SitRep – 4/6/2020

I could make the statement, “Right now the world as we know it is falling completely apart.” Yes, the the prepper term TEOTWAWKI would apply.

And I would be right…and I’d be wrong. Let’s face it, you’ve been reading news articles and watching the news on TV and the Internet. You may have even read all the conspiracy theories running rampant recently. Or you may have watched one of many podcasts promoting the latest notions of the “why’s” of current events taking place. Some may be right, or at least partially so…most are full of half-truths or outright lies. But not everything is bad, not everything is lost, not all people are baked full of craziness…there are some bright spots out there…and they are growing.

One of the brightest of those areas is more and more folks recognizing reality. An area I have been very concerned about for the past nearly two months was the panic resulting from those promoting fear, panic, and hysteria over COVID-19. And clearly the hype-hustlers have won. However, more and more people are beginning to wake up and realize that this virus is not nearly as deadly as the “cure” we are seeing. I know I’ve been hinting at it, whispering it, for almost a month…and now I am telling you flat out the cure that America is implementing will kill our country. Period!

Now, I am not saying that the United States of America will cease to exist. The USA will still be here and so will most of its people, most of its industry, some of its retailers…and of course its many levels of government will flourish and grow. It’s the rest that will be gone…or is rapidly dying…or will be greatly diminished.

Let me explain…

One of the advantages of being a senior citizen is age…years of living, called experience. Those of us with some years under our belt have seen things come and go in our country throughout our lives. And what I see now makes me more concerned for America than I have ever been. And that is saying something.

Collectively America has turned into a country of sissies and cowards…frightened of our own shadows, fearful of being around others, terrified of another person’s cough or sneeze, and grateful for government intervention, even pleading for it.

During WWII our soldiers would storm beaches while machine gun bullets would drop them like flies. Marines would endure months of malaria, dysentery, and foot rot…then go root out fanatical Japanese soldiers charging them in human waves of suicidal killing machines.

After 9/11 the country came together in unity supporting our first responders and each other against a radical religion of terrorists sworn to destroy all but their own. But, that is the last show of unity I have seen in this country..then we rabidly turned on each other. But our problems started way before 9/11.

In the Korean War we lost to a third-rate country. In Vietnam we lost to an even smaller fourth-rate country. But through our experience in Vietnam, we learned that war was a purely manufactured war run by unscrupulous men who held no morals or ethics. We, as a nation, were no longer naïve, uninformed, or willing to accept the pabulum that a government was all too willing to serve us. As more and more clarity began to emerge through media, and eventually the Internet, we learned some of the darkest secrets of our government…and we demanded more and more truth. And through that questioning, came skepticism, finally came cynicism.

However, the government always has a plan to deal with uncooperative citizens. The government over the decades grew programs that cured problems…or at least we thought so. The Democrats, and to a similar degree the Republicans, became masters at manipulating the public. And what better way to manipulate people than dependency. Social Security checks, unemployment benefits, food stamps, housing assistance, disability assistance, college grants/loans, and the list goes on and on and on. But the bottom line was always the same…government was the cure. Why? Because their message was always the same…us lowly people couldn’t take care of ourselves, we had to depend on the government to save us…and it taught us to fear what might happen if that benevolent government didn’t come to our aid.

Obviously there are plenty of exceptions to the “people” I am referring to. There were and are plenty of strong folks out there who are rugged individualists, able to take care of themselves independent of government aid…and we use to call many of them preppers. But most US citizens have become people with weak Obama on Bike - Beta or Omegaback bones, sissies, whiners, and cowards…fearful of life without the government and fearful of taking responsibility for their own lives and families. That mentality flourished and grew under President Obama to the point it almost overwhelmed all of America.

In 2008 Obama said, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” And he made good on that prediction. He oversaw the implementation of the metro-sexual, the wussification of America’s males and worse. His vision of making everyone dependent on the government almost became the winning overarching theme…but, by a very slim margin America rejected that concept and elected Trump as President.

Well, technically, more voters in the US supported the Progressive vision led by Hillary Clinton. Nearly three million more voters voted for Clinton than Trump (48% vs 46%). So the people, by a notable margin, embraced the Progressive/Obama/Clinton vision of America’s future rather than a stronger male vision of who America is. Only the Electoral College prevented Clinton from becoming President.

What does all of this do with the current virus situation?

Remember the yeas after 9/11? We, as a nation, embraced authoritarian legal concepts. We applauded every new move by the government to restrict travel, increase surveillance, use secret courts, and we expressed unfettered respect for America’s secret police agencies such as we are being lied to about the Patriot Actthe FBI, CIA, NSA, etc. We begged and pleaded for more safety and security…even at the expense of Constitutional rights. The liberals and conservatives worked together in support of their political leadership to pass law after law after law that continued to chip away at American freedoms, rights, and liberties. Remember that?

We are there once again…embracing the government as the solution to our collective weakness, our cowardliness, and begging the government to save us once again.

And “save us” they are…the same way they always do…taking our money and our rights/liberties/freedoms. And they are doing it quite well…and we are applauding them for it…and begging for more of their cure.

But let me digress just a bit…

Coup & the FBI

Remember back in March of 2017 when I laid out the information regarding the coup against Trump, named names, and specifically named the FBI as a primary player in the coup leadership? Well, well…the Washington Post on March 31st reported on the DOJ investigation results, and guess what? The DOJ report states there was widespread criminal and unconstitutional activity by the FBI.  And the FBI began its criminal activity against the Trump campaign and lasted well past his election into his presidency. And…that was only the tip of the iceberg of the criminal activity of the FBI.

But not to worry…not a single indictment, not a single criminal charge, not a single firing, not a single demotion for any FBI personnel resulted from the DOJ investigation. Deepstate protecting its own…the US government at its finest.

But, for those Americans who wish to have their eyes open to the reality in America…this latest report is only yet another confirmation that the FBI is a septic tank of morals and ethics that have been in-place since its inception. And it will never change…but it will get worse. The FBI is a primary federal law enforcement agency responsible for protecting the deepstate…the FBI is nothing more than America’s KGB. And this is the perfect example of what the US government is and what it is capable of.

Economy

Man, what can I possibly say that you don’t already know. The economy has been shredded, it is falling apart, it will get worse, and it will never ever be the same. And for the first time ever…I can see the probability over 50% of it crashing in the very near future…months at best, weeks at worse. And I mean crashing!

Auto industry reports are showing as much of a 30% reduction in vehicle sales in the last month. That is a horrifically bad number. That is a game changing, economy crushing, number. And there is another side of this…if the economy would turn around quickly…the auto sales numbers would lag by a substantial margin as people got caught back up on paying mortgages, rent, utilities, credit cards, etc. before buying new cars. And on top of that, auto workers tend to be better paid middle income folks. And the fewer vehicles sold, the more auto workers unemployed/laidoff, and the less money they spend into the economy. A vicious cycle.

And the experts are now predicting 33% of all mortgages will go into default in the next wave…within the year. 33%!!!  How will the lenders be able to deal with all of that? How will people deal with, react to, losing their homes?

And then there is the train wreck of people paying rent…and landlords unable to pay their mortgages and bills.

Jobless claims for the third week of March was just under 300,000. The fourth week of March it was 3.3 million. The last week of March was almost 6.7 million. That is staggering by any measure!! If it doubles again in the next report the crash could be just weeks away. But think about it… more than 10million people lost their jobs in just 3 weeks!!

But, you say that the unemployment checks may grow by $600 per week to those collecting unemployment. That’s good, right? Well, where is that money coming from? We don’t have any surplus money in the federal budget…the states certainly don’t. So all of this cash going out to folks to ease the pain is in the form of new debt…printed money with ZERO value behind. And we already know that the Federal Reserve (Fed) is buying US T-Bills because no one else is buying them. Sound desperate?

Many employment/financial experts are now saying that the next report will show “Depression Era” unemployment numbers. And all indications now point to them being right. I was hesitating to report what I was feeling until I saw the “trend line”…and no hesitation now. The trend line clearly shows unemployment headed towards depression.

The Fed as World Bank & The Fed Treasury Swap…weird wording, terrible implications. Bottom line…the US Treasury Department working with the Fed is pumping huge amounts of dollars into the world economies…we’re talking TRILLIONS!  They are creating dollars (I explained how that is done previously) and “lend” those dollars to the central banks (Fed equivalent) of other countries. They are doing so to ensure that the world has enough “liquidity” to prevent banks from “seizing up”…meaning that there is money in the banks’ cash drawers to give to people when they want to withdraw savings or write a check.

The other side of that liquidity methodology is the “swap” side. The US Treasury Department, through the Fed, is buying back US Treasury Bills that foreign countries are cashing in. The other countries need money to pay their bills so they are selling the T-Bills they own. No one wants to buy those T-Bills right now…so the Fed buys them to prevent that market from collapsing. But to buy them the Fed has to create new money -backed by new debt- to purchase the older T-Bills the other countries are selling. They are effectively swapping one T-Bill for another…paying off an older debt with a newer debt. If there was one advantage to this “swap”…the newer debt (i.e. T-Bill) is at a lower interest rate than the older one. But, it is still a debt…money we don’t have and no possibility to ever pay off.

Jim Cramer, well known Wall Street financial expert, said on 4/3, there is “…the potential for a brutal depression ahead.” While he acts a little bizarre sometimes and is as much an entertainer as a Wall Street expert…he is usually right about his predictions. He joins a lone list of other experts making that statement.

Glenn Beck, author and talk show host, is saying essentially the same thing. While Glenn Beck is another one that can at times sound silly, although entertaining, his research staff is second to none. And they are saying the same thing…with the stats and numbers to prove it as a very high probability.

So here is my bottom line concerning the economy…as of now I see it as a better than 50/50 probability the economy will crash within 4 – 12 weeks. Now remember, that means an almost equal probability that it won’t.

I’ve been maintaining for years that the economy is spiraling downward and it won’t/can’t change that trajectory. And, I’ve also maintained that we could wake up on any given morning and the economy has crashed due to some event. Well, that “event” appears to be developing right now with all the major data points indicating a crash.

Let’s say that the economy doesn’t crash. Hear this…it will be changed more that we can imagine. The economy will never be the same again. It will be more unstable, more government controlled, less opportunity, far more debt, and leaning far, far more towards big corporations vs. small businesses…and of course…government dependency.

Over the last two weeks I have been watching closely what is happening to small businesses…and it ain’t pretty! In the three towns close to where I live I am seeing more and more businesses with permanently shuttered doors. They simply can’t handle the drastic downturn in their income stream. And small business income is taking a hit primarily due to the actions of government intervention. Governments, at all levels, ordering their closure to prevent the spread of the virus. Also affecting them…customers staying away from businesses due to the “fear” that has been created by the government, media, and others who are promoting it.

Whether it is a crash or not, the economy and businesses will never, ever be the same. And what the economy and businesses become, if they survive…will not be what we know now. America is fundamentally changing…for the worse.

When asked yesterday what aspects of U.S. life he expects to see altered as a result of the pandemic, Mark Cuban, billionaire businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner said, “Everything!”

Something to remember…the federal government will do everything within its power (i.e. print money, send stimulus checks, bailout banks, pour money into the stock markets, etc.) to save the economy. The Fed has already stated there will be no limit to which they won’t go to save the economy. Why? If the economy goes the United States government will collapse. And along with the USA…the entire world’s economy will collapse as well. If that happens…a world war is inevitable.

Self-preservation will win…the US government will stop at nothing to save the US economy…even if it means fundamentally changing it. So expect change in…everything.

Coming Violence

Back on 3/13/202 I issued an Immediate Action Warning regarding coming violence. The violence is no longer coming…it is here. TX burglaries are up 20%, NY business burglaries up 75%, and there are now news articles and pictures all over the Internet of businesses boarding up because they are expecting more burglaries…and soon, looting and violence.

The governor of NY recently made the statement that if Trump tried a quarantine of New York it would be a “declaration of war”. We know that NY is a major center of the COVID-19 outbreak. NY is a natural epicenter due to the intense density of citizens into a small area…it inevitably would spread quickly. And Trump declaring a quarantine would be a highly likely and medically responsible thing to do to keep NY residents from spreading the virus. But, the Democrat governor (Progressive extremist) threatened “war” with a Republican president!!  The irresponsibility is easy to see…the potential ramifications could turn violent on a scale we’ve not seen since the Civil War.

Experts and government officials are also closely monitoring Michigan for the potential of widespread violence (i.e. rioting and looting). The state’s unemployment infrastructure has fallen apart and residents couldn’t file for unemployment. The 800 help line number broke down and was unusable. The computer system running the unemployment process failed because it was overloaded. And the Internet benefit filing site was overwhelmed and quit working. Several articles appeared reporting on the situation and it was ugly, the state government simply failed, and is failing to get people registered for unemployment benefits. That means no money for the people to pay bills, pay mortgages/rent, buy food, etc. And how do you think residents will react to that if it goes on for any real length of time? What happens when it spreads to other benefits and other states…or occurs on the federal level with the individual stimulus checks?

Another aspect of the COVID-19 panic, articles are now reporting an increase in domestic violence. Agencies that deal with domestic violence are seeing a notable increase as more family members are kept in close proximity to each other, the stress of job losses, financial crisis, the constant stream of hyped-news, etc.  As families break down…so goes the country.

War

In my previous SitReps (3/18 & 3/26) I spoke of war, specifically with China. And I am seeing that threat of war growing. There are now politicians in Washington speaking specifically that China is to blame for the pandemic…and should pay for it. But they are not speaking in theoretical terms…they are speaking to the “intention” and “responsibility”. There are even politicians talking about China literally paying the US government to deal with virus here in the US.  The payment would be the cancellation of over $1trillion that the US owes to China via voiding US T-Bills. Seriously!  How do you think China would respond to such an act of the US government? How do you think they are reacting now to the very idea it could be formally proposed in Congress?

Here is the real question…why would anyone in Washington even make that suggestion? Ponder that one.

We are also seeing a significant increase in China navy resources actively taking over fishing areas in the China Sea. China has specifically targeted Indonesia’s fishing fleets recently.  They have recently become more aggressive in dealing with other countries, including Europe, over control of not just fishing rights, but also  sovereign control of areas located in the South China Sea.

Finally, I read an article yesterday plus several more articles this past week that confirmed what I spoke about on March 18th and again on the 26th…we are growing increasingly closer to a potential war with China. If that happens…well, you know what that means.

The Government

One of the most disturbing initiatives that has come out of Washington in a long time is the “See Something, Say Something” program that the Department of Homeland Security started in 2010. That is clearly and unmistakably an authoritarian government program…urging citizens to report “suspicious activity” of one another to law enforcement. It is a tool widely used in Communist countries and previously in countries such as Nazi Germany under Hitler. It is nothing more than a tool straight out of the book 1984 to pit one citizen against another, to destroy trust in each other. It is another aspect of “divide and conquer” strategy…to create a compliant citizenry.

Now we see the governors of California and New York actively encouraging its citizens to “snitch” on each other for violations of stay-at-home orders or business closures. Some government leaders are even offering rewards for such snitching.

Just lately we’ve seen the Department of Justice seize privately owned medical supplies, unlawfully seized, from a private individual. That person was accused of “price gouging” and his privately owned property forcefully taken from him. Also, the governor of New York just signed an Executive Order that authorizes state troopers to seize medical supplies from hospitals and redistribute those supplies as the state sees fit. That is a page straight out of Communism.

Those moves should be of grave concern to you!

I have been stating for years that during times of emergency FEMA, and the government in general, has virtually unlimited power to do as it pleases. And we are now seeing that. What this means…no food storage, no water storage, no emergency preparations of any kind -public or private- is safe and out of the reach of the federal and state government. The government can, and now proves it will, seize whatever it wants as it deems necessary. Freedom and rights destroyed!

The fact that the government, regardless of level, would seize private property is unconscionable. But, much worse than that…most people are applauding it and supporting it! I read comments from some folks who claim to be Conservatives and patriotic…Christians and Constitution lovers…and they also support these totalitarian acts. That is the real scary part to this…making these authoritarian acts acceptable…even laudable by people, Conservatives/Patriots/Christians, who only thought they loved this country and our freedoms. But, it turns out…they love safety and security more than freedom and liberty.

What are the Democrats up to? In my previous SitReps I spoke of them using the current crisis to fundamentally change America. California Governor Newsom made it crystal clear recently what their intentions are, the crisis is an “opportunity reimaging a more progressive era.” And they are serious! Sadly…many Conservatives and preppers are right there with them helping them with that plan.

One of the saddest examples of government behavior, all too representative, I’ve witnessed so far during this COVID-19 panic…Captain Crozier of the USS Roosevelt was relieved of command. Background note: I served two years on a US Navy carrier and understand that life. Capt Crozier tried to tell his Navy superiors that their orders were not working to take care of the health of the ship’s sailors when his ship was struck with a COVID-19 outbreak. The Navy ignored his recommendations and requests to deal with the outbreak…sailors were getting sick, the outbreak spreading, and threatening death of his men from the virus was imminent.

Finally the Captain wrote a detailed letter to the Pentagon detailing his requests and reasoning, his pleading for the Navy to take care his men. The Pentagon ignored his letter and requests. The letter was then leaked to the press; some say it was the Captain himself who leaked the letter. It matters not who leaked it…he was relieved of command…effectively ending his Navy career on a charge of by-passing the chain of command. Although his original requests went directly to his superior whose stateroom was mere feet away…and those requests were rejected.

So we see the US government punishing a leader who was desperately concerned for the health of his men. Rather than help him, they fired him. Rather than admit that their actions were inadequate, they removed the man who pointed out their mistakes. A typical government move…yet another sad example of our pathetic federal government in action…the deepstate at work.

Martial Law

Let me make this clear…the rumors are not true. The federal government has no intention of implementing martial law in its plan to deal with COVID-19. However, should violence reach an intolerable level in reaction to Draconian state and federal government actions dealing with COVID-19, then martial law could/would be used. But honestly, don’t expect it on the federal level.

However, we are already seeing instances of parts of martial law being implemented at the state level. NY seizing private property, MA state troopers stopping out of state drives for no probable cause or reasonable suspicion of a crime, Governors/Mayors/Sheriffs ordering businesses closed, ordering people to stay home, county roadblocks, etc. So to a certain degree we are already seeing instances of martial law.

State governors have much more flexibility to implement martial law than the President. And we are already seeing governors doing so. And we will see more of it…and in some cases…to the extreme. If state governors increase their use of martial law we will see a corresponding increase in violence. Violence not just directed at law enforcement trying to enforce those measures but against communities/business in general. The first person shot by law enforcement for martial law purposes could well start a violence spiral that would only stop after much bloodshed.

The first instance of complete martial law on the state level, and more so on the federal level, will cause an exponential spike in widespread violence, rioting, and looting.

Post Office

Remember back on 3/26 I wrote about the trouble the Post Office (USPS) was in? Well, finally someone else caught on. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) who heads Congressional oversight of the USPS, a couple of days ago put it bluntly about the USPS folding, “We need to start thinking in those apocalyptic terms because we are about to face the apocalypse.”

Did you hear him? He used the term “apocalypse”…how does that strike you?

What happens to the USPS? Who knows at this point. But, I bet there are some big corporations salivating at the thought. And many politicians and other Washington insiders right now are thinking about large deposits to their bank accounts and an increase in their power if the USPS folds.

If something happens to the USPS see it as a major mile post that something more dramatic is about to happen.

Black Swan Event

The question has been posed to me…Is this a Black Swan Event? Well, a Black Swan Event is an occurrence of an event that wasn’t predicted that is beyond the realm of normal expectations or the probability of occurrence was so low as to be at all realistically possible. It includes the reaction(s) to the event as well as the event itself. And the results from that event changes history in a major and significant way.

My answer to the question… is this, theCOVID-19 panic, a Black Swan Event? Yes, unquestionably so.

Now let me explain why. Not because of the pandemic itself. We’ve had far, far worse outbreaks of health concerns. We’ve had flu seasons in the US alone that killed 80,000 people (2017-2018 flu season). What is making this an unexpected event of such a magnitude is the actions that world governments, especially in the US, are taking as the result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is unparalleled in modern history…and undoubtedly a Black Swan event.

The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed 20,000,000 – 50,000,000 people worldwide, almost 700,000 in the United States. COVID-19 has killed 65,000 worldwide and 8,500 in the US…so far. So COVID-19 is .13% (that’s point one three percent) as deadly worldwide and 1.2% as deadly here in the US. But look at the extraordinary and extreme measures that the governments worldwide are taking.

The true aspect of a Black Swan Event is its impact and historical perspective. And we can barely see the true impact it will have on the US at this point. But I can assure you of this…it will be devastating in many ways.

Summary

This section could almost be as long as the entire first part of the SitRep…but I won’t punish you that way.

Here’s the bottom line:

  • A Black Swan Event has occurred
  • The economy is wrecked and getting worse…potentially could crash within weeks to months
  • Job loss and business closings are rampant and growing
  • US debt, private and public, is growing exponentially
  • All levels of government are growing more and more authoritarian and Draconian
  • People who we previously thought were patriots and Constitutionalists are turning out to be exactly the opposite
  • People believe the main stream media…and are more and more falling prey to their manipulation
  • Progressives are ramping up their plans, goals, visions…and actions
  • Our country is being destroyed from the inside…we are eating ourselves
  • Our country will probably not recover from this as a Constitutional Republic with a capitalist economy
  • We are probably watching the destruction of the United States

On the positive side:

  • This is not the Spanish Flu, tens of millions will not die from COVID-19
  • The US will come out of this…eventually
  • You can survive this, your family can survive this
  • We will see people for who they really are based on their actions during this crisis
  • For those who have the right outlook…faith will increase
  • For those who do the right thing…we will be better people individually when this is all over

But, you ask…What should you do about all of this? What can I do about all of this?

Same thing you have been doing, or should have been doing, for years. Just do more of it and much quicker. Fill in your prepper gaps. Acquire practical skills for use in an changed job market. And more!

Over the next days and weeks I will make more suggestions and more recommendations as the need makes itself known. I will only do so when I see a clear solution for a specifically identified problem. But, you probably already know what to do…just proceed!

More than anything though, I want to share one word of warning that I feel is imperative…DO NOT OVERREACT!

There are some unscrupulous people out there enjoying promoting fear…trying to cause panic. Don’t fall for it!!  Use a level head, use your common sense, your intuition, your training, your planning…and make wise thoughtful decisions.

Along with that I want to advise you to start eliminating the static in your life. Start weeding out that which is distracting you. Whether it is social media addiction, hours of news article reading, visiting radical prepper sites, or avoiding the constant stream of misinformation coming out of the media and the Internet…get rid of it. Focus on what is important and what is applicable to your situation and to your planning.

Please ignore the static…it will only make things more confusing.

Hang in there, do your best, help others, share with those around you, keep good security, stay Situationally Aware, increase your faith, love your family, stay positive, avoid all the negative you possibly can…and be the person you were meant to be.

Times are desperate right now, I dare say very desperate. But I say to you…do not despair, do not fear…do not take desperate actions. Remember this, there are only two important things in this life…God and family. Believe in, have faith in, trust in, and take care of those two things…and you will be fine.


A while back I made a request of you. Now might be the time to read that request again. (click here to read the request)

 

 

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Feedback & Comments: 4/5/2020

AH Trimble Feedback and CommentsPaul writes…

Freedom is NOT a non-essential. It was only a few months ago when Christians and conservatives would often use this quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Hardly any of them are using that quote today. Instead, they are expressing enthusiastic endorsement for the assaults against their liberties—in the name of SAFETY from corona.

More than that: They are frothing venom and hatred against anyone who dares to stand up for our constitutional liberties. These conveniently confused Christians and conservatives are regurgitating the very words and ideas that the Tories expressed toward our American patriot forebears. Recall that the great champion of liberty, the Rev. James Caldwell of New Jersey, was assassinated by a fellow American loyal to the tyrannous British Crown. These modern Tories would be happy to do the same thing to those preachers standing for freedom right now.

I know, because I receive and hear their hate-filled threats almost daily. Do you not find it interesting that the same Trump-worshipping Christians and conservatives who for the last three years kept telling us that the mainstream media (MSM) was “fake news” are now aggressively attacking anyone who doesn’t buy what the MSM is saying about the coronavirus? Talk about blatant two-facedness!

Make no mistake about it: We are in the beginning of a war against our liberties that will not subside until the American people decide, AGAIN, that essential liberty is more valuable than temporary safety.

As loudly as I know how to say it: FREEDOM IS NOT A NON-ESSENTIAL!!

 

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Stanford Medical Professors: The Projections are “Deeply Flawed”

I though this article was worth publishing in its entirety. Refreshing to see some very intelligent experts apply reason, logic, and facts to the COVID-19 panic…


Stanford medical professors: COVID-19 death toll estimates may be ‘orders of magnitude’ too high

They believe the projections are ‘deeply flawed’

The Blaze | March 26, 2020

A pair of public health experts from Stanford, Drs. Eran Bendavid and Jay Bhattacharya, warn Americans in a Wall Street Journal editorial that the current estimates about the coronavirus’ fatality rate may be too high by “orders of magnitude.”

According to Bendavid and Bhattacharya, both of whom are medical doctors, while they are supportive of social distancing guidelines and efforts to contain the disease, they fear that orders to shut down the entire economy may be based on shoddy research data.

Death toll projections may be ‘orders of magnitude too high’

“If it’s true that the novel coronavirus would kill millions without shelter-in-place orders and quarantines, then the extraordinary measures being carried out in cities and states around the country are surely justified,” they wrote. “But,” and what a big one it is, they add, “there’s little evidence to confirm that premise — and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high.”

The two submit that because the United States and other countries largely focus their testing on symptomatic patients, the number of people who are infected with COVID-19 is likely much larger than the number of confirmed cases being reported by public health agencies throughout the country, which means the virus’ mortality rate is likely significantly lower.

“Fear of Covid-19 is based on its high estimated case fatality rate — 2% to 4% of people with confirmed Covid-19 have died, according to the World Health Organization and others,” wrote Bendavid and Bhattacharya. “So if 100 million Americans ultimately get the disease, 2 million to 4 million could die. We believe that estimate is deeply flawed. The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases.”

How did they predict this?

The two professors argue that the best evidence of the coronavirus death rate being significantly lower than what is being reported may lie in the Italian town of Vò. On March 6, the town’s 3,300 residents were tested. Of these, 90 tests came back positive, indicating a prevalence of 2.7% of the population having the virus.

If one were to apply this to the entire province where the town is located, which has a population of 955,000, it would mean there were actually 26,000 infections at the time, and not just the 198 that were officially confirmed. This would be 130 times greater than the number of reported cases. Since Italy’s case fatality rate of 8% is estimated using the confirmed cases, Bendavid and Bhattacharya write, “the real fatality rate [of the virus] could in fact be closer to 0.06%.”

A ’cause for optimism’?

The two Stanford Health Policy experts even said the virus’ mortality rate might be on par with that of the seasonal flu:

Existing evidence suggests that the virus is highly transmissible and that the number of infections doubles roughly every three days. An epidemic seed on Jan. 1 implies that by March 9 about six million people in the U.S. would have been infected. As of March 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 499 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. If our surmise of six million cases is accurate, that’s a mortality rate of 0.01%, assuming a two week lag between infection and death. This is one-tenth of the flu mortality rate of 0.1%. Such a low death rate would be cause for optimism.

A universal lockdown ‘may not be worth the costs’

Bendavid and Bhattacharya say that if they are right about the lower lethality of the epidemic, public policy experts should focus their measures on protecting the elderly and expanding medical capacity.

“Hospital resources will need to be reallocated to care for the critically ill patients. Triage will need to improve. And policy makers will need to focus on reducing risks for older adults and people with underlying medical conditions.”

The pair conclude that if their estimates are right, then the universal quarantine measures “may not be worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community, and individual mental and physical health.”

“We should undertake immediate steps to evaluate the empirical basis of the current lockdowns,” they added.

Feedback & Comments: 3/29/2020 – 2

AH Trimble Feedback and CommentsIn regards to to my post Hoax Alert: Coronavirus could kill 81,000 in U.S.posted on 3/28 (click here)

Barry writes…

“While I appreciate your alerts, I’m not sure that this qualifies as a hoax. This model could turn out to be accurate. The deaths due to Covid-19 in the U.S. are growing exponentially. We all hope that doesn’t continue, that as the weather warms up this thing slows down, that treatments like chloroquine work, and that other successful treatments are discovered along with a vaccine.”


My full response…

It is a hoax…in my opinion. They took a snap-shot sample of data in the MOST infected area of the country, during a time when it was growing the most rapidly for their model. There are several articles that were almost immediately published that have already discredited their report. But yes, there is always the chance that their model will be correct…but it is a mighty slim chance. And I am sure both of us hope they are wrong.

So, that being said…can we agree it is a very probable hoax?

And as a side note…..How many people in the US died from the flu in the 2017/2018 flu season?
Answer: 80,000 according to the CDC. Kinda interesting perspective.

Also, another note: The reason COVID-19 will more than likely slow down (as all flu does) as summer approaches is the sun. Flu viruses are very susceptible to UV (ultraviolet) light…it kills the virus. But, a word of caution, the Spanish Flu also died down during the summer, then came roaring back that fall.


Barry responded to my response…

“If you are modeling a hurricane in the Gulf do you use weather data from the Pacific North West? If you are trying to model an outbreak doesn’t it make sense to model the area currently getting hit the hardest? We can hope other areas don’t get hit as hard but the pattern will probably be similar. All areas being hit will experience their own curve.

At this time the average flu numbers look much worse. However we’re still early in the cycle and still on the way up on the bell-shaped curve. The number of cases and deaths are doubling every few days.”


My response to Barry’s response to my response to his feedback…

Great questions and somber words to ponder!

If you are modeling a hurricane in the Gulf you use Gulf data because the model’s projections only apply to that specific hurricane, in that specific location, during that specific time-frame, based on a very specific snapshot of data. So, we agree on that. So you can’t predict hurricanes in the Pacific Northwest based on data from the Gulf of Mexico. Entirely different data set (i.e. location, environment, temperatures, winds, tides, ocean currents, etc.) applies.

So any projections of the COVID-19 based on the state of Washington would only apply to the state of Washington (or general geographic area). And that would only be true if the data snapshot they used for the model was valid and reliable (i.e. credible). I am posting an article today that shows that these guys, and most so-called “experts”, are using math projections that are entirely wrong…”by orders of magnitude”.

But getting back to my point, no projections based on Washington data applies to anywhere else. Well, maybe to Oregon due to its close proximity. But, if the data snapshot came from an urban area of Washington alone, then the projections wouldn’t even apply to the rural areas of the state of Washington due to significant social differences (i.e. space between homes/property, number of daily interactions with people, contact with contaminated surfaces, healthier life style, etc.).

“...the pattern will probably be similar…” Again, no area where COVID-19 has appeared repeats the exact outbreak pattern or the same statistical numbers. So no, I don’t believe the pattern will be the same because that has not been the case so far. Similar? Maybe. But so far, the differences in pattern are greater than the similarities in pattern.

“All areas being hit will experience their own curve.” Absolutely true! And in each area, as more data becomes available, it is proving that statement to be true about experiencing their own specific bell curve. So each area is different in all aspects…with one exception…it appears that ALL mortality rates are grossly overstated. It appears now, based on the entire outbreak data pool and accurate application of mathematical formulas, that the true mortality rate could be somewhere between .1% to .06%, with the more accurate estimate closer to the .06%. However, if it is indeed as bad as the .1%, then the COVID-19 mortality rate matches a normal flu season outbreak’s mortality rate. And those numbers are almost certain to change as more valid and reliable data becomes available.

“The number of cases and deaths are doubling every few days.” Well, not entirely accurate. While the number of reported deaths are doubling approximately every four days may be somewhat accurate. We have absolutely no idea how many new cases there are…not even a clue. Why? Because; 1) there are simply not enough test kits, 2) many people who contract COVID-19 never show symptoms, 3) many people who show symptoms never have them severe enough to go to a doctor or the hospital, 4) many people who go to a doctor or the hospital never get tested because there aren’t enough test kits, 5) there are numbers now showing that, depending on the brand/type of test kit, there could be result error rates from 30 – 50%. So we still don’t have a good picture of accurate numbers…and probably won’t until well after the COVID-19 issues passes. And then it will still be estimates…albeit better informed estimates.

Thank you again Barry for the great interaction. I appreciate your free thinking and willingness to engage. Please keep it coming. While we both may have our opinions set in-place…others may benefit from our exchanges.

 

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FAQ – 3/28/2020 (COVID-19)

  • On another website I frequent I noticed a thread that talked about people who were virus deniers. They all but mentioned you by name. And they referred to virus deniers as suffering from Normalcy Bias. Was that you they were talking about and do you suffer from Normalcy Bias?

Well, well…I see three issues here:

  1. Am I the person they are talking about?
  2. Am I a “virus denier” and suffer from “Normalcy Bias”?
  3. Are you just trying to stir up trouble/contention?

So, last question first…I don’t think you are doing so intentionally, probably not at all. I hope I am right about that because I don’t want to be involved in any contention…we have enough of that right now.

Am I the person they are talking about…No idea whatsoever!  I am trying to focus my attention on my website and creating original content that will help folks deal with the COVID-19 panic and virus.

Am I a “virus denier” and suffer from “Normalcy Bias”…the first part is easy…no. I’ve written about the virus extensively, provided lots of facts and stats, and even wrote what I am personally doing to boost my immune system.  Now…about the “Normalcy Bias” thing…a little more complicated and much more perspective is needed to understand the bigger picture.

Newton’s third law of physics is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. 

A common person like myself understands that this law of physics applies more simply to everyday life…there is opposition in all things. There is good and evil, hot and cold, love and hate, intelligence and stupidity, etc.

I believe I know the website you are talking about…and I am not real popular with the leadership, the owner, many of the more vocal members of that website. And honestly…I understand why. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they are right. I am surprised in their close mindedness, and disappointed in how they treated me, and others, who wouldn’t fall in line and toe the party line…meaning join their mob mentality and spread hoaxes and adding to the hysteria, hype, fear, and panic that they enjoy so much.

But, let’s go back to the Third Law. Normalcy Bias means refusal of your brain to accept that something has happened, will happen, or to what extent something has happened. It doesn’t mean a person is stupid or ignorant, or unable to think logically. It simply means your brain blocks out information that is out of the norm. It is a protection device your brain uses to prevent a you from freaking out or freezing…or going crazy. Unfortunately, it can also block out information that is significantly important to help you make an informed decision…as in to save your life. So, Normalcy Bias is a bad thing for a prepper…and for most people in general.

Now, applying the Third Law, what would be the opposite to Normalcy Bias?

Competency Bias is simply thinking you are better at something than you really are; or, you think you are better at something than others.

Competency Bias is basically thinking you are better or smarter than you really are. When held up next to Normalcy Bias…they are opposites. The Third Law of physics it true! Normalcy Bias is the absence of information in your brain because your brain blocked it and Competency Bias is the absence of accurate or real information in your brain because your brain blocked it or refused to accept it. See, opposites!

Now, how does this apply to me suffering from Normalcy Bias? Well, to me it is obvious…to others maybe not so much. Let me explain…

I have repeatedly written about COVID-19 and associated provable facts.

I have repeatedly written about the hype, panic, fear, and hysteria associated with COVID-19 and how it is generated by a long series of hoaxes and inaccurate information.

The mere fact I wrote about how I am boosting my immune system to deal with COVID-19 shows I know that there is a serious aspect to it.

So no, I am not suffering from Normalcy Bias because I see its actual, fact-based seriousness. But, to infer that I suffer from Normalcy Bias because I am not accepting and regurgitating the crap/fake information that is going around is pure stupidity.

Now…about the people who you say think I am suffering from Normalcy Bias…what do they embrace? Do they believe that COVID-19 is more deadly than the regular flu season…or host of other hoaxes? Or more simply put…do they think they are smarter than I am…and many others? Sounds like it. And if they are falling for all the hoaxes floating around I would suggest that they are suffering from Competency Bias. They think they are smarter than experienced, knowledgeable, trained experts. They think that facts and evidence don’t apply to them or this situation. Hence, Competency Bias.

The best test of a person suffering from Competency Bias is simple…do they think COVID-19 is more deadly than the regular flu?  For that conclusive and factual answer (click here)

I hope I answered your question…and I hope you weren’t trying to stir the pot.


Related articles:

 

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Hoax Alert: Coronavirus could kill 81,000 in U.S.

 

 

Hoax AlertArticle Headline – “Coronavirus could kill 81,000 in U.S.”

Wow!!!!   WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE ! ! !

OK, maybe not. Why? Ah…let’s talk about it…

First of all read the words in the headline, specifically “…could kill…”. That means there is only a possibility of that occurring.

Next, let’s move it into the professional world of emergency incident response…yeah, real world of those who actually respond to this stuff. Since there is a “possibility” that it could occur let’s apply a more professional and more accurate term…”probability”. Now, since we moved into the professional world let’s look at that word…a percentage of nonoccurence is always associated with it when planning for the occurrence to actually happen. And nowhere in the article do they give that % chance that their prediction will occur. Strike #1.

So let’s look at the folks who came up with that prediction…University of Washington School of Medicine. This is a subjective observation on my part…they are hardly a top tier group such as John Hopkins. Strike #2.

There actual finding states that their number could “vary widely” and could be “38,000 to as high as around 162,000“. So they really don’t know. It could range from an average flu season number of deaths to triple the number of deaths in a bad flu season. SO they question their own “predictions”. Strike #3.

The the report lead person responds to why the problem in figuring out what exactly will, “disparate rates of the spread of the virus in different regions, which experts are still struggling to explain“. Yeah, they admit they don’t understand their own prediction or the underlying numbers they are using to make the prediction. Strike #4.

And finally…these predictions come from a process called “modeling”. And modeling takes a snapshot of data of their choosing, then applies a statistical model to it, massage the expectations, and then promote the numerical outcome. In other words…they guess at it. Does modeling exist anywhere else in the scientific world? Yup! let me show you one…

Here is the model that the weather service produced to show different modeling of where the hurricane might hit. Notice the variances? Why do you think those variances exist? Because they don’t “know” they are making a scientific guess.The guesses vary from hitting eastern coast of Florida then Louisiana all the way to swooping around and completely missing the eastern coast of Florida and then hitting the northern coast of Florida.

Another view of modeling…

Notice the the northern landfall guess is 500 miles wide! That guess is about 75% of the entire coast of the northern part of the Gulf of Mexico. That is how accurate modeling is…guessing at it.

Actual track of Hurricane Katrina…

If you view the actual track vs. the modeling you find that one of the models hit it pretty well. But, it was only 1 of the modeling tracks, the other 80% weren’t even close.

Bottom line: Someone is going to be right about the COVID-19 outcomes in terms of deaths…and at least 80% of everything else, maybe more, will be proven wrong. And right now…the facts are showing this University of Washington School of Medicine model (guess) to be in the 80% wrong category. Stick with facts!

 

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Hoax Alert: Tanks Being Moved to be Used for Martial Law

Hoax AlertArticle Headline – Tanks Being Moved to be Used for Martial Law

This is a hoax that shows up every few years in one form or another…and has shown up again lately in regards to COVID-19. And the scare is that the tanks that are seen on railroad cars are being positioned in preparation of martial law. Ah, no they are not.

Army units conduct training on a regular basis throughout the year. National Guard units conduct training once a year. When that training takes place many units take their tanks with them for requalification’s, etc. Also, some tank units get assigned to new bases and their tanks go with them.Further, tanks periodically go for refitting, heavy maintenance, rebuilding, and scrapping. These are just part of many reasons why tanks are seen on railroad cars and/or over-the-road trucks.

So no, the US Army is not prepositioning tanks for a planned implementation of Martial Law.

One additional fraud test: Do you honestly think that an order for the Army to prepare for martial law could be kept super-secret quiet…or do you this it would become common knowledge in about 30 – 45 seconds?

 

 

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