Pay People to Get the Virus

In the annals of dumb ideas to give away money, this isn’t the worst idea I’ve heard, but it’s up there.  From the (you guessed it) New York Times:

Pay People to Get Vaccinated

What’s the best way to get the economy back on track after the Covid-19 recession? Simple: Achieve herd immunity. And what’s the best way to achieve herd immunity? Again, simple: Once a vaccine is approved, pay people to take it.

That bold proposal comes from Robert Litan, an economist at the Brookings Institution. Congress should enact it as quickly as possible.


You may be asking yourself, “Who wouldn’t take the vaccine for free?”  It seems like a no-brainer but…


In a recent NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll, only 44 percent of Americans said they would get the vaccine. The rest said they wouldn’t or weren’t sure.

Given the track record of polls, I’m not likely to give this one much credence, however it’s worth remembering that then VP candidate Kamala Harris cast her own doubts on whether she would take it.


“If the public health professionals, if Dr. [Anthony] Fauci if the doctors tell us that we should take it, then I’ll be first in line to take it,” Harris said. “But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it — then I’m not taking it.”


That’s a dumb comment from a public official.  So Trump just has to taunt Harris to take it, and to spite him she’ll refuse?  That’ll show him!

I think more likely that once the vaccines are available, there will be a mad scramble to get them, no financial incentive needed.  People are anxious to resume normal lives and achieving herd immunity is a vital step to doing that.  So paying people to get a vaccine is just a dumb idea unless you are absolutely looking to throw money out the door and are trying to find a method to do that.

What would be worth paying for would be for people to get the virus.  Now before you run away screaming, hear me out.

Based on what we know of the COVID-19 fatality rates by age, young people are at little to no risk from COVID-19.


So…it occurs to me if back in April, we had paid young people under 30 in good health and no pre-existing conditions (like obesity) to be infected with the virus we would probably have already achieved something close to herd immunity and could live normal lives while waiting for the vaccine to appear.  The volunteers would be well compensated to have few symptoms although for an unfortunate few, they would likely get flu like symptoms.  That’s no fun, but I’ve had the flu and didn’t get paid for it, so it might be worth a shot.  Since this is the population that has most resisted the lockdown restrictions, and were likely going to break it anyway, this would give the opportunity to make large swaths of that population immune, so they can stop risking others, like grandma at Thanksgiving.

Of course it’s too late for this policy at this late date in the pandemic.  The arrival of the Trump vaccines means that there is light at the end of the tunnel, but there will be other China viruses, and given the irrational hysteria demonstrated both by public professionals and the general populace, we may be looking at many more hysterical lockdowns in the years ahead.  Since we can’t cut our stupidity short on this, let’s at least use a tool to speed the through the painful process quicker.




Lockdowns Didn’t Work

I came across a Powerline post that confirmed what I expected to see in the media and scientific community, only several months too early.  I wasn’t expecting reconsiderations of our Corona-policies until after November 3rd, but here you go anyway. The post, on a study in The Lancet ran the known data about government actions taken across the globe to fight COVID-19 and came to some interesting, and if you’re a journalist or on twitter, counter-intuitive conclusions.

But before I get to that, first a disclaimer about models. I’m a model skeptic as I’ve noted on more than one occasion.  So I’ve been happy to rip on them for their near constant failed predictions.  So, why I am more inclined to look at this one less skeptically?  This isn’t a model that is making predictions based on incomplete information, it’s a model looking back at what’s already happened, and trying to find correlations.

That’s useful.

But let’s get right to the meat.

“Increasing COVID-19 caseloads were associated with countries with higher obesity, median population age and longer time to border closures from the first reported case. Increased mortality per million was significantly associated with higher obesity prevalence and per capita gross domestic product (GDP). Reduced income dispersion reduced mortality and the number of critical cases. Rapid border closures, full lockdowns, and wide-spread testing were not associated with COVID-19 mortality per million people. However, full lockdowns and reduced country vulnerability to biological threats (i.e. high scores on the global health security scale for risk environment) were significantly associated with increased patient recovery rates. “

Those are some interesting findings.  And by interesting I mean fairly obvious.  Old fat people were associated higher mortality, as well as longer times to closing national borders. Lockdowns on the other hand, didn’t seem to have any correlation to lower mortality.


“A potential protective effect of smoking was identified in a recent evaluation of 17 million adult patients within the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, with 5683 COVID related deaths. In their analysis, current smokers were associated with a reduced risk of COVID-19 related mortality.“

So instead of locking down and destroying our economy and ruining millions of lives, we should have just gotten skinny and started smoking.

I’ll have to remember this for the next Black Death.

Public Health Strikes Again

The nation’s public health system keeps stepping on its own contact tracing.  It’s almost as if they are anxious to show the public how incompetent and unserious they are, and then daring us to do something about it.  The headline says it all:

NYC COVID-19 Contact Tracers Not Asking About George Floyd Protest Participation, Despite Fears of New Virus Wave

Over the two last weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio and others have voiced concerns that packed police brutality protests across the city could trigger a new wave of COVID-19 infections.

Whether or not that’s the case, however, remains unknown — and de Blasio’s team won’t be directly trying to find out.

The hundreds of contact tracing workers hired by the city under de Blasio’s new “test and trace” campaign have been instructed not to ask anyone who’s tested positive for COVID-19 whether they recently attended a demonstration, City Hall confirmed to THE CITY.

Of course according to SCIENCE, shoulder to shoulder protesting has no risk of exposure to COVID-19 as long as the protest is against racism and police brutality.  That’s why Bill de Blasio had no problem joining the marching with no ill effects whatsoever…

Hizzoner wasn’t feeling well on Monday and canceled all public events, a day after marching in the streets — but still refuses to get tested for coronavirus.

“The mayor woke up under the weather. He’s taking the day to recuperate and we should be back to normal programming tomorrow,” his spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said in a text message.

“We don’t believe it’s COVID-related,” she added, later stating he had a stomach bug.

Goldstein said Hizzoner wouldn’t seek a coronavirus test and confirmed he hasn’t gotten one since the start of the pandemic.

Sometimes, you just have to chuckle…

But ultimately, de Blasio is just a politician. What about the medical professionals, with years of experience?  That brings us to the most trusted man in America, Dr Fauci.  In speaking of the ever changing face mask recommendations:

He also acknowledged that masks were initially not recommended to the general public so that first responders wouldn’t feel the strain of a shortage of PPE.

He explained that public health experts “were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply.”

So in other words, Fauci lied, and people died.

Now I’m perfectly OK with the government hoarding face masks and other PPE for medical personnel and first responders.  That makes perfect sense to me.  But to lie about it is really beyond the pale.  And that’s what they should have said in the first place; yes masks are effective but we don’t recommend them for the general public because the supply is limited and we need them for people who have a much higher chance of encountering the virus.  Now the entire public health community has blown its credibility.  Why should we listen to them now?  They’re self-admitted liars.

One lesson to take away from this is when the country faces a real infectious disease public health emergency, with Ebola like fatality rates, this country is screwed.


It was never about “Science”

The post, signed by 1,200 public health specialists, advocating for public demonstrations in spite of the threat of COVID-19, has effectively put the stake in the heart of the idea that the lockdowns were about public health.  Strolling through the credentials, there are plenty of Professors, Epidemiologists, and other medical doctors who’ve suddenly discovered that the threat of white supremacy outweighs the threat of the virus.

This of course, is pretty much a confirmation of what I and many others suspected, that it was never about science.  So if you’ve been yapping about “science” being the reason for the lockdowns for the past few months, give it a rest, you’ve been found out.

So no to church, yes to rioting, because science.

Consider some of the credentialed scientists who are extolling their newfound woke science.

And who is Dr Nuzzo?  According to her Wikipedia bio:

“Jennifer Nuzzo (born August 27, 1977) is an American epidemiologist, an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering and the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Nuzzo co-lead the development of the Global Health Security Index, an assessment of global health security capabilities in 195 countries, performed by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security together with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). She is the director and principal investigator of the Outbreak Observatory, a research project working to document infectious disease outbreaks and how governments respond to them. Nuzzo serves as an associate editor of the Health Security journal.

Nuzzo has often appeared in the media discussing how health systems to respond to outbreaks. She has helped bring attention to dangers of delaying vaccination,the spread of the ebola virus, and the 2019–2020 coronavirus pandemic.”

Frankly, she sounds like she is qualified and credentialed out the ass, and is still an idiot. After this, why should I ever listen to her?  Woke Science isn’t science; it’s just wokeness with credentials.

Of course, I can scarcely imagine the anger of someone who was denied the right to attend a loved one’s funeral, or spend their last moments with them as they lay dying.  Would any of those people ever trust public health officials again?

Next up of course, are the evil twins to the two faced public health officials,  the two faced politician.  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy gives a great twitter example of this kind of hypocrisy (thanks to lefty journalist Glenn Greenwald for pointing these out).

But guided by data, not emotion is so last month.  Now mass gatherings are great!

…and at the same time, we continue the Potemkin village of public health.

This of course blends right into the Face Mask madness I wrote about a few weeks ago.  From the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine:

As the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to explode, hospital systems are scrambling to intensify their measures for protecting patients and health care workers from the virus. An increasing number of frontline providers are wondering whether this effort should include universal use of masks by all health care workers. Universal masking is already standard practice in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other parts of Asia and has recently been adopted by a handful of U.S. hospitals.

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

Aww, so it was just to make us feel better!

Is there anything we’ve been told that’s true?

In a way, this is a return to what we went through in 1968-1969 with the Hong Kong Flu.  As I wrote about last month, we went through a pandemic during the same time period that we went through “the Prague Spring, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the White Album was released, and of course, man landing on the moon and Woodstock.”

And Vietnam of course.

I suppose Pandemic hysteria is what you freak out about when nothing else is going on.  Well now there is a lot more going on.

How Did we ever survive the Hong Kong Flu?

The NY Post had a story of life during the pandemic; the 1968-69 Hong Kong Flu Pandemic.  That was one that featured over 100,000 deaths in the US, but if you check the history books, there doesn’t seem to be much about it.  It was a thing, and public health was concerned, but there was nothing like the mindless hysteria that swept across the US and the world this year for a very similar virus.  Of course historically, 1968 and 1969 were extremely busy years.  The Prague Spring, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the White Album was released, and of course, man landing on the moon and Woodstock.

Woodstock was actually what the Post story was about.

Why American life went on as normal during the killer pandemic of 1969

Patti Mulhearn Lydon, 68, doesn’t have rose-colored memories of attending Woodstock in August 1969. The rock festival, which took place over four days in Bethel, NY, mostly reminds her of being covered in mud and daydreaming about a hot shower.

…And all of this happened during a global pandemic in which over 1 million people died.  H3N2 (or the “Hong Kong flu,” as it was more popularly known) was an influenza strain that the New York Times described as “one of the worst in the nation’s history.” The first case of H3N2, which evolved from the H2N2 influenza strain that caused the 1957 pandemic, was reported in mid-July 1968 in Hong Kong. By September, it had infected Marines returning to the States from the Vietnam War. By mid-December, the Hong Kong flu had arrived in all 50 states.

But schools were not shut down nationwide, other than a few dozen because of too many sick teachers. Face masks weren’t required or even common. Though Woodstock was not held during the peak months of the H3N2 pandemic (the first wave ended by early March 1969, and it didn’t flare up again until November of that year), the festival went ahead when the virus was still active and had no known cure.

Sounds like a bunch of selfish punks trying to enjoy Spring Break.  At least that’s how they would be viewed now.  But the past is a different country, and the United States was a different country.

“Life continued as normal,” said Jeffrey Tucker, the editorial director for the American Institute for Economic Research. “But as with now, no one knew for certain how deadly [the pandemic] would turn out to be. Regardless, people went on with their lives.”

Which, he said, isn’t all that surprising. “That generation approached viruses with calm, rationality and intelligence,” he said. “We left disease mitigation to medical professionals, individuals and families, rather than politics, politicians and government.”

But Corona is different because reasons!

Aside from the different reactions to H3N2 and COVID-19, the similarities between them are striking. Both viruses spread quickly and cause upper respiratory symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath. They infect mostly adults over 65 or those with underlying medical conditions, but could strike people of any age. 

Both pandemics didn’t spare the rich and famous — Hitchcock actress Tallulah Bankhead and former CIA Director Allen Dulles succumbed to H3N2, while COVID-19 has taken the lives of singer-songwriter John Prine and playwright Terrence McNally, among others. President Lyndon Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey both fell ill from H3N2 and recovered, as did UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson from COVID-19 last month.

Even more similarities abound.

During both pandemics, horror stories abounded — from the bodies stored in refrigerated trucks in New York last month to corpses stored in subway tunnels in Germany during the H3N2 outbreak. 

Those who had H3N2 and survived describe a health battle that sounds eerily similar to COVID. “The coughing and difficulty breathing were the worst but it was the lethargy that kept me in bed,” said Jim Poling Sr., the author of “Killer Flu: The World on the Brink of a Pandemic,” who caught the virus while studying at Columbia University. “X-rays after recovery showed scarring at the bottom of my left lung.”

But still, the country moved on, got up, went to work, and did what it had to do.  Millennial-Nation on the other hand, wants everything to STOP until there is absolutely positively, no more risk.

The average person used to be smart enough to understand that every day walking out the front door was a risk, as was deciding to not walk out the door. Apparently we’re a much dumber country now, so going forward one can only wonder how we’ll deal with seasonal flu since we now regard normal risk as something only a crazy person would entertain.

Brave Dumb World.

Face Mask Madness

My favorite morning show has usually started off the opening of each show with a litany of “so what did you do last night” openers; the type of conversation starter used to kick off large cast morning shows for years.  That usually leads to some story highlighting drinking or some other stupidity to last until for the first commercial break.

But that was in the before times.

Now, the daily opening topic of conversation revolves around “I went to [fill in the blank] last night and so many dum dums were not wearing masks!”  Usually followed by a “hrrmph,” or “my word.”  The Karen’s in the Morning are only a symptom of how quickly the science and social convention have flipped on face masks.

Let’s step back into the wayback machine to that long ago era of less than two months ago.  It seems like a different age, but at that time the Surgeon General, back on March 2nd said:

“You can increase your risk of getting it by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider,” Adams said. “Folks who don’t know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus,” he added.

Adams’ comments Monday reiterate his blaring tweet from the weekend, urging people to “STOP BUYING MASKS.” He said that they were “NOT effective” to the general public and noted that the increased demand in masks puts medical professionals at risk.”

Besides the Surgeon General, the CDC agreed with the boo masks policy.

“The CDC said last month it doesn’t recommend people use face masks, making the announcement on the same day that first case of person-to-person transmission of coronavirus was reported in the U.S.”

So that was the state of SCIENCE (PBUH) just a few weeks ago.  Masks were for dum dums.

But that was then…

Now of course, we live in a different age, in which to mask or not to mask has great social and legal significance. In Philadelphia the cops dragged a man off a bus for not wearing a mask, and there have been several fights over to mask or unmask.  At this stupid point of societal change, the face mask is a social statement.  The good people wear masks, and the ne’er-do-wells have none.

Mask shaming has elevated the nation’s Karen’s, who a mere two months ago were a mocked and derided group, into America’s version of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, seemingly authorized to wave their fingers in the face of any unmasked person and of course, waving the threat to call the manager.

I’d like to say that it takes a nation of Karen’s to keep me down, but in the past week I’ve twice had to go to places that required the mask, and…I wore the mask, fully aware that I was participating in a weird sort of face mask theater, where my wearing the mask was a social marker of approval more than any medical one.  I just find it bizarre how public attitudes can turn on a dime. Who knew it was so easy to manipulate human behavior?

Well they know now.


New York Was Always the Problem

I’ll give credit to The New York Times for outing their home town as the major source of COVID-19 infections in the United States.

Travel From New York City Seeded Wave of U.S. Outbreaks

“The coronavirus outbreak in New York City became the primary source of infections around the United States, researchers have found. 

New York City’s coronavirus outbreak grew so large by early March that the city became the primary source of new infections in the United States, new research reveals, as thousands of infected people traveled from the city and seeded outbreaks around the country.”

Thanks New York.

Just reading that, this leads to the obvious conclusion that Trump’s European travel ban was the right decision, however not so fast say the Times.  We can’t give Trump credit for nuthin’!

“During crucial weeks in March, New York’s political leaders waited to take aggressive action, even after identifying hundreds of cases, giving the virus a head start. And by mid-March, when President Trump restricted travel from Europe, the restrictions were essentially pointless, the data suggest, as the disease was already spreading widely within the country.  Acting earlier would most likely have blunted the virus’s march across the country, researchers say.”

Hear that?  Trump enacted the ban too late.  It seems like everyone has forgotten who opposed the ban in the first place.  As Breitbart reported:

House and Senate Democrats are responding to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States by supporting measures to effectively strip President Trump of his authority to impose travel bans to protect American citizens.

While Trump has implemented travel bans on China and Iran — two of the most coronavirus-affected nations in the world — House Democrats are looking to roll back the president’s authority to enact travel bans from regions of the world.

The “No Ban Act,” introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and co-sponsored by 219 House Democrats, would have prevented Trump from immediately implementing a travel ban on China once the outbreak of the coronavirus spread past its origins of Wuhan.

I don’t expect much action on the “No Ban Act” now, but it’s a good reflection on what sort of response we could have expected from the Democrats if they had been in charge.

Racial Profiling in the Age of Corona

There is a full roundup of stories dealing with Identity Politics in the hysterical times we’re living in.  Even though the Coronavirus seems an ill-suited square peg to be stuffed into the round identity politics hole, for some people, that’s all they do, so as I wrote about here and here, stories abound.

For Blacks, the real threat isn’t the virus, its racial profiling.  I came across two stories on how Blacks are hardest hit when they wear masks.

People of color are worried they’ll be racially profiled if they wear homemade face masks

Activists and academics fear that people of color will be racially profiled if they wear homemade face masks in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to make masks from cloth or bandanas when medical-grade masks are unavailable.

“We have a lot of examples of the presumed criminality of black men in general,” Trevon Logan, an economics professor at Ohio State University who won’t following the CDC’s recommendation, said in an interview with CNN. “And then we have the advice to go out in public in something that … can certainly be read as being criminal or nefarious, particularly when applied to black men.”

This story, besides hitting the usual marks about Blacks hardest hit by the virus, has “Activists and Academics” worrying, presumably, about Black people being shot by police for wearing masks.

Cops:  Pew Pew Pew! [Police firing his service weapon]

Masked Black Man:  Urrgghh…it is finished.  [Black man dying]

Cops:  He had a mask on, case closed. [Receives medal for bravery]

Along the same vein…

Why coronavirus mask-wearing orders leave black Americans facing a tough decision

The coronavirus pandemic has created life-and-death dilemmas for people all over the globe — and a particularly devastating one for black men living in America: Wear a mask for protection against COVID-19? Or go without one, simply to lower the risk of being perceived as a criminal?

This specific quandary comes amid some key factors: reports about black people dying of the coronavirus at disproportionately high rates, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all adults to now wear cloth masks in public, and, taking effect this week, a New York State order that everyone must wear a mask in public if social distancing is not possible.

That all leaves black men, many of whom have grown accustomed to monitoring their appearance so as to not look “threatening” in public, between a rock and a hard place.

So check about Black people dying disproportionally than white people, and check about the problem of wearing a mask when it’s a “life-and-death” dilemma.  Less clear is why it’s a problem “all over the globe.”  Do Black people face the same threat in Port-au-Prince and Lagos as they do in Chiraq?

The thing about both of these articles is that they’re heavy on the hand wringing and light on actual examples of police, store managers, or even the local Becky on her cell phone doing any actual profiling.

To find some actual profiling, I had to go here…

Racist Attacks Against Asians Continue to Rise as the Coronavirus Threat Grows

Hate crime task forces have been responding to calls and social media users who have been posting videos and tweeting stories of attacks — both verbal and physical — that have been posted online to try to find perpetrators who’ve been targeting Asians.

As a long time skeptic of “Hate Crimes,” as I wrote about during the Jussie Smollett hoax and earlier, I’m not one to dive right in and gullibly swallow every racial tale of woe.  The incentives of sacred victimhood are too sweet for there not to be hate hoaxes, but by the same token, there are also real attacks and crimes inspired by racial animus.  This article lists several reported attacks against Asians.  Some may eventually turn out to be hoaxes, but I also wouldn’t put it past some people to commit these crimes either.

Meanwhile we live during a period in which for the first time in American history, White America is more relieved to see a Black man with a mask waiting outside of Wal-Mart than one without.

I call that progress!

The Incredibly Shrinking COVID-19 Fatality Rate

Almost all of our knowledge of this virus initially came from Chinese data, which we’ve simultaneously accepted uncritically as accurate and at the same time, suspected as a fake Chinese disinformation campaign.  Back in February we were thinking (again based on Chinese Data) that the case fatality rate was 2.3%

Instead as we’ve gathered real data in our own country, we’ve learned this:

The recent Stanford University antibody study now estimates that the fatality rate if infected is likely 0.1 to 0.2 percent, a risk far lower than previous World Health Organization estimates that were 20 to 30 times higher and that motivated isolation policies. 

In New York City, an epicenter of the pandemic with more than one-third of all U.S. deaths, the rate of death for people 18 to 45 years old is 0.01 percent, or 10 per 100,000 in the population. On the other hand, people aged 75 and over have a death rate 80 times that. For people under 18 years old, the rate of death is zero per 100,000.

A COVID-19 case fatality rate of 0.1 to 0.2 percent is far lower than the fatality rates that frightened us into shutting down our entire economy.  Meanwhile the WHO still estimates a CFR of 3.4%; definitely it’s far lower than a Case Fatality Rate of 17% for SARS, or a whopping 34% for MERS.

By comparison, the case fatality rate of the annual flu is estimated to be around 0.1%.  So based on the Stanford antibody study, the COVID-19 case fatality rate is pretty close to that.  So…still not the flu, but not that far off.

Of course the Stanford study isn’t the only antibody test being conducted.  There was the LA County Study which got similar results; a far higher penetration of COVID-19 than previously thought, with most of the cases being mild symptoms or asymptomatic.

There are more antibody studies underway and no doubt we’ll see more results like this over the next few weeks.  So what can we conclude from this?

  1. COVID-19 is far more infectious than previously thought, with possibly millions of people who may have already had the infection and never knew it.
  2. It’s a lot less fatal than previously thought, with far fewer fatalities per capita than initially estimated.

More Fudging the Numbers

Since I wrote about The New York Times article which highlighted that New York City was adding 3,700 extra deaths to their COVID-19 death count from deaths that didn’t have a positive Coronavirus positive test, I’ve come across several other reports of COVID fudging to increase the numbers.  I guess having invested so much credibility in promising the Apocalypse, government agencies seem determined to deliver one, even if it’s a statistical mirage.

The Powerline Blog alerted me to a story that ran on local TV news in which showed how the Minnesota Department of Health was fudging the numbers:

Dr. Scott Jensen is both a physician and a Minnesota state senator. Yesterday he was interviewed by a local television station and dropped a bombshell: he, and presumably all other Minnesota doctors, got a seven-page letter from the Minnesota Department of Health that gave guidance on how to classify COVID-19 deaths. The letter said that if a patient died of, e.g., pneumonia, and was believed to have been exposed to COVID-19, the death certificate should say that COVID-19 was the cause of death even though the patient was never tested, or never tested positive, for that disease.

Here is the link to the story that ran on station KVLY here.

Ohio is also adopting a much broader definition of COVID-19 deaths:

Ohio has adopted an expanded federal definition for counting coronavirus cases, but the reported numbers still will miss the vast majority of actual infections, said Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health.

Starting Friday, the state’s Covid-19 website lists “probable” cases alongside those confirmed by tests.

The good news is…

For now, Ohio will report that sum but also present presumed numbers separately from confirmed.

So there is hope that sometime in the future, after the hysteria has abated, we can separate the real numbers from the shady ones, at least in Ohio.

Of course this nonsense couldn’t go on without the CDC giving its blessing, and sure enough…

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. tally of coronavirus cases and deaths could soon jump because federal health officials will now count illnesses that are not confirmed by lab testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told states Tuesday to include probable COVID-19 cases in their reports to the agency. Previously, most states reported only lab-confirmed cases and deaths.

The change hasn’t caused U.S. counts to rise much faster than they had been, but officials in some states said they were just learning about the change. Pennsylvania, for example, has begun to follow the CDC and expand its reporting, Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s secretary of health, said in a Wednesday call with reporters.

So there you have it, inaccurate numbers, dictated from the top.  If only we had a responsible press corps to ask about this during those daily Coronavirus briefings.