I am posting without change the observations of Karl Denninger at his Market Ticker blog. He has been all over this Wuhan Flu pandemic from the beginning, I have frequently quoted him before on this issue. He is a great researcher, knows science and understands statistical math and how to use it. He is unbiased in that he pretty much despises both the Democrat and Republican Parties equally. I give you his thought below complete and unedited. It is based largely on this that I based my own conclusions. Here’s Karl:
Putting Facts Together: What They WON’T Do
None of this is in dispute; if you have an argument to make with any of these alleged facts let’s hear it in the comments, with your data source.
- As many as half, and in some states as many as 80%, of people who have died from Covid-19 were nursing home or other long-term-care home residents.
- Black people have a higher fatality rate for the virus than white people. Various commentators have attempted to explain this as a race-based difference in health care access, although no such evidence actually exists (e.g. in KY, where the Governor has announced an explicitly racist and thus unconstitutional program to “cover all black people” with health insurance — a program based on ethnicity and thus constitutionally impermissible.) However, black people also have a higher attack rate than whites, which cannot be explained by any alleged difference in health-care access. Obviously, if you are attacked at a higher rate given the same percentage of bad outcomes more of that group on a numerical basis will have bad outcomes.
- Meat-packing plant workers have a materially higher attack rate than non meat-packing workers. Said workers are also over-represented, by a lot, among Hispanics.
- Said meat-packing plant and other agricultural workers, however, have a lower fatality (bad outcome) rate than among the general population in places such as New York. And not by a little either — by a factor of 10 or more. That’s well beyond statistical significance. Indeed the CFR among these groups are in the low tenths of one percent. That’s in the realm of ordinary seasonal flu.
- Japan controlled their outbreak without lockdowns. People like to point to “mask-wearing” but are ignoring the 900lb Gorilla in the room when it comes to Japan and South Korea — about 3/4 of all homes have bidets. The percentage of homes in the US with a bidet is an effective zero. (I have one and like it; among other things it dramatically reduces the use of TP, so my one roll of consumption is your three or five rolls!) Use of a bidet, however, absolutely reduces the amount of feces contact with a toilet user’s hands by a huge factor — probably to 1/100th or less than a user of a toilet without one, since it washes nearly all of the feces off your butthole and into the toilet before you get off the pot. This dramatically reduces the risk of fecal:oral transmission of any bug at the source and thus should be expected to dramatically reduces infection rates.
- South Korea controlled their hospital transmission without extreme PPE measures. Their solution? Militant hand-washing in health care facilities; before entry to and at exit of every room and after contact with any potentially-contaminated person or surface. That step alone cut the transmission to health care workers to nearly zero. This was known in March. We are still seeing crazy-high transmission in health-care workers in the United States, especially in nursing homes and other care facilities (ITC homes for disabled people, etc.) in the United States and we have not instituted said militant hand-washing standards here.
- Homeless people appeared at first to not get the virus at all. This made absolutely no sense and I talked about it at the time as a major confounding piece of data; I could not explain the apparent lack of infections. Subsequently, serology and mass-testing of shelters later proved that in fact damn near all of said people tested were in fact positive for either antibodies or the virus itself, meaning virtually all of them either had it or have had it. We originally thought they didn’t get it because they didn’t get sick! But they sure did get the virus — they just didn’t get sick enough from it to require medical attention. I note that “getting the virus” but not getting sick is good, not bad. In fact it’s very good not just for you but for everyone around you; provided you get some amount of immunity out of that the benefit to the general public is considerable. Among said homeless people nearly zero of them have died of Covid-19.
- Prison populations continue to report extremely high attack rates and yet again post near-zero serious case and fatality rates. Note that prisons and jails universally have the toilet in the cell and thus fecal/oral contamination via surface contact is going to be extremely easy with no possible way to control it. We keep seeing huge “bursts” of reported cases in various states which are prisoner test batches that show up all at once — yet what we don’t see are prisoners dropping dead or ending up in the ICU with the bug. Note that incarcerated individuals are materially more likely than the general population to have lived an extraordinarily unhealthy lifestyle prior to incarceration, including drug and alcohol abuse. Therefore you would expect them to have much higher mortality statistics from Covid-19 than the general population but this has yet to occur on a systematic basis in the United States.
- Native Americans appear to have extremely high attack, severe disease and death rates. Arizona is the poster child for this problem but is by no means alone; they just happen to have entire counties where a huge percentage of the population is Native American due to the presence of large reservation areas within same. The net-positive test rate among NE Arizona counties in particular is astounding on a comparative basis.
- Protesters don’t get it either despite ignoring “social distancing” writ large and often or even usually ignoring masks too. Never mind that if you’re gassed by the cops you cough like a son-of-a-bitch so if you have anything now so does everyone within 20′ of you. The transmission rate should be much higher than the statistical average for everyone in the state if gathering together in close contact for hours at a time without masks transmitted the bug. The data says it does not; their positive rate of 1.4% is less than half the index rate (average) of 3.7% in the state of Minnesota.
- Delaying infection does not prevent it. Remember that flattening the curve mantra? That’s delay. The area under the curve (number of infections) remains the same but is simply spread out over more time. Now suddenly that people are still getting infected results in screaming when this was not only a known outcome it was the expected outcome. Has the collective IQ of Americans dropped below their shoe size? It appears the answer is a resounding YES!
Note that exactly nobody pressing the racissssssss! screaming is accounting for any of this. Until and unless we cut the crap with that intentional suppression of logical analysis we shall never get to the facts. There are very important epidemiological facts in this data and in fact there are likely pathways to suppression of severe outcomes from Covid-19 to below the nuisance level found therein.
Exactly where they lead and how you get there isn’t yet known but a number of hypothesis are all reasonable given this set of facts and if we are going to actually make progress with this or any other disease we must look at said facts dispassionately, especially where you have high attack rates in what you would expect are seriously-compromised and high-risk population segments and yet those cases occur with few to nearly-zero severe or fatal outcomes.
Remember that HIV was treated in exactly the same sort of “social justice” fashion and we shoved a half-million Americans in the hole as a result. Almost-certainly at least half of those people did not need to and should not have died. They died because we refused to analyze the data we had and go where it led us, instead “protecting” those who claimed that butt****ing was not only a civil right but also that nothing which called into question the dangers of doing so was to be admitted into public discussion and debate.
Ok, so what hypothesis can we form?
- Attack rate is highly-correlated with housing density in a given unit of housing. That we now know and it explains the higher black attack rate, the higher meat-packing employee attack rate, the higher nursing/LTC home attack rate, the higher reservation attack rate and the higher homeless shelter attack rate. It also explains the higher attack rate in places such as Wuhan China even though I believe exactly zero of what was reported out of the Chinese without hard, independent proof. All those populations have much higher housing densities than the average white American household.
- Adding a bidet that goes on a toilet at the mounting point for the seat costs about $50. Adding one to every American home and apartment could have been done for a billion dollars, roughly, and likely would have cut transmission rates by a monstrous amount at less than a thousandth of the cost of the economic damage we have incurred.
- The lack of indoor plumbing and sanitation massively correlates with attack rate. Witness the NE corner of Arizona; many reservation dwellings have no septic system or running water. How do you wash your hands with soap and water without running water? How do you remove feces from your hands after defecating?
- Close contact, with or without masks and even in large groups where you are in such a group for hours at a time, but where personal hand-to-hand or hand-to-object-to-hand contact does not occur does not, statistically, appear to transmit the virus as the correlation with the protests is inverted. This is not a singular event either; remember that despite tens or even hundreds of thousands of spring break revelers partying in Florida in March the total number of cases traced to same numbered five. Remember that while correlation does not prove causation the lack of correlation reliably excludes a causal relationship. So much for continuing to ban large groups (e.g. sports fans, political rallies, etc.), limiting capacity in theme parks, restaurants, bars, etc. — and requiring masks for the general public in any circumstance.
- At the same time the places where groups of cases have occurred all correlate with the potential for fecal:oral spread. There is a just-reported set of cases linked to a Jacksonville bar in Florida. How is their hand-washing protocol in that place? It just takes one bartender who used the bathroom, didn’t wash his or her hands, and then handled all the glasses served to those individuals while filling them. The same is true for the communal transmission reported earlier among a family that had a large gathering where shared dishes were served and at the church in South Korea with a symptomatic individual which practiced close, personal hand-based contact. At the same time groups of hundreds of thousands “protesting” in close proximity, in fact at “personal contact” distance for hours at a time don’t get it. This is very solid evidence that it is manual transmission via the hands, likely fecal:oral — and not airborne — that is occurring. In short: WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS AND NO, HAND SANITIZER IS NOT AN ADEQUATE REPLACEMENT.
- Severity of outcome is very highly correlated with (1) obesity, (2) diabetes, and (3) the use of ACE/ARB modulating pharmaceuticals to control various morbidity factors. The latter was attempted to be “disproved” by a now-withdrawn study that was shown to have possibly-intentionally corrupted data. Note that among homeless people you have a lack of all three yet you also have rampant alcoholism, which one would expect to lead to very severe compromise and bad outcomes — but the data says it doesn’t. Native Americans are also notorious for severe alcohol abuse which would lead one to believe there’s a correlation there but the extremely high prevalence of same among homeless people who have almost zero severe Covid outcomes argues strongly against that being a co-factor in severity of result.
- Age is not, standing alone, a material mortality factor in this disease. New York’s death data proves this; there is no specific correlation with age to death rate. A shockingly-low number of New Yorkers of seriously advanced age without any of the listed morbidity factors have died. It’s not being old that gets you — it’s being unhealthy in specific, discernable ways.
- Attack rate is very highly correlated with the likelihood of fecal/oral transmission vectors being in play. Nursing homes have an extraordinary prevalence of incontinent individuals in them and avoiding cross-contamination when someone has a diaper on is extremely difficult. The more people in a given housing unit the harder this is to control as well, and the presence of high-pressure institutional style toilets radically raises the risk of expulsion of fecal matter onto both surfaces and into the air. Lids do not stop the former, in fact they concentrate it. We knew this was likely at-issue early on in that protocols in Asian hospitals were changed very quickly to require assiduous hand-washing routines and as soon as that was implemented cross-transmission to and between health care workers went to an effective zero, even without masks! This also explains how Japan was able to control their outbreak without shutting the economy down — most of their private homes have bidets which dramatically reduce the risk of fecal/oral transmission in private homes by materially reducing the amount of feces a person’s hands can come into contact with.
- There are no long-term care or nursing home facilities and damn few hospital beds or units that can, today, in their present configurations, control for the transmission risk of a highly-mobile fecal/oral bug, especially if the focus remains on “masks and gloves” instead of the manual removal of potential contamination from one’s hands after any and all contact with any item or person that might be contaminated. Again, we knew this in MARCH and have completely ignored it. The willful and intentional failure to address this protocol is negligent homicide by the tens of thousands of counts. There is not one governor nor health director in any of the 50 states who has addressed this fact nor have any been held accountable.
- The fact that homeless people get this virus on a nearly-universal basis yet almost none of them get seriously ill or die of it is extremely powerful data. In fact, within that, plus the prison population and meat-packing house data, is likely a key to exactly why, statistically, people get severe cases of this bug rather than benign ones and ultimately expire from it. This is especially true when one considers that both prisoners and homeless people have a much-higher than general population prevalence of seriously-unhealthy behaviors including most-specifically alcoholism and serious drug abuse, both of which are severely immunosuppressive.
Through all of this we can find truth — if we care to.
We don’t care to.
We won’t hold NY accountable, for example, for obvious intentional medical homicide in that they have one quarter of the deaths in America from Covid-19 but only six percent of the population of the country. That’s a 400% over-representation and is flat-out outrageous. We know, for example, the state forced Covid+ persons into nursing homes; that’s not an accident, it’s intentional. And there are allegations that NY intentionally left potentially or known-Covid+ patients outside of isolated areas in hospitals. Britain, by the way, has admitted that 20% of their infections were nosocomial — given to people by the hospital. What’s our percentage and why isn’t that reported? Exactly zero of those infections and deaths are acceptable nor can they be charged to the “virulence” of the virus; by definition those are medical incompetence at best and manslaughter at worst.
There is in fact a pretty-clean argument to be made that bolting the door of every hospital instead of admitting potential Covid suffers might well have resulted in less death! Think about that for a minute: There is a clean argument to be made that our medical system resulted in a net positive change in the death rate from this virus; we would have been better off in terms of dead bodies to tell people to go pound sand and tough it out at home!
We have not, several months in, stopped transmission in and through nursing homes and other long-term and intermediate care facilities. Every single state still has a problem in this regard. The number of transmissions in and between nursing home (and other residential care facility) residents and staff at this point should be a statistical zero yet it is not in any state. This is hard evidence that the overhwelming focus on mask-based PPE is and will remain ineffective. Anywhere from a third to a half of all who have died of this bug were in such homes yet an effective zero of them could have contracted the virus in the community at-large since they don’t leave said homes and, since the lockdowns in said places started months ago haven’t been close enough to others to get the virus via personal contact with other residents; their care-givers had to be either direct or indirect vectors!
We won’t take the data we have, which is that handwashing is a massive deterrent to transmission while masks out in public do little or nothing and, rather than demand “masks” in public places instead put hand-washing stations, with soap and water, outside businesses and public buildings and become absolute “nazi-like” when it comes to handwashing where personal service from one-to-many is common such as restaurant and bar staff. We also won’t do the same thing in hospitals and other care facilities. Yet we know masks (especially when not worn properly and in combination with excellent hand hygiene, which the general public does not practice) are not a barrier to transmission but hand-washing is, and we knew this in March after a South Korean hospital stopped transmission to their staff, even when not masked, by mandating manual handwashing with soap and water before entry and exit to every patient room and after contact with any potentially-contaminated surface. Prior that they had a huge problem despite the use of PPE, yet upon instituting that protocol their staff transmission dropped to a statistical zero.
We have a second, confirmatory data point on fecal/oral transmission from Japan which controlled their outbreak without material lockdowns of any sort and has a very high prevalence of bidet presence in private homes (~75%.) The use of a bidet removes virtually all feces from your butthole and thus reduces by an enormous factor the potential viral transmission load from one person to another via that route. Given the essentially “kissing” level of contact found on Japanese mass-transit (rendering a mask useless) and the same level of personal contact found in many of the recent “protests” this is further evidence that the primary means of community spread is manual, not droplet-aerosol based. Note that South Korea, where bidets are also common, confirms this.
And finally, also adding a lot of weight to the fecal/oral transmission route as being primary, we have data from the protests now coming in that large groups congregating for hours at a time in close contact, but generally not exchanging hand-to-hand or hand-object-hand contact, does not result in transmission occurring irrespective of masks.
We have a lot of data, at this point, that strongly points to why some people get very sick, some people get nothing, and why some people get exposed but never build antibodies. Specifically, there is also obvious cross-immunity to this bug but we don’t know what it sources from. That is the only logical reason why someone who is exposed and gets the bug, as proved by PCR test, would not develop an antibody response; the only way your body eliminates a virus is through antibody response, so if you don’t build specific antibodies the only other rational explanation is that you have cross-resistance.
We have a medical system, in short, that is hell-bent and determined to find ways to make money off this disease rather than focusing on how to make people not die and we have a media that is complicit in lying about the facts and points of correlation (which suggest but do not prove causation) and the places where correlation is expected under their hypothesis but is absent, which unlike correlation does in nearly every instance DISPROVE the suspected causal factor.
Again: Correlation does not prove causation but lack of correlation DOES, in nearly every case, DISPROVE causation. This is one of the first things you learn about in regard to statistical analysis; that which does not correlate should not be, absent hard, scientific proof, viewed as a potential causal factor.
Exactly as with HIV/AIDS they have adopted a model that increases the number of people shoveled into the hole so more money is made instead of figuring out how, at zero or very little cost, to contain and prevent transmission and under what circumstances people get it and have a severe or fatal outcome as opposed to a minor inconvenience as is the case with a common cold.
The evidence strongly suggests that the reason for the difference in outcome is both a function of cross-immunity and may, to a large degree, rest in both personal choice linked co-morbidities and commonly-prescribed and used medical interventions that are “believed to be safe” but in fact seriously potentiate infections with this virus. The latter is strongly suggested by the data — not proved, mind you, but very strongly suggested and in addition the modality of that threat matches up exactly with what we know about how this virus attacks the body. Instead of running that to the ground as a public priority we instead had a study run with contaminated data that tried to discredit that which implies that scienter exists among the pharmaceutical and medical industries! In other words, the evidence suggests they know damn well those drugs are killing people in the context of this bug and tried to cover it up. That this didn’t trigger an immediate investigation at all levels of the government and regulatory apparatus is an outrage.
I’ve been reporting on this since February, I nailed this vector as likely at the root of transmission in February and I’ve yet to see a single bit of evidence that the hypotheses that I have put forward on same, backed by the data as available at the time, has been wrong. Then again actually resolving the issue neither makes anyone rich nor does it give you a convenient political sword to run your opponents through with, does it?
Wake up America.