Four weeks ago, 40,000 PHD’s and Medical doctors signed THE GREAT BARRINGTON PROJECT PETITION. Led by virologist Jay Bhattacharya from Stanford. Dr. Sunetra Gupta from Oxford University and Dr. Martin Kulldorf from Harvard little credence was given in the media to their findings and recommendations. Dr. Marty Makaray from The Johns Hopkins Department of Public Health has also written extensively and contributed to the evolving body of science about the COVID-19 virus. His voice has also been silenced by a media narrative that does not conform to his ideas and strategies. The scientists mentioned above all come from different academic, clinical, and political backgrounds yet they have come to similar conclusions regarding how we have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic and how we should move forward from where we are today.
In Mid-March of 2020, we received many mixed signals from our public health officials and even from the general medical community. Many experts (an expert is someone who knows a lot about one little sliver of knowledge and nothing about anything else) told us that nationwide we would see 20 million deaths and in our State of Idaho we were told that 10-20% of our people would succumb to the virus a number in line with smallpox death rates of 30%. 170,000-240,000 deaths in Idaho was an exaggeration based on no factual scientific evidence. In late March, I wrote an article defining the difference between Case Fatality Rate (CFR) and Infection Fatality Rate (IFR). The CFR is simply the number of deaths divided by the number of known infected patients. Since early on most of the people tested were symptomatic or had been in contact with and infected patient the numerator was a small number.
Dr. Bhattacharya in late March reported on his “Santa Clara County Study” that far more people had been infected at a rate of 50 times greater than had previously been identified. He recommend early serologic antibody testing. In Santa Clara County 1000people had been identified with the antigen test, but 50,000 people carried antibodies. This would have made the death rate at .03% instead of 3% or 3/100000 instead of 3/100. A big difference but little reported on by the mainstream media or public health specialists on State or Federal task forces. And in those areas where the death rate was higher (CFR and IFR) are dependent on more factors than just the virus’s transmissibility and infectivity—how close are people living together for example, like the tristate area mistakes were made by politicians and public health directors.
Sending Covid-19 positive patients back to nursing homes where vulnerable patients would be exposed and then infected was medical malpractice. Yet Governor Cuomo writes a book bragging about his leadership during the worse days of the crises. His ideas were ill conceived and ill-advised and his tactics and strategies were catastrophic. Had he been a General on the Battlefield he would have been court-martialed and found guilty of dereliction. He and his public health director even tried to pass a law after the fact indemnifying them from liability—malpractice, while at the same time creating a standard of care out of their standard of malpractice! In other words, they were more concerned about covering their own backsides than they were taking care of people. The fact that they knowingly tried to pass this legislation is Prima Fasciae evidence of their guilt and culpability—I am not a lawyer but like most Idahoans I have common sense and an olfactory talent to be able to smell BS through a television screen or a computer.
What the great Barrington Project also realized is that there are opportunity costs and tradeoffs when aggressive public health strategies are deployed. Most of the time the people who are adversely affected are those living on the margins and children. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that 130million people will starve this year in the world as a result of economic damage from COVID-19 lockdowns. Measles. Chickenpox, diphtheria, TB, and Malaria are occurring in at risk populations across the world at higher rates than they have in decades. In our own country children are not getting vaccinated against childhood diseases because of lockdowns. Hans Rovsig in FACTFULLNESS has identified 3 billion people in the world living at or just above a subsistence level. Over the past 20 years, as the world economy has improved, 1 billion of these people have been lifted out of the lowest two levels and are now participating in the economies of their countries and local communities. With the lockdowns these billion people are at risk for loosing what they have gained over the past 20 years.
Moving forward we need to better define who is at risk. The virus is not equally dangerous to everybody and our tactics and strategy should reflect this fact. If you are under 70 you have a 99.9% chance of recovering completely from the virus. If you are over 70 you have a 99.0% chance of recovering. Comorbid conditions define risk better than age. In England the median age of death from the virus is 81 yrs. Life expectancy in England is 81 years. In 2019 in our country 2,900,000 people died. With COVID-19 that number goes up by 16%—more than the COVID-19 number alone because people are dying from other causes at a faster rate—heart disease, cancer, and even neonatal mortality is up in our country because mothers aren’t going to their doctors for pre-natal care in the numbers that they used to.
But of all the disinformation given to us by the public health professionals and the echo chamber media, the idea that lockdowns work after the initial phase of the pandemic is fallacy and Foley—Foley that is failing as we speak. In the often sited St. Louis shutdown in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic the shutdown worked early on, but in the 2nd and 3rd stages only type three mitigation worked. And that is exactly what should be done in the USA and Idaho. Those at risk should be isolated and preparations for their care should they become infected should be done prospectively. My daughter in law was recently treated for Diffuse Histiocytic Lymphoma with chemotherapy and a splenectomy and she is staying home and taking precautions. This is an example of type 3 mitigation strategy. OTHERWISE: Schools should open up. Businesses should open up. The curve was crushed early on in the 1st wave and is being crushed now—despite what you are hearing on the national and local fronts. I will include the Idaho information below and you can see for yourself the status of ICU beds respirators and hospital beds. The evidence is incontrovertible. Open up, Governor. The sky isn’t falling.