Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coronavirus: What We Know

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Last night, while laying in bed with my wife, she began to recite the horror stories about the coronavirus the mainstream media is putting out.  It could kill millions, it is destroying everyone's lungs it gets into, and it is three times more contagious than the influenza strains we battle each year.  "Quit comparing it to the flu," she said to me, "it is something much much worse."

I disagree.

Yes, the coronavirus has been very dangerous for certain individuals, and people have died from it.  Yes, you get sick, and in some cases it causes a fibrosis of the lungs which leaves scarring that, if it doesn't kill you, will affect you for the rest of your life.  There are dangers for some individuals for many illnesses out there, but that does not make it the resurrection of the Black Plague, or the Spanish Flu.

The politicization of the coronavirus by the liberal left progressive Democrats and their globalist leftist allies around the world is largely what is behind the ridiculous hysteria going on that could collapse our economy that has been robust under President Donald J. Trump.  The liberal left is willing to destroy our economy to get their way, and to get rid of Trump.  In fact, they are willing to do anything to you and your livelihood if it means a return to power for them.


We know that they have been lying to us, or at the very least, exaggerating the information regarding the coronavirus in the hopes that it will hurt our president, hurt the economy, and further instill Marxist collectivism.  Of course, all of it is disguised in ways that if you disagree, you come across as either a conspiracy theorist, or a fool.  But, if we piece together the facts, I think the picture becomes clearer.

One of the worst culprits in the misinformation campaign in place by the global leftists has been World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The most recent news about WHO's Director-General has him under fire for his remarks that the "world was slow to react to the coronavirus."  This is the same person who has been praising the communnist Chinese for their handling of the situation, and he was among the WHO officials who were claiming in January we had nothing to worry about because the virus could not be passed by human-to-human contact.

A little over a week ago it was also revealed that Tedros had given out false information based on bad math that led to an overstated fatality rate of the coronavirus, which was a large part of what led to the global hysterical panic we now find ourselves in.

The WHO Director-General stated that "the no one has an immunity to the new virus," and that "globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died.  By comparison, seasonal flue general kills far fewer than 1% of those infected."

The statement convinced everyone that the coronavirus is many times more deadly than the common flu, and it was a false statement.

The calculations were based on known, confirmed cases.  The reality is that there are many more cases out there that we do not know of, largely because 82% of the people who have coronavirus do not experience symptoms, or experience only mild symptoms.

Using the Director-General's math in which the death rate is only calculated based on confirmed cases, then the death rate for the seasonal flu would be 10%.  However, we know that all cases of the flu are not known, so they calculate the death rate based on the estimated cases, which then drops the fatality rate to only .1%.

Estimates are basically educated guesses, so we never really know the exact numbers, but we do know that the whole number of cases worldwide of coronavirus is much larger than the number of confirmed cases.  Based on current estimates regarding the number of coronavirus cases actually out there, the reality is that the death rate for the coronavirus is much, much lower than that of the seasonal flu.  I do not wish to take away from the reality that this disease is still a killer, but when you compare it to the other things we experience in our lives, the coronavirus is a mild threat.

That said, even if we were to use the numbers WHO has presented, basing it all on only confirmed cases, we have dropped from their original claim of a mortality rate of 4.06% to barely above 1%.  WHO originally claimed a mortality rate of 3.4%, but once again, it was all based on false numbers.

To get to the truth, we need to listen to experts who don't have an agenda, one way or the other, like WHO, or Democrats, may have.  Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis has clarified a lot of the information for us.  According to Ioannidis, a largely apolitical person who is the co-director of Stanford University's Meta-Research Innovation Center, "The corona-virus crackdowns on public life by state and local political leaders are being made in a data vacuum, and extreme government measures to prevent infections may actually lead to more deaths."

He recently remarked, "The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic.  But, it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco."

He explains, "Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes.  As most health system have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.  The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers.  The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher."

Reasonable estimates for the world's general population should range from .05 to 1 percent, which is about what the elderly tourist cruise line death rate was.

Ionnidis writes, "A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.5% is lower than seasonal influenza.  If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational.  It's like an elephant being attacked by a house cat.  Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies."

He then points out that there are other mild coronaviruses other than COVID-19 that have a much higher case fatality rate when infecting "elderly people in nursing homes."  So, if you are going to judge COVID-19 based on only confirmed cases and cases related to the elderly without recognizing the cases that are present elsewhere in the general population, of course it is going to seem high.

The Stanford scientist's own estimate for the COVID-19 mortality rate is roughtly .3% of the general population.

The liberal media, the liberal politicians, and their global allies are presenting a "prepare-for-the-worst" reasoning specifically for the purpose of making this whole thing look worse than it is, and so that they can impose "extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns."

Ionnidis fears that other deaths may be caused by the panic.  For some it will be because persons cannot get their other diseases or conditions adequately treated due to the overwhelming of the health system of "epidemic" cases.  With the lockdowns in place, he states, we also risk a "financial crisis, unrest, civil strife, war, and a meltdown of the social fabric."

Michael Levitt, a Stanford biophysicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2013, has also come to a similar conclusion as Ionnidis.  He says the end of COVID-19 pandemic could be near and has cited China’s curve flattening to support his hypothesis.

Levitt is now predicting a curve flattening in infections could be around the corner for the U.S. as strict social distancing measures are being implemented across major metro areas.

“What we need is to control the panic,” he said. In the grand scheme, “we’re going to be fine.”

He said most individuals are immune to COVID-19 and pointed out that only 20% of the passengers on the Diamond Princess contracted the infection.

The media won't report those findings because the liberal left needs the panic.  They need chaos, and they need economic woes in order to create enough crisis to convince you to accept their authoritarian plans.  When things are good, people don't want help from the government.  When times are good, we prefer that government stays out of our hair.  They need crisis, a big enough crisis that makes us so uncomfortable that we leap up out of our chairs and scream, "the government needs to do something."

President Trump, regarding the coronavirus, did, even though the Democrats were accusing him of not doing anything, and not believing the science.  On January 31, while they were still trying to impeach him, and while they were claiming the coronavirus was nothing to worry about, he banned travel from China.  They called it racist, and an overreaction.  Later, they accused Trump of reacting too slowly to the virus.

The narrative then emerged that everyone on the right was not willing to take the virus seriously, and then an attack was mounted from there. CNN’s Oliver Darcy has been using the coronavirus hysteria as a launch pad to stoke distrust of FOX News and other conservative media figures and outlets, writing that polls show that the right-wing media has been dismissive and has been providing conspiratorial coronavirus coverage (if you don't agree 100% with them, they assume you are the opposite extreme).  Gallup’s poll, conducted between March 3 and 13, found that only 42% of Republicans were “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the virus. In comparison, 73% of Democrats expressed that level of concern.

The truth is that conservatives were seeing through the lies and manipulation of data.

Pew Research, which conducted its survey from March 10 to 16, found that 83% of Republicans who consumed only a diet of outlets with right-leaning audiences believed the news media had exaggerated the risks of the virus. That number was 30% higher than Democrats who consumed only outlets with left-leaning audiences.

More specifically, Pew Research found that 79% of people who said they turned to Fox News for their news believed the media had exaggerated the risks of the virus.

While all of that is true, the media has exaggerated the information for the purpose of creating hysteria, Darcy decided to use that information as a weapon, to claim that because of their stance media outlets that are not hard left liberal, like FOX News, can't be trusted.

Since folks on the conservative side, which would include a majority of Republicans, I would think, refuse to be hysterical like the Democrats who are crying wolf about the coronavirus, Chris Herstam of the Arizona Mirror even went so far as to suggest that GOP leaders in his State, including Governor Doug Ducey, should be shot.

This all started with a push by the liberal left for all-mail voting (which, as more hands handle the ballots outside of view, fraud is easier).

"Hearing GOP leadership (Governor?) doesn't intend to allow all-mail elections '20," Herstam wrote in a since-deleted tweet.

"The GOP electoral creed: 'Never make it easier to vote. Suppress and maintain the influence of the aging, white base as long as possible.'

"We're in a public health crisis. They should be shot."

The proposition for an all-mail election was brought to state legislators earlier this week by Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs ahead of a budget meeting.

"We need to prepare now for any eventuality," the Democrat wrote in a letter.

"Before the Legislature adjourns, it is vital that we build more flexibility into the law -- even if only on a temporary basis -- to allow elections officials to adapt to the circumstances on the ground to best protect voters' health while also preserving the ability to exercise their right to vote."

The Republican Party of Arizona told The Western Journal, however, that allowing an all-mail election would allow too much opportunity for the vote to be manipulated.

As a side note, in heavily Democrat Party controlled Oregon, where the State is pretty conservative once you get away from Portland, the I-5 College Towns, and the two large coastal cities (Astoria and Coos Bay), motor voter laws are in place (you are automatically registered to vote once you receive your driver's license or State ID), and you are required to vote by mail, only.  The result?  A heavier Democrat majority in the legislature than that of the population.

Regardless, is telling people that the GOP leadership in your State should be shot because they disagree with you a reasonable thing to say?

Laurie Roberts of The Arizona Republic responded to his comments.  "Whoa, there, Chris. Please reconsider that last sentence of your tweet. I know you don't mean it literally but these are the strangest of times and someone could misinterpret what you are saying," she wrote.

He later responded, "Already gone - Thx."

He deleted the Tweet.

The Republican Party of Arizona's executive director, Greg Safsten, told The Western Journal that Herstam's chilling statement should help Arizona voters understand what's at stake in the push for all-mail voting.

"On Twitter and on television, Chris Herstam stated that Republicans should be shot if they do not bow to the Democrats’ demand for an all-mail election," he said.

"His flagrant hatred for his fellow citizens, his obvious bias against Republicans, and his push to put Arizona voters at the mercy of the likes of Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, and a system that can be more easily manipulated by those who would abuse their power, should tell us all where we need to stand on this issue."

Meanwhile, as anyone who is not willing to go into full panic mode is threatening to be shot, the Democrats are trying to squeeze in all of their leftwing wish list garbage into the coronavirus relief package, and are likely prepared to scream that the Republicans don't care about you if they reject the pork-filled piece of legislation.

Included in that is plans to allow voter fraud.  And while the Republicans have noticed, and are making a stink about it, the Democrats are claiming there is no pork in the coronavirus relief package bill (and Congressman Dan Crenshaw has been ringing the bell that the Democrats are outright lying about it), even though they loaded it with all kinds of pork (over 1,400 pages worth of it) ... even $25 million funding for the Kennedy Center, which is closed.

National Review explains: "As Leader Schumer continues to hold up the desperately-needed relief package, the last-minute list of demands from Pelosi’s and Schumer’s ideological wish list are coming into focus."

Below are some of the new, non-coronavirus-related demands that popped up after Speaker Pelosi flew back from San Francisco after taking a week off:

1) Unprecedented collective bargaining powers for unions

2) Increased fuel emissions standards for airlines

3) Expansion of wind and solar tax credits

Not only are these completely unrelated to the coronavirus epidemic, they could prevent companies from participating in the loan programs altogether—directly causing unnecessary layoffs.

The Daily Signal provides us also with news about Pelosi's pork-filled proposal. Pelosi’s coronavirus relief bill, according to writer Mike Gonzalez, is a veritable pork barrel for programs that would force corporations receiving government aid to implement “diversity and inclusion” initiatives that have nothing to do with combating COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and preventing its spread.
In an age when the word “outrage” has lost its meaning through overuse, one is left speechless that the speaker of the House would hold the country’s physical and financial health hostage in an attempt to remake the corporate world along the lines of identity politics. 
Pelosi’s bill uses the words diversity or diverse 63 times, the word inclusion 14 times, and the word minority 109 times as it lays money aside for large and small pet projects based on national divisions that depend on race, ethnicity, sex, disability status, etc.
This is not showing compassion for those in need; this is abusing the coronavirus emergency to reorder America. 
Title V of Pelosi’s bill, “Investing in a Sustainable Recovery,” has sections on “Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity” and “Diverse Investment Advisers.” 
The bill is meticulous in its attempt to coerce companies to count Americans along identity categories in every nook and cranny of corporate activity. 
The legislation stipulates: “Any corporation that receives federal aid related to COVID-19 must maintain officials and budget dedicated to diversity and inclusion for no less than 5 years after disbursement of funds.” 
The oversight panel set up to distribute the funds “shall collect diversity data from any corporation that receives Federal aid related to COVID-19 and issue a report that will be made publicly available no later than one year after the disbursement of funds.” 
That report must include: the gender, race and ethnic identity (and to the extent possible results disaggregated by ethnic group) as otherwise known or provided voluntarily, for the total number of employees (full and part-time) and the career level of employees (executive and managers versus employees in other roles). … The number and dollar value invested with minority- and women-owned suppliers (and to the extent possible results disaggregated by ethnic group) including professional services (legal and consulting) and asset managers, and deposits and other accounts with minority depository institutions, as compared to all vendors investments. 
Pelosi’s legislation would require companies to supply a comparison of pay among sexes and racial and ethnic minorities. They would have to equally hand over to the government demographic data on their corporate boards, the “reporting structure of lead diversity officials,” and the size of the budget and staff of offices dedicated to “diversity and inclusion.” 
Pelosi’s bill would order the Securities and Exchange Commission to set up a Diversity and Advisory Group composed of college professors, government bureaucrats, and members of the private sector to carry out a study that would propose strategies to “increase gender, racial and ethnic diversity” on corporate boards. 
Even grantees that hire service personnel who assist elderly households “shall consider and hire, at all levels of employment, and to greatest extent possible, a diverse staff, including by race, ethnicity, gender and disability status.” 
No stone is left unturned in Nancy Pelosi’s effort to use the greatest crisis this country has faced in years to stamp identity politics on all aspects of the economy. 
What it all has to do with combating the coronavirus or getting our economy humming again is a mystery. 
But as Emanuel, who would become chief of staff to President Barack Obama, made clear in 2008, the moments of greatest urgency and fear create opportunities to do things that are completely unrelated to the crisis at hand—even if one must make one’s fellow citizens suffer a little longer. 
“This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., told fellow lawmakers in a conference call last week, according to The Hill newspaper.
The media is also not talking about Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein, and three of her Senate colleagues (the three colleagues are Republicans) selling off stocks worth millions of dollars in the days before the coronavirus outbreak crashed the market., which makes one believe they had inside information about the way the coronavirus was going to be treated, and that it would indeed influence the stock market.  In the real world we call that insider trading, and it is against the law.  If Feinstein had not gotten caught, and this was just about the three GOP Senators, the media would have been all over it.

Last thing, they are calling this a stimulus, where they are using Keynesian Economic Theory to pump money into the system to save it.  This fails every time they do it.  It hurts the economy by pumping money into the system because it devalues the dollar, and simply adds more to a debt that we need to be working on eliminating.

And as all of this is going on, nobody seems to be concerned about the authoritarian crap going on regarding the shelter-in-place laws where churches are being threatened with military force if they gather to have a service in Louisiana, and in Maryland the leadership has stated they are ready to arrest people and put them in jail for crossing the governor's quarantine edicts.  And those two stories are just the tip of the iceberg.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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