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COVID-19 News

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
You have to assume that the Chinese authorities were able to control the spread, which is not proven.

Yes, Trump bears responsibility because he fiddled while America burned with the virus. He still claims it'll one day just disappear as an excuse for the ongoing inability to test efficiently. Had he acted properly and stopped ignoring reality and lying, tens of thousands of people would still be alive.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
You have to assume that the Chinese authorities were able to control the spread, which is not proven.
That all depends on how you define "proof". If you go with the idea that proof is evidence sufficient to justify belief in a claim, then there's evidence that the CCP not only knew about the disease prior to allowing 5 million people out of Wuhan, including many on international flights, but also covered up what they knew.

Whether you believe that evidence or not is up to you, but so far, I see no reason to doubt its veracity. As you know, the CCP is essentially a communist police state and they can shut down everything on a moments notice without having to go through layers of bureaucracy. So I would have to say that the Chinese authorities were not only capable of controlling the spread, they deliberately facilitated it.
Yes, Trump bears responsibility because he fiddled while America burned with the virus. He still claims it'll one day just disappear as an excuse for the ongoing inability to test efficiently. Had he acted properly and stopped ignoring reality and lying, tens of thousands of people would still be alive.
Where's your "proof" for that claim? We've been through it all already and it amounts to a combination of circumstances beyond the President's control, no matter who had been elected, combined with subjective opinion, political bias, and a plain dislike for Trump. People other than yourself think he's done as well or better than could be expected.

Me personally? I don't know because I don't have all the facts. His stupid offhanded comments aside, some info is still classified, so we don't know for sure how many facts Trump had to base his decisions on. His downplaying of the situation rather than panicking the whole nation before the facts were known isn't technically lying. It seems however the responsible thing to do at the time.

In addition, it's not the place for the President to order such sweeping changes in a free nation unless the situation is proven to be dire, and he had no proof it was dire because there was insufficient information. COVID-19 was still an unknown variable, and Trump had no crystal ball to see into the future. Nevertheless large companies like airlines were already taking measures without a Presidential order. That is as it should have been.

We also know that Trump was depending on info from the WHO, which was found to be faulty. Is that his fault? No. Because a lot of that info came from China. Yes US intelligence had some idea that something was going on, but so far as we know, they didn't know the exact nature of the outbreak, and even if they did, we don't know what intelligence factors were in play that could be used publicly.

Individual responsibility also plays a role. The president didn't go around spreading the disease. People did, and many of them were going to do whatever they were going to do regardless of what Trump or any other President in office told them. I don't like Trump any more than you do on a personal level, but maybe because I don't live in the USA, I have a more detached perspective.

The bottom line is that neither you nor I have some sort of time machine that can go back, install some other President, and allow us to compare the situations exactly 1 for 1. All we can do is speculate. For all we know some other President might have had a heart attack, said other stupid things we don't expect, and made other bad decisions we assume they'd never make. We don't know. You might be right. But would you really want to be?

Anyway, today was the 100 day mark to your next election, so hopefully you will end-up with someone less divisive in office. In the meantime, up here, we're hearing reports of continued looting down there under the banner of "protests" and the ordering of police crackdowns in response. We're doing fairly well ourselves, but the enforced germaphobia and police crackdowns are getting worse instead of better ( but minor by comparison - see below ).
 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
COVID-19 - The Real Numbers - Nobody Knows For Sure

Consider this quote from Scientific American

"Both undercounts and overcounts of COVID-19 deaths are possible, Wolfson said, but it’s not yet clear which is more likely, or whether they might simply balance each other out."​
The article also includes these telling situations that depending on how you look at them can make all the difference in how the situation should be handled.

"In Colorado, the discrepancy over people dying with COVID-19 versus of COVID-19 is due to federal reporting guidelines requiring the health department to report any COVID-positive death to the CDC, even if COVID-19 wasn’t thought to cause the death, Gov. Jared Polis said in a news conference Friday (May 15)."​

Apparently the health department has since been instructed not to report those deaths as being caused by COVID-19, but then consider the following:

"For COVID-19, the immediate cause of death might be listed as respiratory distress, with the second line reading “due to COVID-19.” Contributing factors such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure would then be listed further down. This has led to some confusion by people arguing that the “real” cause of death was heart disease or diabetes, Aiken said, but that’s not the case. “Without the COVID19 being the last straw or the thing that led to the chain of events that led to death, they probably wouldn’t have died,” she said."​
"How hard it is to accurately determine whether COVID-19 was truly that last straw depends on the situation. Most COVID-19 deaths seen at Mount Sinai Health System in New York are in people who have comorbid (or co-occurring) conditions such as coronary artery disease or kidney disease, said Dr. Mary Fowkes, the chief of autopsy services at Mount Sinai. But it’s not typically difficult to tell what killed them."​

Now let's have a closer look at that logic. The physician ( Aiken ) said: “Without the COVID-19 being the last straw or the thing that led to the chain of events that led to death, they ( the patient ) probably wouldn’t have died.”

However, given the statistics on the survival of COVID-19 patients without preexisting conditions, Aiken's statement can just as easily be turned around to say “Without a chain of preexisting conditions prior to contracting COVID-19, they probably wouldn’t have died either.

So the statistics have definitely being interpreted in a way that skews the perception of COVID-19. The fact is that if you are a healthy person in a low-risk group, the symptoms can be so mild you don't even know you have it, and the rest will survive just fine.

Therefore, logically, the most responsible thing to do is for those in high-risk groups to take extra precautions. Let them wear Moon suits if they want, and anyone who is infected should stay home anyway. But the rest should have the option not to, and to go about business as usual.
 
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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The proof of what Trump could have done and failed to do is obvious from his lies about the situation and his refusal to properly work with the states to manage the situation. It’s why only his hardcore followers believe he did a good job.

The previous administration left supplies, guides and a committee within the National Security Council to deal with pandemics. He pretended none of that existed; the committee was basically broken up. This is well documented as is his constant claims they had full control of the situation.

It’s a major issue down here.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
The proof of what Trump could have done and failed to do is obvious from his lies about the situation and his refusal to properly work with the states to manage the situation. It’s why only his hardcore followers believe he did a good job.

The previous administration left supplies, guides and a committee within the National Security Council to deal with pandemics. He pretended none of that existed; the committee was basically broken up. This is well documented as is his constant claims they had full control of the situation.

It’s a major issue down here.
Same answer as before.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
And like I was saying here, the numbers cannot be trusted because of the way they are being skewed. From the page on your link:

"Criteria for reporting deaths continues to change in some states and cities, and numbers in this story may fluctuate as jurisdictions adjust their counting and reporting procedures. For instance, in mid-April, New York City added more than 3,700 deaths of people who were presumed to have the coronavirus but were never tested."​

If they were never tested how do they know COVID-19 was responsible? In virtually all deaths attributed to COVID-19, there are underlying conditions that if not present would have moved them into the low risk group where nobody dies. In other cases deaths were attributed to COVID-19 simply because the patient tested positive for it when in actual cause of death may have been from something else.

The Scientific American article admits that we don't really know the numbers, and their spin on it is such that the blame is put on COVID-19 before anything else, and those numbers are being used as a rationale for crackdowns and lockdowns across the board, without considering that virtually all deaths are in high-risk groups, most of whom are retired and out of the work force or in long-term care and out of the general population.

The obvious "proper" course of action is therefore to redirect resources to the high-risk groups and put the rest of the country back to work instead of sinking further into an economic collapse that will result in even more deaths from poverty and other secondary causes.
 
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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
Same response. The Chinese published the genome of the virus in January. WHO made tests available that month. Trump ignored both.

Testing is still a nightmare in the U.S. with people waiting hours to take tests and more than 7 days to get results.

As to numbers, we know that ICUs in the U.S. are overcapacity in some cities, morgues are overflowing. That means real people getting seriously ill or dying in much higher numbers. The CDC says we might be severely undercounting the infection rate, that it may be 10 times higher. Most people who get the virus have minor symptoms and they get over them — mostly. 40% or some odd of those infected show no symptoms.

As for me, I'm sick and tired of living on a combat zone. Numbers may be imprecise, of course, but a lot of damage is being done.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Same response. The Chinese published the genome of the virus in January. WHO made tests available that month. Trump ignored both.
Maybe that's because there were ZERO cases of COVID-19 in the USA until January 20th, and there was still a lot to be learned about the disease. What was he supposed to do? Lockdown over 300 million citizens because ONE person got sick from a disease that was being reported as largely under control and not that deadly?
Testing is still a nightmare in the U.S. with people waiting hours to take tests and more than 7 days to get results.
I don't know who they're testing, but if the resources were diverted to the high-risk groups, then maybe they'd get done faster.
As to numbers, we know that ICUs in the U.S. are overcapacity in some cities, morgues are overflowing. That means real people getting seriously ill or dying in much higher numbers. The CDC says we might be severely undercounting the infection rate, that it may be 10 times higher. Most people who get the virus have minor symptoms and they get over them — mostly. 40% or some odd of those infected show no symptoms.
Yes, the higher mortality rate is worrisome, but against the backdrop of the larger situation not entirely unexpected. There has been a major upswing in suicides and drug overdoses because of the way the situation is being handled. Add to that the increasing number of deaths related to poverty because of the economic shutdown, and it may not be the disease itself that is bringing the numbers up.

I've been trying to get this through to people after it became clear that we've never been told the whole truth about the disease and how the decisions are being made to deal with it.
As for me, I'm sick and tired of living on a combat zone. Numbers may be imprecise, of course, but a lot of damage is being done.
Yes a lot of damage is being done, and my concern all along is the potential that more damage is being done by the way it's being handled than by the disease itself, and the fear machine with its focus the virus alone isn't helping.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
In this area, masks are mandatory if social distancing isn't possible. All the major store chains require it. But there are still morons out there who don't realize that they might be endangering the health and possibly the life of others by their refusal to adhere to either policy.

Being well over 65, I am in the endangered group of people with the most to lose.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
I've been trying to get this through to people after it became clear that we've never been told the whole truth about the disease and how the decisions are being made to deal with it.
I agree with that. There is a lot more to tell. But you also have to be dealing with a government with a passing respect for truth, and we have no such thing here in the U.S. anymore. Every time Trump speaks, the media has to spend endless amounts of time factchecking his obvious falsehoods.

If Obama were still President, I'm sure we'd have a problem. But do you really think it would be anywhere near as bad?
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
From a former Medicare and Medicaid acting administrator:

Have a look at what he suggests: https://coronavirus.medium.com/we-can-eliminate-covid-19-if-we-want-to-64abc91ccc1c

It's the same reductionist approach that is only looking through the microscope at the virus while ignoring the rest of the picture.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
Actually there's general agreement about what should have been done at the beginning to deal with this problem.

But consider this: The U.S. has roughly 4.23% of the world population, but infection and death rates attributed to coronavirus are closer to 25%. No excuse for Trump explains why it's so bad here, and why the U.S. is largely regarded as a pariah in Europe.

Try to take a plane trip from Phoenix to Madrid and tell me the result.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I agree with that. There is a lot more to tell. But you also have to be dealing with a government with a passing respect for truth, and we have no such thing here in the U.S. anymore. Every time Trump speaks, the media has to spend endless amounts of time factchecking his obvious falsehoods.
The problem with what constitutes the truth about the COVID-19 situation isn't just with Trump. Yes we know his track record, but it extends way beyond him into the medical politics and down into state level and civic level politics. It also extends out to the politics of other nations and the WHO.
If Obama were still President, I'm sure we'd have a problem. But do you really think it would be anywhere near as bad?
I really liked Obama, but we cannot make assumptions about whether or not the situation would be "as bad" because we don't even have a clear picture of what that means. I think it's bad for very different reasons than other people do.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
I really liked Obama, but we cannot make assumptions about whether or not the situation would be "as bad" because we don't even have a clear picture of what that means. I think it's bad for very different reasons than other people do.
On the contrary, we know how they handled the 2009 (H1N1) flu pandemic.

We know that the Obama administration left a stockpile of materials that could have been used to help at the beginning. We know that the Obama administration prepared a 69-page document on dealing with pandemics that was conveyed to the Trump people, and that they established a committee in the NSA for that purpose.

So we know that they had done preparation for the possibility.

Yes, the rest may be speculation, but from Obama's behavior as President, we can be sure he'd try to do the right thing and not say it's going away over and over again. He might have made mistakes and not followed through on some policies that would have worked. But he would have tried, and — whether you like his politics or not — it's clear he is nobody's fool.

The major reasons why Biden is getting high marks on how people expect he'd deal with coronavirus as President is because of his past record and the fact that he actually cares about people. He also believes in science and reality.

People expect he'd try hard to fight the pandemic, and that would be a huge change from the current situation. He'd make mistakes, to be sure, but it can't be any worse than it is now.

None of this has anything to do with the politics of China and how the disease was first spread. That ship has sailed, although it would be nice to do a more detailed postmortem when the current emergency is past.

For now, I am sick and tired of living in a combat zone.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Actually there's general agreement about what should have been done at the beginning to deal with this problem.

But consider this: The U.S. has roughly 4.23% of the world population, but infection and death rates attributed to coronavirus are closer to 25%. No excuse for Trump explains why it's so bad here, and why the U.S. is largely regarded as a pariah in Europe.

Try to take a plane trip from Phoenix to Madrid and tell me the result.
As I said in a previous post, Presidents don't spread the disease, people do, and most of the people in the USA don't pay attention to their politicians anyway. However where politicians have the greatest impact also happens to be with the highest-risk sector of the population. Therefore if they had focused more on them from the start, that might have made a big difference for them ( and the numbers ).

As for travel, it's a well known fact that most disease is transmitted by travellers. So it's those companies and people that need to take all the extra precautions. COVID-19 wouldn't even be in the USA if it weren't for travellers ( unless there a more sinister angle there involving the CCP ). Shutting down the rest of the nation, restricting people's freedoms, and enforcing germaphobia on normal healthy people capable of fighting off the disease like any other isn't helpful. But politicians like to control mass populations, so they'll nearly always try to force their legislation on as many as possible regardless of whether or not it applies to everyone.
 


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