Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 19, 2020

Coronavirus - The U.S. Has Given Up

The difference between The U.S. and the EU is pretty stark. The U.S. has obviously given up on getting the epidemic under control.


The population of the U.S. is 328 million. The population of the EU is one third bigger at 446 million.

In Europe there is a wide discussion of the measures that can be taken to avoid a second wave during the next winter season.

Some of the states in the U.S. are still in the uptick phase of their first wave. Some even have an increasing gradient.

The hospitals in some of these states will soon run into serious trouble. Their case fatality rates will then tick up.

The recent demonstrations and wide re-openings in most states make it likely that the number of daily new cases will rise further and will exceed the previous total of some 32,000 new cases per day.

What amazes me is the culture war about mask wearing.

The theater chain AMC plans to reopen:

AMC will not mandate that all guests wear masks, although employees will be required to do so.
“We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy,” said Aron. “We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary. We think that the vast majority of AMC guests will be wearing masks.

The primary function of a mask is not to protect the person who wears it, but to protect the other persons who are around.

Theaters are closed rooms in which people sit together for a longer time in often somewhat sticky air. Like churches they are prime location for potential super-spreader events. One infected person who does not wear a mask in a theater can infect many other attendants, even if they do wear masks.

If AMC does not make mask wearing mandatory and ensures that the rule is followed throughout the show one can only recommend not visiting their theaters. From a marketing perspective AMC's policy is self defeating. AMC will end up with empty theaters.

Posted by b on June 19, 2020 at 17:41 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I saw this coming back in January. The United States is the exceptional country. We don't play by the rules of the lesser peoples. We just need to get the virus to understand that concept and everything will be fine.

Posted by: Angry Bob | Jun 19 2020 17:58 utc | 1

when were any of you in a movie theater in the US? Last time I went there were 10 people total... hardly the same as mega church. It is time to bring back drive in movies.

Posted by: dp | Jun 19 2020 18:04 utc | 2

I have asthma and find wearing a mask quite troublesome. Also, when I wear one, my glasses get steamed up. Sort of defeats the purpose of attending a movie.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 19 2020 18:05 utc | 3


We ain't got no masks!

We don't need no masks!

I don't have to wear any stinking masks!

Posted by: Angry Bob | Jun 19 2020 18:06 utc | 4

The U.S. Has Given Up

Perhaps that is because USA capitalist/racist establishment is unconcerned with those who die from the virus (the old and minorities):

Black Americans dying of Covid-19 at three times the rate of white people


Despite the glaring gulf, the Trump administration continues to be sluggish in responding to the crisis. Uché Blackstock, an urgent care physician and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, said that the federal reaction had been anemic.

“The disparities are continuing to be reflected in the data, yet we still have a complete lack of guidance from the federal government about how to mitigate these divisions. There is no real plan how to deal with it,” Blackstock said.

While co-morbidities are a factor, there is mounting evidence that black Americans are disadvantaged in terms of access to diagnostic testing and treatment for the disease.

Gathering data on the racial gulf in deaths has itself been hampered by an absence of federal action, compounded by slow and in some cases non-existent reporting by many states.

The racial disparities in the US death figures became apparent relatively early on in the pandemic, particularly in large cities where black neighborhoods were hit much harder than wealthier white areas. When New York City produced its first racial breakdown of Covid-19 deaths in April it showed that Latino and black New Yorkers, especially in the outer boroughs including Queens and the Bronx, were experiencing death rates that were at least twice those of whites and Asians.

While the black community is wracked by Covid-19 and outraged by unwarranted deaths of black men by police, Trump elects to rally in Tulsa - the site of the worst atrocity against blacks since the civil war:

Column: ‘Bad idea’ doesn’t begin to describe Trump’s Tulsa rally

Snips (with a little re-ordering):

... on top of the strong possibility that the Tulsa rally could spread the coronavirus far and wide, confrontation and even violence might be in the offing. Black community leaders in Tulsa have warned that an appearance by Trump, whose racism is part of his allure, is a taunt.

Trump ... the father of birtherism, the Muslim ban and internment camps for Latino children. ... has repeatedly lied about who is protesting [against racist policing] and what their aims are and earlier this month tried to put protests down with military force.

MAGA? The world is watching:

Racism in US to Be Given Full Airing at UN Human Rights Council

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 19 2020 18:07 utc | 5

Yep. As far as trying to control the spread of the Coronavirus the US is done, there's no going back. Even the hardly onerous and now politicized act of wearing a mask in public is toast, pretty incredible.

I am not surprised by any of this. Early on when I saw what China was going through to control the spread I predicted the US would become a mess from top to bottom if the disease made it here. It was not a difficult prediction to make.

So now the grand experiment of herd immunity will run its course in the US, without a vaccine in sight. The collateral damage will be brushed aside. The stock market will continue to soak up dollars with no where else to go. Inevitably something will give. The recent protests were just a taste of the growing intolerance for the exploding inequalities in the US. A $1.1M hospital bill for a single recovered COVID patient - indeed.

As for the rest of the world, quarantine the US is my best advice.

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jun 19 2020 18:14 utc | 6

Oh c'mon B.

As always, disingenuous headline and wordplay whenever Trump and Coronavirus are the target.

Firstly the EU and Europe are not the same thing.

Secondly you make it sound as if there is a unified European approach.

I am a Londoner and anyone who reads widely can tell you that England's approach is not even on the same as Scotland and we are ostensibly in the same Union! Extend that comparison to Italy, Sweden and even your Germany and it is quickly apparent that there is no singular European approach.

A lot of countries have "given up" if we are being honest and you apply the same metric you do to Trump.... but I know it is anathema to even suggest that around here lol

The primary function of a mask is not to protect the person who wears it, but to protect the other persons who are around.


Good luck getting folk who believe that somehow Trump never won in 2016 and it was The Russians (TM) fault and so hate his supporters to start wearing a mask in the summer of 2020 to protect the people they hate.

Posted by: Skeletor | Jun 19 2020 18:17 utc | 7

Your contention that "The primary function of a mask is not to protect the person who wears it, but to protect the other persons who are around" is illogical. You're saying that an infected person wearing a face mask cannot spread the coronavirus into the air, however, that implies that the face mask can filter the virus out of the air if it is exhaled but can't filter out the virus if one is inhaling through the mask. I'm not aware of face masks having this magical one-way filtering property. They either filter out the virus or they don't. Face masks should be worn by people who are coughing or sneezing. The American Medical Association (AMA) has stated that masks should only be worn by sick people who are coughing and sneezing and not by those who are well. For those who are sick and coughing and sneezing, the mask helps to contain the macro- and microscopic fluid droplets ejected, all of which may contain infectious micro-organisms.

Posted by: Famous Mikey | Jun 19 2020 18:24 utc | 8

I have my doubts about the efficiency and effectiveness of using masks. In fact, I haven't even ruled out the chances that this virus was made in the laboratory. However, as long as we don't have really serious studies, reliable information and scientific consensus (if there ever will be), it is best to do what we can and what is within our reach to protect ourselves and others (empathy). I really doubt that these cheap masks that are sold around here protect a lot. But the little that can protect everyone is already valid. I've been willing all along to protect myself and everyone around me. I followed the booklet, the safest protocols .... But now I want answers. I need to work, go out on the street, get some sun ..... kiss a girl ....

I am tired of scientism, politics, left versus right, geopolitics, conspiracy theories ...... When will everyone converge on the same side? is that even possible? I know that there are good people fighting for simple and humble people like me, but I see very little of these people being heard or involved in really important positions that could make a difference.

Anyway, peace for everyone! We are different, we have different cultures, we believe in different things, but we don't need to kill ourselves because of that. Keep up the good work and the high-level discussions that I see here. Learning a lot by reading this blog and the comments.

Big hug (from Brazil) to everyone and thanks for everything.

Posted by: Nagual | Jun 19 2020 18:29 utc | 9

@Posted by: Famous Mikey | Jun 19 2020 18:24 utc | 8

That's because the main entrance for the virus in aerosol is the eyes, not the mouth and nose.

The mask blocks the exit of aerosol from the mouth, thus protecting the eyes of the others.

Posted by: vk | Jun 19 2020 18:30 utc | 10

>when were any of you in a movie theater in the US?

For me it was about 15 years ago. It was a horrid experience. The sound was so loud it was unbearable even with tissue stuffed in my ears. The awfulness started with a barrage of advertisements that went far beyond old-fashioned movie trailers. Never again.

Uncle Sam never intended to eradicate the evil virus. I still think that US is using the virus as one more tool to "contain" virus-free China by surrounding it with infected nations. That doesn't mean US created and/or released the virus, just the usual opportunism.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jun 19 2020 18:33 utc | 11

I stopped going to movies years ago when all that coming out were mind-numbing ear-shattering fit-inducing spectacles aimed at teenage boys with no redeeming values (the movies or the boys).

Don't be an idiot. Wear a mask in public. It's proven to reduce transmission, and if everybody did so, the virus would quickly die out when R0 went less than 1. As it did in South Korea.

Posted by: Trisha | Jun 19 2020 18:43 utc | 12

The positive effect of a mask is not proven but... Also i cant breath properly through a mask. Therefore i wear a scarf like a shawl round my neck which i pull up loosely above my nose as soon as i enter a shop. It can be fixed under my sunglasses. There is a lot more air underneath.

Posted by: Lily | Jun 19 2020 18:47 utc | 13

Thanks b.; I saw this thing with AMC a little while ago and was quite surprised, and it was a sort of pleasant surprise. My first, most genuine reaction was "well, good on 'em, and good luck with it." If you don't mind, I'm going to take the chance of explaining my personal take of this pandemic panic:
I honestly think reactions have been blown unnecessarily out of proportion (a hallmark of our generation, it seems). Is there a new, virulent strain of influenza in circulation? Undoubtedly; flu mutates quite frequently, and I think this current strain has been circulating in the area where I live (North American West coast) since at least last October. In fact, I got a dose of it twice after holding it at bay for a couple weeks each time, ultimately only to get real sick for about a week.
I think Thierry Meyssan says it best here. The economic portion alone of the US reaction to the latest thing we're all supposed to be freaking-out over should be sufficient to cast doubt on the entire narrative. I make no claim to being the sharpest blade in the drawer, but frankly something stinks about all this.
As to mask wearing, well I had to continue showing up to work (a grocery co-op) when everything hit the fan, and mask wearing in all sections has been required. It's true that US culture doesn't encourage regard for others in ordinary times, hence the infrequent use of masks by those who are ill even when there isn't a pandemic in town (hence my suspicion that this SARS2, or whatever has already been going around and resulted in my being infected by those who'd continue showing up for work while still sniffling and coughing, without masks). Couple this with the lack of humanely adequate, publicly mandated sick leave and it's easy to see how diseases can get out of control.
So yes, I agree that mask wearing by those who are experiencing symptoms, is every bit as conducive to common health (and courtesy) as covering ones mouth when sneezing or coughing, along with frequent hand washing. Making mask wearing an overarching requirement might be pushing things, imo. I guess my reasoning behind this is the tendency to social ostracism that can result from making such societal wide requirements (full disclosure; I wear the mask when required, too). In short, yes by all means wear an effing mask if you're feeling sick, or if the allergies are particularly bad; you don't want to get anyone else sick, and it's the nice thing to do. But do not give in to panic every time someone sneezes, or your local flu season comes calling.
Most would agree that the US has been overtaken by cynical "political correctness (witness the recent laughable displays of 'solidarity' from legislators and capitalists)." There's a great line in the Tao De Jing ; "when there is an overabundance of morality, hypocrites abound." This recent trend toward hyper-morality is being exploited once again by authorities to keep the population at large divided against itself, same as "left" vs. "right" or "black" vs. "white" have been so exploited. It is this sort of division that keeps the usual scumbags happily in power over everyone else, and the future of our collective civilization can't take it much longer.
Once again, humble thanks to you b. for being here and doing what you do, and thanks for letting me blab on. Peace and health, barflies.

Posted by: robjira | Jun 19 2020 18:52 utc | 14

Under what control? It's either her immunity, or vaccine. Vaccines take decades to develop. So what, a Morgenthau-esque plan for everyone?

So who do we kill for this greater good?!

Posted by: Ilya G Poimandres | Jun 19 2020 18:57 utc | 15

It was never Trump policy to even try to beat the virus as his Do Nothing Policy proves beyond doubt. It was only the states and the general populous that made overt continuance of that policy untenable politically. The few graphs b displays ought to be multiplied by 4 since 32+ states are experiencing rises if not massive spikes as new outbreaks occur--particularly connected to churches. Oklahoma where Trump will perform in Tulsa is having a huge spike--I wouldn't be surprised in the least if half those going to worship Trump become infected. Here's the AP story about the politicization of mask wearing that was published 6 weeks ago.

I provided this Global Times item at the open thread, but it must be included here along with my excerpts:

"Although the coronavirus found in Beijing's Xinfadi market has come from Europe, it differs with their current outbreak, as it is older than the current European coronavirus, according to preliminary research results, said Zhang Yong, assistant director of National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

"'The large amounts of samples found in Xinfadi wholesale market indicate that the virus has been around for some time. If it had only just arrived in the city for a short period of time, there may not have been so many positive samples found; however, we need more data before making an informed decision about its origin,' Zhang said." [My Emphasis]

And this is rather important:

"The coronavirus is particularly cold-resistant, and can survive for months at -4 C and 20 years at -20 C, which explains why the virus has been found several times in seafood markets, and can be transported across borders, Chinese epidemiologist Li Lanjuan said on Friday."

China's approach to prevent as much harm coming to its people is 100% correct. It will have recovered and be flourishing again while the Outlaw US Empire continues to spiral around the toilet bowl.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 19 2020 19:07 utc | 16

The various definitions of "case," and the different shabby means of arriving at it, and the direct correlation of case quantity to how many people were somehow tested for something, coupled with the fact that half the people with cases don't even have symptoms, and the lack of correlation of case to injury and death, and the use of the word for this virus but not for others, causes me to escape any declaration with the word "case" in it. . . I rest my case.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 19 2020 19:35 utc | 17

A comparison of health related matters between the EU and USA not taking into account the underlying realities in each society is specious and absurd. The EU does not have the massive abject poverty and ignorance of the US. The EU does have health care for its citizens and visitors. The EU does not feed its population on toxic sludge and bogus pharmaceuticals. The EU does not house an enormous number of people in fetid prisons where the food and drugs are even worse than on the crumbling streets where another enormous number are housed! The EU has generally up to date infrastructure, able to provide potable water to most areas and has levels of public sanitation superior to the US. EU for the most part has infrastructure built after WWII, US water, sewer, gas and electric systems are often left over from the pre-war period when the government was not a fascist police state (Roosevelt) and those ancient systems have been barely maintained. Why don't you try factoring these realities into your simplistic calculations and see what you can come up with?

Posted by: NOBTS | Jun 19 2020 19:49 utc | 18

"AMC will not mandate that all guests wear masks" or require them to check their guns at the door ...

This is America where we believe in freedom and the 2nd Amendment, masks bah! We are men, not ladies from Asia who wear masks and have a concept of civic duty.

This is the dumbest thing I've heard to date. So who are we going to blame for the Covid19 resurgence, I know China!

Question for my Christian brothers and others who might be curious

I scanned youtube for prophecies about America. This was not comprehensive but let's just say of the 5 I listened to they were like, uh ... could make a Neocon blush and leave it at that. Is there like a thing that had I done this in Russia or Mexico I would hear the same thing about those countries because the religious transfer their affection to the countries they live in? This was a very small sample, my conclusion may be invalid. I was curious if any prophets heard that we were abusing our power in the world ... so far crickets. I cannot ignore the pain I feel listening to Pompeo call the America a force for good while we destroy food imports to Venezuela.

This is similar to how I feel when people call Brooks death absolutely necessary as the cop shoots him while he is sprinting away from the cop at full gallop. This is dismissed as an irrelevant detail. The cop was obviously terrified of Brooks which is why he was trying to get close enough to be tased. I just see things differently I guess.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jun 19 2020 19:59 utc | 19

Majority of Americans don't live in high density cities but actually relatively open area suburbs and they don't have to use public transportation system. That's the reason why COVID-19 death rate is surprisingly low in most of states, especially in south. There is change that there won't even be second wave of coronavirus.

Posted by: Mats | Jun 19 2020 20:06 utc | 20

Famous Mikey, regarding masks protecting the other person and not you this is why ... if you are sick and you cough your sick spray is contained in your side of the mask.

If you are sick and you don't have a mask your sick spray gets all over the surface of everything else. The healthy mask wearer touches the contaminated surface and then eventually their face. Is hand washing as good as mask wearing, don't know but containment is a good place to start.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jun 19 2020 20:09 utc | 21

thanks b...

usa war on communism.... war on drugs... war on terrorism.... no war on covid... why would that be?? who is getting taken out here? old people, higher number of black and latino people, people with immune comprised systems.... that sounds like a recipe for happiness for wall st and white supremacists... is that a coincidence??

@ 14 robjira... for those who show no signs - asymptomatic cases - which apparently there are a lot of - the masks on these people who show no symptoms is also helpful..

the usa can't have a "war on covid" they can have a war on pretty near everything and everyone else...

@ 7 skeletor.... last time i looked the UK, britian in particular) is like a branch of the USA in almost every way... the numbers on covid reflect this too... the UK has done everything they can to stick a fork in the eye of the rest of europe... high marks for consistency... france isn't far behind..

Posted by: james | Jun 19 2020 20:25 utc | 22

Posted by: NOBTS | Jun 19 2020 19:49 utc | 18
(Europe more civilised than AmeriKKKa)

Tell that to the 80 million refugees displaced by US-NATO's fake wars and meddling, for whom 'civilised' Europe chooses to deny any responsibility.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 19 2020 20:35 utc | 23

Didn't say more civilized; less poisoned hence probably more healthy.

Posted by: NOBTS | Jun 19 2020 20:46 utc | 24

nobts said «The EU does not feed its population on toxic sludge and bogus pharmaceuticals»
i beg to disagree,
most of the essential workers (supermarkets, cleaning staff, badly paid and overwhelmed care workers....) eat the toxic cheap products offered by the same worl companies as in the US and that s true for lots of the drugs too.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 19 2020 20:52 utc | 25

It appears b is mirroring a trend in European publications as suggested here:

"'Heartbreaking,' Say Global Experts, Alarmed at Signs US Has 'Given Up' Fight to Stop Covid-19:'I can't imagine what it must be like having to go to work knowing it's unsafe,' said one expert in New Zealand. 'It's hard to see how this ends.'"

Actually, it's somewhat easy to see how it ends. This prognostication is pointed correctly:

"'I'm becoming convinced that Covid is not far from taking on the characteristics of gun violence. The U.S. will endure much higher, persistent negative effects from something that other countries have solved; we'll normalize it and convince ourselves nothing can be done.'
—Michael Rozier, St. Louis University"

From some of the comments, you can see Rozier knows the score. IMO, Trump differs little from Stalin and the Gulag system, the latter being well expressed thusly:

[New Zealand health expert] Wiles expressed horror at the pressure many Americans have felt for weeks to keep reporting to work, regardless of their own risk factors for infection or of case numbers in their communities. Several states last month announced that they would end unemployment benefits for workers who didn't return to their jobs after their industries began reopening, and Ohio's government urged companies to report employees who didn't return. "I can't imagine what it must be like having to go to work knowing it"s unsafe ... It's hard to see how this ends. There are just going to be more and more people infected, and more and more deaths. It's heartbreaking."

"'We won't be closing the country again. We won't have to do that,' the president said Wednesday."

@22 james makes a very prescient observation about the lack of a War on COVID similar to the one declared by China with his allusion to the truth that it's a War on the Citizenry as we move further along the timeline of Trump's Treason.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 19 2020 21:07 utc | 26

America used to be the education Mecca. This is where people the world over wanted to send their kids to learn to be doctors, engineers, and scientists. In fact, in the last few decades it has largely been international students who have filled out the STEM programs at most universities and kept those programs open. According to the Bezos Blog 81% of grad EE and petroleum engineering students are international and 79% of CompSci students are international. "55 percent of all U.S. graduate students in mathematics, computer science and engineering are international students."

Would you send your kids into this diseased mess of a country if you were a parent in China or Korea or Nigeria? No, of course not.

Keep your eyes on America's STEM graduation rates. They are going to drop like a rock.

America is done. We just don't know it yet.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 19 2020 21:12 utc | 27

Trailer Trash #11

Uncle Sam never intended to eradicate the evil virus. I still think that US is using the virus as one more tool to "contain" virus-free China by surrounding it with infected nations.

Agreed, but China saw it coming as it has been bio-assaulted three times in the past couple of years. China was infected by Fall Army Worm, African Swine Fever, Avian flu in the chicken industry.

China was ready and rapid to respond but many were not. Some followed the China approach and others laissez-faire. The data emerging over the years will be interesting.

So if it runs rampant in UKUSA and some other spots, the global flying elite will not be happening. The borders will be closed and closely monitored AND the UKUSA embassies will wither. Good news.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 19 2020 21:12 utc | 28


Why don't you try factoring these realities into your simplistic calculations and see what you can come up with?

Thank you NOBTS, I did that in 1963 and the answer was - failed state.
I wear a mask in crowded places or gatherings. That makes me feel safer and accords respect to the others. If that proves to be useless healthwise then - the gesture of respect remains valid and worthwhile.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 19 2020 21:19 utc | 29

Thanks for the link to the Global Times @ 16, karlof1, but I did have difficulty understanding the text there. The factual statement that the strain of the virus comes from Europe but is an older one seemed to go in and out of the narrative while other statements as to the actual source of the outbreak seemed at variance - a person, or perhaps humid, dark conditions. And then, the statement that the virus could survive in very cold conditions for 20 years - how on earth do they know that for a fact? The statement is made that if the virus could be found inside a sealed container of fish that would make the Europe origin certain, but it didn't seem they had found that.

The article didn't seem as factually accurate as the ones we have seen from China after Wuhan was contained. Also, the relatively minor outbreaks in New Zealand have me wondering if there will be some sort of mandatory quarantine internationally imposed upon countries that are not able, as the US is not, to contain the virus, perhaps even extending to food product imports being banned from such countries, if indeed that turns out to be the source of the Beijing outbreak. Fish, and the water they are in, contaminated - a 'throat swab of a salmon'? That is really a strange set of statements.

But I will go to the open thread; perhaps you comment further there.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 19 2020 21:25 utc | 30

My solution to the covid disaster is the 'Joyce shemagh' (or just 'Joyce scarf'). The 'shemagh' is a pure cotton scarf, worn to cope with a variety of environmental challenges, including dust storms. I ordered mine on eBay. You wear this around tour face and fasten it in the back with a fat rubber band. It's folded about four times, forming almost a blanket. You wear it damp, almost on the verge of wet. The active ingredients are plain water and (hopefully unscented) dish detergent. The detergent (or soap) will bring water molecules into direct contact with the virus's waxy lipid envelope, causing it to fall apart (actually unravel) and thus 'die'. I use about 8% by volume of the dish soap. But before I add in the dish soap, I mix enough fructose type sugar into the water, enough to make it a little bit 'thick'. Fructose is one of the super-hydrophilic sugars, meaning it holds on to water and causes it to be very slow to dry out. (And the water contact is what actually destroys the virus.) Well, that's what I wear, and it's far, far more comfortable that the typical mask. (I should warn people that even though my doctor approves of this shemagh mask, there are people who will insist that it will poison you, or cause you to contract pneumonia (water being very dangerous. So don't let on what you are doing.) You are probably protecting both yourself and those around you. If the virus contacts the damp soapy shemagh, it dies.

The covid 19 virus is rather unique in several ways. It can survive extreme cold, and extreme heat, almost to the boiling point of water at room temperature. Yet, soapy water simply unravels its envelope.

Careless thinkers wonder why the masks are far more effective in preventing sick people from spreading the virus that they are at protecting the uninfected. The answer is really not very complex. A sick individual will, simply by normally breathing, fill his/her mask with 100,000,000 virus particles. The mask of an uninfected individual in the same room will only screen out perhaps a dozen virus particles.

Posted by: blues | Jun 19 2020 21:34 utc | 31

NOT "the boiling point of water at room temperature" -- rather: "the boiling point of water at sea level". D'uh.

Posted by: blues | Jun 19 2020 21:38 utc | 32

I have always admired your writing, but at a certain moment, one realizes that the game is not worth the candle. This Covid-19 stuff is just risible. Enough already!

Posted by: Tony Lawless | Jun 19 2020 22:02 utc | 33

New outbreaks in China

Noticed a pattern, whenever a few new cases show up in Wuhan, the Chinese authorities work aggressively to contain it and succeed but the western MSM portrays is as a sign of failure rather than congratulate them for being proactive and cautious. They have Gordon Chang waiting in the Green Room, as soon as China reports one new case he pops out and informs us that the Chinese were lying to us all along. I can set my watch to it.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jun 19 2020 22:05 utc | 34

When you wear a mask all day, I can't imagine what it does to the lungs? You would be breathing in a soup of virus particles from your own exhalation, as if you are living in a toxic room. A little like eating your own faecal soup!

If you cannot breathe in fresh air then perhaps the mask becomes your own death sentence?

How long is a mask good for? Do you have to discard the mask every one hour for a new one? Every half hour, every five minutes? After each cough?

Posted by: Ric G | Jun 19 2020 22:16 utc | 35

California has just made masks mandatory...So I will be safe from the OC "libertarians" for a while.

Posted by: donten | Jun 19 2020 22:21 utc | 36

@trailer trash #11 re:

That doesn't mean US created and/or released the virus, just the usual opportunism.

Yep. As I've said to others, you wouldn't try to rob a bank with a fake gun, would you?

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Jun 19 2020 22:25 utc | 37

juliania @30--

Thanks for your reply and mighty attempt to make sense of what was a roughly translated article. The mother/father coronavirus has existed for many years, so the fact that it can survive for 20+ years in a frozen state would be easy to obtain. You'll recall that one of the fears of thawing permafrost is the release of long frozen pathogens capable of wreaking havoc in the current environment. As I wrote back in January, humanity has always faced unseen enemies--pathogens--which societies have constructed various defenses against depending on their ideology. The Outlaw US Empire's social contract states that one of the missions of the federal government is to "provide for the common defence," which would certainly include defence against unseen enemies that at the time were present in every city making them dangerous places to reside. Trump's defunding the agencies charged with providing such defences is further worsened by his defunding of other vital agencies, particularly the FDA and EPA. All such defunding I term Treasonous, and Trump's not the only traitor. Judging New Zealand's efforts, you chose the wrong nation in which to emigrate. If I didn't have my current Life-Partner, I'd leave despite my age, which saddens and enrages me.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 19 2020 22:30 utc | 38

Dr Wellington Yueh @37--

Well known people are robbing banks at this very instant without using a gun--fake or real--at all; and they're very successful as they always get away with their theft.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 19 2020 22:34 utc | 39

This should be an interesting experiment in viral evolution.

Will some states, thinking they have the virus "under control", try to prevent travel from others where it is running free?

Anyway, I agree with "Posted by: snow_watcher | Jun 19 2020 18:14 utc | 6". I am not surprised by the way things have gone here, it's been a long time since we have people in government with the knowledge and will to actually govern in the public interest, and the higher they go, the less they know or care.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 19 2020 22:47 utc | 40

AMC Theatres reverses course and will require customers to wear masks

"This announcement prompted an intense and immediate outcry from our customers, and it is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of masks," Aron said in a statement on Friday. "At AMC Theatres, we think it is absolutely crucial that we listen to our guests. Accordingly, and with the full support of our scientific advisors, we are reversing course and are changing our guest mask policy."

. . .

AMC said that it will also sell masks for $1 at its box offices.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 19 2020 22:54 utc | 41

The only way to fight the coronavirus pandemic is with a functional national government implementing public health measures of universal testing, contact tracing and isolation of the infected. Where corporate neoliberalism is in control, the USA, UK and Sweden, a conscious decision was made not to give power back to the national governments to tax, regulate and use these old fashion methods to defeat the virus. These nations are following their amoral aristocratic ideology and are allowing their citizens to die in order to keep the rich in the money.

The Elite are gambling that a lid can be placed on the unrest by police/mercenaries, surveillance, and propaganda until a for-profit treatment or vaccine becomes available. That the hundreds of thousands of Americans, Britons or Swedes are dying is of no matter to the top 10% in these nations.

The Western Establishment is also in full blown denial. The Empire has fallen. North and South America are sick continents that will have to be quarantined from the coronavirus free nations for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jun 19 2020 23:05 utc | 42

The local 751 bed hospital has exactly one covid patient. All other hospital functions are at a minimum or entirely shutdown. This In a community ostensibly far harder hit than any of those states graphed in b’s top post. What epidemic? All that is happening is they keep testing, the more they test the more false positives they get. PCR tests are useless for diagnostics. No one is sick and no one is dying except nursing home residents who were dying anyway.

There is an irreducible number who read the NYT, wear gloves, wash the mail, wash the groceries, will not come out of hiding until there is a vaccine. Or they die first. Since there has never been a vaccine for a Coronavirus, or a rhinovirus, or a good vaccine for a flu virus lots of the fearful are going to expire waiting.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 19 2020 23:09 utc | 43

follow-up to my comment @Jun19 18:07 #5

U.N. sets up inquiry into racism after George Floyd death

U.N. sets up inquiry into racism after George Floyd death.... The mandate also asks U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to examine government responses to peaceful protests, including alleged use of excessive force, and deliver findings in a year’s time.

. . .

The text was watered down during closed-door negotiations from an initial draft explicitly calling for a U.N. commission of inquiry on racism in the United States and elsewhere.

“It is absurd that the final resolution passed by the United Nations strips mention of the United States, where police kill people, particularly Black people, at alarmingly higher rates compared to other developed countries,” said Jamil Dakwar of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which led 600 activist groups in calling for the urgent debate.

“The United Nations needs to do its job — not get bullied out of doing it — and hold the United States accountable,” he said in a statement.

. . .

During the debate, Western delegations including Australia, Germany, Italy, Poland and the European Union said that the United States should not be singled out.

Activists said that Australia had been particularly active in negotiations to take the spotlight off the United States.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 19 2020 23:09 utc | 44

Why the focus on cases?. Most cases are simply mild flu. Deaths are in decline and most hospitals , especially outside of urban areas are near empty. Unfortunately tracking hospitalizations and ICU usage seems hard to do with my Google skills.

So long as they do more testing case counts will rise. These tests have false positives so many cases are false positives. Hard to calculate how many when we don't know the tests specificity (self validated by mfr) or the disease prevalence

33% of Covid deaths occurred in urban areas of 5 cities having 6% of the countries population (NYC, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia). 40% of covid deaths occurred in long term care facilities for the elderly .

According to CDC DATA Only 5 states had 10% or more excess deaths and 37 states had no more than 5% excess deaths

40% of these excess deaths were in nursing homes, and as many as 25% excess deaths in areas like NYC were attributed to the lockdowns themselves (stress induced heart attacks/strokes, delayed or denial of health care, suicides, etc)

Curiously deaths among infants nationwide declined up to 40% by June (150 fewer deaths per week from the normal 400 per week) possibly due to fewer vaccinations when they may cause more harm in the first year of life

Anyways, one should expect an uptick in cases as those coming out of lockdown now get more exposure (with suppressed immune systems due to lack of sun exposure and low Vit D) and states ramp up testing. The goal should not be to eliminate cases but to keep the HC SYSTEM operating and its far from being overloaded. Its Best people get exposed in summer before the anticipated 2nd wave. That way there will be fewer folks to infect as they will be partially immunized. Many people indeed are naturally immune and don't even produce antibodies to clear the virus (relying on innate and cellular defenses), so antibody tests drastically underestimate community exposure.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jun 19 2020 23:24 utc | 45

I live in France. From monday 22nd June people can travel more than 100 kilometers from home and people from outside the country can enter without travel resrictions.
However when I go out I wear a mask as do many others. People serving in shops wear a face shield.
As I am one of those persons at risk of death from contracting the Coronavirus, my doctor has advised me not to allow any visitors from other countries to visit until the Spring of 2021.
I don’t know what the figures of infection are but national T.V. has been warning people of a second infection arriving this winter.
It seems some European countries as was noted above are taking the crisis more seriously than others.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Jun 19 2020 23:24 utc | 46

Crap curve.
The only thing to be counted, as the tests are just bullshit, are deads, even though there are very dubious way to play that game.
And according to those results, the US are not worse than France or Spain.

Posted by: olé olé | Jun 19 2020 23:27 utc | 47

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 19 2020 23:09 utc | 44


I said many times - in the vast majority of cases, the EU (Europe) is propping up and covering up the US Empire.

They are eager puppets and they can not exist without the Empire. They simply degenerated due to long puppetry where the US is the Alpha and the Omega and history starts with Big Daddy US liberating them from themselves in 1945.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 19 2020 23:30 utc | 48

So I will be safe from the OC "libertarians" for a while.
My sister lives in Newport Beach, and I guess the anti mask thing is a big deal.
Darwin in action.
The less stupid rich people the better.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 19 2020 23:31 utc | 49

119,061 deaths


Over twice the deaths of Vietnam War for the US.
Of course the war deaths took 5+ years.

Not 4 months like our current situation.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 19 2020 23:38 utc | 50

“The primary function of a mask is not to protect the person who wears it, but to protect the other persons who are around.

Theaters are closed rooms in which people sit together for a longer time in often somewhat sticky air. Like churches they are prime location for potential super-spreader events. One infected person who does not wear a mask in a theater can infect many other attendants, even if they do wear masks.”

I am a bit more understanding of mandatory mask wearing on public transportation or retail outlets. People don't have many choices to travel or shop so I go along with it.

However, going to a movie theater is a choice. I am a big believer in Freedom of Choice. If you choose to attend a theater knowing in advance masks are not mandatory, thats your choice. For a healthy person under 55 the risk of death or hospitalization from this virus is not any greater than flu. Those are facts from CDC. If you want to protect your eyes from viruses wear goggles.

I personally cant wear a mask for long periods because i feel oxygen deprived. Real or imaginary I cant say, but I saw one study with surgeons where prolonged wearing of surgical
Masks significantly reduced lung oxygen levels. Some medical conditions make mask wearing dangerous. Oxygen is necessary to clear infection in the lungs and nasal passages so I am not confident prolonged mask wearing might not increase the risk of infection or worsen an existing infection. Sadly there are few useful studies. I guess not enough of a profit motive to fund them.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jun 19 2020 23:42 utc | 51

The US pandemic response risks widening the economic divide

A report by the Joint Committee on Taxation found that 82 per cent of those who stood to benefit from these provisions earn at least $1m and only 5 per cent make less than $200,000 annually.

USD 200,000 threshold cuts out a good chunk of the American middle class.

Posted by: vk | Jun 19 2020 23:55 utc | 52

Posted by: lysias | Jun 19 2020 18:05 utc | 3 Also, when I wear one, my glasses get steamed up.

I'm still working on a way to prevent that. I've been experimenting with putting several rows of medical tape over the bridge of the nose. It is the hollows under the eyes alongside the nose that allow the hot air from the breath to flow upwards and steam the glasses. Blocking that route should fix it. However, one strip of tape doesn't work well - I think it requires perhaps three or so stuck together to make a wider band.

One could use any tape, but medical tape is designed to come off more readily.

The other solution usually recommended is to wash the glasses in soapy water, then let them air dry, which produces a soap film on the glasses which allegedly prevents steaming. Sort of like those anti-fog sprays used on car windshields. I don't see that as useful as one has to clean the glasses multiple times a day to achieve that. Tape would be a one-time solution.

We'll see what works.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 19 2020 23:57 utc | 53

Influenza deaths US:
2018-2019 season's 34,200 flu-related deaths.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 19 2020 23:59 utc | 54

In North Texas where I live, the number of shoppers who have abandoned masks at the grocery stores is increasing. Half wear masks and half don't. The smaller organic food stores look safer with more mask wearers. I have worked as a substitute teacher for a long while; but this year the emails from the local school district are advising staff of a new protocol that will include both virtual classrooms and real ground classes. When parents register their kids this summer, they will have the option of choosing normal classes at School, or to keep the kids home, and let them interact with teachers on the computer.

Without my school gig there is no possibility to pay rent. From a practical, mundane view the necessity to accept the risk seems hard to avoid. The school district has promised to provide masks and gloves to staff. They may be hesitant to keep teachers and substitutes who are older people, because the older folks face a greater risk from the disease. It is hard to know what to do.

I'm sure this precarious sense of the future is one which is worrying million of people.

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 19 2020 23:59 utc | 55

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jun 19 2020 23:24 utc | 45
Posted by: olé olé | Jun 19 2020 23:27 utc | 47

People who died today:
EU (population 430 million people) ~ 170
USA (population 330 million people) ~ 710

Obviously the situation currently in the US is way worse than in the EU. The difference will increase further as new cases spike in the US but not in the EU, leading to additional people dying in the US.

Oh, and several more countries for today.

China 0 dead
Australia 0 dead
Japan 0 dead
South Korea 0 dead
Taiwan 0 dead
New Zealand 0 dead
Vietnam 0 dead
USA 710 dead

Are the brains of retarded americans claiming that "there is no problem" capable of processing this information?

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 20 2020 0:00 utc | 56

As for theaters, I did read an article - in fact, I think it was Tomas Pueyo's last piece - that suggested that theaters might not be as bad as churches. Because in theaters, most people are quiet and don't talk (although they still breath). As long as some distance is maintained between them, given the size of the theater and depending on the air movement and ventilation, it might not be as infectious an environment as a church. In church, people are packed in, they sing, they talk, etc., which makes them very dangerous.

The comment above about how the theaters aren't full makes sense, too. I usually only go to a movie after it's been out for a while, to avoid the crowd. So when I go, there are maybe a dozen people in the theater with me. Most of them are sitting in the back rows (for some stupid reason, people think movies are TVs and sit back where the screen is smaller), while I tend to sit in the first three or four rows so I can feel "immersed" in the movie (which is the point of going in the first place.)

Finally, I can download movies when they come out on DVD, so I'm not missing much except the experience of seeing it on a larger screen.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 0:02 utc | 57

It seems that recensing COVID infected patients, when done by the antibodies' presence, will provide false results as these antibodies are not specific to Covid19.

Therefore we may infer, falsely, that COVID has been mild or even imperceptible to many people.

If the count is made upon the presence of the actual virus, then we may have a better notion of the real virulence of the disease.

That kind of test costs more and yield slower results than the antibodies count. But it is very reliable.

Posted by: CarlD | Jun 20 2020 0:05 utc | 58

Kay Fabe, "I am a bit more understanding of mandatory mask wearing on public transportation or retail outlets...Masks significantly reduced lung oxygen levels."

Masks just need to stop droplets can be cloth based, they don't have to be super impermeable but still only you can say what you consider comfortable. A movie is about 2 - 3 hrs of non-strenuous activity, I don't see how it is so different from wearing it on an airplane, or long bus / train trip.

I heard a doctor make an interesting claim that contrary to popular belief, the air on a passenger jet is very pure, highly filtered and blows downward and therefore very safe. It makes me wonder about the air system in a theater, if it is good then AMC should lead with that.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jun 20 2020 0:09 utc | 59

Posted by: vk | Jun 19 2020 18:30 utc | 10 That's because the main entrance for the virus in aerosol is the eyes, not the mouth and nose.

You have a link for that statement? I keep hearing that nose, mouth and eyes are the primary means of entry - but eyes are a distant third. They don't breath.

The problem with eyes is *rubbing* the eyes with hands that have virus particles on them. I have seen no evidence that virus particles in the air are particularly likely to be a main route of infection via the eyes, although they are a main route through the nose and mouth for obvious reasons. You suck virus particles in by breathing.

Of course, if someone directly coughs in your face, then presumably you get hit with a full load. That's why we maintain distance. But even the, the primary route will be through the nose and mouth. It's also likely that a far bigger load goes through the nose and mouth than the eyes, and it is speculated that the likelihood of infection depends on the viral load.

In any event, I wear glasses, which likely provides a fair amount of protection from random airborne virus particles.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 0:11 utc | 60

Posted by: Trisha | Jun 19 2020 18:43 utc | 12 mind-numbing ear-shattering fit-inducing spectacles aimed at teenage boys with no redeeming values (the movies or the boys).

That would be me - excepting the "teenage" part. LOL

The only movies I go see are "spectacles" that are either sci-fi, spy, action or some other similar genre. I've been looking forward to seeing the new Black Widow movie, the new Fast and Furious movie, and others of that ilk.

Rom-com movies are anathema and should be banned in the name of human decency. LOL

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 0:14 utc | 61

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Jun 19 2020 22:25 utc | 37 you wouldn't try to rob a bank with a fake gun, would you?

You'd be surprised what people have tried to rob banks with. For the record, I used a Glock 17.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 0:24 utc | 62

Sputnik has published its own version of the Global Times article I linked upthread and is somewhat clearer but not as informative. It also published this article that contains a different type of important news:

"A Thursday news release [Link at Original] from the ISS detailed that a recent analysis of 40 wastewater samples collected from October 2019 to February 2020, alongside 24 control samples, had identified the earliest traces of SARS-CoV-2 RNA from water obtained on December 18, 2019, in the Italian cities of Milan and Turin. The first reported cases emerged from Wuhan, China, on December 31....

"A higher concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater correlates with a higher amount of infected individuals nearby."

More evidence proving the falsity of Trump's accusations against China.

Kay Fabe @52--

It seems we're damned either way as what's reported above means the virus will be in sea water and eventually most everywhere, and it can survive and travel globally in frozen foods, but probably not pressure canned foods. It appears heat from the normal cooking process will kill the virus; however, I have read several studies where entire viral concentrations stood up to 60C heat for quite some time with significant fractions surviving. The latter poses issues for those of us who enjoy our red meats under 140F/60C, or any other foods not being heated well beyond those temps.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2020 0:24 utc | 63

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 20 2020 0:00 utc | 57 Are the brains of retarded americans claiming that "there is no problem" capable of processing this information?

No, they aren't. That is a worse problem than the virus itself. In fact, it is why the virus is a problem, compared to those countries where it isn't.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 0:32 utc | 64

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2020 0:24 utc | 64

These cases where the virus survived at 60 C for 30 minutes are cases of dry heat with low humidity. From the studies i have seen, high humidity plus high temp is very effective against the virus. The virus does not like high humidity, therefore hot liquids will be more effective at killing it compared to dry heat.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 20 2020 0:32 utc | 65

I think this is part of our master plan of avoiding a huge second wave (and subsequent waves) ... we'll just continue with wave #1 until we've all got it. Very simple, really. Once 60% or so of us get this sometime this fall, we'll all get back to normal.

In re to the difference with the EU, Americans (and Brits too, who are also "botching" the response by these measures) are simply far more used to individual rights, responsibility to protect self rather than social contract, etc.

Posted by: Caliman | Jun 20 2020 0:38 utc | 66

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2020 0:24 utc | 64 The latter poses issues for those of us who enjoy our red meats under 140F/60C, or any other foods not being heated well beyond those temps.

Opposite that, however, I've seen no evidence that the virus can be reliably transmitted via food. If you eat food with virus particles on it, allegedly your stomach acids will kill it. It's likely that only as uncooked food (vegetables, etc.) enters your mouth, where the ACE2 receptors are, that you might get infected.

I always remove the top leaves of lettuce, and I wash my tomatoes before eating, so my guess is the likelihood of food transmission is minimal. You have to think about how likely is it that there are virus particles on any particular item of food, then the probability of it remaining viable until you buy it, then remaining viable when it is cooked or washed, then actually infecting you when you eat it. That's a matter of cumulative probability, which mathematically gets smaller the more steps there are, as Nassim Taleb pointed out with masks.

For the most part, however, the vast majority of persons who caught it appear to have gotten it directly from being near an infectious person for at least ten minutes, inhaling their breathing/talking/singing/yelling air, with a much smaller percentage getting it from touching an infected surface (estimated at only ten percent of cases.) So getting it from food is likely an even more distant probability.

That said, as I've said before, getting this thing is a crapshoot. It's a matter of greater or lesser probabilities. As they say, "to play the odds, you have to know the odds." So I take steps that would minimize my risk, but in the end there's only so much you can do. I assume some people have caught it by wildly improbable methods.

It reminds me of the Marty Feldman skit decades ago. He goes to visit an insurance agent and proceeds to drive the agent crazy by asking if the insurance being offered would protect me from insanely unlikely events, such as "being struck by a meteorite whilst sunbathing at the beach" or "falling into a pit filled with hedgehogs whilst playing cricket." Eventually he asks if he is protected against an enraged insurance agent, whereupon the agent says, "No!" and proceeds to strangle him.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 0:46 utc | 67

@2 dp

That is a fantastic idea. Very, very few apolitical films these days that transcend the medium into worthwhile art. Very few popcorn flicks too without eye-gouging and deadening computer generated special effects that ruin imaginative immersion in the film's world.

The last great film I saw in the theater was Mad Max: Fury Road and there isn't even a close 2nd. That film was directed by George Miller, an 80 year old dude with more excitement in his direction than any young, coked-up wannabe-director from Hollywood could muster. A journeyman lady editor won the Oscar that year and very deservedly so.

The situation is ripe for Drive-In reemergence. A lot of old horror, cult classic films can show at midnight, giving kids something to do, too. Joe-Bob Briggs (John Bloom) is a resurfaced movie host on Shudder's streaming service. Always a kick to watch and a cultural treasure.

I have some AMCs close by to me and they can't even bother to keep up their grounds. Truly pathetic curb appeal inviting you into a dingy environment being cleaned by part-time minimum wage kiddos. Corporate America is dying a truly horrific death. Love to see it.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 20 2020 0:51 utc | 68

Posted by: Caliman | Jun 20 2020 0:38 utc | 67 Once 60% or so of us get this sometime this fall, we'll all get back to normal.

It's not that simple.

Everything You Need to Know About Herd Immunity
It’s the ultimate goal, but attaining it can be difficult (and deadly)

The bigger problem with achieving herd immunity through infections is that it defeats the purpose of reaching herd immunity at all.

“The whole point is to minimize death and morbidity, but even if there is a high rate of asymptomatic or mild disease, you’re still going to have millions of deaths,” Rasmussen says. “What good is herd immunity if millions of people have to die to get there?”

Remember that threshold of 60% to 80% to bring about herd immunity to Covid-19? There’s a reason for it being a range.

Jenkins says, “60% is often bandied around as the level you need to drive the reproductive number below one, but it still takes time for transmission to go down.” But adds, “the final size of people who might be infected before you see no more transmission would be higher, more like 80 or 85%.”

Researchers call this “overshoot,” where “an epidemic doesn’t magically stop when you reach herd immunity,” as University of Washington biology professor Carl Bergstrom, PhD, described it on Twitter. “You reach herd immunity not when the epidemic is nearly over, but rather *precisely* at the epidemic peak,” he explained.

Murray offers this analogy: “I think of it like a train. It’s going along slowly, then it’s getting up to speed, and then you pull the brake — but it’s not going to stop immediately. It’s got to slow down.”

With a current U.S. population of around 330 million people, a 60% infection rate is about 198 million people. Using the low estimate of a 0.5% death rate, nearly a million people will die (for context, as of May 13, the official death toll was just over 80,000). If the fatality rate is closer to 3%, nearly 6 million will die.

And that’s just when the brake is pulled, when infections start to taper down. Reaching 80% means 1.3 to 7.9 million dead Americans — with no guarantee transmission will stop.

Of course, if you're Trump (or me, for that matter), you don't give a shit how many people die as long as it isn't you.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 0:52 utc | 69

@ 70 rsh.. i think caliman was joking... and making fun of the idea of a 2nd wave, when an ongoing 1st wave is the approach the usa seems to be taking here..

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2020 0:55 utc | 70

did they ever try to get it under control?

I mean once they figured out that it killed - or rather has killed predominantly black and brown people in the big blue cities - those that they consider expendable they stopped even pretending to care.

so i don't think they gave up, they used the crisis as another tax payers paid for gift to the very rich and connected and the rest can just go find a ditch n die.

Posted by: Sabine | Jun 20 2020 0:58 utc | 71

RSH @68--

See my comment @16 above for link to article about virus being transported with frozen foods.

Passer by @66--

Thanks for sharing that info. I do the vast majority of food related work at our home, from procurement to production.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2020 1:01 utc | 72


That is correct. Lots of people will die to achieve herd immunity. In this case, unlike the 1918-20 Flu, most of the deaths are the very old and very sick.

Perhaps we need to think of it this way: there's never been a novel cold/flu/coronavirus that was mass communicable and that was NOT stopped by "herd immunity." In other words, there is no alternative, unless we are willing to shut ourselves up for years, which we simply are not willing to do.

Even in the heavily controlled society of China, it's coming back and will keep coming back. In EU countries, every time they've tried to "relax" it's come back. This coming fall/winter will be a doozy.

Posted by: Caliman | Jun 20 2020 1:04 utc | 73

regarding my comment - no war on covid from the usa... they can do most any kind of war, but not one which involves some introspection.. it seems the usa is only capable of dealing with threats - real, but mostly imagined - coming from outside itself... so, instead of a war on covid, more energy is put into a war on china - an external threat... if the usa ever did stop to examine itself, it would be a real shock to the rest of the world.. instead it is war on everything except covid... how about a war on narcissism? i guess that wouldn't fly either..

i wonder how accurate these tests really are....

i see today usa has 33 thousand new cases and brazil has 55 thousand new cases... previously usa was averaging about 20,000 new cases per day... meanwhile the death rates in the have continued to go down from over 1000 a day to around 700 for today.. meanwhile brazil has over 1000 dead a day at present.. latin america seems to be suffering high numbers of new cases and deaths and that doesn't seem to be letting up.. all the anomalies in the numbers are a source of curiousity in my mind as to why... why do some countries fair much better then others?? masks might account for some of it, but i don't know that australia or new zealand were using masks in great numbers, and yet their numbers are very low... it is almost like it is an area of the planet that is suffering less and another area that is suffering more.. and as for europe - it seems the western european countries - uk, france, belgium, netherlands and a few others are suffering much higher numbers then the countries of former yugoslavia, and other more eastern countries in europe - hungary, poland, ukraine... an exception might be portugal which is doing better then its neighbour spain... the scanadavian countries with the exception of sweden are fairing fairly well too.. i am curious what conclusions can be drawn from all these different stats..

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2020 1:07 utc | 74

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 19 2020 21:12 utc | 27

"Would you send your kids into this diseased mess of a country if you were a parent in China or Korea or Nigeria? No, of course not........ Keep your eyes on America's STEM graduation rates. They are going to drop like a rock."

William, thanks may I expand it? Did you know worldwide "last two PISA test results for 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance on mathematics, science, and reading".

For below PISA tests consider nation States - "Thailand", "Singapore" "HongKong", "China", "Malaysia", "Vietnam", "Taiwan", the 15-year-old pupils most likely are "Chinese". Chinese migrated all over the world after foreign occupation/invasions or simply China century of humiliation "

Go Wilkpedia search for :Programme for International Student Assessment (Sorrie no PISA website will screw up webpage)

PISA 2015 ranking summary
PISA 2018 ranking summary

If you ask me are the Chinese smart? Hell NO! They're like any human all walks of life around the world. I believe many of them are stoopid but forced! If you place a black or indigenous aboriginal from Australian outback soon after birth in a Chinese family home, most likely do well in school grow up - maybe not a doctor or scientist but hardworking person, raise a decent family and law abiding citizen.

Posted by: JC | Jun 20 2020 1:20 utc | 75

Posted by: Caliman | Jun 20 2020 1:04 utc | 74 there's never been a novel cold/flu/coronavirus that was mass communicable and that was NOT stopped by "herd immunity." In other words, there is no alternative, unless we are willing to shut ourselves up for years, which we simply are not willing to do.

The issue is whether we can control it long enough to 1) develop an effective treatment that prevents people dying from it, and 2) prevent the hospital system from being overwhelmed.

In other words, herd immunity is fine - provided it takes a long enough time that the effects of the virus can be controlled. Trying to do it all at once is a recipe for disaster. OTOH, if one can take the necessary steps to avoid being infected, then allowing everyone else to get messed up is irrelevant.

That's my approach. I'm already heavily self-isolated in my normal day-to-day life. I wear the masks, wash hands, use hand sanitizer and food service gloves. So I'm as protected as anyone can be short of a full haz-mat suit. So if everyone else wants to get infected, fine. My odds remain pretty good. The only risk I have is when I venture out to buy supplies. Since I maintain adequate distancing and wear the mask and gloves, my odds of getting infected are lower than those who don't.

So, in other words: fuck 'em. Let one or two million people die. I couldn't care less. I don't have anyone at risk except myself.

But it's the wrong approach. But it is the approach the US is going to do. And I don't want anyone telling me how much they "care" about people when this is the approach they're following in this crisis.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 1:40 utc | 76

This is where one of those rare posts of yours that come up and I half shrug b. One graph and a plausible yes true slant on it isn't information.
The us singled out is not in the right light. All Western countries are in the same sleeping bag of differing ways to combat this plague. All are within a small percentage of being effective in combating it.The US is special but we all know why. I understand the value of a single human life and hate the current "capatalist" economic system that many of us would like to see made" more sensible" but am increasingly discouraged by efforts to point out the obvious.
Who the fuck wants to sit in a half empty theatre without being able to take off a mask (can u eat popcorn or drink 4 beer( I can) during a movie with mandatory (don't take your mask off) shit show. It's a cultural/humanitarian effort to even go to the movies as we used to. No one gives a fuck anymore. This whole covid nightmare will go the way human nature dictates " we suffered now we wanna go see a movie".
I see way too many examples of masks just being a fake shield. Two of 4 pharmacists wearing one properly ( one below the nose one below the chin) to people stocking the shelves interacting with both customers and pharmacists. It's all the illusion of security or protection when yes the science points in a certain direction but human nature is otherwise. How can u constantly be afraid of something u can't even see? The second wave will hit and noone will give a shit. Fuck grandma! Just seeing the future here.

Posted by: PleaseBeleafMe | Jun 20 2020 1:47 utc | 77

This virus doesn't make for good entertainment. The 1918 flu was very dramatic. It killed tens of millions around the world. You could catch it and be dead in 12 hours, ventilators or no ventilators. This covid19 is just weak tea, hardly deserves the name "bioweapon". Americans don't respect it, so they're saying shutting down the economy is not worth it. If more people died when they got it, it would be a different story. 120,000 dead? Not enough! Here's what would need to happen for this virus to earn the respect of every American. Each person would have to know some one who got very sick and/or died. This has to be some one you know, not some one on tv. Right now, the news is not trusted. Trumpsters who live in a fantasy world like their leader, call it fake news. I don't know anyone in my network of friends & family who has it or has died from it. So it will have to get worse before Americans will take it more seriously. Americans have trouble deciding what's fake and what's not until reality personally bites them on the ass.

Posted by: jadan | Jun 20 2020 2:00 utc | 78

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2020 1:07 utc | 75

i see today usa has 33 thousand new cases and brazil has 55 thousand new cases... previously usa was averaging about 20,000 new cases per day... meanwhile the death rates in the have continued to go down from over 1000 a day to around 700 for today.. meanwhile brazil has over 1000 dead a day at present

The US death rate has dropped to below 1,000/day (remember they hovered around 2,000/day for a while) because of previous efforts at containing the spread, daily new cases dropped to below 20,000/day for a while. Now that everything is opening up and more people are shunning wearing masks the daily cases are rising again, to new heights. The daily deaths are a lagging indicator and soon will rise to begin to reflect the increased caseload.

Having said that, I believe treatment protocols are probably getting better as doctors and scientists learn more about how best to treat the symptoms. So there may be some reduction in deaths due to that learning curve improvement.

It looks like Fridays are peak days for reported new cases in each week;

June 19 - 33,539
June 12 - 27,378
June 5 - 25,393

This week the daily trend for new cases clearly rose significantly.

As suspect as the US numbers are due to manipulation and under reporting, the Brazil numbers are probably even worse. I saw that 55K total today and was shocked. However, check Brazil's numbers again tomorrow to see if that 55K sticks.

I'm getting numbers from here, I'm guessing the same site as you:

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jun 20 2020 2:10 utc | 79

Frankly, I really hope the second wave mutates and becomes more virulent towards younger people. I'd love to see the panic that causes among all these assholes who couldn't care less how many people die (that includes me, but for different reasons.)

Let's have another 1918! This would force Trump to close the economy again, and then the real SHTF situation would develop. As I've said before, the only thing that will force this country to adapt would be 1) massive economic collapse, or 2) losing a war. Losing the war against the pandemic would be the equivalent.

So let's have it. Let's have five or ten or twenty million dead US citizens. Otherwise, these idiots will just keep muddling along being assholes. I think it was William S. Burroughs who said, "The only thing that gets a human being off his dead ass is a boot up it." So let's have that boot.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 2:13 utc | 80

Posted by: Trisha | Jun 19 2020 18:43 utc | 12

Tell Asians to wear masks and they already have started wearing them before being told so.

Tell USians to wear them and they will indulge in narcissistic ego-driven tirades about their selfish freedumbs while spouting totally-not-racist remarks against Asians.

Posted by: JW | Jun 20 2020 2:31 utc | 81

I mask if you mask but you don’t mask so I ask why I mask when you spat on my doormat and after all that I bleach every surface within reach and teach the wee ones not to hug or the bug will tug down the lungs and the virus has won

Posted by: lizard | Jun 20 2020 2:49 utc | 82

The USian 'Empire is less than 240 years old. We have not yet had a 500 Years War like China.

What do you expect? Narcissistic ego-driven, hell yeah. Will history run out before we learn?

Round eyes are not a single bit different than orient eyes. We see exactly the same things. We just have less history behind us.

And who knows? Maybe the orient eyes may have a bit or so to learn from the round eyes? History is nothing if not paradoxical.

Posted by: blues | Jun 20 2020 2:53 utc | 83

karlof1@38, thanks for your answer. Do we know whether this virus might be paleolithic? Or a modern marriage between two such archetypes? Since it seems to enjoy being frozen...the mind wonders. Thanks for bringing that up. Yes, the land of my birth is in many ways a lovely place to be, but so is this country, or so it ought to be. I'm not unhappy to be here.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 20 2020 2:54 utc | 84

Posted by: Famous Mikey @8
"Your contention that "The primary function of a mask is not to protect the person who wears it, but to protect the other persons who are around" is illogical."

And your "logic" is obviously insufficient to even start understanding medical facts. Good luck.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Jun 20 2020 2:59 utc | 85

> Americans have trouble deciding what's fake and what's not
>until reality personally bites them on the ass.
>Posted by: jadan | Jun 20 2020 2:00 utc | 79

They know the economic devastation is real. There are 50,000 unpaid unemployment claims -- just in Kentucky. The establishment press has found a shiny new object called "Juneteenth" but the catastrophe for 30 million unemployed workers is steady getting worse.

For the county I live in, out of 72,000 people, ten got sick and one died, for the past six months. Meanwhile, about 350 people die every six months from all causes (about 1%). So no one here knows anyone sick or dead from the virus, but the crisis, including getting food, is everywhere.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jun 20 2020 3:13 utc | 86

AMC has altered the initial policy.
It took about 24 hours for AMC to realize the “mask optional” policy was retarded.
AMC will open, but masks required for patrons.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Jun 20 2020 3:13 utc | 87

Just went out around the block for food.

Whereas before here in the Tenderloin, only a certain percentage were wearing masks - far more whites than blacks - on this occasion only about 3 people were wearing masks - and I was one of them. If this is representative of the rest of the city (and it might not be, as the Tenderloin is inhabited by the bottom 2 percent), this city is due for a large spike in the next thirty days.

Currently SF has 3,057 cases, 47 deaths and 112,181 tested. Deaths sat at 46 for a week or more. This has been consistently the case: deaths reach a certain number, then sit there for several days or more before ticking up again.

You can see the trend line here: still on the way up, no signs of plateauing or slowing down. The number of new cases per day has, of course, gone down from a high of around 49 in April to the current 21 - a result of the lockdown. I would expect that to start ticking up over the next thirty days and beyond. It's been as low as 24 before ticking back up to 31 in early June.

As to the "primary purpose of a mask" - it's both to protect the wearer and to protect persons exposed. Doctors and nurses wear them to prevent infection of the patient, and in cases of infectious patients, to protect doctors and nurses from being infected. As has been reported before, the first wave of Wuhan infections infected thousand of doctors and nurses who were wearing surgical masks - intended to protect the *patient*. The subsequent wave of incoming medical personnel from elsewhere in China all wore KN95 masks - intended to protect *them* - none got infected.

As I've said before, not everything is a binary "either-or" situation. But monkeys tend to want to make it so.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 3:18 utc | 88

Looking for stark differences between regions the champion is China vs the rest of the world. Planes, trains, buses and cars were stopped exiting the Wuhan region into the rest of China by the CCP; not planes abroad.
They basically exported a known bio hazard abroad and kept the rest of China clear. Idea developed during SARS CoV1?

the SARS-CoVx naive world outside East Asia struggled with the inexperience of various teams and approaches for this surprise.
Some in the WHO knew more but were overruled:
by the top:

Posted by: Antonym | Jun 20 2020 3:22 utc | 89

A commentary on mask wearing...

Resist the Unraveling of Hope
Things are bad, but they can get better. Just keep your mask on.

In the countless videos pouring down social feeds for over a week of protests across the U.S., the mask is a dividing line. “At these demonstrations, masks are ubiquitous, symbolizing civic action in more ways than one: Even as they protect the community from the virus, they protest the surveillance of the police,” Amanda Hess wrote last week at the New York Times. Indeed, in New York City, police are also refusing to wear face masks despite ongoing official state orders, adding to the danger they pose to peaceful protesters. “It’s symbolic,” Cynthia Godsoe, a demonstrator in New York City told TIME magazine. “They are blatantly snubbing us.”

But denying the need for a mask, and thus the virus, is about more than just picking a political side or believing that this denial can somehow repel the disease. Denying the mask actually means denying that anything must, or can, change. It means favoring the reassertion of the exact economic, political, and ideological systems that were called into question at the onset of the pandemic. Or, as it’s usually expressed: “getting things back to normal.”

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 3:24 utc | 90

AMC Theaters changes course and will require customers to wear face masks

The CEO had said Thursday AMC would not require masks to avoid ‘political controversy’

Posted by: jrhjrhjrh | Jun 20 2020 3:24 utc | 91

Scientists Take Aim at Another Coronavirus Study in a Major Journal
A report on masks relied on unfounded assumptions, researchers charged, and the authors were permitted to choose their own reviewers.

Experts said the paper’s conclusions were similar to those from others — masks do work — but they objected to the methodology as deeply flawed. The researchers assumed that behaviors changed immediately after policy changes, for example, and the study failed to take into account the seismic changes occurring across societies that may have affected the reported incidence of infection.
“There is evidence from other studies that masks help reduce transmission of Covid-19, but this paper does not add to that evidence,” said Linsey Marr, an expert on airborne transmission of viruses at Virginia Tech. (Dr. Molina was Dr. Marr’s postdoctoral adviser.)...

“Let me be clear: I think masks are an important intervention,” said Bill Hanage, one of the signatories and an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “But the paper, as it is, is not in a position to be able to look at mask use compared with other interventions.”

My bold above...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 3:29 utc | 92

Patient zero of the second wave in China found in Beijing:

52-Year-Old Man Is Beijing’s Patient Zero in the New Wave of Coronavirus Cases in China

Posted by: vk | Jun 20 2020 3:35 utc | 93

We Had Every Reason to Be Prepared for This Pandemic
Time and time again, experts foretold of a coronavirus-type outbreak

Let’s rewind to 2011.

The movie Contagion was released to positive reviews and made $136.5 million. Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, and many other talented and well-known actors starred in the film that tells the story of an outbreak of a virus, transmitted from human to human by respiratory droplets which originated in bats in the Far East. Spoiler alert: It’s not a comedy.

The writing has been spread in large, bold, bright letters on every wall possible. From pop culture to academia, from the security community to the medical field. Everything was known, everything was taken into account to an unbelievable precision. So how on earth is it possible that we are today living in a nine-year-old Damon/Paltrow movie?...

At the beginning of March, Dr. Peter Hotez spoke in front of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on Capitol Hill. His hair was a bit messy, his jacket seemed big, and he wore thin, round glasses and a very distinctive dotted bow tie. If you had to draw a scientist, you’d probably draw him. Hotez could have been a hero today. As the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, he has been working with his team on a vaccine for a corona type virus for years. He reached a breakthrough point in 2016, but also reached a problem he couldn’t solve: No one was willing to invest in his research. With no money left, Hotez couldn’t move forward to clinical trials.

In January 2020, data began to emerge out of China regarding a new type of coronavirus. Hotez saw the figures and couldn’t believe it. His work could have resulted in a formula that — with a few tweaks — would turn into a Covid-19 vaccine. It could have happened but didn’t. The work went unfinished, nobody wanted to invest. Even in today’s climate, Hotez said, a potential investor told him he’d prefer to wait and see whether Covid-19 is actually here to stay before he decides whether to invest in a vaccine. The best business, after all, is repeat business.

Well, there you have it. We could have had a vaccine *four years ago* - but no one wanted to invest. Including the government.

Then there's this:

Some 40% of the key components (APIs) for antibiotics used in the U.S. are made in China. These components are then moved to India, which manufactures 80% of the drugs. This causes a big problem, as Erin Fox, senior director of drug information from the University of Utah explained to Forbes: “If China and India decided to simply stop selling raw material to the U.S. — we would not be able to make about 80% of the drugs that we need.”

So Trump wants to talk about "decoupling"? Is he prepared to force the drug companies to manufacture domestically? I bet not - his drug company campaign donors would crucify him.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 20 2020 3:38 utc | 94

comment flooding is a form of thread disruption. I'm looking at you, Dick.

Posted by: lizard | Jun 20 2020 3:48 utc | 95

juliania 84

Going by the genome sequencing, its a newly evolved strain.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 20 2020 4:00 utc | 96

"Little covid victim, little covid victim, let me come in."
"No, no, by the hair on my chinny chin chin."
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."

Posted by: blues | Jun 20 2020 4:05 utc | 97

I only got about 10% through this thread before the whining from deluded amerikans became too much.

I particularly liked the moronic claim "that wearing a mask clouded up my eyeglasses" this is why a mask has a thin strip of flexible metal running along one edge in the centre. Make sure the strip is in the top edge of the mask. Push down on this strip each side of yer nose and breath stops leaking up into yer eyes and is instead directed through the filter material. Most people suss that one about 2 seconds into wearing their first mask.

Which brings me to the point of this post.
I am joyful to see this 'strong case of the flu' has moved out of urban coastal areas into what the clinton harridan deprecatingly refers to as flyover country.

Arizona where new covid infections have been increasing exponentially since the beginning of June has now hit 2200 new cases a day with no respite - no evidence of a 'flattening curve'.
Texas where only sissies wear masks, has also had a huge increase through June reflected in the fact that by June 17 Texas had reached 3683 cases per day on a curve that is only a few degrees off perpendicular.

Even coastal redneckville Florida is managing to infect more than 2800 citizens a day.

Karma is a bitch - all those arsehole territories chocka with drongos who refuse to recognise an inconvenient reality are about to cop a big education in payback.

Up until this weekend Oklahoma and its arsehole buddy Kansas have been doing OK esp Kansas which peaked in May but unfortunately now seems to be increasing.
That will be nothing compared to how both states will be 10 days after orangeman's suicidal maga fest, as having lived in that region I know that half of the rednecks of South Kansas will want to trek to get infected see king drongo.
Imagine anyone wearing a mask at that . There will be the type of people who not only won't wear a mask themselves, they'll regard anyone who does as some sort of commie n##ger.

Blowins from all over the south west including TX & Az will front to pay obeisance to the great deceiver so on the burgeoning figures across the South west it is inconceivable that there will not be a considerable cohort of covid 19 infected, liberally (pun intended) sprinkled throughout this crowd of dingbats.

So please dropkicks, do make sure no one near you has a mask on, the sooner the world is rid of people who imagine science is some sort of elective where you only believe the parts most convenient to you, the better the world can be.

This kinda reminds me of the Indian retail lobbyist I saw on TV this morning, he gave a lecture on how Indian retail outlets would no longer stock or use products made in a China.
A journalist piped up and said "That will be tough how do you feel about ditching your Iphone 11? It was conspicuously attached to the dingbat's belt, the fool said "Iphones are not made in China" when told that more than 80% of the components were indeed China manufactured he just went into denial, much to the amusement of the assembled reporters.

Well, the tossage being spouted in here is just as foolish. People can pick up & discard opinions as much as they choose, others will consider them as most do with delusional types, but denying a reality based on rational use of proven data is much tougher, especially when the denial can lead to life or death situations.

When the shit does fly I won't celebrate but I will feel somewhat relieved that fools have been forced to unavoidably consider their foolishness.

Posted by: A User | Jun 20 2020 4:08 utc | 98

If masks work, why were there tens of thousands dead from flu, every year, in the last decade alone ? Who is responsible for their deaths, if they could have been prevented by wearing masks ? Does this mean we'll be wearing masks FOREVER, from now on, to 'save lives' ?

Posted by: AlainJ | Jun 20 2020 5:06 utc | 99

every intelligence agencies all over the world analyse world nation’s preparedness in biowarfare epidemic and they found the easy targets in western nations including the easiest target USA

imagine if any country want to destroy US with real bio warfare attack , multiple designed virus and bacterial attack released in US cities , different in each state..

how easy it will be , because of US own citizen’s abhorence to safety rules

what best way to release a future biowarfare germs ? maybe in political rallies ?

Posted by: milomilo | Jun 20 2020 5:23 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.