Mar 302020

Hasui Kawase Mimhae Pavilion, Kyongju, Korea 1940


Earlier today in the March 30 Automatic Earth Debt Rattle aggregator I promised to come back to this. I wrote:

Dr. Fauci, Trump’s main medical/epidemic advisor, said yesterday that 200,000 Americans could die from COVID19. The same Fauci, as I quoted two days ago, recently changed his case fatality rate prediction from 1% to 0.1%. I had to let that sink in for a while, because if those 200,000 people represent that 0.1%, he now apparently believes that 200 million Americans could be infected with the coronavirus. The official number of infected Americans right now according to Worldometer is 142,735. The official death number is 2,489.

On top of that, Trump said, undoubtedly after conferring with Fauci among others, that the coronavirus peak in the USA is expected to take place in two weeks (Easter). You get where I’m going with this: how on earth are the numbers supposed to add up? In proven Trumpian fashion, Fauci did cover himself: “We’re going to have millions of cases.” But he added “I don’t want to be held to that” because the pandemic is “such a moving target.“ We’re going to have millions of cases, but don’t hold me to that…”

I think most people see these numbers flash by without realizing what they mean.

I found that remarkable not only because of the 200 million number implied, But also because Dr. Fauci had said a number of different, varying things off late. Here I am from the March 28 Debt Rattle:

Weird turnarounds: Fauci goes from a 1.0% CFR to 0.1% in 2 weeks, Neil Ferguson takes just 10 days to move from 500,000 [UK] deaths to under 20,000. Oh, and Deborah Brix claims the US have “..enough data now of the real experience with the coronavirus on the ground..” and, well, after all: “Models are [just] models”.

Now, she of course in fact merely has new models based on new data (so why diss models?), and it’s not nearly enough; re: testing. What Fauci and Ferguson hope to accomplish in risking their credibility with their sudden “moodswings” is unclear, but they’re not sufficiently supported by new data either. Not in that amount of time. Political pressure perhaps?

Dr. Fauci mentioned the 0.1% case fatality rate here on March 24:

Dr. Fauci: Coronavirus Death Rate Like Very Bad Flu

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, co-authored an article published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine predicting the fatality rate for the coronavirus will turn out to be like that of a “severe seasonal influenza.” In an exceptionally bad flu season, the case fatality rate is about one-tenth of 1 percent, the authors write. Regarding the current coronavirus pandemic, they said: “If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%.”

While the reference to Dr. Fauci talking about a 1% case fatality rate comes for instance from this, on March 4 (a view he didn’t correct until the March 24 piece above):

Fauci Says It’s Too Early To Determine US Death Rates From Coronavirus

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the House Appropriations subcommittee in Congress on Wednesday [March 4] that it remains difficult to determine accurate mortality rates of the new coronavirus outbreak, given that we simply do not know yet how many have been infected with the disease. [..] amid the coronavirus outbreak, many representatives took the opportunity to grill Fauci on the latest developments.

“We don’t know the denominator,” Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., noted to Fauci when asking whether mortality rates are reliable. “You said it, sir,” Fauci responded [..] “If you look at the cases that have come to the attention of the medical authorities, in China, and you just do the math — the math is about 2%. If you look at certain age groups, certain risk groups, the fatality is much higher.”

[..] Amid continuing questions around the numbers, Harris asked Fauci about the accuracy numbers published by the WHO on Tuesday stating the death rate is 3.4% globally. [..] In the U.S., the administration is still working to ascertain the full number of Americans infected by the disease. The administration has been hamstrung by a slow rollout of testing, making it difficult to track. “I’m torn,” Fauci said. “If we get enough data to have a big [numerator] it’s gonna be bad news for us.” “You know as well as anybody that the mortality for seasonal flu is .1%,” he added. “So even if it goes down to 1%, it’s still 10 times more fatal.”

And then yesterday, the good doctor says the following:

Dr. Fauci Says 200,000 Americans Could Die From The Coronavirus

The coronavirus outbreak could kill 100,000 to 200,000 Americans, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert warned on Sunday as smoldering hot spots in nursing homes and a growing list of stricken cities heightened the sense of dread across the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the dire prediction of fatalities on CNN, adding that millions in the U.S. could become infected. “I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 cases,” he said, correcting himself to say he meant deaths. “We’re going to have millions of cases.” But he added “I don’t want to be held to that” because the pandemic is “such a moving target.”


Graph by Mike Shedlock based on data from Covid Tracking Project. (Mind the scale)


What I find remarkable is that I haven’t seen a single reporter, TV, newspaper, add that up to the “200 million Americans infected” number. It’s a simple 2+2=4. If 200,000 people die with an 0.1% infection rate, total infections are 200 million.

Unless Dr. Fauci would now claim that either the 0.1% OR the 200,000 deaths claims or wrong. And I obviously know he also said ‘the pandemic is “such a moving target”’, But he should know he’s in the public eye, and adjust his claims to that fact. Besides, he just changed his claims.

Granted, I also wrote this morning:: “Wonder if he’s included the effects of a health care system collapse. Ironically, that might make his numbers more realistic.”, but that wouldn’t negate his claims.

And then of course you get the following, given that Dr. Fauci is the no. 1 medical/epidemic advisor to President Trump, or at least the most visible -with Dr. Deborah Brix:

Trump: Keeping US COVID-19 Deaths To 100,000 Would Be A ‘Very Good Job’

Donald Trump has extended America’s national shutdown for a month, bowing to public health experts, and scientific reality, and warning that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to come. Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, the US president claimed that, if his administration keeps the death toll to 100,000, it will have done “a very good job” – a startling shift from his optimistic predictions of a few days ago when he said he hoped to restart the economy by Easter.

It’s easy to slam Trump for these things, and part of that will be justified and well deserved, but Trump relies on his medical staff to a large extent, even if he deviates from what they say from time to time. If only because as you now know, his medical team change their opinions quite a bit. And he never “predicted” the economy would reopen by Easter, he merely said he hoped it would.

Moreover, in this case he’s right: if Dr. Fauci predicts 200,000 fatalities, limiting it to half that number would be a good thing. But more importantly, as Trump predicts a peak by Easter, after talking to Dr. Fauci, but we’re still 200,000 deaths minus 2,600 removed from Dr. Fauci’s “goal”, and 200 million cases minus 144,000, why don’t we read and hear about the gigantic numbers closely ahead of us in the press?

Perhaps you don’t have to be halfway at the peak, but you certainly must be quite a ways there. What would that mean for the next two week though? Dr.? And I know, Dr. Fauci said between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths, but given the gap between today and either of those numbers, it hardly even seems to matter.

15 days to Easter to -only?!- get to 100,000 deaths means 6,667 deaths a day, or maybe a little less. Because otherwise you can’t credibly claim a peak. Your homework for the day: Color the pictures and finish the story.



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Home Forums Dr. Fauci: 200 Million Americans Will Be Infected

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    Hasui Kawase Mimhae Pavilion, Kyongju, Korea 1940   Earlier today in the March 30 Automatic Earth Debt Rattle aggregator I promised to come back
    [See the full post at: Dr. Fauci: 200 Million Americans Will Be Infected]


    “There has never been a bigger swindle in history than the aggregate shenanigans on Wall Street lo these years of the new millennium, and we all know it, even if it’s hard to explain just how they did it. You understand that banking and finance was headed firmly south long before corona virus stole onto the scene. “ – Jim Kunstler.

    I’ll say that everyone is more interested in the manipulation of the up and down of the stock market


    Has a succesful treatment program emerged at last?

    NY Doctor Successfully Treats Patients With Drug Cocktail: “Zero Deaths, Zero Hospitalizations, Zero Intubations.”

    I’m taking this at face value for now.


    For the treatment to work, it has to be free for the patient to be able to afford it.


    ezixa1949: Fascinating link. Unfortunate news outlet title.
    Concerning Fauci: I didn’t like him much during the AIDS thing in the 80s. I don’t much like him now.


    Here is a ditty for today- slightly on topic.

    Socialism will favor the hens;
    Capitalism, the foxes.
    If we cannot remember we’re humans,
    We’re all gonna end up in boxes.


    Yoo iz good and funny poet, my parents. That one is a keeper.

    Raul: Trump’s NPD has now been oberved directly by countless admin staff. Reports have this have also circulated the shop-talk rumor circuit. IN fact, Americans have seen him so much many of them have a handle on it, and that could well lead to something like this:

    any sharp sociopath loves dealing with NPDoids.Having little or no moral conscience themselves, sociopaths are uniquely equipped to manipulate a mere malignant narcissist like Trump. Per this logic, the longer Trump is in office the less able he is to run amok as he would like (which is pretty much his sole virtue aside from that mazing hair). Increasingly, he would be corraled, then harnessed and ridden by socios who have his number and are even working in concert. (While Fauci has an inherently smug facial expression due to bone and skin structure, but I feel that his natural resting face sincerely reflects his character: a conniving little sociopath quite high on his own butt fumes without being particularly vulnerable in the narcissistic sense. He’s a genuinely arrogant asshole, not a falsely arrogant but internally insecure asshole like Trump.)

    If we want an interstitial bullshit detector/pattern analyzer about what the creeps in charge are up to, and for how long they’ve been up to it, watching the consistencies among the contradictions expressed by Trump’s various #1s might be a useful tool.

    Trump still has that priceless loose cannon aspect, so they can’t ride him too brazenly. He’ll buck and they won’t like what happens. DOnald’s genius for being reliably unpredictable in specifics although uber predictable in generalities, is one remaining saving grace I see in the scenario I described above. I find it hard for something like I described to not be happening.

    Also: since PUtin pioneered mastering Trump early on, playing him adriotly without missing a beat or making a flase note, I suppose he’s an uncommonly useful indicator regarding how the non-Euromerican creeps in charge are circling their wagons/planning their offensive regarding USA involvement in all this.

    Ok. Break over. WHere’s my a-OO_gah horn! DIve! Dive!

    Where We All Live


    P.S. How does a drummer do so much with just a single snare beat per measure oberr two bass beats per same? Old Ringo was simple, but a simple genius.



    Please keep well in mind, I say again, well in mind that the true numbers of infected are unknown and very well may never be know because an infected individual does NOT have to display symptoms to be capable of transmitting this disease.


    This is also why the old fashioned shoe leather epidemiology is more important than ever. I have serious doubts that much of this is actually being done.

    Dr. Fauci is completely within his bounds to finish his statements of late with “we’re dealing with a moving target, so …”

    Get used to it. It IS the fact of the matter.


    We’e well aware that incpomplete data sets lead to ambiguity, Lonnie, i.e., a moving target.

    Dr D Rich

    Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump, Xi and Putin surrendered to our Alien Overlords on Wednesday, April Fool’s Day.

    “Dissociative disorders involve problems with memory, identity, emotion, perception, behavior and sense of self. Dissociative disorders usually develop as a way of dealing with trauma. Dissociative disorders most often form in children exposed to long-term physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Natural disasters and combat can also cause dissociative disorders.”


    The only pandemic I see right now is the rampant ignorance that is consuming the entire planet. Fortunately, ignorance can be fixed with education. Here’s your education boys and girls.

    Corona: creating the illusion of a pandemic through diagnostic tests


    Well, after all, we are in something like a war (with a viral spectrum of inbred corona cousins), and first victim in war is truth, said the man who practically invented the pencil mustache. The guy who said:

    ian orwell

    In such times, peculiarly, many people seem to believe they have the Actual Genuine Truth that no one has but them and a select group. I guess it’s a miniature reflection of the supernal architecture of war: us vs them cuz they is wrong and we isn’t… which is too easily confused with ‘they are wrong and we are right’.

    Not that I’ve seen many instances of either camp being right. Wrong seems to be the human cofgnitive default state. Generally, like the suite of viruses named corona, some are so little right that they might as well be wrong, some are vice-versa, and most are closer to the middle than not. Each camp cluthes their little shards of right and wrong with little distinction between the two: it’s their hand, and even if they’re not right, they’re more right than the other guy, who is just SO wrong.

    I’m Not Talking

    While I agree with the sentiments of the song, I do so only in theory not in practice.;)

    wind down


    According the the Lancet medical journal info from today, when taking into account the large number of asymptomatic infections, the actual death rate is 0.66%. I expect that Dr Fauci already knew that information being in his position. This means that Covid 19 is 6-7 times more lethal than one of the worst flus (most flu’s are not 0.1% lethal but as low as 0.025%). Dr. Fauci said he expected from 100,000 to 200,000 deaths. So given those numbers we do not end up with 200 million infected as you indicated but rather about 1/6th to 1/7th of that for 100,000 deaths. Round it off to 30 million infections for 100,000 deaths.

    I think it wise to keep in mind that Dr. Fauci is trying to manage this situation and keep our efforts to deal with the epidemic functioning in the face of extreme difficulties. He cannot just up and say Trump is completely wrong or lying as he is most of the time. He gets fired. He has to let people know the situation sort of obliquely. When Trump is standing behind him and Dr Fauci says something which is out of phase with what Trump has just said this means that he is trying to communicate a message that what you just heard from Trump is wrong. Then one has to read behind the lines a bit and do some research to figure out what the real story is. The situation is a mess.


    Disinterested Observer: thank you for your moderating counterpoint. It deserves respectful consideration and should be honored with same in any response given you.

    “He cannot just up and say Trump is completely wrong or lying as he is most of the time. He gets fired.”

    This contains something like a false equivalency. Fauci can “just up and say”. Being fired IS an option. This not only wouldn’t affect his financial estate (unless he’s spending his high-level income profligately, which seems doubtful), it would also not move him out of the dialog. He already has an enormous public platform, if he chooses to use it, outside of the government and away from the presidential podium. Trunmp Twittered and CNN’d his way into office. Fauci has enough star clout during a time when his star is most valuable, to inform the public properly outside of oblique utterance during a Trump-driveled White House press conference. He could hire a savvy PR person and make a big roar on the internet.

    Some might argue that if he did so, he might well be given an offer he couldn’t refuse, to which I’d reply that this, too, is a false equivalency. He can, theoretically at least, grow a pair and be a hero. But what if they threaten his kids and wife of 34 years’ marriage? At that point, we’re in even deeper doo than the deep well we already believe we’re in and it hardly matters.

    That said, I got a ride from some gnarly dude back in my vagrancy days long ago who examined that aspect for me. He claimed to be involved in drug-dealing at a level where he came into conflict with larger dealers.

    I asked him about having his family threatened.

    “They already did that,” he said. “I said, ‘I ain’t got no family. Or I won’t after you take them away. But you do. ANd they’re no more invulnerable than mine.'”

    A deal was struck. The king always has to allow his nobles room to move.

    Intestinal fortitude is what it is — and isn’t wehen it isn’t. I see in Fauci little evidence of the kind of intestinal fortitude needed to be properly valuable to the American public from his office at this time. That doesn’t make him a sociopath… but he seems far too content in his circumstance for me to give him more than a cursory benefit of doubt.


    One wonders whom are “the ignorant” allegedly needing “more information”.


    Italians, Spanish, French and American citizens are being treated as neoliberal lab rats.

    Dr. Fauci’s 0.2-0.1% fatality rate comes from Cruise Ships and Nations that successfully contained coronavirus. When the death rate climbs above this figure it is the direct result of government failure to control the spread of the virus. When the healthcare system becomes swamped like NY State, the death rate climbs. In NY State 15% of the infected must be hospitalized. Hospitals are overwhelmed because 1) personal protective equipment stocks and ventilator pandemic stocks were depleted to cut taxes, 2) pandemic planning was dumped and 3) hospitals were downsized in the USA to treat existing illness and injuries to increase profits and maximize patient billing.

    The West sat on its hands for almost two months and has failed to develop a quick valid virus analysis to test everyone. In Europe and North America, corporate overlords have nixed hiring more government employees to do contact tracing and quarantine the infected (ill and asymptomatic). God forbid governments buying apartments and motels and staff them with healthcare and support workers with hazmat suits to provide safe facilities for those who don’t have a home to shelter in place.

    The argument over the numbers never mentions that the difference is due to the mortality rate where part of the population shelters at home but there is no government public health service to trace, monitor and quarantine the infected. The location, degree and extent of the epidemic is unknown in the West. Scofflaws and the homeless are free to infect others. I suspect neoliberal capitalism will kill hundreds of thousands and perhaps a million denizens of the Western Empire. Unless national public health systems are restored, the following waves of infection will be just as deadly or more so if the Wuhan Coronavirus mutates into a more lethal form like the Spanish Flu did.


    VietnamVet Dr Fauci’s fatality rate is not 0.2 to 0.1. He absolutely never said that. One can read all of his statements and never find that. He merely said that it was substantially under 1%. As he is in a position to know the results of research before publication he likely knew that the Lancet medical journal was getting ready to publish the actual number. 0.66% IS substantially under 1% and is many times higher than the worst flu. So that is the fundamental rate. And as you point out there are a host of additional factors which can make it much worse.


    boscohorowitz Yes of course he has the option of taking the road of ‘up and saying’. But if he is fired he loses the ability to try and keep the train on the tracks. So he is being ‘political’ and trying to find a way to get the message across another way. Sub-optimal in some ways, but I am not aware of anyone else in the US of his stature who could take his place and do a better job. So I think we want him to continue.


    Still more education for the ignorant.

    Robert Kennedy Jr.: CDC Is A Privately Owned Vaccine Company


    Why don’t Fauci and the other criminals at the CDC ever declare this an epidemic?


    “But if he is fired he loses the ability to try and keep the train on the tracks.”

    Via governmentally official means, yes. But that doesn’t mean those methods are very good. When Fauci is reduced to making commentsd along the lines of “Yes, the prez says lots of bullshit about the virus, but in private he listens to reason”, I’m not sure who’s benefitting. The result is a crap shoot of credibility/incredibility vis a vis credulity/incredulity. So I don’t see it being clearly defined that losing his job equals losing the ability to positively direct public opinion on the matter.

    A pleasure discussing the matter with you, D.O.

    The point of official pronouncements is to give clear directions not vague comforts.

    Fwiw, I still feel he is simply adding more layers of confusion to the disinformation… but this is a day-by-day long game, and your view may prove to be correct.


    Is it possible that the government is the biggest problem inhibiting amore robust response to this virus?

    For example, supposed you want to make face masks. How long do you think it will it take you to get approval from the government before you are legally allowed to make face masks? Days? Weeks? Months? Or Years? If you chose years, you are correct!

    And while we are thinking about making face masks, how much money do you think you would need to jump through all of the government’s regulatiary hoops? $1? $10 $100? $1,000? $10,000? $100,000? $1,000,000? $10,000,000? If you chose $10 million you stand a fighting chance of succeeding!

    So, by government decree it takes time and money to make medical face mask in America! So if you are alreadylicensed to make medical face masks, and you move your factory to China, just how high are the hurtles that a new competitor now has to jump? I would say barriers for a new competitor for making medical face masks in America are nearly impossible to surmount!

    Oh, yes! I forgot to mention the existing medical face mask maker has hired the US Chamber of Commerce to ensure new laws and regulations are in place to prevent your entry into making medical face masks!

    So in reality, your chances of making medical face masks are zero!


    Holy crap – I had no idea about the CDC’s profit motive. Democracy anyone? Thanks for that link OMG


    Federal Canadian health officials are busy telling Canadians to stay home and not go to their cottages!

    Guess what!

    Trudeau’s wife and kids just went to their government cottage to wait out the virus since schools are closed!

    Dr. D

    I’m missing the problem here. This is what I’ve been saying: the numbers are far, far lower.

    However, given large numbers like 300M or 8B, a small percentage is still very large. Also everybody is going to get it. Unless they want to hide underground for 4-5 years and come up when it’s truly gone, without even pockets. No one is going to do that, and there wouldn’t be a society to come back to if they did, so everybody’s going to get it. That also says we won’t stop it, and indeed shouldn’t, although if it doesn’t cost more lives than not or turn us into a prison state, slowing it down makes some sense.

    I still think the numbers are yet far lower, just as the flu is some 0.004% or something – it’s only “0.1%” against people in hospitals who bother to get tested, but even so, we’d have +50,000 pretty easily. But we do anyway. It’s just that instead of the flu taking them out, it’s the flu taking them out. That is, instead of H, N, B, C, and D-Virus, it’s all C-Virus. Mostly.

    50,000 is one small city. It’s 1,000 people per state, it’s 17 people per county. One person per 76 square miles. You wouldn’t notice: only the families will. And you won’t see large numbers, only in large cities, because they have a larger denominator. 0.1% in Muncie, Indiana is 3 people. 0.1% in Metro NY is 2.1 million people. Same math. Same risk. Same death. About the same number of hospitals per person, probably more and far better equipped. But 10,000x more media coverage.

    In any case, if we have 1/4 the metro infected, and there are only 1,000 dead, the death rate is then 0.01%.

    If they were anywhere near correct, we’d already have 10-100,000 dead like we used to during real epidemics. But wait for the release of widespread antibody tests and curative treatments if you want. Nobody likes dying, there’s no best way to go. But keep your head and don’t run around emotionally and surrender all your rights. It won’t save you, but the authoritarian state you demand will murder your children, so you can cower in your bare apartment in your old age watching them get Assanged. Let’s not.

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