German Fake News – People Demanding Freedom


 

The Berlin Protest was indeed far greater than the German press tried to claim. But even more so, they called these people NAZIs and fringe right-wing conspiracy nuts. You will see this was not a right-wing demonstration nor was it brandishing Nazi symbols. The German people are shouting: “Resistance! Resistance! Resistance”, “FREEDOM” and “We are the people!” Many are fed up with government incapacitation and government and media misinformation.

According to TV news, there are 20,000 people, others speak of over 1 million protesters. Supposedly many right-wing radicals, citizens of the Reich, etc. … but if you look closely, it is grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, brother and sister, children and adolescents, consistently mature citizens and everyone is calling for the end of corona measures and FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM.

The disinformation campaign against the people is massive and it is not restricted to just the United States. The objectives are very clear. This is the 1848 Socialist Revolution all over again and they are out to suppress any resistance.

German Protest was Seriously Understated by Government & Media


COMMENT: Hi Marty,

20.000 People in Germany is the MM number. People who were there estimate between 500.000 Minimum and 1,7 Million Max.
All the best, SP

 

REPLY: I am getting a lot of emails from Germany saying the government and the press have grossly downplayed the number of people out there for the protest. This is just more of the same trying to convince people only the lunatic fringe disagrees with the lockdowns. They seem to think if they keep downplaying the impact of these lockdowns, people will forget. What they are missing is the destruction to people’s future and wiping out countless jobs and businesses.

The Frontline Doctors will not be silenced!


From the CDC website we find this chart showing the deaths per age group for 2020 related to the Wuhan Virus. From this screen capture you can see that the deaths have dropped to a point they are only slightly above normal for respiratory illnesses. Left unsaid by the media is that COVID-19 kills primarily the same ages groups as many of the other versions and as COVID-19 kills an older person it means they will not be killed by another version so what really needs to be looked at are the total deaths from all respiratory deaths not just COVID to get the true picture.  And keep in mind that there is a financial incentive to “code” all respiratory deaths as COVID related to get federal money so its a reasonable assumption that COVID deaths are overstated.

Next we have a video of a press conference that took place in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, held by the group America’s Front line Doctors and organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots Foundation. The press conference featured front line doctors sharing their views and opinions on the novel coronavirus, the medical response to the pandemic, and the censorship they have experienced from Big Tech.

I have added, to this post the video from the same groups that was taken down from Monday July 27, 2020. This one will not be taken down. This one is twice as long and goes into depth of the use of Hydroxychloroquine which DOES IN FACT WORK especially as a prophylactic. The front line doctors talk a lot about that and that is why the video was remove from the web.

Hydroxychloroquine is both safe and effective!

Lastly we have another chart from the CDC website which shows the deaths per week including all other medical related deaths. Here we can see that the COVID-19 deaths have created a spike but the current rate of deaths is barely above normal now.

Which means the shut down must end now!

 

Protests Against Lock-down in Berlin


Nearly 20,000 protested in Berlin over the weekend against the lockdown and arguing that masks make them slaves. Many have ignored wearing masks and physical distancing as they accused the government of “stealing our freedom“. The press is clearly part of this conspiracy against the people for they are reporting the rise in cases that only reflects herd immunity and not deaths. With the flu, which they totally ignore, for even the CDC states that 44,802,629 Americans had the flu in the 2017-2018 season. Reporting mere thousands with this virus and blowing it up into something that has terrified many and make it seem as if you will face certain death is just outrageous. There should be a class-action lawsuit brought against the media for deliberately not reporting the truth.

Can Trump Postpone the Election? Maybe He Can!


Trump tweeted about postponing the election due to the main-in voting without proving who you are. There is a lot of fake news running around claiming that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution says the term must end by January 20th. However, this does not specify which January.

The 20th Amendment says: The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Then there are many claiming that the 22nd Amendment defines the term of the president as four years. This Amendment only limits the president to two terms and has nothing to do with the length of a term of office.

The 22nd Amendment Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

Originally, the office of President and Vice President were separate. People ran for each. The way we have Vice President selected by the Presidental candidate is also not authorized by the Constitution.

Article II, Section I:

“The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each state having one vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President.” (see also 3 USC §12)

All of this does not address what happens in an emergency. Former President Harry Truman seized steel production under the argument of national security during the Koren War. He explained: “Our national security and our chances for peace depend on our defense production. Our defense production depends on steel.” He claimed, “inherent power” to do what needed to be he had done. The Supreme Court rejected that argument saying that: “The Founders of this Nation entrusted the lawmaking power to the Congress alone in both good and bad times. It would do no good to recall the historical events, the fears of power, and the hopes for freedom that lay behind their choice.” Justice Robert Jackson wrote:

They knew what emergencies were, knew the pressures they engender for authoritative action, knew, too, how they afford a ready pretext for usurpation. We may also suspect that they suspected that emergency powers would tend to kindle emergencies. Aside from suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in time of rebellion or invasion, when the public safety may require it, they made no express provision for exercise of extraordinary authority because of a crisis. I do not think we rightfully may so amend their work.

However, here the enemy of the state is actually Congress. There is no question that the COVID numbers have been so abused because the hospitals are paid even for people without insurance as long as they claim they have COVID. Even the director of the CDC Robert Redfield admitted that before Congress. The numbers are inflated because they are not paid unless it is COVID.

This has been defined under National Security. What is fascinating is that this conspiracy to seize the government from Trump has manufactured an actual National Security Crisis using this exaggerated COVID Pandemic which did not exist under Truman. Here, there are shortages of money because of social-distancing and shutting down the economy so people have not been spending cash, and even the Post Office is disrupted. In trying to mail books, delays were unbelievable.  Congress changed its rules and have allowed its member to attend remotely. That in itself may not be constitutional. Congress has allowed lawmakers to cast votes for as many as 10 other House members by proxy. This is certainly a highly dangerous new rule.

Article I, Section 4 clearly requires that: “The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.” There is no Constitutional Authority for proxy votes. Each representative was to represent 30,000 people – not a party. Additionally, elections for the Senate and House of Representatives were: “The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.”

Here we have vast portions of government offices not functioning – even Congress itself. This opens the door to the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 51 (Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD-20). This was signed by President of the United States George W. Bush on May 4, 2007, in the aftermath of 911. , This Presidential Directive establishes an interesting comprehensive policy whereby what happens when the federal government institutions fail to operate in the event of a “catastrophic emergency” which the media has certainly turned this COVID Crisis into locking down the entire economy.

The COIVID contrived crisis is such an emergency is defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.

The Directive states its purpose:

“This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. This policy establishes “National Essential Functions,” prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.”

This presidential directive defines the “national essential functions” of the federal government, specifies “continuity requirements” for the departments and agencies in the federal government’s executive branch, and “provides guidance for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations. It also provides for a National Continuity Coordinator who will oversee the “development and implementation of federal continuity policies.

Since Congress has made new rules that it will no longer require member to be present due to this COVID Crisis and allows proxy voting not authorized by the Constitution, the very foundation of a representative government has ceased to exist. The purpose of this Directive is to protect the constitution. There is no comity among the branches to preserve the constitutional framework of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, an appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support of the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency.

This Directive 51 asserts that the president has the power to declare a catastrophic emergency. It does not specify who has the power to declare the emergency over. It also authorizes the new position of “National Continuity Coordinator” would be filled by the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. The directive further specifies that a “Continuity Policy Coordination Committee“, is to be chaired by a senior director of the Homeland Security Council who is selected by the National Continuity Coordinator. The majority of this order is secret and has not been published. The mere fact that Congress has stopped attendance and allowed proxy voting does not comply with the constitution and calls into question is this COVID Crisis has indeed risen to a catastrophic emergency thanks to the media.

It certainly appears that this is ripe for the Supreme Court. What if there was an act of war and Congress was destroyed in an attack? How would the government function is Congress does not attend? The primary mission of the Homeland Security Act was to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism, and minimize damage and assist in recovery for terrorist attacks that occur in the United States. If it argued that COVID was deliberately released by any clandestine group to bring down the US economy in order to create a Great Reset opportunity, then clearly Homeland Security comes into place and the Justice Department is duty-bound to investigate if anyone in Congress or any agency, including Fauci, have conspired with anyone to create this national catastrophic emergency and cause the national GDP to collapse in the greatest recorded decline in history.

There is the authority to postpone the elections when Congress itself is no longer attending. This will end up in the Supreme Court, but there should be a nonpartisan investigation of everyone involved and ASAP to be able to reveal evidence to justify this catastrophic emergency which has been fueled by CNN, Washington Post, and New York Times just to mention a few.

 


3 USC §12. Failure of certificates of electors to reach President of the Senate or Archivist of the United States; demand on State for certificate

When no certificate of vote and list mentioned in sections 9 and 11 of this title from any State shall have been received by the President of the Senate or by the Archivist of the United States by the fourth Wednesday in December, after the meeting of the electors shall have been held, the President of the Senate or, if he be absent from the seat of government, the Archivist of the United States shall request, by the most expeditious method available, the secretary of state of the State to send up the certificate and list lodged with him by the electors of such State; and it shall be his duty upon receipt of such request immediately to transmit same by registered mail to the President of the Senate at the seat of government.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 644, 62 Stat. 674 ; Oct. 31, 1951, ch. 655, §8, 65 Stat. 712 ; Pub. L. 98–497, title I, §107(e)(1), (2)(B), Oct. 19, 1984, 98 Stat. 2291 .)

Amendments

1984-Pub. L. 98–497 substituted “Archivist of the United States” for “Administrator of General Services” in section catchline and two places in text.

1951-Act Oct. 31, 1951, substituted “Administrator of General Services” for “Secretary of State” in section catchline and two places in text.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–497 effective Apr. 1, 1985, see section 301 of Pub. L. 98–497, set out as a note under section 2102 of Title 44, Public Printing and Documents.

Silenced Frontline Doctors Hold Capitol Hill Press Conference to Challenge Big Tech


Re-Posted from  —— Bio and ArchivesJuly 30, 2020

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This video is of a press conference that took place in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, held by the group America’s Frontline Doctors and organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots Foundation. The press conference featured frontline doctors sharing their views and opinions on the novel coronavirus, the medical response to the pandemic, and the censorship they have experienced from Big Tech.

I have added, to this post the video that was taken down from Monday July 27, 2020. This one will not be taken down. This one is twice as long!

 

Rep. Jim Banks Castigates China for its Propaganda and Coronavirus Coverup


RePosted from AMERICAN THOUGHT LEADERS BY JAN JEKIELEK July 30, 2020 Updated: July 31, 2020

LINK TO THE VIDEO 

The Chinese Communist Party has a massive global apparatus to spread propaganda, from paid inserts in The Washington Post and The New York Times to networks of Twitter bots.

China Daily is one of nine Chinese outlets that have been designated as foreign missions by the State Department.

Earlier this year, the Chinese regime launched an aggressive campaign to deflect blame for its coverup and weaponization of the coronavirus outbreak.

In this episode, we sit down with Indiana Congressman Jim Banks, one of the first to demand reparations from the Chinese regime for its deadly coverup of the CCP virus.

This is American Thought Leaders 🇺🇸, and I’m Jan Jekielek.

Jan Jekielek: Jim Banks, such a pleasure to have you back on American Thought Leaders.

Jim Banks: Great to be with you.

Mr. Jekielek: Jim, last time we talked, we were talking about coronavirus. It was still in the early stages, but we already knew that the Chinese Communist Party was responsible. And at a very early time, you were already talking about the prospects of getting some kinds of reparation, holding China accountable financially. How have things come since then? It’s been three months, I think, since we spoke.

Rep. Banks: Yes, it’s been a while. I remember all the way back then, three months ago when we were calling for reparations to hold China accountable, immediately, I was called racist for raising the subject. Many of our critics on the left [and] even some on the right thought we were crazy for calling for it. But it seems that all of American politic has come around. American leaders have come around to the idea of admitting that yes, China is ultimately responsible for the spread of the coronavirus. What we know now [is] that China refused the CDC, WHO, and others from coming in to study COVID-19 back in January. Their outright refusal to allow that to happen—which could have prevented some say up to 90% of the cases of the coronavirus that have spread globally since then—[means] they should be ultimately held responsible for that.

From President Trump to, I believe, the vast majority of the American people, this is a shared belief in America. Unfortunately, our leaders haven’t done enough to hold China accountable at this point. I understand that we have a lot ahead of us as we rebuild the American economy, as we try to get America back on its feet. But at the same time, what the American people have suffered through, what people have suffered through all over the world, China should be held accountable for it. And so far, they aren’t being held accountable enough.

Mr. Jekielek: Just recently, Secretary Pompeo gave a speech. I’m almost sure you’ll agree it was a pretty significant shift. Of course, it came on the tails of the other speeches that were before by [Christopher] Wray, by [William] Barr, and by [Robert] O’Brien. So is there room for this holding China accountable financially in this new approach?

Rep. Banks: I really believe so. This president has come a long way. His administration has evolved substantially since the beginning. But where we sit today with Pompeo, O’Brien, the leadership at the FBI, and Attorney General Barr, some of the leading figures in American government today understand that it’s important that we don’t just rebuild America and get America back on track through our continued efforts, but at the same time, hold China accountable, not just for the coronavirus, but for their activities over decades that have sought to disrupt America [and] to disrupt American interest abroad.

There’s such a record here of China’s actions that are very much antithetical to American interest that we should be holding them accountable for that we’ve never had before. You have the right people in the right places to do that. Unfortunately, what’s looming over our heads is an election, and this is what the election, I believe, is all about. This isn’t a campaign interview. But on one side on the ballot, you have President Trump with this extraordinary team of leaders who understand the China threat better than ever before, versus a politician, Joe Biden, who, for 50 years, has been a part of leadership in America that has turned a blind eye to China’s actions. So that is what’s on the ballot. In November, who will we choose to put at the helm in the White House for the next four years? Someone who is content with leaving China alone and dismissing the China threat or someone who very much, for the first time in my lifetime, has identified it as a threat?

Mr. Jekielek: However, [former] Vice President Biden has talked about taking a tougher stance on China. In fact, he has advanced some policy positions in that vein.

Rep. Banks: He has [said] so because that reflects, I believe, the mood of the American people, but he has a record that’s very contrary to that. Joe Biden, as a senator and again as vice president, was a leader in American politics at the time that we normalized relations with China in the late 70s, early 80s, allowing them to enter the WTO in 2000, 2001. Those efforts began in the late 90s. And then, really, [there were] a couple of decades, especially for the entirety of the Obama administration, where we refused to ever hold China accountable for stealing our intellectual property, for disrupting the American economy by not living up to their end of generations of bad trade deals that we had in place with China as well. So the record speaks for itself. Talk is cheap, especially during a presidential election cycle, but the record is very clear, and it speaks for itself and is very much in contrast with President Trump’s record.

Mr. Jekielek: Well, … a number of people that I’ve spoken with have told me, basically, “Hey, I was really wrong about China. I was one of the people that voted for these things.” With any luck, this is the same situation for the [former] Vice President and his entourage.

I wanted to ask you a little bit about the China Daily. I heard you talking about that earlier, and … it continues to be delivered. This is Chinese Communist Party propaganda. They’ve been marked as a mission of the Chinese government. They are effectively representing the Chinese government, and this is in every congressional office as if it were another American media, and you’re very concerned about this. How is this still the case now?

Rep. Banks: Yes, it’s unbelievable to me. Every time I get my stack of newspapers on my doorstep in the Longworth House Office Building, the China Daily is in the middle of it, and I pull it out in the midst of The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times and even your newspaper [The Epoch Times].

Here’s the China Daily, which is a state-run propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party that magically appears on the doorstep of every lawmaker on Capitol Hill. I’ve raised that question. I’m not trying to be either sarcastic or naive about it, but nobody has a good answer of how it ever appears on my doorstep to begin with. Who pays for that to appear on the doorstep of a member of Congress—by the way in locked, especially right now, locked-down Capitol Hill House Office Buildings with security that’s second to none with Capitol police officers everywhere? Magically, the China Daily, a state-run newspaper, propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party appears on my doorstep. Nobody can answer that question. The Sergeant at Arms, the House Administration Committee, even Speaker Pelosi has been completely silent on that subject.

The great irony of it is that every independent media outlet, mainstream media outlet, in America often criticizes the President or criticizes others for diminishing the freedom of the press, raising issues of First Amendment protections of the media. And here’s a newspaper that is in direct contrast to that. We require foreign outlets, propaganda outlets, to register as foreign agents in the United States of America, and yet we have them appearing on our chief decision-makers in America, our lawmakers’, doorsteps. We have this propaganda newspaper show up on our doorsteps. So it’s astonishing to me that it happens to begin with, but the very fact that no one will do anything about it and aside from your outlet, no other media outlet in America has even reported on it tells you something’s wrong, something’s backward with that paradigm.

Mr. Jekielek: It’s fascinating, and hopefully, something will be done further. I’m sure you’re pursuing it.

Rep. Banks: We’ll keep pursuing it.

Mr. Jekielek: Let’s talk a little bit about the effects of coronavirus, CCP virus, as we call it, here in America. Right now, there’s this big debate—I know this is something you’ve been weighing into—about whether or not to … reopen all sorts of things, but especially schools. There seems to be a kind of surge in cases; although it’s also debatable. Does that just mean we have a lot more testing or what does that mean exactly? There are a lot of mixed messages, certainly in the data with the politicization of the results and everything else. What are your thoughts?

Rep. Banks: Well, years from now when we look back and judge the response to how we dealt with the coronavirus, the most devastating thing that I believe that we’ll look back and say was a huge mistake was that we closed our schools and we kept them closed potentially well into this next school year. Many schools have announced that they will not reopen the classroom. They will provide virtual learning opportunities for kids who we know would be much better off in the classroom.

Meanwhile, by the way, China—who is responsible for the spread of the coronavirus to begin with—has reopened their schools. So that tells you something. China’s reopening their schools. We’re keeping ours closed at a time when we have a great power competition with China, when China is beating us in a number of different areas when it comes to STEM skills and education in their country versus American students. And they’re going to reopen their schools, get kids back in the classroom, and we’re going to keep ours closed. It’s just unbelievable to me that we would react in that fashion, not do everything that we can to get our kids back in the classroom.

I’ve said over and over again [that] we should change the conversation in America from “We might not be able to reopen our schools and get our kids back in the classroom” to “We’re going to do everything possible, everything that it takes to get our kids back in the classroom and give them the valuable, fundamental, important educational opportunities they need to compete in the next generation with China and any other threat that we face—when it comes to the skills that we need to economically and militarily confront the threats that we face, especially with China.” Right now we’re going to fall further and further behind because we’re keeping the doors to our schools closed.

Mr. Jekielek: Really, the big question is, “what is the risk to the kids, to the teacher, and so forth?” … Before we finish up, what are the experts telling you?

Rep. Banks: Well, science is very much on the side of reopening. Science and all of the statistics show that kids are the least likely to contract or spread the coronavirus to others. So the very fact in and of itself that there have been such a small number of cases of coronavirus among children and the death rate among children is almost zero … should govern the decision to reopen. It very much stands on the side of those who believe that we should reopen.

However, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t traffic in conspiracies, and I never have. I’ve never been that much of a skeptic. I’ve been much more hopeful about America. But when it comes to this subject, I really am beginning to believe that the day after Election Day, our educational leaders, the educrats, the ones that are in administration of our schools in America, are going to be just fine with reopening our schools. I believe this has as much to do with politics and the presidential election that looms ahead of us, as it does anything else. And that’s extremely bothersome to me.

Mr. Jekielek: We have to finish up in a moment. Any final words before we do?

Rep. Banks: Well, it’s great to be with you and talk about these subjects. Today, we’re at this Liberty University event here at the Trump Hotel talking about the China threat. All of a sudden, there is a large volume of policymakers and leaders in America … who understand the China threat more than ever before. Largely, I believe the American people get it. They understand what we’re up against with China because they’ve been affected by China economically for years, and it’s a good thing to see events like today take place to further identify the threat and talk about what we can do about it.

Mr. Jekielek: Congressman Jim Banks, thank you very much.

Rep. Banks: Thank you.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

American Thought Leaders is an Epoch Times show available on YouTubeFacebook, and The Epoch Times website. 

Follow Jan on Twitter: @JanJekielek

Jim Jordan Confronts Dr. Anthony Fauci on Disparate COVID Concerns….


Ohio representative Jim Jordan does a good job in this testimonial segment contrasting the political hypocrisy within the COVID shutdowns and decrees.

The political elite can assemble without issue at the funeral of John Lewis, but don’t you dare try to have a funeral for your loved-ones because it’s not allowed.  Within that contrast the fuel for COLD ANGER rages in the veins of ordinary Americans.

Jim Jordan gives voice to some of the most ridiculous aspects of the COVID political rules.

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Somebody get this guy away from national public policy; he’s destroying the economy, and it looks to me like Dr. Fauci-Mengele is doing it intentionally.

Fauci’s type of over-the-top gibberish is identical to other statements made during this crisis which we first noted on March 17, 2020..

There’s been a debate about possible political motives surrounding the panic he has created; the massive economic damage he has inflicted; and the conflicting assertions of National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.

CTH identifies the motives as sketchy. He appears to use his position to advance theories and yet position himself to avoid scrutiny.

Sometimes within a 24 hour period Fauci will make a statement, then contradict the initial assertion, then attempt to cloud his own conflict with obtuse and wordy explanations. After watching for several weeks, we called it out HERE.

Perhaps one way to help see through the professional obfuscation, and identify just exactly how political Dr. Fauci is, would be to: compare and contrast Dr. Fauci under President Obama in September 2009 after 3,000 to 4,000 H1N1 deaths in the USA -vs- Dr. Fauci under President Trump in March 2020 after 200 to 300 COVID-19 deaths. WATCH:

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Now, to better absorb the information…. According to the CDC final estimate of 2009 U.S. H1N1 cases (published in 2011): from April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010 approximately 60.8 million U.S. cases, 274,304 U.S. hospitalizations, and 12,469 U.S. deaths occurred due to H1N1. That’s the empirical data.

After: (1) watching that 2009 video; and (2) comparing the 2009 H1N1 response to the current 2020 COVID-19 response; and (3) reviewing the empirical data; we must admit to ourselves there is a VERY BIG difference. So now, with the baseline established, we look for why such a big difference; and to do that we (4) evaluate the politics:

(LINK)

A few months later:

(LINK)

Now, pause for a moment – reread that again – don’t skip past it. Think about what type of mindset would send such a letter and communication. Apply common sense. Trust your instincts…

Would a person of reasonable disposition send such a letter or email to anyone in their professional network? Would you ever consider writing a letter to your employer, or the family of your employer, declaring your undying love and devotion toward them?

“rarely does a speech bring me to tears”?… “please tell her I love her more than ever”?.. “please tell her that we all love her”… etc.

Seriously…. think about it. If you have ever engaged in a large system, large business, or large network of professionals, how would you react to a person inside that organization who was sending such non-professional communication? What exactly does that say about the emotional stability of such a person?

And this person, right now, with this inherent sensibility, has the most consequential and direct influence over the decision-making for the worlds most powerful nation. Stunning.

Crucial Facts About Covid-19


Re-Posted from Just The Facts By James D. Agresti

March 31, 2020
Updated 7/30/20

Given the spread of misinformation about Covid-19, Just Facts is providing a trove of rigorously documented facts about this disease and its impacts. These include some vital facts that have been absent or misreported in much of the media’s coverage of this issue.

This research also includes a groundbreaking study to determine the lethality of Covid-19 based on the most comprehensive available measure: the total years of life that it will rob from all people. This accords with the CDC’s tenet that “the allocation of health resources must consider not only the number of deaths by cause but also” the “years of potential life lost.”

The CDC emphasizes that the Covid-19 pandemic “is a rapidly evolving situation,” and as such, the emboldened figures in this article will be updated each weekday as the CDC publishes new data.

On one hand, the facts show that:

  • the death rate for people who contract Covid-19 is uncertain but is probably closer to that of the seasonal flu than figures commonly reported by the press.
  • the average years of life lost from each Covid-19 death are significantly fewer than from common causes of untimely death like accidents and suicides.
  • the virus that causes Covid-19 is “very vulnerable to antibody neutralization” and has limited ability to mutate, which means it is very unlikely to take masses of lives year after year like the flu and other recurring scourges.
  • if 240,000 Covid-19 deaths ultimately occur in the United States, the virus will rob about 2.9 million years of life from all Americans who were alive at the outset of 2020, while the flu will rob them of about 35 million years, suicides will rob them of 132 million years, and accidents will rob them of 409 million years.

Years of Life Lost Over the Lifetimes of All Americans Who Were Alive at the Outset of 2020

(Source Data)

On the other hand, elderly people and those with chronic ailments are extremely vulnerable to Covid-19. Furthermore, the disease is highly transmissible, which means it could spread like wildfire and overwhelm hospitals without extraordinary measures to contain it. This would greatly increase its death toll.

However, such precautionary measures often have economic and other impacts that can cost lives, and overreacting can ultimately kill more people than are saved.

Likelihood of Exposure

Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 4,405,932 people in the United States have been diagnosed with Covid-19 as of 4:00 PM EST on July 29, 2020. The U.S. population is 330 million people, which means that one out of every 75 people has been diagnosed with Covid-19. The disease is not equally dispersed throughout the nation, so this figure is much higher in some areas and much lower in others.

Reported cases don’t include people who may have Covid-19 but have not yet been diagnosed. Because its incubation period is 2–14 days, the number of people who have been infected could substantially exceed the number who have been diagnosed.

Also, the vast majority of people who contract Covid-19 experience only mild or no symptoms, and many of them may never be diagnosed. This means that the count of reported cases further understates the actual number of people who have been infected. A February 2020 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association based on data from China found that 81% of reported Covid-19 cases are “mild.” The true portion of such cases is even higher than this, for as the paper explains, there are “inherent difficulties in identifying and counting mild and asymptomatic cases.”

A rare case in which asymptomatic cases can be counted is the Diamond Princess cruise ship, since all passengers were tested for Covid-19. Among those who tested positive, 51% didn’t have symptoms when they were tested. The number of these people who later developed symptoms is currently unavailable.

In another such rare case, the New England Journal of Medicine reported in mid-April that universal Covid-19 testing of pregnant women at two New York City hospitals found that 88% of the women who tested positive for the disease were asymptomatic.

Conversely, the number of people who have ever been infected may greatly exceed the number who are still infected. Growing numbers of people who were once diagnosed with Covid-19 have recovered, and the count of those who were unknowingly infected and had fast recoveries could be enormous. A March 2020 paper in the journal Microbes and Infection notes that “most infected individuals … appear to be able to recover with little to no medical intervention.”

Moreover, a March 2020 paper in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal states: “Preliminary evidence suggests children are just as likely as adults” to contract Covid-19, but they are “less likely to be symptomatic,” and even those with diagnosed infections typically “recover 1–2 weeks after the onset of symptoms.”

The upshot of all this is that the number of people who are actively infected and contagious is lower than the total of reported and undiagnosed cases.

March 2020 paper in the journal Science condenses the factors above into a single number. It estimates that 86% of all Covid-19 infections in Wuhan, China “were undocumented” before the government implemented travel restrictions. This means that the number of people who were infected was six times the number of documented infections. This figure declines as social distancing measures are adopted and as diagnoses and recoveries rise as time passes.

Under that worst-case scenario from Wuhan, if the number of people with contagious Covid-19 infections in the U.S. is actually six times the number of people who have been diagnosed with it, the average American would have to come in contact with 12 people to be exposed to one person who has it.

Numbers of Deaths

According to the CDC’s counts of “confirmed and probable” fatalities from Covid-19, a total of 150,283 U.S. residents have died from the disease as of 4:00 PM on July 29, 2020. To put this figure in perspective:

  • Covid-19 has killed about one out of every 2,195 Americans, whereas one out of every 116 Americans die every year.
  • roughly 12,469 people in the U.S. died from the swine flu from April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010. Unlike Covid-19, which mainly kills older people with preexisting health problems, 87% of people killed by the swine flu were under the age of 65.
  • an average of 37,000 people in the U.S. have died from influenza (“the flu”) each year over the past nine years.
  • around 170,000 people per year in the U.S. die from accidents.

In other words, deaths from Covid-19 are now 72.5% of the annual fatalities from the flu and accidents. Although Covid-19 is a new disease and took its first reported life in the U.S. during late February, this comparison may substantially overstate the relative deadliness of Covid-19 because fatalities from accidents and the flu occur in droves every year, and this is unlikely for Covid-19.

The primary reason why the flu takes tens of thousands of lives every year is because the viruses that cause it mutate in ways that prevent people from becoming immune to them. Per the Journal of Infectious Diseases, “All viruses mutate, but influenza remains highly unusual among infectious diseases” because it mutates very rapidly, and thus, “new vaccines are needed almost every year” to protect against it. While much remains to be seen about the mutations of the virus that causes Covid-19, the early indications are that it will not mutate rapidly and become an ongoing scourge.

As detailed in a March 2020 paper in a molecular biology journal that cites Michael Farzan, co-chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research, once a vaccine for Covid-19 is developed, it “would not need regular updates, unlike seasonal influenza vaccines” because the part of the virus that the vaccine targets “is protected against mutation” by a feature of its genetic material, or RNA.

The same point applies to naturally acquired immunity. People who get Covid-19 develop natural antibodies that protect against future infections of it. The physiology textbook The Human Body in Health and Illness explains that such immunity, which is called “active immunity,” is “generally long lasting.” The same applies to diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, and polio. If someone contracts these diseases, they rarely get them again, and furthermore, they are very unlikely to transmit them to others. Thus, these people become firewalls against the spread of these contagions.

Media outlets like The AtlanticVox, and Forbes have turned the truth of this matter on its head by confusing the general nature of coronaviruses with that of Covid-19. The habit of calling Covid-19 “the coronavirus” can be very misleading because there are different types of coronaviruses, and Covid-19 is caused by just one of them. Coronaviruses are a family of RNA viruses that includes some common cold viruses. These viruses tend to mutate rapidly, but Covid-19 does not share that trait. Per the same March 2020 paper cited just above, the virus that causes Covid-19 “does not mutate rapidly for an RNA virus because, unusually for this category, it has a proof-reading function” in its genetics.

Likewise, a February 19th editorial in the British Medical Journal about Covid-19 reports that the “genome data available so far show no unexpected mutation rate or signs of adaptation….”

Put simply, Covid-19 does not mutate nearly as much as the flu, and thus, it is far less likely to take lives regardless of acquired immunity and vaccines. If this proves true in the long run, as current evidence suggests it will, the lifetime risk of dying from Covid-19 is greatly overstated by comparing its ultimate death toll to yearly fatalities from the flu, accidents, suicides, and other frequent causes of death.

Years of Lost Life

Beyond raw numbers of deaths, another crucial factor in measuring the deadliness of a public health threat is the ages of its victims. In the words of the CDC, “the allocation of health resources must consider not only the number of deaths by cause but also by age.” Hence, the “years of potential life lost” has “become a mainstay in the evaluation of the impact of injuries on public health.”

In this respect, Covid-19 is much less lethal than common causes of untimely death, such as accidents. The precise average age of death for Covid-19 fatalities is still unknown, but the vast majority of victims are elderly or have one or more chronic illnesses, as is the case with deaths from the flu and pneumonia.

Based on the CDC’s latest data for the age distribution of deaths, the average age of death for accidents is about 53.3 years, while for the flu and pneumonia, it is about 77.4 years. Using flu and pneumonia as a rough proxy for Covid-19, this disease robs an average of 12.0 years of life from each of its victims, as compared to 30.6 years of lost life for each accident. And again, accidents kill around 170,000 Americans per year, while Covid-19 is unlikely to have an ongoing high death toll because of its limited prospects for mutation.

In a March 29th comment that generated headlines in virtually every major media outlet, renowned immunologist Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper that “looking at what we’re seeing now, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000” Americans will die from Covid-19, but “I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection when it’s such a moving target that you can so easily be wrong and mislead people.” The next day, Dr. Fauci emphasized that those figures are based on a model, and “a model is as good as the assumptions that you put into” it.

A day later at a White House press conference, Dr. Deborah Birx, another world-renowned immunologist, presented a slide of model results based upon “five or six international and domestic modelers from Harvard, from Columbia, from Northeastern, from Imperial who helped us tremendously.” The model projects that 100,000 to 240,000 deaths will occur if Americans follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines. She added that “we really believe and hope every day that we can do a lot better than that because that’s not assuming 100% of every American does everything that they’re supposed to be doing, but I think that’s possible.”

If the high-end of that range comes to pass, and 240,000 U.S. residents die from Covid-19, this disease will rob 2.9 million years of life from all Americans who were alive at the outset of 2020. In comparison, the flu will rob them of about 35 million years and accidents will rob them of 409 million years.

These figures reveal that accidents are about 140 times more lethal to Americans than this worst-case scenario for Covid-19 given mitigation. Likewise, the flu is 12 times as lethal. This is a substantially more comprehensive measure of deadliness than the tally of lives lost during a year—or any other random unit of time—because it accounts for the entirety of people’s lives and the total years of life that they lose.

While not diminishing the value of any life, these facts speak to the efforts that society takes to save some lives versus others.

Death Rates

Initial media reports of a 2–3% mortality rate for Covid-19 are inflated, and the actual figure may be closer to that of the flu, which has averaged about 0.15% over the past nine years in the United States. A large degree of uncertainty surrounds this issue due to the same factor that prevents accurate counts of infections: unreported cases.

As explained by Dr. Brett Giroir—who has authored nearly 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications and serves as the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—the Covid-19 death rate is “lower than you heard probably in many reports” because the bulk of people who contract coronavirus don’t get seriously ill, and thus, many of them never get tested.

Giroir calls this a “denominator problem” because if you’re “not very ill, as most people are not, they do not get tested. They do not get counted in the denominator.” Giroir’s best estimate is that the mortality rate is probably “somewhere between 0.1% and 1%.” This “is likely more severe in its mortality rate than the typical flu” rate of 0.1% to 0.15%, “but it’s certainly within the range.”

Giroir’s estimate accords with a February 2020 commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine by Fauci and others:

If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.

A prime example of how journalists misreport on this issue is a March 12th article in Business Insider by Andy Kiersz. In this piece, he compares the “death rates” of Covid-19 from the South Korean CDC to that of the flu from the United States CDC. Based on these numbers, he reports that “South Korea—which has reported some of the lowest coronavirus death rates of any country—still has a COVID-19 death rate more than eight times higher than that of the flu.”

What Kiersz and his editors fail to understand is that the denominator for the Korean rate is the number of “confirmed cases,” while the denominator for the U.S. rate is based on a “mathematical model.” The CDC clarifies how the model works by citing a study on swine flu, which multiplies “43,677 laboratory-confirmed cases” of the disease by 41 to 131 times to calculate the denominator for the death rate. In the authors’ words, they do this because confirmed cases are:

likely a substantial underestimate of the true number. Correcting for under-ascertainment using a multiplier model, we estimate that 1.8 million–5.7 million cases occurred, including 9,000–21,000 hospitalizations.

Put simply, Covid-19 death rates that are based upon reported or confirmed infections grossly undercount the number of people with the disease. This, in turn, makes the death rate seem substantially higher than reality.

Social Media Amplification

The famous maxim that “there are six degrees of separation between everyone in the world” has changed in recent years due to social media. A 2014 paper in the journal Computers in Human Behavior finds that the “average number of acquaintances separating any two people” has declined from six to 3.9.

2011 paper in the American Journal of Sociology estimates that each American knows an average of 550 people. If 150 of these are mutual connections who already know each other, each American has about 220,000 friends of friends—and 88 million friends of friends of friends.

Thus, if everyone is sharing on social media about people they know who have been infected or killed by Covid-19, it can seem like the world is coming to an end. Yet, if people did the same for other deaths, each person would hear every year about an average of:

  • 1,905 deaths among their friends of friends, and 761,844 deaths among their friends of friends of friends.
  • 38 deaths from the flu and pneumonia among their friends of friends, and 15,075 such deaths among their friends of friends of friends.
  • 6 deaths of people under the age of 65 from the flu and pneumonia among their friends of friends, and 2,385 such deaths among their friends of friends of friends.

In addition to social media, the press acts as another megaphone of Covid-19’s impacts. Because the U.S. is the third-most populous nation in the world, it is easy for journalists to create misleading impressions by focusing on certain events and ignoring the broader context of facts that surround them. This kind of crucial context is missing from much of the media’s coverage of Covid-19 and practically every other public policy issue.

Transmissibility

Another important factor in weighing the risks posed by Covid-19 is its transmissibility, or how contagious it is. In this respect, Covid-19 is much more dangerous than the seasonal flu because it spreads very quickly and can overwhelm hospitals.

Scientists measure the contagiousness of diseases with a basic reproduction number, which is the average number of people who tend to catch a disease from each person who has it. This measure is an innate characteristic of the disease because it doesn’t account for actions that people take to prevent it. A February 2020 paper published in the Journal of Travel Medicine explains that any disease with a basic reproduction number above 1.0 is likely to multiply over time.

The same paper evaluates 12 studies of the basic reproduction number of Covid-19 in various nations and finds that they “ranged from 1.4 to 6.49,” with an average of 3.28 and a median of 2.79. Based on their analysis of these studies, the authors conclude that the basic reproduction number of Covid-19 will likely prove to be “around 2–3” after “more data are accumulated.”

In contrast, a 2014 paper in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases analyzes 24 studies of the seasonal flu and finds that the median result for the basic reproduction number is 1.28. The authors stress that the seemingly small difference between 1.28 and higher figures like 1.80 “represent the difference between epidemics that are controllable and cause moderate illness and those causing a significant number of illnesses and requiring intensive mitigation strategies to control.”

In other words, if the transmissibility of Covid-19 is as high as currently estimated, the aggressive measures that some governments, organizations, and individuals have taken to limit large gatherings and travel from areas with outbreaks will save many more lives than doing the same for common diseases like the flu. Because Covid-19 spreads so quickly, it can easily overwhelm hospitals and thereby prevent people from getting the care they would otherwise receive under normal circumstances.

Overreactions

There are, however, mortal dangers in overreacting because measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 often have economic impacts that can cost lives. As detailed in the textbook Macroeconomics for Today, countries with low economic growth “are less able to satisfy basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, education, and health.” These hazards can manifest quickly and over extended periods of time.

If certain industries adopted the social distancing extremes that many people have embraced, this would shut down food production and distribution, health care, utilities, and other life-sustaining services. Even under far more moderate scenarios where people who are not in these industries shun work, all of those necessities and many more aspects of modern life depend on the general strength of the economy. Thus, overreacting can ultimately kill more people than are saved.

The same applies to people who are flooding supermarkets to stockpile food, toilet paper, and other supplies. In doing so, they have often stood in close proximity to each other and touched the same items, which opens avenues to spread the disease. Panic buying also creates shortages that deprive typical consumers of provisions.

Likewise, panic can fuel suicides, which snuff out about 47,000 lives per year in the U.S. at an average age of 46 years old. Over a lifetime, that amounts to 132 million lost years of life—or 46 times the loss from Covid-19 if it ultimately kills 240,000 people.

The implications of overreacting to Covid-19 or any other potential hazard are aptly summarized in a teaching guide published by the American Society for Microbiology. This book explains why “the factors driving your concept of risk—emotion or fact—may or may not seem particularly important to you, yet they are” because “there are risks in misperceiving risks.”

The Path Forward

Aggressive social distancing can extend the timeframe over which Covid-19 patients are infected and hospitalized, but it cannot by itself reduce those outcomes in the long run. This is because Covid-19 is so contagious that another outbreak will begin and quickly proliferate as soon as the distancing measures cease.

Hence, the Imperial College’s March 16th report on Covid-19 states that in order to “avoid a rebound in transmission,” policies of “population-wide social distancing combined with home isolation of cases and school and university closure” must “be maintained until large stocks of vaccine are available to immunize the population—which could be 18 months or more.”

Moreover, the report notes that the “more successful a strategy is at temporary suppression, the larger the later epidemic is predicted to be in the absence of vaccination, due to lesser build-up of herd immunity.” A 2012 paper in the journal PLoS One about “Immunity in Society” underscores the importance of that point by noting that:

when a sufficiently high proportion of individuals within a population becomes immune (either through prior exposure or through mass vaccination), community or “herd” immunity emerges, whereby individuals that are poorly immunized are protected by the collective “immune firewall” provided by immunized neighbors. In humans and other vertebrate communities … responses to a previously encountered pathogen are faster and stronger than those to a novel pathogen, and thus individuals are better at blocking its spread. [Emphasis added.]

Equally, if very few people are immune to a disease, they can transmit it to others instead of blocking it. Without a vaccine, the only way people can become immune to Covid-19 is by catching it and recovering. This means that too much social distancing may cause more deaths because young, healthy people—who would otherwise catch the disease, recover quickly, and become firewalls—remain as potential carriers.

However, social distancing can keep hospitalizations at reasonable levels so that victims receive proper care, and it can also buy time to discover and mass-produce effective treatments. This is a distinct possibility in the short term, for as Michael Farzan, co‐chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research, has stated, the same physical feature of the virus that makes it so contagious also makes it:

very vulnerable to antibody neutralization, and thus it is a relatively easy virus to protect against. I refer to it as “stupid” on a spectrum where HIV, which lives in the face of an active immune system for years, is a “genius.”

President Trump has touted a small French study showing that treatment with a combination of two drugs, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, “is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients….” The study was published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, and the 18 scholars who authored it wrote that the “results are promising” and “we recommend that Covid-19 patients be treated with” these drugs “to cure their infection and to limit the transmission of the virus to other people.” Nonetheless, media outlets have covered this matter by reporting that Trump “is not a doctor” and that he shouldn’t hype “unproven” and “untested” treatments or give people “false hope.”

Theatrics aside, the authors of the French study make clear that their “study has some limitations including a small sample size, limited long-term outcome follow-up, and dropout of six patients from the study, however in the current context, we believe that our results should be shared with the scientific community.”

During a March 14th press conference, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams asserted that “this situation will last longer, and more people will be hurt” if “we are complacent, selfish, uninformed,” and if “we spread fear, distrust, and misinformation.” Conversely, he said that “we will overcome this situation” if we “pitch in” and “share the facts.”

The vital facts above confirm the wisdom of his words.

Anxiety From Reactions to Covid-19 Will Destroy At Least Seven Times More Years of Life Than Can Be Saved by Lockdowns


Re-Posted from Just The Facts By Andrew Glen, Ph.D. and James D. Agresti

May 4, 2020

Medical studies show that excessive stress and anxiety are among the most debilitating and deadly of all health hazards in the world. Beyond their obvious effects like suicide and substance abuse—these mental stressors are strongly related to and may trigger and inflame a host of ailments like high blood pressure, digestive disorders, heart conditions, infectious diseases, cancer, and pregnancy complications.

Based on a broad array of scientific data, Just Facts has computed that the anxiety created by reactions to Covid-19—such as stay-at-home orders, business shutdowns, media exaggerations, and legitimate concerns about the virus—will destroy at least seven times more years of human life than can possibly be saved by lockdowns to control the spread of the disease. This figure is a bare minimum, and the actual one is likely more than 90 times greater.

This study was reviewed by Joseph P. Damore, Jr., M.D., who concluded: “This research is engaging and thoroughly answers the question about the cure being worse than the disease.” Dr. Damore is a certified diplomate with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, an assistant attending psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy.

Stress and Anxiety Levels

Scientific surveys of U.S. residents have found that the mental health of about one-third to one-half of all adults has been substantially compromised by reactions to the Covid-19 pandemic. Examples include the following:

  • An American Psychiatric Association survey in mid-March found that 36% of adults report that anxiety over Covid-19 “is having a serious impact on their mental health.”
  • Kaiser Family Foundation survey in late March found that 45% of adults “feel that worry and stress related to” Covid-19 “has had a negative impact on their mental health, an increase from 32% from early March.” Additionally, 19% of adults said it is having a “major impact” on their mental health.
  • Benenson Strategy Group survey in late March revealed that the Covid-19 “situation has already affected” the “mental health” of 55% of U.S. adults “either a great deal or somewhat.”
  • Kaiser Family Foundation survey in late April found that 56% of adults “report that worry and stress related to” Covid-19 “is affecting their mental health and wellbeing in various ways,” such as “trouble sleeping, “poor appetite or over-eating,” “frequent headaches or stomachaches,” “difficulty controlling their temper,” “increasing their alcohol or drug use,” and “worsening chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.”

Contributors to these mental health impacts include but are not limited to:

  • empirically grounded concerns about the virus.
  • anguish over the death of loved ones, although this is limited to a relatively small fraction of the public because the virus has killed one out of every 5,000 Americans, while one out of every 116 Americans die every year.
  • media outlets that overstate the deadliness of Covid-19 by:
  • government stay-at-home orders and self-imposed isolation, as evidenced by:
    • survey commissioned by the University of Phoenix in late March that found 44% of U.S. adults are more lonely than they have ever been in their lives, which is a risk factor for suicide and many other psychologically driven fatal afflictions.
    • the late-March Kaiser Family Foundation survey, which “found that 47% of those sheltering in place reported negative mental health effects resulting from worry or stress,” a rate that “is significantly higher than the 37% among people who were not sheltering in place.”
    • the late-March Benenson Strategy Group survey, which found that “71% of Americans say they are concerned that ‘social distancing’ measures will have a negative impact on the country’s mental health—including 28% who are extremely or very concerned about this.”
  • government-mandated shutdowns of businesses in nearly every state that have cost millions of jobs and are reflected in the:
    • late-April Kaiser Family Foundation survey, which found that 35% of adults and 55% of workers “have lost their jobs or had a reduction in hours or pay as a result of” responses to Covid-19.
    • mid-March American Psychiatric Association survey, which found that 57% of adults are concerned that responses to the pandemic “will have a serious negative impact on their finances,” and 68% fear it “will have a long-lasting impact on the economy.”

Among all of the figures above, the lowest nationwide measure of people who have incurred psychological harm from reactions to Covid-19 is the 19% of adults in the late-March Kaiser Family Foundation survey who reported a “major impact” on their mental health. This survey included 1,226 respondents and has a margin of sampling error for this result of ± 2.2 percentage points with 95% confidence.

Therefore, at least 16.8% of 255,200,373 adults in the United States—or 42,873,663 people—have suffered major mental harm from responses to Covid-19. This figure forms the first key basis of this study.

The Deadliness of Anxiety and Stress

Medical journals are rich with studies that attempt to measure the lethality of stress, anxiety, depression, and other psychological conditions. Determining this is very difficult because association does not prove causation, and unmeasured factors could be at play.

For example, a 2011 meta-analysis in the journal Social Science & Medicine about mortality, “psychosocial stress,” and job losses finds that “unemployment is associated with a substantially increased risk of death among broad segments of the population,” but there are conflicting theories as to why this is so. One is that “unemployment causes adverse changes in health behaviors, which in turn lead to deterioration of health.” Put simply, unemployment causes bad health. The other theory is that bad health causes unemployment. Both of these theories may be true, and factors that are not measured in the studies could be causing both unemployment and bad health. Thus, it is very difficult to isolate these variables and determine which is causing the others and to what degree.

While trying to address such uncertainty, the meta-analysis examined “235 mortality risk estimates from 42 studies” and found that “unemployment is associated with a 63% higher risk of mortality in studies controlling for covariates.”

Regardless of whether job losses from Covid-19 lockdowns are brief or sustained, the study found that the death correlation “is significant in both the short and long term,” lending “some support to the hypothesis and previous findings that both the stress and the negative lifestyle effects associated with the onset of unemployment tend to persist even after a person has regained a job.”

Also of relevance to current job losses, the study indicates that added unemployment benefits, like those recently passed into federal law, are unlikely to mitigate the deadliness of job losses. This is because the meta-analysis found that the associations between unemployment and death in Scandinavia and the U.S. are not significantly different, even though the Scandinavian nations offer more generous welfare benefits. Thus, the authors conclude that “these national-level policy differences may not have much of an effect on the rate of mortality following unemployment.”

A broad range of other studies have similar implications for anxiety-related deaths wrought by reactions to Covid-19:

  • 1991 study published by the New England Journal of Medicine found that “psychological stress was associated in a dose-response manner with an increased risk of acute infectious respiratory illness.” A dose-response relationship, as explained by epidemiologist Sydney Pettygrove, “is one in which increasing levels of exposure are associated with either an increasing or a decreasing risk of the outcome.” She notes that when this pattern occurs, it “is considered strong evidence for a causal relationship between the exposure and the outcome.”
  • 2004 paper in The Lancet documents that “stress and depression result in an impairment of the immune response and might promote the initiation and progression of some types of cancer….” The paper details many human and animal studies germane to the Covid-19 lockdowns, such as those dealing with a “lack of social interactions” that cause certain cancers to metastasize.
  • 2005 paper in the Journal of Experimental Medicine finds that “psychological conditions, including stress” trigger a “sophisticated molecular mechanism” that increases “the likelihood of infections, autoimmunity, or cancer.”
  • 2012 meta-analysis in the British Medical Journal finds “a dose-response association between psychological distress and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and external causes across the full range of distress, even in people who would not usually come to the attention of mental health services.” Furthermore, “these associations remained after adjustment for age, sex, current occupational social class, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and diabetes.” People with the lowest levels of psychological distress in this study had a 20% greater risk of death, and those with the highest levels had a 94% greater risk.
  • 2012 paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry analyzes the death rates of more than a million young males in Sweden who underwent a government-mandated military draft physical that “included a structured interview by a psychologist” during 1969 to 1994. This study is particularly relevant to the effects of the current Covid-19 anxiety because it involves nearly all the healthy young men of a nation and excludes those with “severe” mental or physical disorders because they were excused from the exam. The study finds:
    • Young men who were diagnosed with neurotic and adjustment disorders were 76% more likely to die in the average follow-up period of 22.6 years. A neurotic disorder is a problem dealing with anxiety, and an adjustment disorder—which is now called “stress response syndrome”—is “a short-term condition that occurs when a person has great difficulty coping with, or adjusting to, a particular source of stress, such as a major life change, loss, or event.” These are apt descriptions of the tens of millions of Americans who report that reactions to Covid-19 are seriously harming their mental health.
    • Premature deaths associated with mental illness “are not primarily due to suicide or accidents, although risk of both is increased, but to a range of natural causes, particularly cardiovascular disease.” This suggests that the most pervasive harm from lockdowns does not manifest in obvious ways like suicides and overdoses.
  • 2015 paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology examines the death rates of all “Danes who received a diagnosis of reaction to severe stress or adjustment disorders” between 1995 and 2011. The study found that they “had mortality rates during the study period that were 2.2 times higher than” those of the general population.
  • 2015 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry provides a systematic review of 148 studies of death and mental disorders with follow-up times ranging from one to 52 years, with a median of 10 years. It finds that the overall risk of death among people with mental disorders is 2.2 times that of the general population. Breaking these results out by condition, the mortality increases were:
    • 43% for people with anxiety.
    • 71% for people with depression
    • 110% for people with mood disorders.
    • 150% for people with psychoses.

Among all of the results above, the smallest risk of increased death is 20% in the 2012 meta-analysis. This has a margin of error from 13% to 27% with 95% confidence. The lower limit of 13% translates to an average of about 1.3 years of lost life per person.

Corroborating that figure, 22 of the studies in the 2015 meta-analysis included estimates for the average years of life lost by each person with a mental disorder. These “ranged from 1.4 to 32 years, with a median of 10.1 years.” None of these studies were for anxiety, but the low-end figure of 1.4 years provides additional evidence that those who suffer serious mental repercussions from responses to Covid-19 will lose an average of more than a year of life.

Therefore, the figure of 1.3 years of lost life is a bare minimum and forms the second key basis of this study. This varies widely by person and could be:

  • 50 years or more for young people who commit suicide.
  • one month or less for elderly persons who have cardiac events triggered by fear or loneliness.
  • two years for the middle-aged people whose blood pressure begins spiking earlier in life than it would have in the absence of Covid-19-related stress.

Lives Saved By Lockdowns

In the science of epidemiology, or the study of human disease, ethical and practical constraints often make it impossible to conduct experiments that can definitively establish the effects of medical interventions. This applies to determining how many lives might be saved by government lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic.

One can easily compare Covid-19 death rates—or the number of people who die from the disease divided by the total population where they live—in nations and states that took different actions. However, many other factors can affect these death rates, such as wealth, age, population density, government, hospital protocols, culture, genetics, diet, and exercise. For example, New York State enacted one of the strictest lockdowns in the U.S. but has 22 times the death rate of Florida, which had one of the mildest lockdowns.

Given such considerations, the highest possible figure for lives saved by lockdowns can be estimated by comparing the nations of Scandinavia. This is because these countries are culturallyeconomically, and genetically similar to one another but have enacted very dissimilar policies to deal with Covid-19. In the words of Paul W. Franks, professor of genetic epidemiology at Lund University in Sweden:

The Swedish approach to Covid-19 could not be more different from its neighbors, placing much of the responsibility for delaying the spread of the virus and protecting the vulnerable in the hands of the public. It’s now April and, albeit with some restrictions, Swedish bars, restaurants and schools remain open. …
This all contrasts the far more assertive physical restrictions imposed in the culturally similar neighboring countries. Across the borders in Denmark, Norway and Finland, schools closed weeks ago and movement has been severely restricted.

Sweden has taken certain measures to slow the spread of Covid-19, like limiting public gatherings to 50 people. However, these can hardly be characterized as “lockdowns,” and Swedish stores, restaurants, schools, beaches, and other public places are open and bustling.

Stockholm, Sweden on April 1, 2020

Stockholm, Sweden, April 1, 2020 (TT News Agency/Fredrik Sandberg via Reuters)

Comparing the current death rates of Scandinavian nations yields a maximum figure for the lives saved by lockdowns because Sweden’s plan involves more deaths in the early stages of the pandemic but less later on. As detailed by Professor Franks, simulations show that the overall death rate is “expected to be similar across countries,” but “unlike its peers, Sweden is likely to take the hit sooner and over a shorter period, with the majority of deaths occurring within weeks, rather than months.”

As of April 27th, the death rate in Sweden is 32% higher than in the United States, 3.1 times that of Denmark, 5.8 times that of Norway, and 6.4 times that of Finland:

Portion of Population Killed by Covid-19 in Sweden, the U.S., Denmark, Norway, and Finland

Applying the Sweden/Finland death rate ratio of 6.4 to the United States, the maximum number of Americans who could have been saved by past and current lockdowns is 616,590. This figure is based on the most pessimistic projection of 114,228 deaths in the U.S. through August 4th by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. It is calculated by multiplying 114,228 deaths by 6.4 and then subtracting the 114,228 deaths that occur regardless of the lockdown.

The figure of 616,590 lives saved by lockdowns in the U.S. is at the extreme high-end of plausibility because it:

  • uses the worst-case projection for the U.S. death toll.
  • compares the death rate in Sweden to Finland, even though Denmark—which has also implemented a strict lockdown—has twice the death rate of Finland.
  • assumes that Sweden’s death rate doesn’t decline relative to its neighbors over time regardless of Sweden’s strategy to build herd immunity consistent with the following facts:
    • The Imperial College—whose cataclysmic projections of Covid-19 deaths have been a driving force behind government lockdowns—has acknowledged that “the more successful a strategy is at temporary suppression, the larger the later epidemic is predicted to be in the absence of vaccination, due to lesser build-up of herd immunity.”
    • 2012 paper in the journal PLoS One titled “Immunity in Society” notes that “when a sufficiently high proportion of individuals within a population becomes immune (either through prior exposure or through mass vaccination), community or ‘herd’ immunity emerges, whereby individuals that are poorly immunized are protected by the collective ‘immune firewall’ provided by immunized neighbors.”
    • Large portions of people are highly resistant to Covid-19 and experience no symptoms when they catch it, later making them firewalls against the spread of the disease. For example, the New England Journal of Medicine reported in mid-April that universal Covid-19 testing of pregnant women at two New York City hospitals found that 88% of the women who tested positive for the disease were asymptomatic.
    • U.S. states with strict lockdowns—like New Jersey and New York—have Covid-19 death rates that are three to five times that of Sweden’s:
Portion of Population Killed by Covid-19 as of April 27, 2020 in the U.S. states, England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland

Nonetheless, this study uses the highly improbable and optimistic scenario of 616,590 lives saved by lockdowns. This figure forms the third key basis of the study.

Comparing Life Lost and Saved

Combining the first two key figures of this study, anxiety from responses to Covid-19 has impacted 42,873,663 adults and will rob them of an average of 1.3 years of life, thus destroying 55.7 million years of life.

Combining the third key figure of this study with data on Covid-19 deaths, a maximum of 616,590 lives might be saved by the current lockdowns, and the disease robs an average of 12 years of life from each of its victims, which means that the current lockdowns can save no more than 7.4 million years of life.

In other words, the anxiety from reactions to Covid-19—such as business shutdowns, stay-at-home orders, media exaggerations, and legitimate concerns about the virus—will extinguish at least seven times more years of life than can possibly be saved by the lockdowns.

Again, all of these figures minimize deaths from anxiety and maximize lives saved by lockdowns. Under the more moderate scenarios documented above, anxiety will destroy more than 90 times the life saved by lockdowns based on:

  • the mid-March American Psychiatric Association survey that found Covid-19 “is having a serious impact” on the “mental health” of 36% of adults.
  • the 2015 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry that found a 43% average increase in mortality for people with anxiety.
  • the IHME’s midpoint projection of 72,433 Covid-19 deaths through August 4th.
  • the fact that the current death rate of Sweden is 5.1 times the average of the other Scandinavian nations.

Even the figure of 90 times is likely a substantial underestimate of the total life destroyed by reactions to Covid-19 because it doesn’t account for:

  • psychological conditions that are more deadly than anxiety, like depression and mood disorders. Among the 36% who report a “serious impact” on their “mental health,” there is a mix of conditions, and the 2015 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry finds that the increased risk of death is lowest for anxiety (43%), while it is 71% for depression, and 110% for mood disorders.

Unlike analyses that only compare the number of deaths from Covid-19 to other causes, this study accounts for the years of life lost for each victim. This accords with the CDC’s principle that “the allocation of health resources must consider not only the number of deaths by cause but also by age.” Thus, the CDC explains that the “years of potential life lost” has “become a mainstay in the evaluation of the impact of injuries on public health.” This doesn’t mean that the lives of young people are more important than that of the elderly, but it recognizes and accounts for the facts that:

  • humans cannot ultimately prevent death; they can only delay it.
  • there is a material difference between a malady that kills a 20 year-old in the prime of her life and one that kills a 90-year-old who would have otherwise died a month later.

A possible argument against this study is that it isn’t proper to compare anxiety to Covid-19 because the effects of anxiety often don’t kill until the distant future, while the deaths from Covid-19 are happening right now. Such logic relegates the harms of mental distress to years away, but the facts are clear that it can kill immediately, make life a nightmare in the present, and produce current and lasting physical ailments that end in early death. More importantly, tallying the life lost in any random unit of time, as opposed to an entire lifetime, is shortsighted and exclusionary.

Other distinctions, such as whether or not the cause of death is contagious, are similarly myopic. The primary issues are prevention and harm, and the difference between them ultimately determines how much life is saved or destroyed.

Summary

One of the most important principles of epidemiology is weighing benefits and harms. A failure to do this can make virtually any medical treatment seem helpful or destructive. In the words of Ronald C. Kessler of the Harvard Medical School and healthcare economist Paul E. Greenberg, “medical interventions are appropriate only if their expected benefits clearly exceed the sum of their direct costs and their expected risks.”

Likewise, a 2020 paper about quarantines published in The Lancet states: “Separation from loved ones, the loss of freedom, uncertainty over disease status, and boredom can, on occasion, create dramatic effects. Suicide has been reported, substantial anger generated, and lawsuits brought following the imposition of quarantine in previous outbreaks. The potential benefits of mandatory mass quarantine need to be weighed carefully against the possible psychological costs.”

Yet, when dealing with Covid-19 and other issues, politicians sometimes ignore this essential principle of sound decision-making. For a prime example, NJ Governor Phil Murphy recently insisted that he must maintain a lockdown or “there will be blood on our hands.” What that statement fails to recognize is that lockdowns also kill people via the mechanisms detailed above.

Likewise, a reporter asked NY Governor Andrew Cuomo about the impacts of his lockdown on people who commit “suicide because they can’t pay their bills” and others who die from the economic repercussions and “mental illness.” In reply, Cuomo stated five times that these fatal outcomes are “not death.” He also asked the rhetorical question, “How can the cure be worse than the illness if the illness is potential death?” The obvious answer is that the cure is also potential death.

In situations like pandemics and many other realms of public policy, life-and-death tradeoffs are inevitable, and failing to recognize this can cause tremendous harm. This is the case with Covid-19, where a broad array of scientific facts overwhelmingly shows that anxiety from reactions to the disease will destroy at least seven times more years of life than can possibly be saved by lockdowns. Moreover, the total loss of life from all societal responses to this disease is likely to be more than 90 times greater than prevented by the lockdowns.

A final note for readers who are experiencing anxiety: Healthcare professionals can reduce these effects, so seek help.

Dr. Andrew Glen is a Professor Emeritus of Operations Research from the United States Military Academy. He is a thirty-year U.S. Army veteran and an award-winning researcher in the field of computational probability.

James D. Agresti is the president of Just Facts, a think tank dedicated to publishing rigorously documented facts about public policy issues.