Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 22, 2020

It Is Not 'Authoritarian' To Support Quarantine Measures - It Just Makes Sense

Yesterday James Corbett of The Corbett Report interviewed Kit Knightly of Off-Guardian about the corona crisis. At 18:30 minutes in Corbett finds it "disturbing" that some of the blogs who usually criticize governments, like Moon of Alabama, support the measures governments have taken to lower the speed of the novel coronavirus epidemic.

Corbett then highlights a discussion on Twitter between me and the Off-Guardian account.

It started with this:

vanessa beeley @VanessaBeeley - 5:33 UTC · Apr 9, 2020

#BillGates funded World Health Organisation advocate forced removal of family members fm homes if "tested" positive for #COVID19 even tho test is not proven reliable. So, govts hve corralled us in homes & will now unlawfully raid & extract citizens under poss. false pretext.

I retweeted that and remarked:

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA - 22:30 UTC · Apr 9, 2020
China did this in phase 2 of the Wuhan quarantine because it was the only way to protect the families from their infected members. Without that policy Wuhan would not have ended the epidemic.
Current test reliability is relativ high if test is immediate used when symptoms appear.

OffGuardian retweeted my tweet and launched the discussion:

OffGuardian @OffGuardian0 - 10:54 UTC · Apr 9, 2020
Surely your not actually advocating the forced removal of “infected” people from their homes against their will? #COVID19 #coronavirus

MoonofA: To separate infected from non-infected people is the ONLY way to stop such an epidemic.

OffGuardian: So let’s be totally clear. You believe the govts - the same ones who have lied us into wars, murdered innocents and destroyed the environment - should have the power to invade our homes and take away apparently healthy people whom they “SUSPECT” of being infected?

MoonofA: Our governments already have the right to do so under certain circumstances. An epidemic which threatens the health of all is one of them.

OffGuardian: That is not an answer. Do YOU believe these corrupt govts, which you have been opposing for so many years, should be able to enter people’s homes and take away people they claim to “suspect” of being infected?

MoonofA: I support quarantine measures during epidemics. We have had these for many centuries for good reasons. We should again use them.

OffGuardian: You support arrest and detention for people the govt claims to suspect MAY have a virus that - according to official estimates - is harmless or mild for 80-99% of those infected.
You do. MoA. Former champion of human rights and justice.
Have you lost your mind?

MoonofA: You are framing a measure that protects your and other families as "arrest" and "detention". It is neither of those.

OffGuardian: Oh ok. So, should the people ‘suspected’ of being infected be allowed to leave when they choose?

If your answer is ‘no’, then this IS arrest and detention and you are hiding behind blurry language.

As it made no sense to continue I stopped responding. Later Mark Sleboda jumped in to support my view:

Mark Sleboda @MarkSleboda1 - 5:02 UTC · Apr 9, 2020

Replying to @OffGuardian0 and @MoonofA
Leviathan - save me and mine from such fools.

Another discussion between OffGuardian and him unfolded from that. OffGuardian seemed to become a bit desperate when it then tweeted this nonsense:

OffGuardian @OffGuardian0 - 19:14 UTC · Apr 9, 2020
Replying to @MarkSleboda1 @ghigoberni and @MoonofA
So you would support indefinite detention for anyone who may be carrying flu virus then. It’s a lot more dangerous to healthy people and children than #covid19, as any epidemiologist will tell you.

I have not heard of any epidemiologist who has claimed that. But maybe I am reading the wrong ones. This graphic though from the British Office of National Statistics does not look like a flu outbreak:

Source: ONS - bigger

The same ONS data was used by the Financial Times to produce this probably better visual:

Source: bigger

The few high blue dots around December/January time frame show exceptionally bad flu seasons like the London flu of 1972. Similar charts from other countries show the same effect for current covid-19 outbreaks. Without control measures like the current lock-downs the red line would certainly go through the roof.

The covid-19 disease the novel coronavirus causes is not a "flu". We largely do have 'herd immunity' against the flu. But this is a new virus causing a new disease. Nearly nobody is yet immune against it. It works in ways we are still just beginning to understand and there is no established therapy.

If we let this epidemic run wild without any control measures the death toll will be exceptionally high. The death per infection rate in Germany is currently estimated to be 0.53% (via Christian Drosten). It may be higher in other countries. That looks like a small number but remember that nearly no one has yet acquired immunity. It would probably take a year for the epidemic to run through a whole country.

Great Britain, with a population of some 60 million, would be theoretically looking at 300.000 excess death within one year. But the health care system would completely break down and thereby vastly increase the total death toll as there would be no care for most of the critical covid-19 patients and no beds for the usual other cases. That may already happen as Britain is now estimated to already have 41,000 excess death from the current epidemic.

Current estimates say that 2 to 3% of the population have so far developed anti-bodies against the virus. They likely give some immunity but we do not know how long that will hold. Should this epidemic have weather dependent waves the first one will likely end during the summer. Model calculations show that only some 6-7% of the population would by then have acquired immunity.

A second wave will then come during the winter. It will be worse as it will start everywhere at the same time and will come on top of the yearly flu season. We will then likely again need some harsh control measure like temporary lock-downs and case quarantains.

Now back to the Off-Guardian and Corbett critique. My view on the epidemic was always based on science. You can follow how it developed through the list of posts attached to this one. As I watched how China defeated its outbreak I had hoped that other governments would take similar measures. With globally concerted action we could have completely erased this disease!

But one slips into a pandemic with the governments one has, not with the ones one wishes for.

Will our 'elites' use the crisis to further enrich themselves. Sure. Will they abuse some of the control measures? That is practically guaranteed. And it does not change a damned thing with regards to the pandemic.

It is now too late to defeat it by eradicating its source. Social distancing measures like lock-downs are needed to keep the epidemic under control and to not overload our health care systems. Should the next outbreak wave be worse than the current one we will need even harsher measures than we currently have. I will support those because I know that they will save lives.

If that makes me an 'authoritarian' in the view of some then let it be so.

I for one find it more useful to tell people to make and wear masks than to post 'expert opinions' (scroll down) from PR-company sites which disagree with the scientific mainstream while their estimates of the total death toll have already been exceeded.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on April 22, 2020 at 18:02 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

@james, 22 Apr 18:39

Surely, if the man had the key symptoms of infection, the appropriate action would have been to admit to a COVID 19 ward in the hospital so that treatment may begin and so that he does not infect anyone else?

Posted by: cirsium | Apr 22 2020 21:06 utc | 101

i had heard of drive by shooting... now i am seeing drive by posting here at moa.. it is unfortunate these same types are unwilling to engage in conversation, but prefer to just shoot out a comment that is typically very pointed and hostile.. funny how that works... i'd have more respect for a poster if they actually engaged with others especially if they have been mentioned in others posts and addressed to by others...

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2020 21:06 utc | 102

Comandante 97 "Sure many more people than necessary will be killed but freedom must also be exersized."

Freedom is considered a right. As is life. No country in the west if quarantine infected individuals because apparently we don't take away peoples rights as do 'authoritarian communists'. Yet we did that for SARS-1. Those not willing to go into a strict quarantine are taking away others right to life.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 22 2020 21:06 utc | 103

pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 20:54

For the same reason we accept 40,000+ automobile deaths every year? Risk-reward.
What is the 'reward' for accepting 60'000 preventable common flu deaths?

Posted by: Juan Moment | Apr 22 2020 21:07 utc | 104

Juan Moment | Apr 22 2020 21:07 utc | 107

We are done here Juan. You obviously are just spewing shit.

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 21:09 utc | 105

Deep discussions are often not between right and wrong, but between two right ideas, like:
1. let's change to make things better
2. let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater
1. individual liberty is important
2. responsibility to the group is important

Quarantine is harsh and crushes individual liberty, and its sometimes necessary to optimise good for the maximum number of people.
But it relies on the people trusting the government.
If the people do not trust the government, is that because the people are intrinsically bad? or because the government has lost the trust of the people? or because the government is actually totally good but Putin-nazis have brainwashed them :-)
If people do not trust the government, that is like a national pre-existing medical condition when a pandemic occurs - it is going to make the end result much worse.
Does anyone think that the US lying the people into war, massive surveillance, bailouts for the rich tends to encourage the people trusting the regime?

Posted by: Deltaeus | Apr 22 2020 21:09 utc | 106

@ Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 20:54 utc | 99

But that's a problem with the American healthcare system, not with the concept of quarantine. Quarantine is tested and approved method of containing pandemics.

And a lot more than 60,000 people will die if lockdown is not enforced in the USA. Plus, the virus can mutate and become "stronger". Plus, there will be other waves of infection after this one.

And your automobile deaths example is incorrect. Those deaths, statistically, are not preventable on a governmental level, as there's no way a government can fiscalize every individual with a car everytime they drive their respective cars. They are only preventable on an individual level - and even this can be contested, as most deaths by automobile in many countries are not from passengers and drivers, but pedestrians who are ran over. That's certainly not the case of the pandemic, against which only the government is a serious obstacle.

I once again urge the working class people not to fall for this "death is life" argument. It is not the business owner's life which will be in the front line, but yours. If a premature reopening is enforced, then it will be the working class which will have to take the brunt of the casualties. The petit-bourgeoisie will continue to be at the safety of their homes, working from their computers. The "cost of opportunity" dilemma only exists for the business owners - not the worker.

Posted by: vk | Apr 22 2020 21:10 utc | 107

pilpul artiste @94--

Sorry to hear of your dilemma. My advice is to armor yourself as best you can and continue to try and keep distant from those whose medical state's unknown to you. How do you feel if your employer refuses to provide proper protective equipment and work environment--strongly enough to strike?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 22 2020 21:12 utc | 108

@Juan Moment #95
Your continue with weak and specious arguments.
The regular flu is already proven to be unstoppable for many factors - including its fast rates of mutation and that the specific culprit in any particular season is unpredictable from a large family of suspects.
nCOV is a single target; it is new and there is no known level of existing resistance in the population. It is also clearly far more lethal than any of the existing flus.
Comparing fighting the regular flu vs. nCOV is thus completely idiotic and irrelevant.

As for the number of deaths - again, irrelevant.

The state and local governments have made the decision to lock down. I do see the need in a few areas, but I don't actually agree that widespread lockdowns - particularly just for a short time - are actually the best decision.

Even painting a grim economic picture is ultimately irrelevant - the existing state governors have an existing mandate to made decisions for the public good.
Note that the lockdowns are endorsed by the CDC/Fauci but ordered by state government - not Trump.
I am sympathetic to the notion that the US is simply not equipped to handle more complex arrangements such as the 65+ only protective quarantines plus Medicare administered services which I write about above.
This type of program would have to be run at the federal level in close cooperation with the state governments and state health departments.

Nonetheless, the notion that there is some "right" or "law" or "science" or whatever displaces the state governments' decisions: utterly wrong.

In this narrow respect, the libertarians are absolutely right: the government has no obligation to do the most good for the most people, much less any person individually but it absolutely has the power and the responsibility.

Trying to argue that it doesn't - is foolish.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 22 2020 21:12 utc | 109

I last posted around 3 to 4 weeks ago from my workplace in one of London's largest hospitals. It has been a surreal few weeks since these posts but I am pleased to report that our most apocalyptic predictions did not come to pass. We currently have around 160 patients on ventilators; sadly a significant number of these patients are likely to expire. Prior to the Easter holiday period we were losing 57%-60% of patients if they went on to ventilation; many of these could be on ventilators for 10-14 days before losing the fight. The demographic is overwhelmingly the elderly and those with existing serious or chronic conditions and the immuno-suppressed. The average person of pre-retirement age tends to be fine, outliers withstanding. Children are hardly affected which is a great relief for those of us with kids.

We've lost some staff, typically those of more advanced age and who were overweight. Colleagues of mine have been ill with COVID-19 and recovered. Speaking to them about their experiences has been interesting; for the majority of us this is akin to a nasty but not necessarily life-threatening flu and the suspicion is that a fair number of us may have had it prior to the lockdown. At the moment this is all unproven and we really only started staff testing in earnest last week. We have at least 44 new COVID-19 research studies either activated or about to be activated, with more on the way.

The general sense here is that we are coming out the otherside of this first wave of the virus, though more waves are expected over the next 18 months. Views on the lockdown are polarised and my own hunch is that there will be growing pressure to get both the economy and society moving again in May. I am worried that we could be facing global economic depression and hence my views are generally aligned with those that support an easing of the lockdown conditions in the coming weeks.

Just my own view and I mean no insult to those that have lost loved ones to COVID-19; it is certainly lethal enough for some demographics within society and should not be easily dismissed. At the same time please keep in mind that we have cancelled/postponed thousands of patient visits, assessments, treatments and procedures. We need to get these patients in again - safely of course - lest we risk increasing mortality for issues other than COVID-19. Many are especially keen to get the cancer screening services in play again as soon as possible.

I'll try to post again in the near future but as of today I am cautiously optimistic about recent trends.

Take care all.

Posted by: Glossopteris | Apr 22 2020 21:13 utc | 110

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 20:54 utc | 99

Another thing to consider though is the people who do get seriously sick and survive are going to be financially ruined. 3-6 weeks in the hospital is going to run to the $100's of thousands, possibly a million $ or more, that is not even considering ICU.

Let me guess 2 things about you.
1. You are from USA.
2. You did not get covid. Yet.

Are you aware that many of us barflies here do not pay a cent when go to hospital?
Do you have any clue which country and city is this saloon in? Hint: it is not in Alabama.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 22 2020 21:19 utc | 111

William Gruff said "take some responsibility, will ya?"
I agree with the sentiment - people should take responsibility, but I wonder if they didn't do that already - a couple of times.

Obama campaigned on ending the war in Afghanistan and closing Guantanamo, amongst other things. He promised to reduce the spying iirc. So the American people took responsibility and voted him in and ... things continued pretty much in the same way as before.

Trump campaigned on ending the Afghanistan war and bringing the troops home, draining the swamp and working for people instead of the rich. Sure, you can say he lied, but that's what he promised, among other (contradictory) things. So the American people took responsibility and voted him in and ... things continued almost pretty much in the same way as before.

If they took responsibility and voted but that doesn't work, then what's left to them? The answer to that question might be very unpleasant to contemplate...

(Of course, I oversimplified 2 decades of US politics to make a specific point)

Posted by: Deltaeus | Apr 22 2020 21:23 utc | 112

@ 104 cirsium.. true, but that hasn't been happening... that is the dilemma here!

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2020 21:24 utc | 113

vk | Apr 22 2020 21:10 utc | 110

My point about the healthcare bills was to point out another detrimental effect of lifting the quarantine.

I also had said that more than 60k were going to die, again pointing out another detrimental effect of lifting the quarantine.

You realize I am for continuing the quarantine right?

I disagree with your comment about the auto deaths, but that is not the topic here.

What do you think of my comment at 94?

Again, I am for continuing the quarantine, but I have to eat, and pay rent, and utilities. Many others are going to have this problem. This is being imposed on me, this is not my choice. The alternative is hunger and homelessness.

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 21:26 utc | 114

@114 Many txs for commenting form the trenches...
Be safe.

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 22 2020 21:27 utc | 115

Glossopteris "Just my own view and I mean no insult to those that have lost loved ones to COVID-19; it is certainly lethal enough for some demographics within society and should not be easily dismissed. At the same time please keep in mind that we have cancelled/postponed thousands of patient visits, assessments, treatments and procedures. We need to get these patients in again - safely of course - lest we risk increasing mortality for issues other than COVID-19. Many are especially keen to get the cancer screening services in play again as soon as possible."

China built COVID-19 hospitals. So has Russia. PPE seems to be a worry. No elective procedures here, apparently to save PPE.
Lifting lockdowns and resuming other treatments and procedures, especially for the UK, are not compatible. You can only resume those other procedures under continued lockdown.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 22 2020 21:28 utc | 116

@ 113 Glossopteris... thank you!

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2020 21:29 utc | 117

Apologies, that was for

Posted by: Glossopteris | Apr 22 2020 21:13 utc | 113

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 22 2020 21:29 utc | 118

This blog seems to be based on the premise that because China "did well in controlling their epidemic" other nations should follow the actions of China's brutally oppressive, authoritarian regime. This is an unbelievably naive position. Firstly we know that the government of China has an appalling record of hiding its mistakes, covering up international crimes, and painting pictures of its internal affairs that are the opposite of reality . So how big a fool would one have to be to believe any information they provide without question.
At the time of writing we know the COVID-19 outbreak started months earlier than China admitted, the outbreak spread far beyond Wuhan, serious cases numbers and deaths were vastly under reported and the Chinese epidemic is stil running.
And all that is in spite of the Chinse government having 'disappeared' several doctors and journalists who broke ranks and tried to warn the world of what was happening.
Then we should remind ourselves that the lockdowns, which have been largely ineffective, were ordered on the advice of scientists who used as "evidence" data geneerated by mathematical models of the pandemic that contained in their algorithms flawed (or to be blunt, idiotic,) assumptions.
Sorry, if this blog is going to support a campaign intended to generate enough fear and panic to justify the ruling elites stripping us of most of our civil rights and liberties I can only conclude it has crossed over to the dark side.

Posted by: Ed Butterworth | Apr 22 2020 21:32 utc | 119

Gee, wonder how much money a vested interest might throw at a scientist to rant against an obvious prophylactic measure. Can't be harder than hiring a scientist to claim that Exxon is good for the biosphere.

Posted by: Zengine3 | Apr 22 2020 21:34 utc | 120

Dear MoA
You have chosen to use only the UK stats. Why? Is that because they especially support the theory that Covid 19 is a unique illness that is threatening to decimate humankind unless we completely change our lifestyles and become, alone of the species on the planet, unable to come within 2 meters of each other?
Allow me to digress here. Do you have any conception of how incompetent our ministers might be, protected as they are by our ancient establishment? Do you have a health minister so fatuous that he believes providing a little green badge will boost morale? A PM so protected by the media that he can bunk off for two weeks with absolutely no accountability? With that in mind, or for whatever reason your chose our UK stats, please devote some space to emphasizing that non Covid deaths also increased in the same period, almost as significantly as Covid deaths, with no scientific explanation at all. None. It is the lockdown questioners to whom it has been left to come up with possible explanations, for example perhaps that in the panic, and I am sure even yourself would not deny that there is a panic, resources have been so effectively diverted that other life threatening illnesses are not being treated as they would have been. Or perhaps that lockdown is extending the epidemic by preventing people from building resistance, especially chidren.
In the meantime whole world stats continue not to show that this is a particularly serious year for influenza, which you choose to ignore.

Finally MoA, please answer this one honestly: Asking around, it is evident to me that some people are more frightened of this disease than others. I am 69, have put up with several nasty fevers which may or not have been ‘flu, but do not have a morbid fear of catching a virus to the extent that I don’t want to go outdoors and meet people. I just do not believe it works like that. Apparently I should be more frightened, and I don’t know whay I am not. Maybe I am a fool.
But other people are really frightened, for reasons of their own. Maybe it is just the same way I am frightened of spiders. Maybe like a relative of mine, a few years younger who has already had a near death illness, a more rational fear, but to what I consider an abnormal extent. He wants to live to see all his children have their own families, and to hold their babies, but so strongly that he is prepared not even to be able to be near them at all!

Are you one of these people? Is this inbuilt fear why there is a world wide panic? Is it really rational?

Posted by: Ben | Apr 22 2020 21:34 utc | 121

karlof1 | Apr 22 2020 21:12 utc | 111

You probably do realize this, but I want to make sure you realize that this is David F.

If I thought it would make a difference, then yes I would. However, knowing the people in my country, and what the almost certain outcome would be, which is me being hungry and homeless, possibly even being beaten and imprisoned, and someone else doing my job, then I have to say, no I would not.

As I have said before, there is no value in being a martyr in and of itself, there is only value if by being a martyr it instigates change. There is no hope for change in my country until the system collapses, or nearly collapses, to the point that there is extreme hardship among the vast majority of the people.

Then and only then is there any hope for change in my country.

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 21:35 utc | 122

I like comments by the other groups as well but on this one I support your argument! Sometimes we have to go with the governments we are delt!

Posted by: michael lacey | Apr 22 2020 21:38 utc | 123

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 21:26 utc | 117

Again, I am for continuing the quarantine, but I have to eat, and pay rent, and utilities. Many others are going to have this problem. This is being imposed on me, this is not my choice. The alternative is hunger and homelessness.

You do not need to be in quarantine if you are not sick. Lots of people still go to work - supermarket cashiers, nurses, doctors, truck drivers... just be careful outside your home. Avoid crowds, do not touch your face, wash your hands, wear mask if you must stay in enclosed crowded spaces.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 22 2020 21:38 utc | 124

hopehely | Apr 22 2020 21:19 utc | 114

Yes I am from the us, yes I know b is in germany, yes I know my healthcare system sucks, and your is much better, and as far as I know I have not gotten the virus. I would say the same thing about almost every aspect of your country vs my country.

I am confused. You are the second poster who seems to think that I am arguing for lifting the quarantine. This is baffling to me.

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 21:41 utc | 125

Mr Gruff wrote:

"People in the West sure do love their self-congratulation, but they're just a bunch of whining babies who cannot even take control of their own governments from a handful of feeble, inbred, greedy-grasping capitalist clowns. Hell, many of the people whining the most don't even want to take their governments back from the uselessly rich, likely because they like to nurse the ludicrous fantasy that they could somehow end up in that little club."

This is all true. But its not really even necessary to take back the govt. Let the money grubbers run the country but do not let them enjoy it.

The simple fact is there is only one way out of this mess without the rich taking a huge hit. And that is for the very rich and powerful to convince everyone else that they must take the hit.

Posted by: jinn | Apr 22 2020 21:43 utc | 126

Pepe Escobar recently posted an article highlighting the evidence that the U.S. knew about the virus before China had even identified it as such. It's the smoking gun so to speak. Moon seemed to dismiss this idea in his earlier articles on the virus in China. A number have interpreted China's response to the virus as a response to a biological attack, an act of war. Moon, apparently dismissing this angle interpreted China's response to the virus as solely one of responding to an infectious disease. Moon then projected this special response (one against a potential biological attack) as merely a response to an infectious disease. This caused him to argue for the same response world wide. Moon stayed within the medical sphere on this one. He failed to explore or appreciate the geopolitical aspect. So he went astray, missed the boat on it and advocated extreme measures of extreme detriment to world populations. Moon also failed to discuss the economic collapse that had been building of which Covid19 was the pin popping the bubble. Again, a medical focus failing to address the larger picture. Now that the collapse is set in motion with millions in serious dire straits, out of work, businesses going bankrupt etc., the appeal of a lock down has set in motion the next phase in the enslavement of the world population (enslavement by virtue of poverty, insecurity etc.). It has provided the perfect cover, just as the lock downs are hiding the collapse and now all blame is on Covid19, not the collapse it hides. Had a big picture of this been grasped from the start, a calculus of lives lost via lock down versus jobs lost, stores closing etc., might have suggested it better to use traditional medical methods (focus on high risk, allow rest to go about their lives) than extreme administrative methods.

Posted by: Brad | Apr 22 2020 21:44 utc | 127

How many doctors and nurses die from seasonal flu? I would venture to say there are very few. Medical staff involved with covid are quarantining themselves from their families. I've never heard of such a thing with seasonal flu.

What percentage of seasonal flu sufferers are placed on ventilators (from which only about 20% survive)?

Rather than fighting about whether or not quarantines are justified, why not think about how this whole system could be evolved to one more geared toward the health and welfare of ALL of us. The shut-downs have made explicit the inequality that can be a death sentence. This must change!

Posted by: lindaj | Apr 22 2020 21:45 utc | 128

“And then they came for me”

Posted by: RK | Apr 22 2020 21:49 utc | 129

Peter, I disagree with the premise if I go out to the street I am immediately endangering people. Its not that simple. If I go out with a mask and stay over 6 feet(2 meters) from everyone, I am not endangering anyone.

As I said business cannot go back to usual. But I also disagre with these blanket statements that claim if I dont stay home Im killing people.

Posted by: Comandante | Apr 22 2020 21:50 utc | 130


IF you have tested positive to SARS-CoV-2, then you are a danger to others.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 22 2020 21:52 utc | 131

"Pepe Escobar recently posted an article highlighting the evidence that the U.S. knew about the virus before China had even identified it as such. It's the smoking gun so to speak."

Brad | Apr 22 2020 21:44 utc | 130

Brad, this is not in response to you or about you or critical of you, but you just reinforced a point I was making yesterday and was roundly criticized by certain posters here, who accused me of not understanding, or of having an ulterior motive.

I dont want to beat a dead horse, nor do I want to revive the argument, and I do realize this might be construed as me being a dick, but I cant resist.

It would appear I am not the only one who didn't understand Pepe's clever ways of debunking the us's bogus claims. /snark

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 21:53 utc | 132

Brad said:
"A number have interpreted China's response to the virus as a response to a biological attack, an act of war. Moon, apparently dismissing this angle interpreted China's response to the virus as solely one of responding to an infectious disease."

I don't see any difference. China was evidently prepared. That may be because they understood the potential danger as an attack by other humans or an attack by nature is identical. And thus their response would be the same.

But the more important insight is that the govt of China understood that mishandling something like this would likely topple the CCP's power. Their survival depended on getting this right. Western govt's feel they can F this up and still survive.

Posted by: jinn | Apr 22 2020 21:53 utc | 133

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 21:41 utc | 128

I am confused. You are the second poster who seems to think that I am arguing for lifting the quarantine. This is baffling to me.

What quarantine? Only sick people are in quarantine. The rest of us are free to go outside - you can go to the store and buy groceries, right? It is open.
But you cannot go to the local pub, it is closed, true.... is that quarantine for you, that you can't go to casino or to baseball match?

Posted by: hophely | Apr 22 2020 21:58 utc | 134

As a practical matter police are cowards. At the point they feel doing their job puts them in danger - as in getting close to someone who might be infected - they simply won’t do their job. Alternatively they will do their job with “backup” and overwhelming force. Right now the local streets show vastly less police presence than normal. Here in the States we have a police procedure called a ‘wellness check’. Some of you know what that is. Local cops no longer do those. Not taking any chances. Responding to domestics, which are through the ceiling with the lockdown, the police are trying to settle the disputes with the front door closed. And they threaten those inside if they have to enter it will be guns blazing.

So much theoretical discussion on the board today. Any who have ever met the cops in less than best imaginable circumstance would not be having this discussion. Right now cops don’t even want to kill us. Killing a perp means being too close to the virus.It is going to be chaotic. It is not going to be gemutlich.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 22 2020 22:02 utc | 135

OffGardian are a U.K. based and politicaly focused platform.
We have to remember that the massive tide of elite propergander has entirely overwhelmed the U.K.
if you ask off-Gardian readers (and I often do) there view on
Syria, Russia, Iran, China it becomes clear just how uninformed or misinformed they are.
Ditto—- The Skripal affair, London terrorist attacks, western funding of Isis yes that’s right The U.K. funds Isis!
Where as MOA is more geo-politacal.
Much more informed on the big picture. More reality based.
So when it comes to credabilty there is absalutly no comparison.
Off-Gardian readers would do well to catch up on previous posts of all the major global events. And then give this site a bit more respect !
This whole lockdown debate is just embarrassing.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 22 2020 22:02 utc | 136

WG @ 96 said;"Like it or not, you need government, unless you are planning to go live in a cave somewhere and live off eating grubs and spiders. You need government for civilized society (at least until you grow up a little more), and the reason your government sucks is because YOU let it suck. In the meantime, you need that government to provide the discipline that you lack so that you don't kill yourself and your neighbors due to your own lack of self-discipline."

You bet WG, all true. Besides, when you put in Gov. people that don't believe in Gov., you get the cluster fuck you're earned. Embrace it America.

Posted by: ben | Apr 22 2020 22:03 utc | 137

Peter, I disagree with that as well. I dont know if I am positive. Most likely not as I have been quarantining. So Im fairly confident Im not. Therefore if I take the precautions I am not putting anyone in danger.

Posted by: Comandante | Apr 22 2020 22:03 utc | 138

@ Posted by: Ed Butterworth | Apr 22 2020 21:32 utc | 122

I don't know if I'm living in the same universe as yours, but, in my universe, China has already lifted its lockdown. It was only two and a half months. Schools are already opened. Business was bailed out. People will get their and retain/regain their jobs.

Contrary to the Western countries, the CCP will learn with the mistakes it comitted with this first wave. It will now accelerate its universal healthcare system creation and expansion. It will accelerate the automation and modernization of its productive and distributive chain. It will, therefore, accelerate the improvement of the working conditions of its working class. It will enhance even more its testing capacity. It will centralize and thus make more efficient its healthcare system.

It is a myth the West ever implemented a true lockdown. People ultimately could still go out. Some governments implemented some kind of fine but, in practice, it is barely, if ever, implemented. The closest to China done in the West was in South Korea's Daegu.

West's half-baked lockdown could only be a monumental failure - it only got the worst of the two worlds. Now its governments are being attacked both by the pro-quarantine and the anti-quarantine.


@ Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 21:26 utc | 117

If you're a worker, then you should be asking your government for the things I listed in one of my previous comment in this thread. It is not your fault your employer didn't prepare accordingly for these kind of events. It's the employer's job to weather all the risk. If you do business college, you'll learn in your first semester that you don't open or keep your business open if you don't have at least cash sufficient to keep it for at least three years with moderate losses.

If you open your business, it's your risk and your risk only - not the worker's. The worker gives up his/her freedom in exchange for "safety", that is, a constant flow of income. It's not the worker's job to absorb his/her employer's risk.

Posted by: vk | Apr 22 2020 22:03 utc | 139

Ed Butterworth @122:

This blog ... has crossed over to the dark side.

There's no evidence that the Chinese withheld information. Regurgitating anti-Chinese talking points is not helpful. Most of us can see that is meant to deflect from our own government's failures.

... the lockdowns, which have been largely ineffective, were ordered on the advice of scientists who used as "evidence" data geneerated by mathematical models of the pandemic ...

No. They were ordered on the advice of public health professionals that have years of training and experience.

And these public health professions OVERRULED politicians like Trump and Boris Johnson who were otherwise inclined toward a irresponsible path of 'herd immunity' (BoJo: "take it on the chin").

The more we are learning about the virus, the more it's clear that the lock-downs were the correct policy.

<> <> <> <>

Those who hate the lock-downs should be appealing for governments to speed up testing and early treatment. That is the way toward lifting the lock-downs responsibly.

Our government's slow-walked a response to the pandemic and are now slow-walking a change in how we deal with the virus. And they blame it all on China.

The libertarian outcry should be for government accountability instead of aligning with neoliberal profiteers of disaster capitalism.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 22 2020 22:03 utc | 140

hophely | Apr 22 2020 21:58 utc | 137

Another fucking troll. Buh-bye!

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 22:04 utc | 141

@ pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 21:09

Pitty, was genuinely curious what you see as being the reward in accepting 60'000 common flu deaths. Have a feeling that rather then having to contemplate the implication of your statement you cut and run with a lame insult.

Sorry to hear you have to go back to work. If its any consolation, I've been going to work throughout this lockdown period as my job is deemed 'essential'. Hope you'll be alright and won't catch this dreaded virus, the common flu or get caught up in a car accident.

@ c1ue | Apr 22 2020 21:12

The regular flu is already proven to be unstoppable for many factors - including its fast rates of mutation
There are plenty of epidemiologist who believe C19, due to it already having spread across the planet, is also here to stay. Further, it is also known to mutate:

"Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, might have mutated as many as 30 times since its first confirmed case in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. These mutations could mean one vaccine alone can't immunize people against all the mutations of SARS-CoV-2 spreading worldwide, according to an alarming study authored by a team of 14 Chinese scientists. [...]"

So as things stand, C19, in one form or another, will be with us for quite some time. We need to come up with a strategy which does not cause millions of people to die due to risk mitigation measures, such as the many third world families who are now looking at starvation thanx to having lost their jobs. See here or here

In this narrow respect, the libertarians are absolutely right: the government has no obligation to do the most good for the most people, much less any person individually but it absolutely has the power and the responsibility.
I disagree entirely. As a matter of fact the exact opposite should be the case: the government ought to do the most good for the most people, should however be limited in its powers to prevent authoritarian overreach.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Apr 22 2020 22:05 utc | 142

@ Russ [92]

Great, a Jim Jonesesque appeal to die so life can be worthwhile. Get stuffed.

Posted by: Zengine3 | Apr 22 2020 22:08 utc | 143

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 22:04 utc | 144

Another fucking troll. Buh-bye!

Get back to work, you lazy moron.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 22 2020 22:10 utc | 144

pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 21:26 utc | 117

I don't disagree with what you say, but you often seem to be coming from an ideological vacuum, a perfect world perspective. The things you advocate, and that I agree with and approve of, are just not possible in the current situation in america.

Until our system collapses, the best one can do here, is keep ones head down, take care of oneself to the best of ones ability, and be prepared as much as possible to try to implement something better after the collapse.

People who know about complex systems, also know that they cannot be reformed, the must be destroyed and something else built in its place.

And collapse is guaranteed, when is the only question. Perhaps this is the beginning. One can only hope.

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 22:12 utc | 145

I read this site on a daily basis however I think you have it wrong but who am I. Judy Mikovits PhD however is someone and seems to disagree with MoA on all levels.

Posted by: Mac_408 | Apr 22 2020 22:13 utc | 146

Myself@148. That was in response to vk.

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 22 2020 22:15 utc | 147

hopehely @147: Another fucking troll. Buh-bye!

Eventually David F aka "pilpul" will identify us all as trolls.

Hopefully he's using his ignore macro to eliminate our "trolling" from his view.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 22 2020 22:17 utc | 148

OffGuardian approach seems to be similar to "Have you ever been a member of, or sympathised with, the Communist Party?" interrogation of someone who supports Public Lending Libraries.

Posted by: mijj | Apr 22 2020 22:18 utc | 149

Lockdowns must be accompanied by quarantine of confirmed [or reasonably suspect] case and tracking <-- Peter AU1 | Apr 22 2020 20:57 utc

Lockdown of the population is much more disruptive that targeted quarantine of limited duration. I guess, in a week or two the person should be released if he/she remains asymptomatic and passes the virus presence test.

Especially, in many, if not most countries there are very few cases. I checked news on Nicaragua. Week ago "world media" as presented by Google News noticed that the president did not show up for weeks. 4 days ago there were articles criticizing Nicaragua for not enacting energetic measures like lockdown. The number of cases so far is 10. Given worldwide and regional situation (both neighbors have 500+ cases which is still modest), lockdown is a proverbial cannot targeted at a fly But quarantine of cases AND people who crossed borders plus tracking is reasonable.

BTW, there was an article that Americans have more healthy diet now, as the food they prepare at home is not as junky as what they eat out.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 22 2020 22:24 utc | 150

sorry for typos, intelligent people should get the gist.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 22 2020 22:26 utc | 151

Maybe different situations require different responses?

We are all aware of the US situation: covid19 has spread in the general population, and getting treatment is financially ruinous for most people.

It does no good to quote a policy from somewhere else and suggest that the same policy should fit the US conditions. Australia and NZ were referred to earlier but are in a completely different situation so what they do has almost no relevance to the USA.

Australia has a small number of people infected, mostly travellers. ALL incoming people are quarantined for 14 days at government expense. Some complained and were roundly ridiculed. Healthcare is (almost) free; $750 a week is paid to (many) employees to "hibernate"; small businesses are getting $20,000 to $100,000 in a "cash boost" to offset the effects of shutdown.

The number of new infections in one state (NSW) from unknown causes shows 3 new cases in the last 3 days. So we can say that, apart from some thousands who are known, quarantined, in hospital, or otherwise being monitored and are not going anywhere, there are not hundreds more in the general population who are infected. Otherwise we would see at least N people per hundred showing up with symptoms.

So looking at that specific data, we can fairly confidently say that if you are in NSW, if you go outside, it is nearly certain that everyone you meet is also not infected.

Posted by: Deltaeus | Apr 22 2020 22:28 utc | 152

COVID-19 causing stroke in younger patients, doctors say

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 22 2020 22:31 utc | 153

Going to try to explain this again.

If the authorities, either cops or public health workers, showed up at the door and wanted to take a family member to a safe quarantine space that would be a death sentence. The notion that my government would arrange a safe and clean room, meals, basic care, for persons detained is beyond comprehension. They never behave that way. “You must go to quarantine, come with us” would be perceived exactly the same as if they announced “We are here to kill you”.

A competent and benevolent State? They are gangsters.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 22 2020 22:32 utc | 154

Comandante 141

At this site you can download or read online the handbook put out by Chinese doctors once they got the situation in Wuhan well under control.
In various languages so click on English.
Page 7 gives the protocol for moving from a contaminated area to clean area in the hospital.
Anybody that has can be considered contaminated even if wearing a mask. It will be on their cloths, shoes, hands ect.
I have seen other tests where the room where somebody with coronavirus is swabbed and tested and the virus shows up everywhere. It is on the floor and it is tracked out or the room on shoes.
That is why China quarantined everyone that tests positive.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 22 2020 22:34 utc | 155

@james, 22 Apr 21:24

This looks like a violation of both the Hippocratic oath and public health procedures. Once a COVID-19 person is breathless, they are likely to die without treatment. Sending him home is a death sentence and it means that he will also infect anyone living with him.

I prefer Singapore's approach. Anyone with symptoms was admitted to hospital and separated from friends and family. Only symptomless contacts were required to enter home quarantine.

Posted by: cirsium | Apr 22 2020 22:34 utc | 156

OffGuardian ambushed itself by surrendering to hysteria invoked on the basis of previous government mendacity resulting in the Fake War of Terror. But in focusing obsessively on the FWoT, they 'forgot' to examine the government case for quarantining, forcibly if necessary, people suspected of being infected with Coronavirus.

Had OffGuardian been motivated by curiosity and commonsense instead of hysteria, they would not have described the duration of the quarantine period as "indefinite detention" merely draw a parallel between an endless Guantanamo detention and the 14 to 28 day precautionary detention required to comply with the accepted global benchmarks of the Coronavirus quarantine process.

If OffGuardian chooses to concoct strawmen on which to base false equivalents then they're the people with the honesty and stupidity problems.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 22 2020 22:37 utc | 157

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2020 18:26 utc | 8 people in the west and the usa especially, are so used to complaining about their civil liberties

And that's all the they - complain. Then they vote the same corrupt rich thugs back into power every two years. Or they want this government replaced by some socialist repressive society that would be just as bad.

I'm a fucking ANARCHIST, for Pete's sakes - and *I* understand why - given the societies we actually *have* in this world - that people need to be forcibly isolated because otherwise they would essentially be personally responsible for killing millions of people.

As an individualist anarchist, I believe there shouldn't even *be* societies as we have them now, let alone governments. In that situation, however, a pandemic would be handled by each individual. People could not be forcibly quarantined because there would be no one to force them. Those that recognized the threat of the pandemic to people they care about would deal with those who did not. Since in the society I envision, there would be more rational people, most people would behave intelligently and self-isolate out of self-interest.

It would be much like the society envisioned in A. E. van Vogt's science fiction story "The World of Null-A" on the planet Venus, described thus:

"To understand the political situation here, you must reach out with your mind to the furthest limits of your ideas of ultimate democracy. There is no president of Venus, no council, no ruling group. Everything is voluntary; every man lives to himself alone, and yet conjoins with others to see that the necessary work is done.

And when Venus was invaded, in one of the stories, the response of the inhabitants was described thus:

The philosophy of Ā was justified, proved, honored by its dead. As one man, Venusians had realized the situation, and without agreement, with no preplanning or warning, had done what was necessary.

So in a rational human world, everyone would recognize a pandemic threat and respond accordingly - and those who didn't would be dealt with based on personal action, not those of a government. It would be just as "oppressive" as a government - and would be resisted as such by those who refused to accept the threat. But it would depend on the degree of rationality of the majority of the population how that would be resolved. Since by definition such a population would be more rational than not - since such a population without a society would have to be or it would descend into chaos, which not even individualist anarchists would believe is better for their own individual interests - in most cases the pandemic would be stopped in its tracks by a full, voluntary lockdown.

But all of that is useless speculation - because we *have* a society of irrational humans today - as demonstrated daily in this blog by the posters. So instead of an orderly, rational lockdown which would not have to be enforced by the government and which would stop the virus in a matter of weeks - like China - we have chaos..

A reminder (Blazing Saddles):

Bernhard is correct.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 22 2020 22:40 utc | 158

Old hippy @ 157
Yep dammed if we do dammed if we don’t.
A rock and a hard place.
And that’s just what makes this virus a bio-weapon.
It’s war and it’s here !
Dig a bunker try and stay safe. Or risk facing this weapon !
Take your pick.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 22 2020 22:45 utc | 159

I wonder if you can set me straight on the lethality of the infection

I have these figures: from Worldometer:

Cases which had an outcome:
716,738 (80%)
Recovered / Discharged

183,772 (20%)

These are of course symptomatic or positive patients. But, if we are to apply the same percentage to existing cases (both symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers
that tested positive,) cases that are reported by the medical authorities the world over, we must conclude that when cases are resolved, 20% die.

We are talking about a sizeable sample, close to a million cases.

So why do we persist in thinking that COVID19 is innocuous?

Please set me straight.

By the way, I concur with b's view.

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 22 2020 22:46 utc | 160

Piotr Berman 153

I think lockdown only needs to be uses to get an outbreak under control. Maintaining tracking, tracing and quarantine of confirmed cases plus a few basic rules like social separation where possible and no large gatherings for social events ect.

Here tracking and tracing were reasonably good but no quarantine. Numbers continued to build so they brought in lockdown rather than quarantine. Allowed out for essentials - food, medical work if your job is still going ect. Wife worked casual at a dress shop and that is closed for the duration. I don't get out and about much anyway, but apparently cops are checking peoples reasons for being out and about and fine if you haven't got a good reason.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 22 2020 22:46 utc | 161

Peter, thank you I will definitely read your link.

I also know about these studies and yes you can get virus on hands, clothes, etc. I also read a transmission via touch is very difficult to achieve. I also read wearing a facial mask and practicing distance reduces transmission risk by 96% I would also add washing hands and not touching face. I beleive if we all practice these simple steps we can reduce kost of the transmission.

I also agree on quarantining the sick. I just dont believe in forcefully quarantining anyone.

I also know most of the world population cannot live quarantined. for an extended period if time.

Therefore based on alll the statements above, I believe a common ground can be reached where we reduce most of transmission, therefore giving breathing space to medical services.

Again we can never achieve zero transmissions even if we become communist china. People need to have the right to go out there and make a living to feed their children at home.

I stand with my original a common ground between 2 extremes is optimal solution.

Posted by: Comandante | Apr 22 2020 22:47 utc | 162

Oldhippie: exactly!

If you pull the pin out of a grenade - you'd better throw it too. One thing requires the other.

In South Korea, if you test positive, you are given a room, meals delivered to the door, and other necessities - for free (some volunteers are involved). This means you can avoid infecting your family. You also have access to medical monitoring if needed. After 14 days and a negative test, you can go home.

Does that sound like a *complete* policy?

On the other hand, just taking people away and herding them together doesn't sound like a complete policy. It sounds like something that could raise genuine concerns. And if those concerns are not addressed, no-one should expect it to be accepted.

Posted by: Deltaeus | Apr 22 2020 22:49 utc | 163

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 22 2020 22:37 utc | 160 If OffGuardian chooses to concoct strawmen on which to base false equivalents then they're the people with the honesty and stupidity problems.

Well stated. That description could be applied to everyone who is over-reacting to the lockdown.

As I've said numerous times here, the issue is cognitive dissonance: people cannot emotionally accept the reality of the situation, so they don't accept it. They labor to find rationales for their emotional state. Their real agendas and preferences are hidden under complicated arguments over "mortality" and "economic consequences" - which consequences wouldn't exist had they control of a government that actually protected the economy by not handing it over to a bunch of rich corrupt oligarchs. In reality, they're simply irritated over being personally inconvenienced by the lock down - they can't go the ball games, oh, boo-hoo! - or afraid of losing their jobs - which wouldn't happen if they had a society and government that had a buffer for things like this pandemic, as Nassim Taleb has pointed out.

The reason this blog has 400 or 500 comments per thread on this issue is because, as someone noticed above, people feel they are under threat and are reacting emotionally, rather than rationally.

And that won't stop, precisely because of those reasons.

Which makes engaging these people a complete waste of time.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 22 2020 22:50 utc | 164

Karlof1 @103 Why did you do nothing after you were warned?! Thank you for this. Reading you lifts me from the bizarro world if only for a moment.
The link below is from two days ago and simply ask why are we still flying?
These deaths are recent and for what?

Posted by: George | Apr 22 2020 22:53 utc | 165


Quarantine is generally around two to three weeks at most be fore the infection is cleared, at least on the non critical cases. China would clear them when they had two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 22 2020 22:56 utc | 166

At his FB, Escobar has linked to an important article by TASS citing China's Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui:

"A gene sequence in the novel coronavirus indicates that the virus was imported to China’s Wuhan, instead of emerging there." [My Emphasis]

M. K. Bhadrakumar then took that info and elaborated in his own article. The following are what he sees as the "startling disclosures":

"•Five top Chinese scientific organisations have collected the data 93 genome specimens of COVID-19 that have been published in a global database based on inputs from 12 countries on four different continents.
•The research has shown that the Covid-19’s earliest 'ancestor' is a virus known as mv1, which subsequently evolved into haplotypes H13 and H38. (A haplotype is a group of genes within an organism that was inherited together from a single parent.)
•In turn, H13 and H38 evolved into a second-generation haplotype — H3 — which subsequently involved into H1 (Covid-19).
•That is to say, in plain terms, Covid-19’s 'father' is H3; its 'grandparents' are H13 and H38; and, its 'great grandfather' is mv1.
•Now, although the virus that was discovered in the Wuhan seafood market (Covid-19) was of the H1 variety alright, only its 'father' H3 has been spotted in Wuhan — and that too, NOT in the seafood market.
•Importantly, the Covid-19’s 'grandparents' — H13 and H38 — have never been spotted in Wuhan.
"'This suggests that the H1 specimen was brought to the seafood market by some infected person, which sparked the epidemic. The gene sequence cannot lie.'" [My Emphasis]

(There's a video explaining the Mechanisms of Inheritance imbedded with the above list.)

What follows are even more pertinent revelations that I won't copy/paste--click the link and get informed!

Trump said the following after the Ambassador's interview: "You know, we asked to go in very early, and they didn’t want us in." At no point do I recall him admitting anything of the sort as he was too busy laughing at China's predicament and calling the pandemic a "Hoax."

Pepe ends his FB posting as follows:

"All this confirms what some of us had suspected for quite a while, based on our sources and what's being published, or allowed to be published, in China: the Chinese have a pretty good scientific idea of where the virus came from.

"Now let's play hardball."

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 22 2020 22:59 utc | 167

It's more than a little disturbing to see the OffGuardian comments, given that they have posted nothing but fake science and pandemic denial on their site since this pandemic began. Theirs is a knee-jerk anti-government response: "this government lies about everything, therefore it must be lying about the virus." That would never pass logics 101. MoA is correct!!!

Posted by: Janet | Apr 22 2020 23:01 utc | 168

Pompeo is out today talking about multiple labs in China that need to be investigated.
There is only a short hop from thinking about the virus having escaped from the Wuhan lab (whether true or not) to the public discovering that US labs also do the same work and also have a poor safety record which puts the world at risk. Is he aiming at his own foot?

We, collectively the world, still has not had access to the Chinese labs,” Mr Pompeo said.

Hmm, yes the world doesn't have access to Ralph Baric's lab at UNC either now does it? Nor does the world have any access to the lab at Fort Detrick?
Does he think he can start people thinking down a path and then stop them continuing down that path?

Posted by: Deltaeus | Apr 22 2020 23:03 utc | 169

Deltaeus 155

There are fuck all people quarantined which is why we are under lockdown. Only the so called self isolation for fourteen days.
Effective from midnight AEDST 28 March 2020, if you’re arriving back in Australia you’ll be subject to the Australian Government’s mandatory quarantine period of 14 days at your first Australian destination.

You’ll be provided with suitable accommodation to stay in during this period. You’ll not be permitted to travel domestically (including to your home) or continue on any domestic connections, until the 14 day mandatory quarantine period has been completed.

What to expect upon arrival to Australia
You’ll be required to fill out a form confirming you understand you have to complete the mandatory quarantine period of 14 days.
You’ll collect your luggage and go through the normal border clearance processes (customs, immigration and biosecurity).
Following border clearance, government officials will direct you to buses that will take you to your accommodation.
You may have to wait for transfer to and check in at your accommodation. Government officials will endeavour to make these waiting periods as comfortable as possible. Your cooperation and patience is appreciated

Nobody tested in anyway. Not on arrival. Not when the 14 days are up. They book in to a hotel. Are the hotel staff under quarantine... Its a fucking joke.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 22 2020 23:11 utc | 170

Let this be a lesson to the "armchair epidemiologists" here...

Famed Law Professor Richard Epstein's Ever Changing Claims About How Many People Will Die From COVID-19

Incredibly, earlier this week, Epstein tried again, with a new piece complaining that governors are overreacting with their lockdown decrees. Incredibly, he uses the evidence that these lockdowns are working and bending the curve to decrease the number of deaths as evidence that we should end the lockdowns, and that magically businesses will be able to handle the rest.

The question is why Cuomo thinks that doubling down on government restrictions is justified by the science and data. His own daily report of April 17 indicates that the rate of new infections is down and that the number of hospital discharges in the state now far exceeds the number of new admissions. Further data prepared by the New York Times reveals that the rate of infection is now slowing down rapidly throughout the United States. It also shows that new cases peaked at about 35,000 on April 3, with an erratic decline since that time.

That's because of the lockdown. If we lift the lockdown too soon, those infection and death rates go back up.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 22 2020 23:13 utc | 171

George @168--

Thanks for your reply! Did you read my earlier comment?

Unfortunately, it's becoming an even muddier mess as my @170 shows.

I must give a standing ovation to Hoarsewhisperer @160 despite our previous scraps.

This revelation from the 2nd link @170 is another non-barking dog:

"5.Shockingly enough, Italy wanted to trace the first infection case of Covid-19 by conducting an exhumation in the US of so-called flu victims, by [sic] the US has flatly refused permission."

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 22 2020 23:14 utc | 172

Status report from Cook County. There are now 25,000 confirmed cases and 1,000 deaths in a county of 5.2 million people. Or this is what we are told. A month ago those #s would make this a world hotspot, with accompanying press coverage. Instead it is like nothing is happening. In the friends of friends and family of friends category I am aware of three deaths. All of those were in New York City. Here we do not know a soul who is infected. Supposedly 125,000 people have been tested. We do not know a soul who has been tested nor when asking around does anybody else know any who have been tested. Contact tracing? Surely you jest. Even in press coverage and official statements there is no pretense that contact tracing occurs.

A couple weeks back I posted that my wife’s son by first marriage had been diagnosed with covid at the ER, without a test being performed. Sent home and told to come back when he couldn’t breathe.The guy has multiple health issues and he pretty much took it as a death notice. And woke up feeling better next morning and continued to improve. Just a flu. He’s fine. So what does you say about the MD who scared the life’s out of him? Well, you say that is typical healthcare in these parts.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 22 2020 23:18 utc | 173

Here's a good point... Everyone stop running their mouth and start thinking about how you're going to deal with the situation in 2-6 months when the second wave hits *on top of* the economic problems we'll already have...

Use This Time To Get Ready For The Coming Second Wave Of This Virus

As bad as this first round was, heading into it we had a relatively strong economy (though this could be argued), low unemployment rate (especially compared to now), and stocked shelves.

Imagine now repeating the last several months STARTING with food/supply shortages in the stores, high unemployment rate, increased crime (which I think we’ll start to see as this continues), and hungry/upset/unprepared masses.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 22 2020 23:19 utc | 174

@ 120 James & 121 Lozion - my pleasure and thanks for your thoughts. Please accept my apologies for posting so infrequently. I should also add that I need to be very careful what I can or should disclose...I am sure you understand.

@ 119 Peter AU1 - I appreciate your response and I must to confess to having enjoyed many of your posts over the years. I've long had an interest in air defence tech and I've read some of your assessments on the Syrian conflict with interest. Nice to liaise with directly, so to speak.

Coming back on topic, I would suggest that the resumption of other procedures is and will be compatible in the sense that the genie is already out of the bottle. COVID-19 is in the population and will not be going anywhere for some time. Moreover I am extremely skeptical about the viability a future vaccine...though I would be perfectly happy to be proved wrong. For the past 4 weeks or more we've focused on acute procedures and maintaining a 24 hour stroke service for example. In Oncology, surgery and interventions were undertaken for patients with advanced/stage 4 cancers only, though it is worth keeping in mind that this patient group tends to have an extremely poor prognosis: we are often looking 4 to 6 months survival at best. Should we not be re-introducing treatments to patients with stage 2 or 3 cancers, especially given that they are more likely to survive when given earlier treatment? It is a grim calculus but it is the reality we must face.

I cannot honestly see us running this way for too much longer and cautiously welcome the easing of the lockdown conditions. Unless some new strain with broader lethality spreads rapidly through the industrialised countries...then all bets are off.

Take care all.

Posted by: Glossopteris | Apr 22 2020 23:19 utc | 175

Let's hope this is actually true and not some PR BS...

Defense Production Act Contract to Provide 39 Million Masks

Also, he said, a $415 million contract awarded by the Defense Logistics Agency is providing 60 systems that can decontaminate as many as 80,000 N95 respirator masks each day, allowing those masks to be reused. Combined, the 60 systems will allow for the decontamination of some 4.8 million masks each day once they’re all in place.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 22 2020 23:24 utc | 176

CarlD @163.

The bulk fatality statistics hide significant detail. Some 80-90% of the fatalities are older individuals, male more often than female, with 2 or more co-morbidities (heart problems, lung problems, diabetes, cancer, etc, etc) who in other circumstances would be described as dying with a chest infection rather than from it. For normal young (<70) and fit individuals, the case fatality rate will be an order of magnitude less than indicated by the bulk data.

These are the people that should have been protected from exposure. In the UK, infected older patients not needing ICU level care are turfed out into their nursing homes (ideal sources of infection for everybody else living and working there).

Meanwhile hospitals are running empty, waiting for the mass influx of hundreds of thousands of severe cases predicted (that will not appear).

My local hospital ditto.

I work with top London medics and epidemiologists. Their view is that the way the situation has been handled in the UK will be a case study of how not to handle such situations.

Posted by: Ken Garoo | Apr 22 2020 23:29 utc | 177

The hoohah around this situation reminds me of an old medical joke:

The surgeon noted that the operation was a great success. Unfortunately, the patient subsequently died.

Posted by: Ken Garoo | Apr 22 2020 23:35 utc | 178

Can't agree with MOA on this one. The conflicting info coming out from all the various sources make this issue far from cut and dry. Just like I found Michael Brenner's rant rather unsettling, I'm finding the same with MOA's position on this issue. So much that I'll be taking a break from this site for a while. Hindsight will be revealing and I hope we all learn from this situation. Be well.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 22 2020 23:35 utc | 179


Innsbruck University clinic Senior physician Frank Hartig reports likely IRREVERSIBLE lung damage in 6 active (scuba) divers who came down and recovered 5-6 weeks ago from non-serious COVID cases that resolved without hospitalization. Degree of lung damage will keep these young (~40s yr old) divers from ever engaging in the sport again in the future, Hartig assessed. (starts ~minute 11:00)

Posted by: gm | Apr 22 2020 23:36 utc | 180

Glossopteris @178

What do you think of the hydroxyChloroquine treatment?

From what we've heard from Raoult and others, it seems promising but early treatment is being squashed by media and Big Pharma.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 22 2020 23:38 utc | 182

Ken Garoo 1180

Whatever the details are, old, underlying condition, etc, the fact here
is about Confirmed cases with an outcome.

patient arrived sick, or was tested and the case ended by either recovery, 80%
or Death, 20%

If you want to go on a matter of detail, the recovered patients are oftentimes
afflicted with a sequel of varying severity.

So, a patient may have recovered in a maimed condition and this has to be taken into account and will further characterize Covid19 as a serious disease,

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 22 2020 23:44 utc | 183

As I've mentioned before, my wife works for our county's Health and Human Services Department, and we discussed Our Governor's stated plan to reopen Oregon's economy. One of the critical items are accurate testing kits for at least 1% of the population--about 600--of which we now have 10, and they're not in the County's possession. The state's even worse off at less than .01%. Trump criticized Governor Brown for that shortfall she has no control over, and he has absolutely no grounds to be critical of anyone whatsoever. We have a miniscule number of recorded cases--6. Our economy is retirement and tourist oriented, so it's hurting. We have several wide-open spaces type counties that could probably reopen very soon. But to be honest, those places are so rural they really never shutdown. The metro areas are the exact opposite. I recall the UK's Mad Cow epidemic where it was being spread far and wide by the soles of people's shoes, which as Peter AU 1 notes @158 is a way COVID-19 can be spread far and wide.

Bad things can happen when an impatient people are demanded to be patient over and over and over, particularly when they're led by those of similar ilk. The Where it came from is a whole different critter than How best to manage it. The Parasitic Nations are having predictable trouble, while the Nurturing Nations are doing as well as they can. The Future must include drastic changes so the failures we're experiencing now aren't repeated. Somehow the entire populous of all the Parasitic Nations must recognize that reality and demand it be implemented.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 22 2020 23:46 utc | 184

Again we can never achieve zero transmissions even if we become communist china. People need to have the right to go out there and make a living to feed their children at home.
I stand with my original a common ground between 2 extremes is optimal solution.
Posted by: Comandante | Apr 22 2020 22:47 utc | 165

Forgive my quibbling with your conclusion but, in theory, if testing was widely available and every infected person could be quarantined until declared 'clear' then after 14+ days of zero new cases it would be possible to declare Coronavirus ELIMINATED from the population.

At that time, and with testing widely available, new outbreaks could be nipped in the bud quickly.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 22 2020 23:47 utc | 185


I've been warning about pulmonary fibrosis for weeks.

There's very little reporting about this in the media, just as there's very little reporting about hydroxyChloroquine (HCQ) as an early treatment. When HCQ is mentioned, it is generally linked to negative side effects and negative outcomes when administered as a last resort.

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation says that most of those who suffer PF after SARS recovered in about a year. About 3/4's of SARS patients also suffered from chronic fatique syndrom after the disease.

There may be other effects from this disease that are unknown at this time. Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cancers years later.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 22 2020 23:48 utc | 186

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 22 2020 23:38 utc | 185

"What do you think of the hydroxyChloroquine treatment?"

-Funny you should ask...

(starts ~minute 4:30)

Posted by: gm | Apr 22 2020 23:51 utc | 187

Anti-gov "liberty/freedom" Left Fringe meets Right Fringe on purely ideological ground.

Posted by: norecovery | Apr 22 2020 23:55 utc | 188

@ 185 Jackrabbit

It is being tested in at least one multi-arm research study that my hospital is involved in. From memory another treatment arm in the same study involves an antibiotic that - strangely enough - seems to have anti-viral properties whilst I think that a third arm will investigate use of an existing HIV drug. I cannot recall all of the details but will check-up on this tomorrow should time permit.

Each treatment seems to show promise and this is a high-profile study, though we've only just started. The hydroxyChloroquine angle is being taken seriously.

I'll be signing off shortly so please let me wish you well.

Posted by: Glossopteris | Apr 22 2020 23:56 utc | 189

@ pilpul artiste - a suggestion meant in a positive context - skip replying to those you don't agree with or who you think are trolls.. life will be easier for you and everyone!

@ oldhippie.. thanks for the overview on police in the usa at present... i bet there are more domestic issues then usual at present...

@139 mark2... thanks mark.. the broader context is helpful... i don't follow off-g... cheers..

@ 159 cirsium.. i thought so too on the examples i gave.. i like signapores results to date but they are a much more strict society in some respects...and a city state which is unique..

@ 161 richard steven hack... i agree with your overview! let me quote you - "So instead of an orderly, rational lockdown which would not have to be enforced by the government and which would stop the virus in a matter of weeks - like China - we have chaos.." - "But all of that is useless speculation - because we *have* a society of irrational humans today" sure looks that way on a few levels! i think we are going to be processing this covid 19 for a good length of time - 1 year minimum...

@ 170 karlof1... thanks for the links.. will look now!

here's an opinion piece for others - 'Open the Economy' Is the New 'White Lives Matter'

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2020 23:59 utc | 190

CarlD | Apr 22 2020 23:44 utc | 186, Ken Garoo

Here is a link of deaths by age in NY.Corana Death by Age NY

About 30% are under 65. I do find it odd the way the have selected the age categories: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+

I would think if the first two categories would have been 3 or 4 categories it would paint a better picture.

This is from the worldometer site, they say they are currently working on this info for the whole us.

I find it hard to locate much hard data about the death by age for countries.

Posted by: pilpul artiste | Apr 23 2020 0:00 utc | 191

@ karlof1 with the links to research reporting that the origin of covid-19 is not China...thanks!

I wrote this from the start. Humanity needs to understand it is in a civilization war and one side has already used nukes before. And that side is now in a losing battle because it represents a cancer of our species and must resort to further crimes against humanity in hopes of maintaining control by fear.

When are more going to understand that public/private control of human economic "blood flow" is at stake here? Those of us in the West live in a dictatorship of private control of "blood flow" and few ever discuss it as such.

I agree with William Gruff in that humanity needs to actively take control of their government and tell it how to help us manage ourselves effectively.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23 2020 0:09 utc | 192

B is 100% correct. There's a lot of stupid people in the comments section. I've already lost 1 extended family member to this, and know of 2 others intubated via church groups. This is just getting started homies so buckle up. It's all fun and games till you or a family member can't breathe. Flu doesn't cause 20% hospitalization rates and require refrigerated trucks to store corpses. I missed the year flu put 17 corpses in a shed within 2 months at one senior center.

Posted by: Prodigalson | Apr 23 2020 0:11 utc | 193

As I've mentioned before, my wife works for our county's Health and Human Services Department, and we discussed Our Governor's stated plan to reopen Oregon's economy. One of the critical items are accurate testing kits for at least 1% of the population--about 600--of which we now have 10, and they're not in the County's possession.

I live in Oregon (Bend) and was tested for Covid last week. (negative)
But I'm in my 70's.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 23 2020 0:17 utc | 194

i apologize in advance to anyone triggered by swearing.

having lived through the oklahoma city bombing era up to the post 9/11 nonsense and now the supposedly "totalitarian" or "draconian" response to COVID i have to say this "derpa derp the gubmint gonna take momma from our trailer cuz she gots the ____* !" (*insert 'guns', 'corona virus' or 'gold bullion') bullshit is getting old. a bunch of shaved apes overreacted at waco and ruby ridge 25 years ago and that became the paranoia template for the alex jones types. also funny how there's a lot of venn diagram overlap between these types and the ones who downplay cops killing black folks.

critics of israel's mentality have an apt term for this: pre-traumatic stress disorder.

so the same governments (state? federal? icke lizard people? has anyone elaborated?) who sat with their thumbs up their asses until it became a pandemic are so devious that they'll send similar shaved apes door to door in every neighborhood and arrest people who have a fever? and not just arrest - arrest forever! oh, and all this because bill gates said so. because he's the king of america?

that sounds like something cities who can't keep the fucking lights on would totally budget for. and i'm sure they're expanding gitmo as we speak. hope you coughers like bunk beds and anal feeding!

as for the goddamn brain donors on the scum right (and useful idiot "alt-media" middle) who keep oozing "durrrrrr it's teh flu lol" out their mouth holes: no. shut the fuck up. now.

yes, some people who die "with" covid didn't die "of" it. but that's like saying "that drunk driver didn't kill her - it was the pavement she slid on at 66mph after going through the windshield". yes, she's street pizza because physics. but if not for the idiot drunk she'd probably have never met that particular asphalt.

and guess what? a lot people who died "from" the flu actually died "WITH IT". a significant portion of reported "flu" deaths were actually caused by pneumonia.

the asymptomatic COVID folks making the numbers look worse because they aren't included? i guess every single person with the flu goes to the doctor and gets counted.

and lastly - as you and other non-retards have alluded to - flu season never triggers a lockdown. if it did the fatality numbers would be a small fraction of the current total.

none of this is rocket science nor is it hard to find the relevant data. all these outlets citing "the one scientist who speaks the TRUTH!" are engaged in willful ignorance.

you can also see it with the ayn randtards and their "the lockdown job stoppages will KILL US ALL!!!" based on that one report from the early 1980s. yes, that ONE STUDY showed thousands of deaths for every increase in unemployment but when you - again - actually read the shit you see that the lion's share are from either heart disease/attacks (just coincidentally one of the top three killers of yanks to begin with) or suicides. maybe if those people didn't eat like fat slovenly fucks, smoke cigarettes and wallow with a gun in their mouths the numbers would look happier. but then the terrorists would win!

Posted by: the pair | Apr 23 2020 0:23 utc | 195


I ran onto something interesting the other day. I was looking up han Chinese because I had thought they where an ethnic group. Turned out it is all those that share the Chinese culture and within that are the ethnic groups.
Singapore, I forget the exact percentage but it is over 90% han Chinese. Makes it similar to Taiwan.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 23 2020 0:24 utc | 196

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 22 2020 23:46 utc | 187 Bad things can happen when an impatient people are demanded to be patient over and over and over, particularly when they're led by those of similar ilk. The Where it came from is a whole different critter than How best to manage it.

Well said.

When some crisis like this happens, you get to see how humans really behave when not under actual physical suppression by authority or at least by social pressures.

As someone said once, if you put the average American in charge of the government, he would govern like Idi Amin.

And so we have Trump...

What this means for me is that most of the people commenting here - and that's far more than just the known trolls who seem to have made a program out of insulting me - would prefer I die so they can go to the ball game this summer or not lose their jobs.

My response: Fuck you. (Not directed at karlof1 - if I have to make that clear)

And that's perfectly compatible with my anti-authoritarian philosophy. So I have zero problem with this lockdown. Again, Bernhard is absolutely correct.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 23 2020 0:26 utc | 197

Posted by: the pair | Apr 23 2020 0:23 utc | 198

Awesome. Beautiful. Winner of the thread. Couldn't have said it better myself. Everyone else can STFU now. Including me.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 23 2020 0:29 utc | 198

psychohistorian @195--

Thanks for your reply! We're on the same page with Gruff. As usual, the problem's solidarity.

Duncan Idaho @197--

Good to hear they're testing in Bend, precisely because you're in your 70's. Your region's blend of metro and rural presents a major challenge. Governor Brown's plans for reopening seem sound but rely on critical components that are either not in stock or not completed yet. As I wrote above, until there's an antidote/vaccine worthy of the name, I intend to keep wearing my masks and being a hermit.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 23 2020 0:29 utc | 199

there is no deadly epidemic in the deaths are below normal according to CDC data

Posted by: skeptic23 | Apr 23 2020 0:30 utc | 200

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