Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 09, 2020

The Pandemic Reveals The Real Disease Of Our Societies

This morning I saw this map on the Washington Post homepage.

Reported cases per 100,000 residents by county since last week

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I immediately remembered that I had earlier seen a map with a similar pattern.

It was in my April 2 Moon of Alabama post. Here is the section as posted three months ago:

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Charles M. Blow @CharlesMBlow - 11:51 UTC · Apr 2, 2020
My god, I see a disaster brewing
#COVID19Pandemic #RacialTimeBomb

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It is quite obvious from the maps that areas where more people of color live are hit much harder by Covid-19 than other areas.

A British study published in Nature which used health care data of 17 million people pseudonymously linked to some 11,000 Covid-19 deaths found that people of color in Britain are much more likely to die of Covid-19:

Compared with people with white ethnicity, Black and South Asian people were at higher risk even after adjustment for other factors (HR 1.48, 1.30–1.69 and 1.44, 1.32–1.58, respectively).

A 'Hazard Ratio' (HR) of 1.48 means that these people were 48% more likely to die of the disease than the average person.

A similar observation has been made in U.S. meat processing plants:

More than 16,200 U.S. meat plant workers had tested positive for Covid-19 by the end of May and 86 had died, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report Tuesday. [..] Of the cases that disclosed race and ethnicity, 87% involved minority workers -- with employees identified as Hispanic accounting for 56% of infections despite making up less than a third of the overall workforce.

There is no biological difference between various ethnicities with regards to Covid-19. There is no scientific theory that attributes this to any other causes than social issues - i.e. low income, bad housing and lack of access to care.

This is an issue of class, not of identity. Black and Hispanic people happen to be in the lowest one. Unfortunately neither the British nor the CDC study have parameters that cover income or other social indicators. I am sure that they would otherwise show that deprived white people have the same chance to die of Covid-19 as deprived non-white people living in similar circumstances.

Yes, there is a racial wage gap in the United States. But the real gap is between productivity growth and wage growth. Throughout the last decades neither black nor white workers have seen substantial wage raises. This is a class issue.


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This gap between increased productivity and wage gain at the bottom did not exist until the late 1970s when neo-liberal ideologues under Reagan and Thatcher introduced economic policies that favored the top 1%:

From 1979 to 2018, net productivity rose 69.6 percent, while the hourly pay of typical workers essentially stagnated—increasing only 11.6 percent over 39 years (after adjusting for inflation). This means that although Americans are working more productively than ever, the fruits of their labors have primarily accrued to those at the top and to corporate profits, especially in recent years.

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Identity policies around ethnicity, gender or sexual preference are instrumental in hiding the real disease of our societies. Class differences have become extreme. The rich have become much richer while those at the bottom have gained nothing. 

The pandemic exposes the deadly consequences of these policies. 

Sidenote:

It is likely that Trump started his campaign to urgently end the lockdown after he noticed that the outbreak in New York mostly hit the black underclass. Those weren't his people. But that thinking is wrong. An epidemic, once let off to run its cause, will not differentiate. The poor will be hit first. But the virus will not stop with them. One wonders how long it will take him to get that.

Posted by b on July 9, 2020 at 17:32 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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exactly, class is the elephant in the room the msm rarely discusses. mlk got assassinated just after he started talking about class, and in the midst of supporting a strike by garbage men.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 9 2020 17:44 utc | 1

Busted immune systems; polluted environments; poor diet; the stress of being Black in the US; lack of health care, the list is long.

Compare the death rate with South Africa, it just passed 3,000 (a population of around 58 million) with virtually no health care for the majority (85% Black), lousy or non-existent housing.

But what is the death rate amongst poor Whites in the US (who by the way, outnumber poor Black people)

Posted by: barovsky | Jul 9 2020 17:48 utc | 2

Great post, b. Spot on. I agree completely.

Posted by: 450.org | Jul 9 2020 17:57 utc | 3

I suspect the graphs also correlate well with obesity

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 9 2020 17:57 utc | 4

Political calculation, genocide to victory ... it would be a very bold political strategy, one akin to a Hail Mary pass, 'since I can't solve the problem, I might as well make the best of it'.
Pros:
1. kill off people who don't vote for me
2. Scare soccer moms who will vote for the alpha male tyrant to protect them.

Cons:
1. Even selective genocide is bad for the economy.
2. Scaring soccer moms to vote for Uncle Joe.

Actually, I just think Trump and his crew are as stupid as they look and sound. Arrogance makes you dumb. Laura Ingraham clerked for the Supreme Court and she sounds less impressive by the day.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 9 2020 17:59 utc | 5

It's important to precise the fact that what we call nowadays as "neoliberalism" begun in the USA already during Jimmy Carter's reign. In fact, Jimmy Carter is the perfect example of a transition period: his first two years of mandate continued as usual, following the "Keynesian Consensus" of the post-war, while his last two years were completely neoliberal.

Many important reforms nowadays attributed to Reagan (by his own supporters) were actually laid out by Carter. An analogous process happened in the UK, with Callaghan (the "Winter of Discontent").

France followed by the great betrayal of the the Miterrand government (1981); Germany had to wait for the Haartz Reforms (enforced by an SPD government); Japan implemented neoliberalism behind-the-scenes, with the liquidation of its savings of the 1990s. Latin American fell like a line of dominoes following the Mexican reforms of 1986, but definitely after the Brazilian Reforms of 1990.

It is now widely accepted that neoliberalism wasn't an internal conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the West. New compiled data evidences that it was the result of the collapse of the post-war consensus itself (the end of Keynesianism). As post-war capitalism begun to collapse over its own weight, neoliberalism was the doctrine the capitalist classes around the world found to stop the bleeding and try to recover some of its profitability.

Posted by: vk | Jul 9 2020 18:02 utc | 6

"There is no biological difference between various ethnicities with regards to Covid-19. There is no scientific theory that attributes this to any other causes than social issues"

Why do you say that? Are you really unaware of the link between Vitamin D and its deficiency in the minority population the US and EU countries and the much higher risk such deficiency creates. Here's a very recent U of Chicago study on the matter I was able to Google in 2 seconds:

"In a retrospective study of patients tested for COVID-19, researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine found an association between vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of becoming infected with coronavirus disease.

“Vitamin D is important to the function of the immune system and vitamin D supplements have previously been shown to lower the risk of viral respiratory tract infections,” said David Meltzer, MD, PhD, Chief of Hospital Medicine at UChicago Medicine and lead author of the study. “Our statistical analysis suggests this may be true for the COVID-19 infection.”

The research team looked at 499 UChicago Medicine patients whose vitamin D level was measured within a year before being tested for COVID-19. Patients who had vitamin D deficiency that was not treated were almost twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 compared to patients who had sufficient levels of the vitamin.

A manuscript reporting the findings of the study, “Association of Vitamin D Deficiency and Treatment with COVID-19 Incidence,” is available onmedRxiv, a preprint server for the health sciences.

Half of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, with much higher rates seen in African Americans, Hispanics and other individuals living in areas like Chicago where it is difficult to get enough sun exposure in winter."


Btw, "enough sun exposure" is almost impossible for dark-skinned people (like me) ... supplements are the only way to go for us in northern climates.

Posted by: Caliman | Jul 9 2020 18:03 utc | 7

@ Posted by: Caliman | Jul 9 2020 18:03 utc | 7

Vitamin D deficiency makes the human body weak overall, thus susceptible to many causes of death - not just COVID-19.

Posted by: vk | Jul 9 2020 18:10 utc | 8

Besides the Vitamin D issue mentioned above, other important differences between different population groups, racial, ethnic, cultural, or other, that could affect disease response could include critical things like diet (that wonderful southern (white OR black) diet of fried everything that leads to immune system suppression and high blood pressure and diabetes), exercise habits, and many many other things ...

To put it all to class and racism seems quite odd, especially for a site that tends to avoid easy and incorrect diagnoses of societal issues.

Posted by: Caliman | Jul 9 2020 18:19 utc | 9

@pretzelattack #1 - The MSM is simply not allowed by their owners to discuss class. That might lead the poor and working classes to realize they have more in common than the visible differences of their skin color. Once this sinks into their thinking they could (hopefully) unite against their oligarchic oppressors. That is what the elites fear more than anything else.
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b - I read yesterday that the biggest factor in the wealth and income gaps between whites and minorities is in the gaps found within the top 10%. The implication is that the gaps within the bottom 90% is not substantial, which leads to the idea,once again, that the poor and working classes have more in common than their differences. Wage suppression is universal with racism thrown in for good measure, to keep "them" down on the plantation.

Posted by: John Zelnicker | Jul 9 2020 18:23 utc | 10

I have another explanation based on personal experience:

Non-white and Non-Asian cultures (Black and Hispanic cultures among these) have a smaller "social space", i.e it is generally true that they communicate and socialise in closer physical proximity to each other than White or Asian cultures. The proximity of physical social interaction of a culture could be accelerating spread in certain groups when compared to others ...

One could test this theory by comparing cultures with small social spacing in interaction (lots of handshaking, hugging, kissing, close-standing during verbal communication, living in confined proximity) with other more "stand offish" cultures ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 9 2020 18:26 utc | 11

On June 19 b wrote a post entitled: The U.S. Has Given Up.

I noted the racial disparities in comment #5:

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

Snips:

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.


<> <> <> <> <>

Later in the June 19 thread, I also noted the disgraceful failure of the United Nations Human Rights Commission's (UNHRC) urgent meeting on Racism after the George Floyd protests:

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 | Jul 9 2020 18:30 utc | 12

This is a class issue.

No, no, no! Americans will never be Marxists!

Who Gets a Vaccine First? U.S. Considers Race in Coronavirus Plans

Posted by: vk | Jul 9 2020 18:31 utc | 13

b leaves out some other important aspects of racial stratification in the USA. The class thing is, of course, dead on. But it's more than just class when it comes to the history (including now) of black and other specific minorities.

That said, @ Arch Bungle #11 - I would ask you how Korea and Greece managed to stifle the pandemic so quickly given that they both have very densely populated cities.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jul 9 2020 18:32 utc | 14

Love MofA's other work.

And I wish he wrote about Inequality without reference to Covid.
Can't wait for him to talk about the scale of Covid. How many might die, how many have been infected so far, death rates.
he avoids these issues every time and just sticks with the scare tactics.

And I wish he'd talk about the health risks of inequality properly - Covid is barely relevant. Covid gives perhaps 2 months more risk for everyone - the reason more poor die is simply poverty, not Covid. More poor died young last year and the year before and next year.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jul 9 2020 18:33 utc | 15

You misrepresent the results of the paper in nature. It does take deprivation into account. See the following passages:
"All non-white ethnic groups had higher risk than those with white
ethnicity: HRs adjusted for age and sex only ranged from 1.62-1.88 for
Black, South Asian and mixed ethnicities compared to white; attenuated
to 1.43-1.48 on adjustment for all included risk factors (results for more
detailed categories are shown in Extended Data Table 1). Non-white
ethnicity has previously been found to be associated with increased
COVID-19 infection and poor outcomes.12,13,15 Our findings show that
only a small part of the excess risk is explained by higher prevalence of
medical problems such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes among
BME people, or higher deprivation.
We found a consistent pattern of increasing risk with greater deprivation, with the most deprived quintile having a HR of 1.80 compared to
the least deprived, consistent with recent national statistics.16 Again,
very little of this increased risk was explained by pre-existing disease
or clinical risk factors, suggesting that other social factors may have
an important role."


" People from South Asian
and black groups had a substantially higher risk of death, only partially
attributable to co-morbidity, deprivation or other risk factors. A strong
association between deprivation and risk was only partly attributable
to co-morbidity or other risk factors"

So the conclusion of the paper is that deprivation did have an effect of producing higher mortality. But black and south asian people had a higher risk than their deprivation and comorbidity would account for.

Suggestions have been made that low vitamin D may be a factor in risk, with those of dark skin in cold cloudy climates having low vitamin D. Evidence for vitamin D risk does exist, but Nice reckons that the quality is low:
"Four of the studies found an association or correlation between a lower vitamin D status and subsequent development of COVID‑19. However, confounders such as body mass index (BMI) or underlying health conditions, which may have independent correlations with vitamin D status or COVID‑19, were not adjusted for (D'Avolio et al. 2020, Fasano et al. 2020, Ilie et al. 2020 and Laird et al. 2020). Vitamin D status was based on serum 25‑hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels in 3 studies and the proportion of participants taking a vitamin D supplement in 1 study. The largest UK study (Hastie et al. 2020) found an association between vitamin D status and COVID‑19 only in a univariable analysis (with this single potential causative factor). Importantly, no causal relationship between vitamin D status and COVID‑19 was found after adjustment for confounders such as comorbidity, socio-demographics, ethnicity, BMI and other baseline factors."

(https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/es28/chapter/Factors-for-decision-making)

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Jul 9 2020 18:34 utc | 16

One "failure" after another in USA (and some other Western countries) to fight the pandemic.

Yet few talk about who benefits from these failures: Big Pharma. MSM is especially silent on this.

<> <> <> <> <>

  • USA failed to stop the pandemic early despite private warnings to people-that-matter(tm) the virus would almost certainly be a pandemic.
  • Then USA health officials said nothing as Trump told the nation that the virus was nothing to be concerned about. Then they said nothing about how people could protect themselves.
  • Then USA failed to switch from 'virus mitigation' (living with the virus) to 'virus suppression' (pro-active measures to fight the virus), despite the success of other countries that used 'virus suppression'.
  • Then USA opened up too early.

- - -
Note: The above is re-posted from a comment of mine from a few days ago.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 9 2020 18:41 utc | 17

And both maps, though I'm loath to credit simple minded racialists like Charles Blow, cover Dixie, where it's a firm belief amongst many (not all of whom are white) that the government's claims are always lies, and the government is not there to help in any capacity.

Setting aside rural, largely inland, areas of the US northwest, so rural Idaho, Oregon + Washington, these are not views held in the rest of the country. Notably, from the Washington Post map, far south Florida which is wealthier and has many well off retirees from the Northeast, CT-MA-NY-PA-NJ, has a lower rate of infection. Arizona, though plenty right wing, involves some of same principles that apply to south Florida--there are many educated retirees living there, and they mostly trust that the government, if it's being run well--which Trump isn't doing, can help. And these retirees be they in Florida or Arizona understand that highly contagious viruses are real things that can make one very sick on short notice.

Posted by: Jay | Jul 9 2020 18:44 utc | 18

Class it is and it will not be discussed in the USofA.
Race/sex/religion asked/measured/discussed.

Income- off limits to ask/measure/discuss. Otherwise the poor would have a chance of seeing the truth.

Posted by: benny | Jul 9 2020 18:50 utc | 19

Excellent article.

Posted by: Carol A Davidek wall | Jul 9 2020 18:53 utc | 20

Posted by: Caliman @ 7

Btw, "enough sun exposure" is almost impossible for dark-skinned people (like me) ... supplements are the only way to go for us in northern climates.

And because big Pharma plays down the usefullness of vitamins (and minerals), the so-called studies of Vitamins are sorely lacking. Dosages are too small and the studies too limited. The last NICE 'study' of Vitamin D, admitted that it really didn't have enough data to draw any conclusions, except of course, that Vitamins don't work.

Posted by: barovsky | Jul 9 2020 18:53 utc | 21


Scientists have shown Vit D levels are not high enough in many people, allowing them to maintain a healthy immune system. The evidence has been accumulating for years.

People with darker skin tones have reduced Vit D production in skin organ upon sun exposure compared to people with lighter skin tones. A worldwide problem of contemporary cultures.

But the US health care system is exceptional in failing its people -- but not itself. If Vitamin D was a patented drug costing 3,000 usd per dose all usa’ns would have heard of its importance and efficacy in maintaining healthy immune system.


Prevalence and Correlates of Vitamin D Deficiency in US Adults

Mounting evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency could be linked to several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its correlates to test the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency was common in the US population, especially in certain minority groups.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005 to 2006 data were analyzed for vitamin D levels in adult participants (N = 4495). Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations ≤20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L).

The overall prevalence rate of vitamin D deficiency was 41.6%, with the highest rate seen in blacks (82.1%), followed by Hispanics (69.2%). Vitamin D deficiency was significantly more common among those who had no college education, were obese, with a poor health status, hypertension, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, or not consuming milk daily (all P < .001).

Multivariate analyses showed that being from a non-white race, not college educated, obese, having low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, poor health, and no daily milk consumption were all significantly, independently associated with vitamin D deficiency (all P < .05).

In summary, vitamin D deficiency was common in the US population, especially among blacks and Hispanics. Given that vitamin D deficiency is linked to some of the important risk factors of leading causes of death in the United States, it is important that health professionals are aware of this connection and offer dietary and other intervention strategies to correct vitamin D deficiency, especially in minority groups.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21310306/


https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d2-vs-d3#section7

Posted by: suzan | Jul 9 2020 18:56 utc | 22

Thanks for this.

This may be one of the reasons why the stock market appears to be in la-la-land. Corporations in addition to seeing free credit and cash doled out to them, also see that wage and benefit (inc. health insurance) pressures in the US have been erased for the foreseeable future as unemployment skyrockets. People are desperate, unions are non-existent or pathetically weak, the government is completely owned by the corporations and productivity will continue to boom as AI, computers, off-shoring jobs from the US, etc. boosts almost tax free profits to ever higher heights.

Some crumbs fell from the feast-table for a few months, that's about to end.

The great hollowing out of America continues unabated as the military and militarized police gain more and more unfettered gear and power to protect the rich.

One of these days the majority of people who are being fleeced are going to realize that they will continue to be trod upon as the rich and powerful take more and more, unless they rise up en masse. Perhaps some hints of that occurred recently with the BLM protests.

COVID has enabled an incredible heist. Purposefully promoting the spread of the virus locks in the corrupt gains while people suffer and die. It's pure evil and a crime against humanity.

One wonders how long it will take him to get that.

A disappointing nod to the possibility that this has a chance in hell of happening.

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jul 9 2020 18:59 utc | 23

While b is absolutely correct that socioeconomic status is a major factor in disease incidence and/or severity, there is reasonable evidence that for some diseases this can be compounded by race. For example, diabetes, which can worsen coronavirus outcomes, proportionally affects blacks more than whites in the US however this difference can be accounted for by socioeconomic status.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jul 9 2020 18:59 utc | 24

Agree with b on the inequality issue but question "There is no biological difference between various ethnicities with regards to Covid-19. There is no scientific theory that attributes this to any other causes."

Some claim that Neanderthal DNA (which I happen to have a lot of thanks to my German & Dutch ancestors) increases the risk from Coronavirus. DNA link between Covid19 and Neanderthals

As others have pointed out, African-Americans have very high rates of obesity and diabetes (ditto Native Americans, who are also hard hit by corona). This is not incompatible with b's inequality theory because inequality is linked to obesity due to the "food insecurity" phenomena. Perhaps the obesity and diabetes risk factors outweigh the Neanderthal DNA risk factor.

Posted by: Dan Lynch | Jul 9 2020 19:08 utc | 25

Doctor as a brand new intern, several years ago, had a patient in the ER with conditions that could either be heart or lungs. When to attending physician who said to treat both. If you do that, don't know which treatment worked.

He is making the case for the need for tests that differentiate between Covid 19 and the flu when flu season comes later in the year. In the beginning of the Covid 19 treatment, had to treat everyone since limited testing or no tests. Know more now, but inherent complexity continues leading to conflicting treatments and recommendations.

Preparing for Fall's Second Wave -- and Then Some
— When COVID-19 and flu season coexist, we need the right tests to tell which is which

Posted by: Don Midwest | Jul 9 2020 19:13 utc | 26

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jul 9 2020 18:59 utc | 24

While b is absolutely correct that lower socioeconomic status is a major detrimental factor in human health outcomes, there is reasonable evidence that for some diseases this can be compounded by race. For example, diabetes, which can worsen coronavirus outcomes, proportionally affects blacks more than whites in the US however this difference can be accounted for by socioeconomic status.

sorry I posted that part prematurely...here's the rest:

In contrast, the higher overall lethality of infectious diseases in blacks vs whites in the US can only partly accounted for by income and education, as even with those things factored out blacks were still found to have an increased risk of dying. Cardiovascular diseases, another contributor to coronovirus fatalities, are also more prevalent among blacks, however while again there is evidence pointing to genetic differences there are also studies showing that socioeconomic status may also be a determinant.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jul 9 2020 19:15 utc | 27

i dont agree vk, in 1979 carter installed solar panels in the white house. long before it was a cause celebre. it was the reagan administration that kicked of the orgy of deregulation and austerity, till it had to rescue itself with some keynesian spending.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 9 2020 19:18 utc | 28

vk, 6:

Say what you will about Carter deregulating trucking and airlines, both mistakes. He also transformed Medicare hospitalization into a formula per diagnosis--you have this condition/s, it should take X days in the hospital to "cure" the problem so you can be discharged. Then private insurers followed this formula.

However, private insurers, though Nixon had allowed them to become for-profit, were still largely non-profit. Banks were still significantly regulated, big retailers like Sears Roebuck were not allowed to drive competitors like Montgomery Ward or Woolworth's out of business. The minimum wage was higher, full time jobs came with medical (largely hospitalization--not so much visits to the doctor) insurance and real vacation pay.

Not directly controlled by the federal government: During the Carter years, and into the 1980s, tuition for in-state students at public universities was much less with few exceptions, an expensive outlier would be the University of Vermont, not a big state.

One law of the Carter era that should be immediately repealed is the one from 1980 allowing patents based on publicly funded research--this would improve search engines, and decrease the price of effective pharmaceuticals.

Posted by: Jay | Jul 9 2020 19:24 utc | 29

Good observation b. I will add this; diet is important. Fast food joints like McDonald's were the first corporations, during this plandemic, to be favored. Everyone surely remembers the free advertising Micky D's received at the beginning, through promotion of it's drive-thru service. Poor nutrition is neccessary to poor health. When the government approved the use of ECT, and SNAP cards at places like McDonald's, Carl's Jr., 711, et al, it was tantamount to wishing the plague on the underclass, regardless of color. These restaurants immediately raised the price of their 'happy meal' fare. I'm upper middleclass and am proud of my decision in the 70's to forego fast food joints. A practice my children use today, and their children will use tomorrow. The FDA should be defunded. It's a for profit org, just like the CDC.

Posted by: joetv | Jul 9 2020 19:51 utc | 30

Covid-19 is a medical and biological problem. Social and class inequalities can have an effect but one has to understand the biology first.

Dr. John Campbell on YouTube (who is actually a nurse and teacher of nursing but well-informed and backs up his information with paper references) has been pushing vitamin D for a long time. He is aghast that the MSM never suggests that people with darker skins should supplement with vitamin D. It's not a cure-all, but significantly improves your odds.

Another source of information on the biology is Chris Martenson (Peak Prodperity on YouTube) who used to post daily but now only on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. He has been pushing the hydroxychloroquine + zinc treatment. He agrees that we still lack a gold-plated trial and says he will accept the results however they come out.

But there is a lot of evidence in its favor and it is being used in many places with apparent success. It also has been used for decades on large numbers of people without adverse side effects.


https://www.zerohedge.com/political/hydroxychloroquine-and-fake-news

I wish b would keep an open mind on this and otherwise I agree that we have serious social and economic problems.

Posted by: David Park | Jul 9 2020 19:53 utc | 31

Jay #29 One law of the Carter era that should be immediately repealed is the one from 1980 allowing patents based on publicly funded research--this would improve search engines, and decrease the price of effective pharmaceuticals.

For example:

Even though the proposed remdevisir price gouging, particularly in light of its underwhelming Covid-19 treatment benefit, has already gotten ample bad press, this post explains why the picture is even worse than you thought. Generally speaking, the government funds roughly 30% of Big Pharma R&D. The authors estimate that for remdevisir, the Federal contribution was over 80%.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/07/big-pharma-wants-to-pocket-the-profits-from-a-covid-treatment-you-already-paid-for.html

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jul 9 2020 20:07 utc | 32

A few things to remember, the mortality rate of this virus decreases over time because medical professionals simply get better at treatment (and treatment options increase). Hence while the virus will not discriminate based on income/class, delaying when more wealthy people get it, is to the advantage of wealthy people. The second point (and I know this is more controversial), but the virus was originally designed to preferentially hit folks with high AC2 receptors i.e. China and Iran. It has since backfired, and backfired badly. If they could not figure that out when they unleashed it in there, then how do you think they will figure out that it will eventually hit their 'own' communities eventually!? This is basically a $10 Trillion dollar+ mistake/war crime/whatever you want to call it. But you can imagine, how cut throat, and ruthless the folks were that developed it and unleashed it! Right? (And they are such big liars, blaming everyone, except Manning up and taking responsibility for their decisions. Point is, they basically don't care, won't ever care). This is a situation, where the 'People' need to make sure they care. Its 1776 all over again, you have King Don in his mansion far away, and the people need to rise up to protect their health and livelihoods from scum! We will know who was behind it in decades to come.

Posted by: ayatoilet | Jul 9 2020 20:29 utc | 33

Blacks suffer from an much higher incidence of extreme obesity than do other racial groups. Obesity is a major factor in COVID-19 severity.

Posted by: bob syskes | Jul 9 2020 20:30 utc | 34

Hey B,
Sent you a WU cash donation that they said you have not picked up as of yet. Just checking in. Best, Tonymike

Posted by: Tonymike | Jul 9 2020 20:32 utc | 35

thanks b... mina left a post 3 days ago that suggests the same - from the nyt...the fullest look yet at racial inequality of coronavirus

others were talking about blood types making a difference... this was many months ago... i wonder how it factors in...

kudos folks! no one has yet to call someone else a moron! thanks!

Posted by: james | Jul 9 2020 20:41 utc | 36

"Identity policies around ethnicity, gender or sexual preference are instrumental in hiding the real disease of our societies. Class differences have become extreme. The rich have become much richer while those at the bottom have gained nothing."

Kudos for that, well said.

This is why the evil spirit of invisible 'racism' has been shoved down our throats - to deflect anger away from the people at the top who are crushing the lifeblood out fo the working class, and instead set the proles to squabble amongst each other.

"The poor, they have no bread? Then let them eat racism!"

"The people at the bottom are becoming desperate? Cry racism, and let slip the dogs of political correctness!"

Posted by: TG | Jul 9 2020 20:54 utc | 37

The maps also look similar to other US "heatmaps". https://xkcd.com/1138/

Basically maps of x which really show population density. Though there is a difference around the SE and the NE, which are almost swapped compared to population density.

Posted by: Mighty Drunken | Jul 9 2020 21:00 utc | 38

Class, the great engine of history. Excellent post: a micro-history of neoliberalism. Thanks b.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jul 9 2020 21:17 utc | 39

I was going to put this on the open thread, but in light of b's discussion here of the rift between the rich and the poor in the US, I think it might open up comments. It is a really good analysis of US 'largesse' (for want of a better word,) distributed recently and past, in terms even a non-ecnomist can understand. Given by the good economist, Bill Black.

I will separate out the link, hope you can manage to get to the transcript. It's from early June, so apologies if someone else has fielded it here.

https://theanalysis.news/interviews/
bill-black-cities-face-catastrophe-finance-a-cancer-on-real-economy/

Posted by: juliania | Jul 9 2020 21:36 utc | 40

just now on sputnik:
https://sputniknews.com/society/202007091079841068-tuberculosis-vaccine-linked-to-lower-covid-19-mortality-rates-preliminary-study-finds/

Tuberculosis Vaccine Linked to Lower COVID-19 Mortality Rates, Preliminary Study Finds
A preliminary study set to soon be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal suggests that a century-old tuberculosis vaccine may play a role in decreasing COVID-19 mortality rates.

The research, conducted by Assistant Professor Luis Escobar of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment and two officials at the US National Institutes of Health, sought to uncover why developing countries, including some Latin American ones, are seeing lower COVID-19 mortality rates than several US states.

“This is remarkable, considering that [these parts of] Latin America have much higher population densities than the North American states analysed, including New York,” co-author Carolina Barillas-Mury wrote in the peer-reviewed paper.

The study found that countries with lower COVID-19 mortality rates were diverse in terms of age distribution, income and health care access. However, they all had in common a tuberculosis vaccination program.

The drug, called the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, is not commonly used in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains. Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis that can greatly damage the lungs as well as other parts of the body. The disease is prevalent in developing countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Based on data analyses, the researchers found that there is a strong correlation between “universal BCG vaccination deployment in a country” and “COVID-19 mortality in different socially similar European countries.” In fact, the researchers found that every “10% increase in the BCG index was associated with a 10.4% reduction in COVID-19 mortality.”

The researchers also questioned the WHO’s position that there is no evidence that the tuberculosis vaccine can protect against COVID-19.

“Such ecological studies are prone to significant bias from many confounders, including differences in national demographics and disease burden, testing rates for COVID-10 virus infections, and the stage of the pandemic in each country,” the WHO said in April, in a news release detailing its position that there is no evidence that the BCG vaccine protects people against COVID-19, in response to three preprints on the topic that had not yet been peer reviewed.

Escobar said that the researchers factored differences between countries into their analyses.

“All countries are different: Guatemala has a younger population than, say, Italy, so we had to make adjustments to the data to accommodate those differences,” he said, the South China Morning Post reported.

All of us in Eastern Europe in the old Communist countries were vaccinated with that vaccine.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jul 9 2020 21:49 utc | 41

@vk 6

Don't forget to add the Hawke-Keating reforms (Australian Labor Party) in Australia from 1983-90. Deregulation of credit markets, floating the $AUD, the union 'accord' which sold workers down the river... compare to the Whitlam years (1972-75), the last great attempt at building a true Australian 'society'.

The secret correspondence (over 1000pp) between the Queen and the Governor-General on the 'Whitlam-question' will be released on July 14. His summary political execution in November 1975 marks the commencement of the neoliberal turn in Australia, with the same consequences here as elsewhere, and still unfolding.

Looking at the charts above I cannot help feel once more that the baby-boomers were the luckiest, most venal, self-deluded and conceited generation in comparably recent times——if only because their self-narrative (the soft-leftism of the 60s, man... still echoed in the Guardian) was utterly betrayed by their rapacity afterwards. They got the best of the post-war consensus and income distribution (50s-60s), stole everything that wasn't nailed down (aka neoliberal reform, 80s-90s) and bequeathed a desert for the rest of us. Thanks for nothing you posturing wankers.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jul 9 2020 22:13 utc | 42

Everything, everywhere is always about class. But not exclusively. Where I live, in Australia, there are outbreaks of the virus occurring in the outer suburbs of one of our state capital cities. These suburbs are disproportionately home to immigrant communities; first, second and third generation. In general, these communities place a very high value on extended family living together under the same roof and coming together regularly and often. They are community based, characterised by high rates of regular attendance at religious and other social gatherings. Many do not read english-language newspapers, preferring the local rags in their mother tongue, often not the greatest source of information from government sources. And many are distrustful of information coming from such sources, having immigrated, in part, to escape government persecution. All of these things put these communities at higher risk of transmission of the virus. There is a similar story to be told for Sweden. So yes, class, but culture also.

Posted by: Simon | Jul 9 2020 22:14 utc | 43

DNA makes some decisions but lifestyle makes others. The Irish were the first slaves brought to the USA. The Koreans and Chinese where enslaved by the Japanese, not 150 years ago. 60 years ago. I think police and goverment should be colour blind. However lets look at how many white people are killed every year by police, and compare that to black people. I think I know the answer.

Posted by: steve | Jul 9 2020 22:16 utc | 44

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/07/racial-wealth-gap-redistribution

The racial wealth gap analyzed. Shows that the gap is amongst the white elite and the less wealthy black bourgeoisie. The working class has less internal wealth disparity.

Marx over identity.

Posted by: Prof K | Jul 9 2020 22:17 utc | 45

Everybody knows that America has only one class: The Middle Class.

Posted by: hopehely | Jul 9 2020 22:38 utc | 46

b says: This is an issue of class, not of identity.

I don't think this is correct b. IMO the Trump Administration's lack of diligence wrt coronavirus is best explained by a desire to defame China and preference for non-whites.

There's a long history of institutional repression of blacks: slavery, Jim Crow laws, a Drug War that destroyed the black family, Subprime mortgage fraud that targeted minority communities, importation of undocumented immigrants (essentially 'guest workers' like in Saudi Arabia) to keep wages down, and now Covid-19.

Poor healthcare for blacks was already 'a thing' before the pandemic. Black patients lose limbs at triple the rate of others. And poor healthcare outcomes have persisted despite Obamacare which increased coverage.

<> <> <> <> <>

Yeah, there's problem with wealth disparity in USA (and elsewhere). But there's ALSO a racial problem.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 9 2020 22:54 utc | 47

Posted by: ayatoilet | Jul 9 2020 20:29 utc | 33

The second point (and I know this is more controversial), but the virus was originally designed to preferentially hit folks with high AC2 receptors i.e. China and Iran.

Um, not sure about that. Judging from the current tally I would say the virus was more designed to kill American dumbasses...
Now seriously. This virus infects bats, cats, pangolins and apes (humans included of course). You think that the virus of such ability to infect gives a flying monkeys ass about minute variations of hairless apes phenotype?

Posted by: hopehely | Jul 9 2020 23:02 utc | 48

'the real disease of our societies. Class differences'

The class differences are the result of a political system that favors certain classes. In the U.S. it is the wealthy.

If the U.S. were a true democracy, then the government would work on behalf of all of the people, and there would be no discrimination based on class.

But the 'U.S. Democracy' is not 'one person-one vote', it is 'one dollar-one vote'. It is a pure oligarchic dictatorship. And b is quite right in noting that this take-over of the democratic system dates back to Reagan and Thatcher.

There is nothing that can be done to 'fix' the problems in the U.S. until money is removed from politics.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jul 9 2020 23:12 utc | 49

VK @ 6 and others:

One of the earliest neoliberal economic / political experiments, if not the first of such experiments, was Chile under General August Pinochet (1973 - 1990).

During this period, and especially during the 1970s, Chile restructured its economy according to neoliberal principles (privatising state-owned industries and corporations, privatising social security, banning trade unions, removing tariff protections on local industries, deregulating the financial industry) under the advice of the so-called "Chicago Boys": Chilean economists who had attended the University of Chicago and studied neoliberal economics under Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger.

The so-called Chicago Boys were part of a training program organised by the US State Department in the 1950s in the form of scholarships at a university (or universities?) run by the Roman Catholic Church in Santiago de Chile, later supplemented by postgraduate training at a university in the US (University of Chicago, Harvard University or Massachusetts Institute of Technology). A documentary "Chicago Boys" made by journalist Carola Fuentes and director Rafael Valdeavellano details the history of this training program which was funded by the Ford Foundation amd the Rockefeller Foundation.

"...The movie, which opened in Chile in November and was directed by Fuentes along with filmmaker Rafael Valdeavellano, explains how Chile ended up implementing the most extreme version of Friedman’s doctrines, while arguing that Chile’s audacious economic experiment was in many ways a field test for the ideas later put into practice by sympathetic leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

“A lot of things, such as the privatization of the pension system, for example, were discussed in the United States a long time after being implemented in Chile,” Fuentes said. “But I’ve lived in the U.S., and there’re big differences. [Americans] also have a lot of inequality and abusive practices of businessman, but it’s not as extreme as in Chile.”

The film recounts how in 1956 the University of Chicago and Santiago’s Universidad Católica—with the help of Ford Foundation—signed an exchange agreement to send young economics students to the United States to learn more about “monetarism,” the theory that governments should refrain from regulating the market, whenever possible, with the exception of managing the money supply. The idea, radical in the United States for years following the New Deal, was developed by Friedman in the 1940s and under his leadership of Chicago’s economics department became the intellectual center of free-market economics in America. “This exchange was part of the State Department’s investment plan to expand their influence in Latin America, in a moment when they were concerned about the growth of Soviet ideas in the region. It is clear evidence of America’s foreign-policy influence in Chile,” Fuentes [said].

Around 25 Chilean students came to Chicago between 1956 and 1961. Some of them bought video cameras, an unimaginable purchase in Chile in those years, and recorded their time in Chicago, footage that is used in the film. They filmed their parties, their study sessions, and their walks around the campus. They recorded their everyday lives as normal students, long before they became the economic leaders of Chile’s military government.

Back in Chile, the Chicago Boys hoped to implement some of what they had learned in America. So they started to build an economic program, which they presented to the presidential candidate Jorge Alessandri, who lost to the Socialist Salvador Allende in 1970.

During Allende’s rule, the Chicago Boys continued working on their economic project, which was finally named el ladrillo—the brick, because it was so big. Chicago alum Sergio de Castro authored their final recommendation, which they delivered to Navy Admiral José Toribio Merino.

Merino would be part of the junta that overthrew Allende in a CIA-backed coup in 1973, installing Gen. Augusto Pinochet as the new head of state. De Castro became the economic minister and later the treasury minister. The other Chicago Boys also joined the military government, occupying Cabinet positions during the 17 years of dictatorship.

Their program centered on reductions to fiscal spending to solve high inflation and economic difficulties. They opened the economy to foreign imports, privatized dozens of state companies, and removed most government controls on private economic activity. At the same time, as it was opening up the Chilean economy, the regime was clamping down on political opposition. In Pinochet’s nearly 20 years in power, thousands of people were killed or “disappeared.”

But while it came under heavy human rights criticism, Chile was the first country to apply Friedman’s economic principles, and, years later, the famous economist called this process, lead by his disciples, “the Miracle of Chile.” Friedman himself visited Chile and met with Pinochet in 1975, where he praised the economic measures taken by the Chicago Boys and Pinochet’s government. The connection with the dictator has been one of the most controversial aspects of Friedman’s legacy in the United States.


To Carola Fuentes, Chile was the first (and most radical) experiment in what we call now neoliberalism: “We helped to shape the economy of other countries. You can’t imagine Margaret Thatcher’s reforms, in the United Kingdom, and Ronald Reagan’s, in the United States, without Chile.” She adds that the Chicago Boys remain proud of how they changed Chile, even as high-profile corruption cases have caused many Chileans to lose faith in a largely self-regulated market: “They can’t understand why Chileans are not thankful for what they did.”...

Among other things, the Chicago Boys' experiment indirectly led to the downfall of Augusto Pinochet's government: the deregulation of the financial sector made it unstable and resulted in a financial sector meltdown in 1982. Any faith that Chileans had in the Pinochet government's ability to "manage" the country's economy evaporated after the 1982 financial crisis. The government had to walk back its liberalisation project after that and Chile endured lame-duck governance with police-state repression for nearly another decade.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 9 2020 23:46 utc | 50

You know HCQ is junk when not even US and Brazil are sticking to it.
HCQ:
1. Works, but no better than other commonly available antivirals
2. Has significant side effects.

Remdesivir is also junk. How likely is it that a failed Ebola drug just happens to be the miracle cure for COVID-19?

Posted by: Anon | Jul 9 2020 23:50 utc | 51

hopehely @48

The virus mutated. They do that. Artificial ones are even more unstable and prone to mutation. The original form of the virus that was released in Wuhan has not spread much outside of Asia. It wasn't supposed to. The version that spread in Europe was a mutation. The version seen most in the US is the mutated version from Europe.

Yes, the virus can infect various other mammals, but it takes an unusually large virus load to do so. You need a solution with a high concentration of viable viruses injected directly into the sinuses or lungs of the victim for reliable infection. For the mutated version of the virus to spread from one person to another they only need to be in the same room talking for a few moments. Big difference.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 9 2020 23:52 utc | 52

The chart given can be deceptive in using thick-bordered circles so lots of small counties show in the eastern states up darker. The most careless states were the South: every state below 37 N lat. plus UT, NV (the Deep South, Texas, and SW). The most careful states were the Northeast: all states above 37 N lat. and E of the Ohio River plus CO, HI, AK, MI). The somewhat careful states were the MidNorth (Midwest) and Northwest.

I use this very nice website for Covid graphs: http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/

Posted by: Sam F | Jul 9 2020 23:57 utc | 53

@ 53 jen... here is the documentary you refer to - free to watch on youtube.. english subtitles.... i will say that financial breakdown is a part of the game - a design feature, as opposed to a flaw.... this is what the imf and world bank as fronts for wall st, have used to provide 'loans'... the term 'loan shark' or sharks applies here...

CHICAGO BOYS 2015 DOCUMENTAL COMPLETO

Posted by: james | Jul 10 2020 0:18 utc | 54

and then the neoliberal chicago boys scam was rerun in various places, most notably russia.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 10 2020 0:36 utc | 55

Its well known that the R0 is not constant. Its much higher in more densely populated areas than low density areas. Those living in single family homes, drive to work in their own car, work in offices where contact is limited to other office workers will have lower infection rates than those living in urban apartment blocks, take public transportation and those in low paying service industries in contact with many people.

So cases obviously are more disproportionately represented in the lower classes. And while blacks and hispanics are disproportionately represented among the lower classes, whites have more members.

However, if one can move beyond class and race, COVID mortality strikes the elderly of all races hardest. Among the cases under 60 in generally good health, this is not much more than they flu. Lockdowns don't help the elderly in nursing homes.

As for the meat industry, they employ 500,000 workers. 86 dead means1/5000 workers dead from COVID. About the same as your risk of the combined risk of being killed in a car accident or homicide.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jul 10 2020 0:41 utc | 56

Anon@51

No profit in HCQ which is why US wants no part of it. Been sold OTC in France for 50 years until COVID when they made it prescription only.

All you want to know is here

https://theduran.com/hydroxychloroquine-and-fake-news/

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jul 10 2020 0:46 utc | 57

This article is exhibit A of why this guys writes his blog called MoonOfAlabama and us peasants write in the comment section.

Good stuff

Posted by: Comandante | Jul 10 2020 1:11 utc | 58

I don't want to seem picky but class is a symptom of the global private finance disease, not the disease itself.

China's response to the bio-attack was to protect the public and in the West the priority is to protect those that own global private finance and their supporters......including mega-churches which is in direct contravention of separation of church/state......but I digress.

A question that keeps rumbling through my head is how to break the perception barrier about global private finance being the core disease in the Western social system? What depth of understanding is necessary to see that the Western class structure is a product of the existence of global private finance?

And, as I continue to posit, the global conflict going on today comes down to public/private control of finance. It sure as hell isn't about freedom and democracy.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 10 2020 2:32 utc | 59

Comandante @Jul10 1:11 #58

This article is exhibit A of why this guys writes his blog ...

Actually, I'd call it exhibit-B.

Exhibit-A is the propaganda and psyops that make MSM unreliable (which b sometimes writes about).

And Exhibit-C is the comment section because the discussion adds lots of important info.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 10 2020 2:58 utc | 60

COVID-19 deaths in the USA have the same ultimate cause as the deaths of despair caused by the opioid crisis and the lost American Dream. The for-profit ideology dismantled the USA federal government and liberated the rich to exploit humans and resources as they want. What is striking is that the American and Brazil number of coronavirus cases are still rising. Both have failed national governments.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jul 10 2020 3:09 utc | 61

VietnamVet @Jul10 3:09 #61

Both have failed national governments.

Wrong!

Both have governments that have been very successful at assisting oligarchs to loot their subjects/serfs and natural resources.

Have a nice day.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 10 2020 4:04 utc | 62


That said, @ Arch Bungle #11 - I would ask you how Korea and Greece managed to stifle the pandemic so quickly given that they both have very densely populated cities.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jul 9 2020 18:32 utc | 14

My 'theory' (for want of a better word) doesn't identify population density as the issue, it focuses on the micro level, i.e the tendency of some cultures to interact within a close personal space. Let me illustrate with an example:

If you have a conversation with a group of Africans, or Italians you might notice that the interpersonal distance while communicating is very small, there may be frequent jostling and bodily contact. These cultures stand very close together when talking, or moving in groups. On the other hand, with Chinese, Koreans and Japanese for example that kind of close physical interaction is not common, these cultures maintain a wider personal space:

https://cil.berkeley.edu/close-talker-personal-space/

Yes, there are exceptions and outliers, nothing in the human world is a rule.


Regarding Korea (I assume you're including North Korea ;-) ) it's clear that their rapid response was the reason for the apparent success in squelching the virus spread.
Regarding Greece, the same: A rapid response, especially targeting large gatherings early on, mitigated whatever cultural factors have driven a fast spread (my understanding is that Greeks have a close personal space as well).

So, looking at Spain, Italy, Iran, Brazil, India the Hispanic and Black majority areas in the USA and relating these data points to the concept of personal space among cultures, this seems to offer an explanation (or at least a part of it) for the apparent rapid spread in these areas.

On the other hand, looking at cultures and countries with a tendency to large inter-personal space (Europe and Northern Europe, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan ...) don't seem to be as heavily affected. This seems consistent with the theory I'm putting forward.

Some cultures seem to inherently impose social distancing naturally while others do the opposite ...


Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 10 2020 4:08 utc | 63


A tack-on to my post in #63

It's been my observation that interpersonal space also generally varies between socio-economic classes.

Put simply, the poor tend to have smaller personal boundaries while the wealthy demand a wider personal boundary in their interactions with their fellow humans. You can stand 10 centimeters away from the janitor, but you get threatening looks if you do the same with the ceo ... A very crude example but I think it illustrates the point.


So one axis of my theory addresses inherent cultural traits explaining why virus spread impacts some cultures more than others, then other axis addresses socio economics and why the virus spreads faster in some economic groups. The two axes join to corroborate this theory when we note that some cultures that dominate the lower socio economic rungs are particularly impacted by the virus ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 10 2020 4:17 utc | 64

Most tropical black people used to live half "naked" it those sweltering hot climates till a few centuries ago some white Christian missionaries came around and shamed them for that.
Imagine black missionaries landing in Europe in 1480 and preaching that wearing warm cloths is weird, unhealthy and stupid. Now picture them accompanied by guys with heavy alien arms for persuasion...

Posted by: Antonym | Jul 10 2020 4:59 utc | 65

@31 david park

callout out “b” and then proceed to provide link from zerohedge

nice try troll

Posted by: milomilo | Jul 10 2020 5:12 utc | 66

Precisely for this reason (incompetence and zero leadership) i wish trump win another term 2020. Not because i like trump but he is doing great destroying america inside and outside.

preferably he won controversionaly , with hair splitting result , with accusation of fraud and led to segment of govt and people not accepting trump victory and led to massive demonstration which led to military enforcing trump..

this will further destroy america.. and STOP further foreign adventures due to internal bleeding..

Posted by: milomilo | Jul 10 2020 5:16 utc | 67

@vk As usual you fail to get a fact right:

"It's important to precise the fact that what we call nowadays as "neoliberalism" begun in the USA already during Jimmy Carter's reign."

Neoliberalism can be traced back at least to the Powell Memo of 1971.

https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/democracy/the-lewis-powell-memo-a-corporate-blueprint-to-dominate-democracy/

Posted by: Sirius | Jul 10 2020 5:50 utc | 68

@Arch Bungle

"On the other hand, looking at cultures and countries with a tendency to large inter-personal space (Europe and Northern Europe, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan ...) don't seem to be as heavily affected. This seems consistent with the theory I'm putting forward."

You have clearly never been to Japan, Singapore, Taiwan. You can look up pictures of Japanese stuffing themselves into subway cars or Taiwanese at a night market. Your "facts" are inconsistent with your theory, your theory is bunk.

If you want a better theory, here is one based on facts. 1/ Taiwan had fastest, most comprehensive response to covid-19, implementing controls BEFORE China acted. 2/ Wearing masks is already a part of culture here, post SARS, H1N1, etc.

To the others looking for INDIVIDUAL-level explanations to explain POPULATION-level trends, give over. What mattered to stopping spread of the virus was the quality of the public health response on the part of the authorities, not IQ/color/social mores of individuals/groups, though POPULATION-level cultural norms can play a role. If African-American population of US lived in China, they'd have survived at same rate as Chinese.

Sent from Taipei City, Taiwan.

Posted by: Sirius | Jul 10 2020 5:57 utc | 69

Yesterday:

from Kay Fabe:

Anyways, deaths are trending lower, getting to pre-epidemic/lockdown status. Its ovah for corona. May she rest in peace although she has made a lot of billionares richer so she will no doubt be replaced

From Kevin:

If the cases are exploding, why are the deaths declining. I have yet to hear an explanation for this.

Today:

Third straight day of exploding US death tolls, third straight day of 7 day moving average deaths on the rise.
Explanation of deaths lagging increase in cases explainable by the timeline from initial infection to death.

What say you KF and Kevin

Posted by: lone plateau | Jul 10 2020 6:06 utc | 70

We have a large percentage of Latinos in San Francisco - and they, too, make up the bulk of the virus cases here. They account for a whopping 50 percent of cases despite making up only 15% of the population (although that depends on how they're counted as many self-identify as "white".) See the Wikipedia article on Demographics of San Francisco.

See the breakdown by ethnicity of San Francisco COVID-19 cases here.

Blacks, on the other hand, seem to have almost perfectly as many virus cases as percentage of population: 5.4% cases vs 5.2% population.

I suspect the difference is in the size of families and the ease of spreading the virus in families. Blacks tend to have fractured families, due to poor economic circumstances, whereas Latinos tend to have large families culturally. I'm no expert in demographics, however, so I might be way off.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 10 2020 6:07 utc | 71

Patroklos @42 Maate,

"I cannot help feel once more that the baby-boomers were the luckiest, most venal, self-deluded and conceited generation in comparably recent times——if only because their self-narrative (the soft-leftism of the 60s, man... still echoed in the Guardian) was utterly betrayed by their rapacity afterwards. They got the best of the post-war consensus and income distribution (50s-60s), stole everything that wasn't nailed down (aka neoliberal reform, 80s-90s) and bequeathed a desert for the rest of us. Thanks for nothing you posturing wankers."

Maaate, broad brush you have there, trying to think of anyone I know, myself included, that fit that description of yours.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/ok-millennial-in-defence-of-baby-boomers-20191206-p53hgp.html

Posted by: Debz | Jul 10 2020 6:25 utc | 72

VietnamVet | Jul 10 2020 3:09 utc | 61

COVID-19 deaths in the USA have the same ultimate cause as the deaths of despair caused by the opioid crisis and the lost American Dream. The for-profit ideology dismantled the USA federal government and liberated the rich to exploit humans and resources as they want. What is striking is that the American and Brazil number of coronavirus cases are still rising. Both have failed national governments.

Spot on! The pathology of both is toxic...unto death...

Posted by: V | Jul 10 2020 6:29 utc | 73

Sirius | Jul 10 2020 5:50 utc | 68


See also: The Myth of the Powell Memo

The idea that Powell’s note was some sort of battle plan—and he a general—for right-leaning think tanks, legal organizations, and ideological warfare has never been convincing, save as a fund-raising pitch. The conservative institutions that emerged in the decade that followed had little in common with the plan Powell suggested, which mostly involved the Chamber of Commerce itself. Nor was Powell any kind of movement conservative. He was, instead, a stodgy corporate lawyer, but a Democrat, and, by the standards of Virginia in the 1960s, a progressive one—as chair of the Richmond school board, he integrated the city’s schools with little conflict, and he was a moderate even on the most liberal Supreme Court ever. His memo even identifies “collective bargaining” as one of the central values of the “free enterprise system.” The actual Powell Memo, and its influence, hardly lived up to the useful fiction that has been developed around it.

The Powell Memo plays a significant part in Right Moves: The Conservative Think Tank in American Political Culture Since 1945, historian Jason Stahl’s new book on the emergence of conservative think tanks, but it’s a different and much more persuasive story, one that serves Stahl’s provocative theory of recent policy debates. Making none of the strained effort to link Powell to the founding of the Heritage Foundation or to Reagan’s anti-union policies, Stahl reports instead on a note sent to William Baroody Sr., the longtime president of AEI, recommending the Powell Memo. Baroody responded with a copy of a speech he had delivered to a group of CEOs, which he thought showed him thinking two steps ahead of Powell. Whereas AEI had previously modeled itself on Brookings’s ideal of technocratic neutrality, Baroody’s speech called instead for “effective competition” to an “intellectual mainstream” that held a “monopoly hostile to business.” Where Powell saw antibusiness sentiment in the universities, Baroody located it instead in think tanks, transforming Powell’s argument into a successful pitch for fund-raising for his own and other right-leaning public policy institutes.

Posted by: pogohere | Jul 10 2020 7:18 utc | 74

It is likely that Trump started his campaign to urgently end the lockdown after he noticed that the outbreak in New York mostly hit the black underclass

Is this what passes for analysis these days ? No wonder people have been bashing your coverage of the Covid crisis in the US. Yesterday’s piece was pure hysteria.

So Trump’s trying to overturn the lockdowns simply because it’s killing more blacks and they don’t vote for him so fuck’em ???

MOS has really slipped here. There is a cost to lockdowns which I described yesterday which is completely ignored. Trump has stated time and time again he didn’t want the cure to be worse than the disease. Lockdowns increase poverty, mental health issues, depression , suicide and has shown not to stop the spread of the virus as seen in South Africa ???? Oh no, not one these factors were taken into account. Or the fact that the dire predictions of apocalypse now didn’t come. Faux hi self in a radio interview said schools and colleges must re-open. Oh no, It’s all about killing black folks because they don’t vote for him.

Furthermore, you think all these BLM marches, congregations, gatherings , meetings did nothing to spread the virus. I forgot Covid only spreads when it’s a Trump rally.

Your coverage of the Covid crisis really has dented the credibility of this site.

Posted by: Down South | Jul 10 2020 8:33 utc | 75

James @ 54: Yes thanks for that link to the documentary.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 10 2020 8:47 utc | 76

Please watch at the speech of this nobel pize to get support to your statments. Time 3:55 on

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iaw4n9IZDdc&t=689s

Whithout shame the speaker continue to call "democracy" a system that steals the living from such huge amount of people.

Posted by: Roberto | Jul 10 2020 8:55 utc | 77

It could corelate to humidity.

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Jul 10 2020 9:49 utc | 78

@b

"There is no biological difference between various ethnicities with regards to Covid-19"

Now that is what I call an unsupported sweeping statement and one which seems rather unlikely to boot.

"There is no scientific theory that attributes this to any other causes than social issues"

Wow, how about the vitamin D deficiency theory? and that is off the top of my head!

But seriously, nice graphs you have there b, and since correlation proves causation you are fully justified in forming your conclusion........Oh wait, it doesn't though does it.

What b has is a good correlation and a hypothesis with face validity, that is not good enough to form a conclusion. I presume from this that b is not a science graduate, if he is he should know better.

Posted by: MarkU | Jul 10 2020 10:18 utc | 79

"There is no biological difference between various ethnicities with regards to Covid-19." None that we know of - maybe. As soon as we enter Hydroxychloroquine into the picture, G6PD deficiency pops up. This is a genetic condition particularly common in certain parts of Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East and it has the nasty effect of making HCQ, other antimalarials and a whole host of other drugs quite a bit more dangerous.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucose-6-phosphate_dehydrogenase_deficiency

Incidentally, stress from an infection is listed as another trigger for hemolysis from this condition...

Posted by: aairfccha | Jul 10 2020 12:07 utc | 80

And, as I continue to posit, the global conflict going on today comes down to public/private control of finance. It sure as hell isn't about freedom and democracy.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 10 2020 2:32 utc | 59

What? You have got to be joking, right? You believe Russia and China are about public control of finance? Get out of my face with that unabashed bullshit. The public at large has no say whatsoever in finance in either country or any country for that matter. The world is controlled by an informal confederation of global oligarchs in charge of countries and regions using nationalism as cover to hide that fact. Wall Street loves BRICS. It's one of so many tells that supports my thesis.

Posted by: 450.org | Jul 10 2020 12:31 utc | 81

"..Neoliberalism can be traced back at least to the Powell Memo of 1971..." Sirius@68

The word is self explanatory: neo-liberalism is nothing more or less than the current iteration of liberalism. What the (neo)liberals are doing is what capitalism demands that they do. Capitalism may be moderated or softened temporarily, under massive popular pressure and during a time of extreme crisis such as war, but it naturally reverts to its instinctive behaviour-rapacity, cannibalism, callous disregard for suffering- over time. To paraphrase ML King "The arc of capitalism is long and it always bends towards inequality, injustice and indifference to humanity."
As a great historian once told the Fabian Society "You cannot tame a tiger claw by claw."
In a 1918 novella Lu Hsin's hero finds that whenever he opens a history book, between the lines he can always read the two words "Eat Men." He understood capitalism and liberalism.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 10 2020 12:36 utc | 82

Just to be clear for all of you who do not reside in America, most of the country was NEVER in "lockdown" per se. It was always a half measure or a quarter measure and most were not abiding by it. Also, what kind of economy relies on nail parlors and gyms and tattoo parlors as the cornerstone of its prowess and success? A Potemkin Economy. In fact, an argument can be made that all economies these days are Potemkin by their very nature. They produce substanceless fluff in the form of services and planned obsolescence products that release environmentally destroying toxins in the manufacturing of them. Humans are so smart they're dumb. They've devised a mechanism called civilization whereby they perfected the insane ritual of shitting on the plates off of which they eat. Humans are shit eaters and, for good measure, shit stirrers too. The end result of walking upright. The total destruction of the living planet and buffoons cheering it on.

Posted by: 450.org | Jul 10 2020 12:43 utc | 83

I have to laugh at the racist goons claiming it affects black folks more because they're obese. Have you seen DJT? He's not exactly the perfect physical specimen, is he? He's the exact opposite, in fact. He's the poster child for ill health. And, contrary to what most people think and believe, he's not white. He's orange. A race of one.

Posted by: 450.org | Jul 10 2020 13:00 utc | 84

by John Zelnicker @ 10
@pretzelattack #1 - The MSM is simply not allowed by their owners to discuss class. That might lead the poor and working classes to realize they have more in common than the visible differences of their skin color. Once this sinks into their thinking they could (hopefully) unite against their oligarchic oppressors. That is what the elites fear more than anything else.
------
b - I read yesterday that the biggest factor in the wealth and income gaps between whites and minorities is in the gaps found within the top 10%. The implication is that the gaps within the bottom 90% is not substantial, which leads to the idea,once again, that the poor and working classes have more in common than their differences. Wage suppression is universal with racism thrown in for good measure, to keep "them" down on the plantation.

by John Zelnicker @ 10

I have a yet different possible explanation.. the impact of pharmaceuticals

try comparing the pharmaceuticals taken by the 90% vs the 10% without regard to class as a function of infectivity. and
with class. there is a major problem with prescription drugs..

try comparing the location of cell towers of the 905 vs the 10% without regard to class as a function of infectivity.
and with class.. The cell tower proximity to three requirements for infection
those requirements are
1. the presence of the human infectious virus,
2. a human susceptible to infection,
3. and contact between virus and human.
and a possible fourth and fifth is the number of times contact has been made possible.
and the intensity and volume of the exposure at time of contact.

example will one viron be sufficient to infect on contact or will it take a min. of say 100 virons on a contact.
if viron count at infection is important, it would suggest the innate immune system .. controls viron needed to infect.

However environmental things would change that number needed to accomplish infection, most likely.
Based on the 1983 patent on infecting susceptible cells with emf energy including wave form and intensity as variables
the time spent by people, in proximity to cell towers and other emf sources likely will correlate with infection
by contact with virons.

Posted by: snake | Jul 10 2020 13:22 utc | 85

Looks like someone's workday has just begun.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 10 2020 13:25 utc | 86

You do realize we're talking about a common cold coronavirus, with a 99.99% survival rate. Same or even higher survival rate than the flu. Start from this, in every analysis of government erratic and even criminal response to the plandemic.

Posted by: AlainJ | Jul 10 2020 13:35 utc | 87

@ Posted by: Sirius | Jul 10 2020 5:50 utc | 68

What I meant was neoliberalism as praxis, not as an academic theory.

At its "theoretical form", neoliberalism was born in 1936, with Mont Pelerin (a society that still exists). It was merely an ideological discourse which stated that everything that happened between 1917 and their day was an abortion of History, and that liberalism should've never gone extinct (it was in 1914-1918). Hence the name "neoliberalism" - literally, the New Liberalism.

It was only with the Chicago School that neoliberalism earned its economic theory - Monetarism. It was first tested in Pinochet's Chile, then in the USA/UK (Carter-Thatcher). It then suffered a series of transmutations and amalgamations as it spread around the world in the 1980s until it reached its most "perfected" form - the Washington Consensus.

So, we must pay attention to what neoliberalism really is. It is not a theory, nor an ideology: it is a political doctrine that has both an ideology (laissez faire, liberalism) and an economic theory (monetarism).

Posted by: vk | Jul 10 2020 13:38 utc | 88

"There is no biological difference between various ethnicities with regards to Covid-19."

Wow. Complete and utter disinformation - worthy of Guardian.
Even leaving aside the evidence, it's just an obtuse statement on it's face.
The tone of the posts have changed in recent months/weeks.

Very unfortunate, but to be expected.

Posted by: jared | Jul 10 2020 13:52 utc | 89

All the discussion around Covid-19 makes it sound as if Covid-19 is a serious issue. Without discussing R0 or any other fancy stuff, I can make the following observations. Covid-19 was supposedly infecting millions of people and killing hundreds of thousands but I am yet to see someone who got infected. That after having lived in a so called hot spot / containment zone. Remember the initial images of body-bags piling up at places on TV? I thought people were going start falling dead left and right. Nothing of the sort happened. What is the chance of someone dying after getting infected? 5%? Or is it 0.5%? How does Covid-19 differ from Influenza in terms of lethality / symptoms / complications? Please discuss it first before endlessly discussing about usefulness of masks or how race affect the outlook and so on.

Posted by: Jacob | Jul 10 2020 13:59 utc | 90

to David Park # 31 thanks for posting the link to zero hedge. I don't do links because I don't know how and fear the rath of the cognoscenti.. Several weeks - possibly more - a couple of months ago I made numerous comments referring to a number of studies including those mentioned in zero hedge (actually a The Duran post originally) which indicated that 1.) hydroxychloroquine with zinc plus vita D is a very effective EARLY or prophylactic treatment and 2.) that it is not dangerous in the recommended doses. b deleted ALL my posts for reasons not explained. I see that he has let yours stand (to date) It grieves me greatly to think of all the people who might have been helped....

And it infuriates me to read of the bogus deceitful "STUDIES" which gave doses 4 and 5 times the recommended dose to very very ill people. Interestingly - Bolsonaro of Brazil, who was recently diagnosed with covid-19 (after denying it's importance for months ha ha) is receiving hydroxychloroquine. hahahaha I wonder how many other politicos and their handlers have a stash? cheers

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Jul 10 2020 15:29 utc | 91

There is a very simple reason why people of colour are being disproportionately hit by covid19: they are far more likely to be deficient in vitamin D - a factor, due to vit D's immune system enhancing properties, that has been established as important in patient recovery.

Posted by: Tony | Jul 10 2020 15:44 utc | 92

@ Posted by: Miss Lacy | Jul 10 2020 15:29 utc | 91

Bolsonaro states he's taking hydroxycloroquine. Doesn't mean he really is taking it.

His friend is the owner of the main hydroxycloroquine producer in Brazil. It's consensus in Brazil he's lobbying.

Posted by: vk | Jul 10 2020 15:56 utc | 93

While class, economic status, different diets and access to health care surely are big factors, i will play the pariah to say:
A huge factor is also how educated or uneducated one is. And that often determines one regards or disregards science, ability for critical thinking, and how based in reality one's thinking is.

At least at the start the reporting was that in the majority black neigbourhoods, Corona was seen in the huge majority as fake news.

How representative that is, i dont know. But at least here in Germany, there is pretty visible divide between Germans and e.g. middle eastern immigrants. The former in the majority wear masks, and follow the rules, while the latter in the majority do not.
And while it is true, that this is a general issue not specific to Corona (e.g. disregarding the rules of the host country in general in favor of the rules of their own parallel society), it becomes now visible for everyone even more than before.

OFC it is not race, but at least as a big contributing factor, it is (sub-)culture which is striking here.

While this is certainly a factor, i know it is often looked over for being politically correct. But on such a life and death issue at least, one should ignore such considerations of PC.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr | Jul 10 2020 15:58 utc | 94

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Jul 10 2020 15:29 utc | 91

If b did indeed delete your comment simply for having written in favour of hydroxychloriquine, he was quite wrong to do so (but it's his blog). I seem to remember him saying he was going to, but it's a error to do so. HCQ as useful as any drug around against COVID, with an actual effect, as opposed to remdesivir, which is 100% fake but heavily supported in the States by Fauci among others, and thus approved elsewhere.

Idiots like Bolsonaro and Trump take it because they're afraid of dying, and it's the only drug which has any effect. It's a mistake to judge a drug by the idiots who take it, but that's what's happened.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 10 2020 16:45 utc | 95

"There is no biological difference between various ethnicities with regards to Covid-19. There is no scientific theory that attributes this to any other causes than social issues"

Why do you say that? Are you really unaware of the link between Vitamin D and its deficiency in the minority population the US and EU countries and the much higher risk such deficiency creates. Here's a very recent U of Chicago study on the matter I was able to Google in 2 seconds:
Posted by: Caliman | Jul 9 2020 18:03 utc | 7

Far more importantly are the differences in ACE2 receptors between different ethnic groups, which is the primary determinant of the efficacy of infection and strength of response to the virus. The original strain of the virus released in Wuhan (Clade A) was specifically adapted to Han Chinese ACE2 cells (and to a large extent other Asians), and was highly ineffective at infecting Caucasians (that's why Trump and Johnson initially laughed at Covid). Clade A quickly mutated into Clade B, which was also adapted to Han Chinese ACE2 cells, but was less lethal than Clade A. Most of the early Covid infections in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong were of the Clade B strain.

When Clade B reached Europe it had a hard job of infecting caucasians, and quickly adapted to Clade C which was highly efficient in infecting caucasians. By chance, it was also far more lethal than Clade B. A large proportion of early infections in Western Europe (and New York) were Clade C. Clade C, however, was highly inefficient in infecting Asians, and when it did so was almost invariably asymptomatic of with extremely mild symptoms. This is a specifically ethnic mutation, and the difference between Clade B and Clade C is in the gene that determines the spike protein, which is what attaches to the ACE2 cell receptor.

Therefore the statement "There is no biological difference between various ethnicities with regards to Covid-19. There is no scientific theory that attributes this to any other causes than social issues" is 100% wrong in every respect.

I have not seen any paper on the differences between ACE2 cells of blacks and caucasians, but differences between different strains of Sars-Cov-2 - and the prevalence of different strains in different regions - is certainly likely to be a highly relevant factor. Poverty and access to health care, access to masks, and ability to take time off work are certainly important factors. Population density is certainly an important factor. Obesity is established to be an important factor. Not just "class" alone.

Sorry, but this article is like spagghetti - picking a map that corellates with population density, racial diversity, poverty, environmental temperature and many other factors is not going to provide proof of anything.

Once upon a time this blog would have criticised poorly thought out articles like this. Times change.

Posted by: BM | Jul 10 2020 16:46 utc | 96

corellates
Oops! These things happen.

Posted by: BM | Jul 10 2020 16:54 utc | 97

The problem with this article is that it fails to acknowledge that the actual rate of COVID-19 death is still enormously skewed towards the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut/Massachusetts region and that the mortality rates for nCOV - both IFR and CFR - are unquestionably falling.

The top 4 states in terms of nCOV mortality: New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
These 4 states have an nCOV case/death ratio of 12.2 and comprise a bit under half of all nCOV deaths: 60,481 out of over 130K.
Extending to the top 10: (add Rhode Island, DC, Louisiana, Michigan, Illinois and Maryland - nCOV case/death ratio increases to 14.91 (It is 17 for just #5-#10).
Overall, US ratio is 23.86 - and this has been increasing.

China has already shown that even the most draconian measures will still see flareups re-occur.

John Helmer recently published an interview of a Russian geneticist with some interesting claims: that PCR and antibody tests are not accurate whatsoever in assessing the level of nCOV exposure in a population. In particular, Paul Volchkov states that people with minor or asymptomatic nCOV infections won't produce many antibodies and these antibodies won't stick around long, but that the actual immunity is a pattern imprinted on their T- and B- immune cells. These T- and B- cells are extremely few in number, and only really expensive testing like ELISPOT can detect their presence and analyze whether these cells have been attuned to nCOV. Volchkov then cites a number of studies which have employed ELISPOT testing, and that they all show that T- and B- cell priming against nCOV is present in 2-3 times more people than those showing nCOV antibodies. Thus a 20% nCOV antibody presence means 40% to 60% (or more) have already been exposed to nCOV.

Or in other words: the primary reason the Europeans are seeing lower levels of nCOV is not because of their social policies - but more because they have already reached herd immunity as evidenced by their high national nCOV death rates. The US nCOV death rate is lower than many of the European countries despite its shambolic response: 411 per 1M population vs. UK:658, Spain:607, Italy: 578, Sweden: 545, France: 459.
Remove the NorthEast corridor and the US rate falls just about in half.
The fact is that nCOV mortality is falling across the board and that at least part of this is because the most vulnerable parts of the population have already died. If Volchkov is right, herd immunity is also having an effect.

The social and political question that still has not been answered: what is the plan to address future nCOV mortality (low) vs. ongoing economic damage (high)?
This isn't just a matter of social safety nets - it is entire sectors of the economy.
How are the mom and pop shops and restaurants in Europe doing? I doubt they're doing much better than in the US states with strong lockdowns.
How will nations with significant tourism sectors adapt? Spain, Italy, North Africa, southern France, Greece, etc are all heavily dependent on North and West European tourists. Travel, entertainment, restaurants, conventions, hotels, car rentals, etc are all seriously affected and/or basically dead.
Retail is equally fucked.
What about jobs? Not just the travel/entertainment/retail, but the jobs that are lost/will be lost as the entire economies downshift.
The grocery stores and booze makers are having it good now, but lost jobs will impact overall spending at some point, if not already.
In this area - no part of the world is responding in any form of coherent or intelligent fashion.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 10 2020 16:55 utc | 98

A very quick and easy google search shows that the annual mortality rate in the US is around 723 per 100000. That's about 2,530,500 for the year (2018). For 6 months worth of that value would be around 1,265,250. The pandemic has been on air for six months. If (very big if) reported deaths can be believed at around 130,000 that's pretty...

Posted by: Joshua | Jul 10 2020 17:10 utc | 99

close to one percent of the average mortality rate in a given year in the US being attributed to the virus. Think about that. They are blaming about one percent of the annual average deaths in the US on an ivisible virus that they have been lying their weasely little guts out about the whole time.

Posted by: Joshua | Jul 10 2020 17:13 utc | 100

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