Lies, Damn Lies, and COVID-19 Statistics

The case of the disappearing antigens… A tale of two tests: Vermont town left puzzled by positive, then negative, COVID-19 results. Or – the only place I could actually view the article… The Wayback Machine’s copy.

So a small community in Vermont had 65 people test positive via the “new and improved” antigen test. But in Vermont that isn’t enough…

But in Vermont, positive antigen tests — a relatively new way of detecting an active COVID infection — require confirmation by another test: a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test, the gold-standard used by the government, hospitals, and professional sports teams. Of the 65 people who’d received those positive antigen tests, 48 would ultimately test negative via PCR. Liebig was one of them.
A community on edge was now a community confused.

Say that again. Out 65 people who tested positive with the antigen test, 48 tested negative with the better test. That is a 73.8 percent false positive rate. Only 26.2 percent of the people the first test said had the disease, actually seem to have had the disease.

If you read the fine print, the antigen test is still experimental, approved by the FDA under “emergency” measures for the pandemic

And not all states are as fastidious as Vermont. Rhode Island and Massachusetts accept the antigen test and publish the results.

No one is saying that people are lying, though the manufacturer of the test and equipment is in ass-covering mode. And I’m left with the feeling that people just want the data to be as “bad” as possible.

Lies, Damn Lies, and COVID-19 Testing Statistics

Oops. Florida’s recent record day for COVID-19 might not have been quite that high.

Seems one or more of the labs used were returning 100% of test results as positive. Or nearly 100%.

Orlando Health, for example, reported 512 positive cases and just 10 negatives giving the appearance of a 98 percent positive test rate.

On Tuesday, they sent 10 Tampa Bay a chart showing there are several more test locations in the same healthcare group with varying positivity rates.

“We’re looking into this,“ they said in an emailed statement, “But that 98 percent positivity rate is incorrect. Our positivity rate is 9.4 percent as of July 12.”

9.4 percent of 512 would mean approximately 48 cases of COVID-19. Not 502 positive test results.

There’s no politics in medicine, is there? Surely no company would LIE. Would they? So. Are they liars, or incompetent fools who should never do another COVID-19 test?

You Say “Mistaken,” I Say “Lying SOB”

Or, as I quote below… “Is this the zenith of fake news?” But then I’m incredibly cynical.

So the Mainstream Media is either ignoring this, or putting a positive spin on it. Mostly it seems they are ignoring it. After Severe Illness, NBC’s Dr. Joseph Fair Tests Negative for COVID-19 Antibodies.

So Joseph Fair has been a frequent “guest” on MSNBC giving interviews from his hospital bed talking about how awful COVID-19 is. Except his “suspected” case of the Kung Flu turns out to be just the regular flu, or something else.

Doctors assumed Dr. Joseph Fair had the coronavirus when he was severely sick in May. But with a negative antibody test, his illness “remains an undiagnosed mystery”

Mystery? Right. Other people aren’t so blinded to Dr. Fair’s position. ‘Anti-science saga’? NBC contributor who documented harrowing battle with Covid-19 NEVER had the virus.

I don’t usually quote RT, because I usually find it only slightly more reliable than the old Soviet-era Pravda. But like I said, most of the media is ignoring the lies told by MSNBC and its expert.

The dramatic televised saga of a doctor’s struggle to overcome coronavirus has ended in embarrassment after the NBC News contributor quietly admitted that there’s no evidence he ever had the virus. Is this the zenith of fake news?

Info Wars is even less kind. Fear Mongering: MSNBC/NBC Contributor Lied About Having COVID.

So if he didn’t have COVID-19, does that mean we should reexamine our relationship to the good-old-fashioned-flu? Or what? He was in the hospital after all, so I guess we can believe that he was sick with something. Maybe.

How Did They Rank This List?

Because it seems some rankings are off to me. Texas doctors rank activities posing greatest risks for contracting coronavirus.

The Texas Medical Association ranked 37 activities on a scale of 1-10

“Walking in a busy downtown” is given a low-to-moderate risk score of 4. Really??! Given the way COVID-19 tore thru New York City, I would say that walking thru that “busy downtown” was something far north of 4. But hey, I’m not a Democrat.

And of course on of the High Risk activities, is “attending a religious service” while “flying by airplane – in a tightly enclosed space with recirculated air is only a moderately high risk activity. Now which are Democrats almost guaranteed not to do?

And I know there are various kinds of camping, but how does being out in the wilderness have any score above 0?

But these are doctors! There’s no politics in medicine! Or something.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Because they’re incompetent. The Feds Sent More than 1 Million Coronavirus Stimulus Payments to Dead People, GAO Says.

More than 1 million stimulus payments totaling nearly $1.4 billion were sent to deceased Americans during the federal government’s unprecedented emergency spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IRS says it must be returned. But that isn’t even the worst bit. The SBA is in even more disarray.

Hat tip to Clayton Cramer, who notes…

As long as they keep voting!

Trust the Science, Except When It Isn’t Trustworthy

Facepalm X 2Because this looks more like the smear job than a serious science paper. A mysterious company’s coronavirus papers in top medical journals may be unraveling. The suspect company is known as Surgisphere.

So there was a paper published in The Lancet, that caused the halt of a bunch of of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 studies. Now that paper seems to be falling apart.

Today, The Lancet issued an Expression of Concern (EOC) saying “important scientific questions have been raised about data” in the paper and noting that “an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly.”

The New England Journal of Medicine had problems with other data from Sugisphere, and issued a similar EOC.

While the Science Magazine article deals with the science, The Guardian took a look at the company behind the data. That is an interesting read. Surgisphere: governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company.

A search of publicly available material suggests several of Surgisphere’s employees have little or no data or scientific background. An employee listed as a science editor appears to be a science fiction author and fantasy artist whose professional profile suggests writing is her fulltime job. Another employee listed as a marketing executive is an adult model and events hostess, who also acts in videos for organisations.

This is the organization responsible for halting numerous random trials of hydroxychloroquine.

Media Bias? Anti-Trump Bias? General insanity? Why would you say that?

Hat tip to Clayton Cramer.

When Comparing the US and European Countries, Always Consider Rate per Million

The US is much bigger than the UK, or Spain, or Italy. We are probably larger than The UK plus Spain plus Italy combined. So when you look at “total number” of anything, we likely have more. You need to consider the rate of each country. UK suffers second-highest death rate from coronavirus | Free to read. OK, so a lot of things are the rate per 100,000. You know what I mean.

Excess deaths is a number that comes from the actuaries. It doesn’t rely on testing. It looks at “What were the expected number of deaths, due to history, and how has that changed?”

Excess deaths is internationally recognised as the best way to compare countries’ performance in handling infectious diseases. Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical officer, called excess deaths “the key metric”.

No false positives. No false negatives. No fudging numbers because there is a financial incentive to count a death as being from COVID-19. Just statistics.

So here’s the image of the day. The relevant bit is the left-most graph. To my way of thinking, anyway. As always, click the image for a larger view. Well, almost always.

The article was published on May 28th, but clearly the data is older than that. Still not too old, and the point is still valid.

Now considering the relative death rates, tell me again, how awful the US response has been, or how horrible our health care is. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Oh, and then consider that a lot of the problems we have are a direct result of some bone-headed decisions made in New York and Michigan and couple of other Blue States.

Where Would We Be Without Experts?

Go read the whole thing; it isn’t long. But I will highlight the stats, which caught my eye. COVID-19: The ‘Experts’ Are Clueless.

Something really went wrong in New York.

The per-capita death rate in Georgia remains 88% lower than New York’s; Florida’s rate is 93% lower and Texas is 96% lower.

Of course with more than 70,000 people per square mile, and a governor who set things up to kill old people in nursing homes, it’s hard to see how a virus wouldn’t ravage that city. And state.

CDC, COVID-19 and Math

Because they never published the stats. CDC warns antibody testing still too inaccurate to use for coronavirus-related policy decisions.

The math is the point, but the upshot is that about half of the positive antibody tests are false positives.

In other words, less than half of those testing positive will truly have antibodies.

It is crazy, that they are only telling us these stats now.

Keeping Violent Criminals in Jail is Unfair

So says the Left. Released Early Due To Coronavirus: Former Weld County Inmate Now Accused Of Strangulation.

A former Weld County Jail inmate, who was released early from a two year sentence due to COVID-19 concerns, is now accused of attacking and strangling someone one month after his release. The Windsor Police Department is now searching for Christopher A. Vecchiarelli, 36, after they say he attacked a woman, leaving bruises in several places and fracturing her arm.

Someone will say his infraction didn’t mean he should be exposed to COVID-19. Should the woman he attacked have had her arm broken?

Better Living Through Chemistry

Trust the science? Only if it is trustworthy. Canadian study finds that enzymes in cannabis could treat COVID-19.

It is actually a fairly thin conclusion, but I love the fact that it has been screamed from the rooftops by the likes of Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the BBC.

It is funded by a company that is in the Cannabis industry. It’s like a study on smoking funded by a tobacco giant.

The researchers in Alberta, Canada, conducted a study using artificial 3D models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues coupled with a limited sample of high CBD Cannabis sativa extracts modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels.

The study hasn’t been peer-reviewed, though that may be coming, it won’t be here any time soon.

I am so very tempted to include a video here. Either “She Blinded Me With Science” or “Weird Science.” I’ll let you decide.

COVID-19 Death Rates Vary by Race in the UK

A RACIST virus. Labour calls for bosses to risk-assess staff given higher BAME Covid-19 death rate.

BAME is a British acronym for “Black and Minority Ethnic.” Those communities have a higher death-rate from the virus.

An Office for National Statistics study found that, if just considering age, black women were 4.3 times more likely to die from a Covid-19-related death, and black men 4.2 times more likely, than their white counterparts.

Once socio-demographic and self-reported health and disability factors were taken into account, black people were still twice as likely to be killed by coronavirus.

People of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian and mixed ethnicity also had a higher risk of death compared with the white population.

Though they didn’t break out the numbers for those last groups.

New York vs West Virginia

One part travelog, one part dig at the smug jackholes on the East Coast. Dining at the Longbranch.

Thousands of New York nursing home patients have died because of Cuomo’s policy, while West Virginia is the only state in the country to have tested every nursing home resident for COVID-19. Tell me again, New Yorkers, how much smarter you are than these rustic hillbillies.

Heh.

Michigan Also Killing People In Nursing Homes

The governor must be taking cues from New York. Michigan considers change to controversial nursing home policy.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week extended her Executive Order that placed coronavirus patients in with COVID-19 negative patients. It expires Wednesday. She’s now considering changing that policy.

Nursing home deaths account for about 30% of all COVID-19 deaths in Michigan.

How do governors have the authority to issue stupid orders, that clearly expose vulnerable populations to a deadly disease? Democrats are geniuses. Just ask them, they will tell you they are.

Bad Models Yield Bad Predictions

And this is about the model that has been used to predict the spread of COVID-19. Imperial College model Britain used to justify lockdown a ‘buggy mess’, ‘total unreliable’, experts claim.

Experts have derided the coding from Professor Neil Ferguson, warning that it is a “buggy mess that looks more like a bowl of angel hair pasta than a finely tuned piece of programming.”

“In our commercial reality, we would fire anyone for developing code like this and any business that relied on it to produce software for sale would likely go bust,” David Richards, co-founder of British data technology company WANdisco, told the Daily Telegraph.

The original article is at The London Telegraph, but like most of the Telegraph these days everything but the first few paragraphs are behind a pay wall. Neil Ferguson’s Imperial model could be the most devastating software mistake of all time.

Florida Hasn’t Seen a Resurgence of COVID-19

Democrats were sure that opening the state of Florida would result in DEATH. Hasn’t happened, but there have been other problems. ‘Out-of-Towners’ Blamed for ‘Mayhem’ After Florida City Re-Opens Beach.

First the DEATH predictions.

Democrats demonized DeSantis, with activist Daniel Uhlfelder touring Florida beaches dressed as the Grim Reaper to promote the message that the Republican governor’s decision would kill people.

And like Georgia, those predictions have fallen flat.

The problems in Naples (West Coast of Florida) seems to mostly be caused by folks from the East Coast of Florida, namely Miami, Broward and Palm Beach, because East Coast beaches are still closed. Click thru for descriptions of where Florida has problems with COVID-19, and what are Democratically controlled areas.

Political Correctness, Like Stupidity, Is Deadly

They didn’t want to face reality, and whole lot of people died. Sweden Cared More About Islamophobia Than Saving Elderly in Nursing Homes From Coronavirus.

Sweden has a higher rate of deaths in care homes than Norway or Finland, and lockdown enthusiasts have struggled to explain why keeping bars open would be killing people in housing for the elderly.

But there is a crucial difference between Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish care homes.

It has to do with the number of immigrants working in care homes and one other thing.

“Many people said that this disease is only meant to kill for non-Muslims thus, it cannot affect Muslims,” a third Somali living in Sweden said. “I’ve watched shows from Somali National TV televised where the reporter asked people playing and socializing at Lido beach in Mogadishu if they are unaware of corona virus. So many of those people answered, ‘We are Muslims! This disease will only kill non-believers.’”

So maybe they just don’t care. Of course it being a disease, it is killing Muslims.

Politicians Bending the Truth?

I’m shocked – Shocked! – to discover… OK, I’m not that shocked. Colorado coroner says death listed by state as COVID-19 related has much more to do with alcohol.

The coroner of Montezuma County in southwestern Colorado couldn’t believe it when the state’s health department concluded a May 4 death in his county was the result of COVID-19.

“I know it’s not correct,” George Deavers told 9Wants to Know Thursday. “Nowhere on the death certificate is COVID even listed. It had nothing to do with his death.”

Deavers ought to know. The death certificate he signed just this week lists the official cause of death for the 35-year old man as “ethanol toxicity.”

But then the state doesn’t get extra money if all he did was drink himself to death.

Science Doesn’t Always Tell You What You Want to Hear

They keep telling us to trust science… Didier Raoult: Government Study in Spain finds Those Who Kept Working Were Less Infected Than Those in Lockdown.

Renowned French researcher and physician posted this study today from Spain that found those who were essential workers and were out working actually were less infected than those who were cooped up at home in lockdown.

The lockdowns didn’t work as intended in Spain.

So does that mean that the .gov will look at that science and stop acting like the Stazi on a power trip? I’m not holding my breath.

It’s like the study that shows smoking protects against COVID-19… They couldn’t silence that faster if they tried. Smokers ‘four times less likely’ to contract Covid-19, prompting nicotine patch trials on patients. That would undo decades of “public health.”

New York City Responsible for the Mess of COVID-19 in the US

Well, not as responsible as China. Travel From New York City Seeded Wave of U.S. Outbreaks.

The research indicates that a wave of infections swept from New York City through much of the country before the city began setting social distancing limits to stop the growth. That helped to fuel outbreaks in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and as far away as the West Coast.

Granted, it is probably fairly difficult for NYC to achieve much in the way of social distancing. With more than 72,000 people per square mile, Manhattan probably can’t do much about it. But I’m not sure they even tried. Subway cars were jammed. Subway cars were not cleaned everyday. The politicos, eager to prove how much they hated Trump, encouraged all kinds of insanity. Later it would all be Trump’s fault, but that would come later.