus would be a problem. U.S. media likewise played down the danger. Most of its reporting from China had a racist undertone. The nativist freakout only helps to hide the real origin of the crisis. Other conservative leaders in other countries, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Boris Johnson in the UK, Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus and others, similarly ignored the predictable consequences of outbreaks in their countries.

It is now guaranteed that the virus will stay with humanity until someone finds a vaccine that is effective, safe to use and cheap. The task now is to reduce the speed of new infections so we do not overwhelm our healthcare systems.

A lot has been learned about the virus and how it behaves. SARS-CoV-2 is three to four times more infectious than the flu. The virus is transmitted by droplets which are then inhaled by other people. It then attacks cells in the upper throat and starts to replicate there. Two days later the infected person is infectious. Each time s/he speaks, coughs or sneezes s/he will release fine droplets which carry a high load of viruses. Symptoms, which only 75% of all infected persons will feel, usually start on day 5 or 6 after the infection. The main symptoms are a dry cough and general weakness. In some patents the symptoms may look like a heart attack. A person stays infectious until day 8 to 10.

The virus can be detected after it started to replicate. A swab test is taken (it feels like it looks) and processed. If the result is positive the person must be quarantined to protect others.


The way the disease develops is the reason for my repeated urging to wear a masks. You have no real way to know if you already carry and spread the disease. The mask may not help to prevent you from getting infected but it can definitely help to prevent you from infecting others. Wear a mask out of courtesy towards the people around you.

In many Asian countries wearing a mask is a social rule that everyone follows. These countries, light blue in the above chart, had way less ravaging covid-19 epidemics than 'western' societies where wearing a mask is seen as suspicious or as a sign of weakness. This attitude will now surely have to change.

After replicating in the throat for a few days the virus migrates from the throat into the lower lungs where it replicates more rapidly and begins to create real havoc. The immune system of most healthy people will defeat the virus after some 10 to 18 days. But the fight is often difficult. Some of the symptoms during that phase are not from the virus but from the way our immune system reacts to it.

It destroys the many cells that are infected by the virus and thereby rips holes into the lung tissue. The body then starts an inflammatory response to repair the destroyed cells. The whole process can cause pneumonia. Artificial breathing support will then be needed for people who have already other conditions that cause breathing or circulation problems. Some patients may also develop heart problems. If their lungs become unable to provide enough oxygen to the circulating blood the person will die.

Survivors of covid-19 will have developed immunity for at least a year. While the SARS-CoV-2 virus has developed into several strains it has not mutated into a different form as some common flu viruses often do. That increases the likelihood that a once acquired immunity will continue to protect against a reinfection.

Every crisis is also a chance. Congress has used it to again loot the people and to push more money to the rich. At the same time the powers that be have denied universal healthcare and paid sick leave to those who need it. The covid-19 epidemic is a chance to change that.

There are already a number of strikes at Amazon and similar companies over work safety, health care and pay. Rent strikes must now follow. When the bills come in for families with covid-19 cases many more people will get more interested in medicare for all. A movement can be build from these issues. The Sanders campaign should provide a (virtual) platform for it.

The U.S. has enough money to pay for the security of its people. Security is not a military issue. A hugely expensive aircraft carrier with sick sailors is worth nothing. Pandemics are a real security issues and the U.S. has left its people defenseless against them. Cut the aircraft carriers and other insane military spending and invest it in the health of the people.

That message will soon be widely understood. We can all help to reinforce it.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on March 31, 2020 at 17:48 UTC | Permalink

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Inject you damned killer vaccines up your ass.

Posted by: nobody | Apr 1 2020 22:04 utc | 301

@james #278
Admirable effort, but likely a waste of time.
It is interesting how Realist attacks many different long time posters as trolls even as his own credentials are far from proven.
But then, his criteria seems to consist primarily of attacking anyone who doesn't agree with his/her very poorly informed and documented opinions.
Also very clear that this person is not putting much, if any thought, consideration or review into said posts: multiple instances of typos in his/her own name, as one example. Clearly a refugee from the Twitterverse.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 1 2020 22:07 utc | 302

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Posted by: Covergirl | Apr 1 2020 23:05 utc | 303

"...multiple instances of typos in his/her own name..." --c1ue @321

Of course, all modern browsers will remember the last value that you typed into a given textbox and pre-populate it for you the next time that textbox gets the focus. The only way that you can typo a textbox like the "Name:" one below is if you are entering a different value from the last time.

Now why would someone fixated on "sock puppets" need to enter a different value from time to time? Hmm... let me ponder this for a bit...

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 1 2020 23:09 utc | 304

Jack Rabbit said:

"And yet there is so little hatred for US political elites that allowed it to happen because US businesspeople wanted to and then were making a bundle screwing working-class Americans with cheap imports.

Your government sold you out and now is directing your hatred to China.

And you and millions like you still bend over."

I do believe in moonshine but not that style. Thanks. Besides, the proper spelling of ASSume is partial capital.

Mine was small business, not corporate nonsense of which you speak. BTW, I actually agree with your sentiment about them as well as the gov-bots that sold them out.

And I still hate China's regime - NOT, its good people.

Posted by: KingsKilt | Apr 1 2020 23:14 utc | 305

"And I still hate China's regime - NOT, its good people."

China's "regime" is far more aligned with its population than any other government on the planet, so that comment is just cheap cover for Sinophobic racism.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 1 2020 23:21 utc | 306

Fascinating that out sock puppet fixated associate does not realize that browser form autofill has nothing to do with cookies. What will our MEK friend say next to "muddy the waters"?

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 1 2020 23:38 utc | 307

Mark and Jackrabbit

I knocked up my own brew based on this recipe

I didn't have any lavender but threw in a couple of cloves. With mine I brought to the boil then took it off the cooker and let is sit for a few days before straining.
I haven't bothered adding sugar to it, just mix it with bought lemonade. I was surprised as it turned out quite good to drink to the point I keep going back for more. The Brits sure knew how to make their medicine go down.

Another similar recipe here

Red Cinchona bark (Cinchona Succiruba) can be bought on ebay or online shops.
I bought mine off ebay and when it turned up I got the address of their shop and online store.
This one is in Oz but I guess there would be places like this in most countries.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 1 2020 23:43 utc | 308

@ 321 c1ue... thanks! @ 323

i think b will probably delete a lot of this craziness... we'll see...

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2020 0:17 utc | 309

A friend who has just lost her job in Belin has decided to start sewing improvised facemasks at home and sell them for little money. They are obviously going to be good, and she already took up b's advice regarding fiter stuff designed for vacuum cleaners. You can contact her through facebook for now.

Posted by: persiflo | Apr 2 2020 0:28 utc | 310

Circe @300:

Those of us in the real world are just waiting for Saint Bernard, Sheepdog of the Dim Party, to do his submission pee before Creepy Joe like he did for Queen Killary.

You know he'll do it.

Posted by: corvo | Apr 2 2020 3:57 utc | 311

sabre @296:

"@William Gruff #29 - Yes, you must pay for the coverage through COBRA. You also pay when you are employed and get insurance through your employer. COBRA ensures you maintain the same rate and benefits that you had while employed. I didn't mention this because it is not a change due to becoming unemployed- not trying to mislead."

Egregiously dishonest. Say your monthly premium while employed is $2000 -- mine was -- split between employer and employee. My share was $700 while employed. Once unemployed the insured is on the hook for the entire $2000, plus up to an extra 2% in administrative costs; the employer is under no obligation to pay anything -- only to include the ex-employee in the company plan.

Posted by: corvo | Apr 2 2020 4:01 utc | 312

Oh wow. This site has been overrun by fear and hysteria. That is too bad

Posted by: Goldhoarder | Apr 2 2020 4:20 utc | 313

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 1 2020 17:58 utc | 272
"It amounts to a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary Americans
to the richest and it is being done under the cover of the pandemic."

Yuppp, while the chattering classes argue over minutae (infection rates; death rates; masks; quinine; who's got the bigger dick), we forget to watch the Magician's Other Hand: they are stealing the wealth (produce, productivity, labour, sweat) of future generations to give to a few rich people in the present generation. Trillions of dollars (that is 12 zeroes) are being fought over under the cover of the pandemic. And the cheese in the mouse trap is the measly $1,200 given to each american.

To stop the Evil Empire, we to watch, talk about, what they do, not what they say, not what their MSM says.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Apr 2 2020 6:40 utc | 314

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 1 2020 21:00 utc | 295
"It would be interesting to know the docking schedules of the US carrier(s) that got infected..."

Good observation. But they just might classify that schedule as national security state secrets for the next 50 years. LOL

Still, any Evil Empire war-making machine taken offline is a win for the world.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Apr 2 2020 6:46 utc | 315

Alright, so we have chosen a policy now of lockdown to cut the exponential growth. But I worry about a long tail of the epidemics and I think the lockdown policy should be as radical as we can handle so we can restart the economy sooner. A share of the population will keep spreading the disease because interrupting their job is too costly. This 'too costly' can range all the way from 'hey I don't want to lose income and it will blow over anyway' to 'I have to survive' and 'I have to help others survive'. The longer the lockdown lasts the harder it becomes to maintain because important things can be postponed for a while but not forever, so the effectiveness decreases and enforcement has to become more harsh to compensate somewhat.
I would add a voluntary option to isolate people from their families and into a hotel when they have been infected. I would put much more work in preparing for after the lockdown because we will need a permanent change of behaviour. We need an awareness of 'superspreading' nodes: people and locations which can give rise to multiplication. This behaviour change is needed now , it should not start after the lockdown. In Belgium we get the guideline that masks are not useful now and there aren't enough anyway. I understand experts are divided on this, but this is because they are thinking about different scenarios. 'If everyone keeps their distance the masks don't have any benefit'. But I think you have to think in terms of post lockdown behaviour now. Then you see that much of it already applies. We also go to shops now. We open the same doors. Simple masks reduce the spread of the larger, longer viable droplets and reduce hand -face transfer.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 2 2020 7:49 utc | 316

The Republican Governor in Florida, yeah, that idiot DeSantis, after days of dilly-dallying finally he says he'll take the Floridians/ Americans off the 2 Holland-America ships floating around in limbo. Like he couldn't find out how many Americans were on board before this while 4 people are already dead on board! There are also hundreds of Canadians and some from other countries and 8 have Covid-19 (don't know nationality), 233 are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, 45 are too ill to travel and less than 10 people need critical care.

There are two doctors and four nurses on each ship and medical equipment including some ventilators. The ships are owned by Carnival Corp., which is a wholly-owned American company.

The captain of one of the ships is pleading with Florida's Governor to allow passengers to disembark calling it a humanitarian crisis.

You know, imho this borders on criminal negligence. It's an American Company with Americans and other humans on board, some in critical condition and the Governor has no good excuses not to immediately take care of this critical situation.

I see lawsuits coming.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 2 2020 13:28 utc | 317

@ Circe | Apr 2 2020 13:28 utc | 318

What's so new? In Exceptional America, irresponsibility is not only accepted but also richly rewarded.

Somebody earlier mentioned the pathetic saving rates in the US, which brings me to a counterpoint: Why do we see Western "economists" constantly deriding the sky-high Chinese saving rates as a bad thing? Because a resilient Chinese economy can't fall prey to Western neolib vultures.

Posted by: JW | Apr 2 2020 14:03 utc | 318

Tuyzentfloot @317: But I worry about a long tail of the epidemics

Flatten the Curve: A Prescription for Failure

We need to switch from "mitigation" to "suppression". The tools for doing that have been known and available for at least 6-weeks (15-minute testing and hydroxyChloroquine treatment).

The outbreak could've been minimized with vigilance and preparation, and economic damage could've been minimized via a suppression strategy. The scale of failures is difficult to explain except as a deliberate desire to create a CRISIS! that could be gamed.

The Empire Games Covid-19

Covid-19 Trumped-up CRISIS! Allows Government-assisted Profiteering: Chloroquine vs. Remdesivir

Coronavirus Response Failure: Additional Evidence

And now Trump tries to deflect criticism with wag the dog bullshit, warning of attacks in Iraq and engaging the navy in drugs interdiction that is a thinly-veiled blockade of Venezuela.

Best government money can buy.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 2 2020 14:04 utc | 319

Circe --

The Carnival Corporation may be owned by Americans, but it is incorporated in Panama, to avoid paying US taxes.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Apr 2 2020 16:29 utc | 320

W Gruff Comment:

"China's "regime" is far more aligned with its population than any other government on the planet, so that comment is just cheap cover for Sinophobic racism."

You are 100% correct, it was cheap cover as I got unemployed by having to close my business 6 years back due to cheap Chinese crap being sold on, which Millenials who don't value their own communities invest in regularly. You may have noticed that many Chinese-Americans have also had to close businesses here in recent years as well. Good grief.

As far as the kneejerk reaction, it was a Gruff comment made of 100% imported Chinese nonsense. Fruitcake anyone?

Posted by: KiltedKing | Apr 2 2020 22:02 utc | 321

Circe @300

No, it's not enough.

My post was about supporting the strikes. When I posted Sanders had done NOTHING! NOTHING!

Subsequently, he posted this:

"I support workers who strike, conduct a sick-out, or participate in a walk-off to support our collective health and safety amid this pandemic. Period."

And since then... NOTHING! NOTHING!

The strikes are not being supported by Sanders (apart from a virtue signal provided under pressure), the Democrat Party or any official Trade Union.

So isn't enough, not by a long chalk!

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 3 2020 1:37 utc | 322

I was so tempted to uppercase this comment but I hesitated to try b's patience. But it deserves to be capitalized! Some things deserve the ambulance alarm treatment.

Why, on God's earth is Governor Cuomo reduced to pleading with less affected states for ventilators and PPE they are not presently using???!

The man has been asking every single day for states to follow the curve and supply the urgency, i.e. the states in greatest need, like NY, and once he's on the descent side he will help those ascending to the Apex. It's simple logic FGS!

People are f*cking DYING and there are some morons governors in other states hoarding ventilators!

Not just people dying; so many good people are dying needlessly! Doctors and nurses are starting to die! People doing the worst jobs who wash the floor, disinfect rooms, empty pee pans, clean butts NEED PPE and don't deserve to die!

Why are 10 States who don't have stay-at-home orders yet HOARDING ventilators and PPE???

F.U. to them!

Posted by: Circe | Apr 3 2020 16:52 utc | 323

"But it is a remarkable coincidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was researching Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses in bats before the pandemic outbreak, and that in the month when Wuhan doctors were treating the first patients of COVID-19, the institute announced in a hiring notice that “a large number of new bat and rodent new viruses have been discovered and identified.” And the fact that the Chinese government spent six weeks insisting that COVID-19 could not be spread from person to person means that its denials about Wuhan laboratories cannot be accepted without independent verification."

Well researched, well written, well reasoned.

Posted by: Bruce | Apr 5 2020 18:29 utc | 324

Jpc | Mar 31 2020 20:29 utc | 61

Do people believe the official Chinese numbers.?

What advantage would the Chinese have in falsifying the numbers? Do you know of other recent false Chinese statistics? In any case, in an epidemic in which some people show very mild symptoms and some show none at all, it is going to be very difficult to get accurate statistics. Different countries are using different ways of qualifying people to be counted as covid-19 cases.

Are the south Korean and European numbers a more accurate reflection of the true scale of the pandemic?
As I have said, different countries use different criteria to categorize people as cases. Also the "numbers" depend on how many people you test. In the US there are vastly fewer test kits than people who are, probably, infected.

Another question.The chloroquine zithromax combination relief remedy seems to be disappearing from the media.
This medicine, which seems to have been useful to at least some patients, is old and out of patent and hence of marginal interest to the Pharmaceutical industry. I am sure they would rather bury it and offer something much more profitable. Probably, big P. has threatened any medium that talks about the chloroquine zithromax combination with having its advertising withdrawn.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 5 2020 20:01 utc | 325

@ Bruce | Apr 5 2020 18:29 utc | 325

That National Review article has been torn to shreds. They cut out words and phrases to change meanings or to hide facts, they told some out-and-out lies, etc. It's an outrageous piece of destructive propaganda, with no resemblance to the truth.

See the autopsy on that article, here --

The first minute or so is a harangue by some guy who bases his hate-filled rant on that National Review article, and then he in turn, along with that article, are thoroughly skewered by one Nathan Rich.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Apr 5 2020 21:35 utc | 326

jadan | Apr 1 2020 3:19 utc | 160

I don't see how anyone could know. If one assumes it came out of Fort Detrick that would beake patient 0 infected around the end of July, if one assumes it started in Wuhan, that would put patient 0's infection around the end of October. Neither is a year ago. Probably someone's "educated" guess.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 5 2020 22:26 utc | 327

Lying and Stupidity are off the scale. Micro and Molecular biologist here. Don't parrot this BS. Corona is a mild respiratory flu / it always will be, there are no new genes in the sequence and the capsid wouldn't package if there were.
1. Any adult "tested" will be positive with current tests
2. Lab personnel were told only to test dying (from whatever cause) patients - FACT.
3. All elderly flus near death from complications are now TESTED.


Posted by: genland | Apr 5 2020 23:30 utc | 328

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