Source: William Sullivan
Fresh on the heels of the Sacramento Bee’s criticism of Gavin Newsom’s multi-family extravaganza at the famous French Laundry, a swanky $350-a-person-before-the-wine-is-ordered restaurant in Yountville, California, and after having his wrist slapped by the state Judiciary for exceeding his constitutional authority in issuing emergency lockdown orders, he’s decided that he really doesn’t care what the plebs of his state think or what the law says about his executive limitations.
He’s locking the state down again. The reason, as he and the media would have you believe, is that California is experiencing a surge in positive COVID-19 tests, having just crossed the one million mark in cases. You’re supposed to focus on that big, scary number and not Gavin Newsom’s blatant hypocrisy or his unlawful executive overreach, and certainly not the many questions swirling about the looming prospect of the Trump legal team’s potentially exposing massive election fraud, which could have an enormous impact on the future of our republic. Nope, cases are rising, and we’re at a million in California, so it’s time to pull the “emergency brake” and make California miserable again.
The recent surge in cases might serve as pretty convincing evidence that the stupid rags we’ve been forced to wear over our faces for the past months don’t actually do anything to prevent the spread of COVID. It certainly doesn’t suggest that there’s any legitimate reason for another lockdown in California.
This is a totally manufactured crisis, and we can prove it with basic information that anyone can find.
As of November 15, California has a seven-day rolling average of 8,484 new cases per day. That’s not the peak for the year, mind you. We saw an average of 9,561 back on July 24.
The case numbers really mean nothing here. What all of this is about — all the fear, the confusion, the misery — is over COVID deaths. And the number of COVID deaths in California peaked at a seven-day rolling average of 148 deaths per day on August 10. As of November 15, that average is 42 per day.
You’ve undoubtedly encountered a person, usually someone who peruses the MSNBC headlines on his iPhone and feigns expertise on the subject, who’ll tell you that any low death count is due to deaths lagging the cases by some arbitrary length of time (most often, I hear “two weeks”). That contention falls apart immediately with current data, as the cases and deaths in California appear to have completely disassociated. This “surge” in cases began on or around October 18, and on that day, the seven-day rolling average of deaths was 58. Two weeks later, the average was 44 deaths per day. Since that time, the cases have increased scarily, we are told. And yet, two weeks later, the rolling average of daily COVID deaths has continued to fall slightly. In fact, November has seen the lowest death toll that we Californians have seen since April, despite this scary “surge” in cases that we’ve seen over the past month.
This is where a sensible person who may have been dutifully imbibing the panic porn over COVID might stop to scratch his head. How can this be? Aren’t cases a leading indicator for deaths?
I’m no epidemiologist, and I don’t claim to be able to predict, with any certainty, the extent to which such a lag might occur. But what I am quite capable of doing is looking at a basic set of numbers and noticing when they’re obviously being fudged. And that’s clearly what’s going on with the COVID “case” count.
The hysteria we’re being fed is meant to have you believe that this current surge evidences some unprecedented rise in people contracting COVID and walking freely among us. Fear your neighbors, everyone; mask up extra-tightly; and for God’s sake, don’t have family and friends over for Thanksgiving dinner, because everyone’s a vector for this virus!
But we haven’t reached some unprecedented level of danger. That’s simply not true.
Besides hitting the one million mark in COVID cases this month, California just crossed another threshold: 200 thousand tests per day. For most of the summer, the number of tests in California averaged between 100 and 150 thousand. And for much of July and part of August, the average daily number of new cases was consistently higher than it is today.
This picture should already begin to take shape. Fewer tests were conducted in the summer, and yet there was a higher number of daily cases. This means that the positivity rate was much higher back then. Indeed, seven- to ten-percent positivity rates were quite common throughout the summer, peaking at over ten or eleven percent at times.
Today? The positivity rate is at 4.9 percent and has not been higher than six percent in months. But because we are testing more, and despite the lower positivity rate, the number of cases gives the false perception of a scary-looking “curve” without more of the story being told.
And there’s more. Not only are we testing tens of thousands more people each day, but we are consistently testing more young and healthy people today, as conditions of work or school. One doesn’t have to ponder long before concluding that this is, perhaps, the reason why the number of deaths has thankfully remained stubbornly low.
CDC data are quite clear about that fact. A college student testing positive after having been exposed in his dormitory, for example, isn’t likely to be on death’s door any time soon. In fact, your survival rate if you are under the age of 50 is 99.98 percent. If you’re between 50 and 69, you have a 99.5-percent chance of survival, and only if you are over 70 does the fatality rate approach anything near the level that we all feared in our early ignorance about the virus, which prompted the initial lockdowns.
California has a current crisis in governance, to be sure, but this not a crisis with COVID.
Newsom’s latest effort to visit misery upon the people of his state is not about public safety. And while it is about power and control at some level, I suspect there’s something else involved here, and that’s boatloads and boatloads of taxpayer money. If the lockdowns can be framed as necessary for public health, and the financial strife and misery can be extended for long enough, then Newsom’s having crippled his own state’s economy and oppressing its citizens might pay dividends when he and a coalition of similar blue states later go to Washington, hat in hand, to lobby an incoming Biden administration and Congress for that trillion-dollar bailout he asked for over the summer — which might go a long way toward financing California’s bloated pensions and otherwise compensating for its fiscally reckless governance over these past few decades.