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What a month July has been, not for the lack of local fireworks or the way sweltering heat consummated our quarantine, but for how COVID hysteria continued to cover the country in chaotic concatenation. I wish I could report that the political and media hyper-sensationalization of the crisis will end in August, but we know better. With the presidential election 95 days away, things are only going to get more irrational and hyperbolic.
Before we delve into sweeping commentary on the month that was, let’s look at how the big-three COVID models performed in July. Since April, I have been tracking the projections made by academic models from the University of Washington and Penn University’s Wharton School of Business. These two models have emerged as the go-to darlings of the media. I have also been tracking the government’s FEMA model, which is rumored to be used by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
While these models have been anything but accurate, they are still held in high regard; namely because they match the narratives of propagandist who what to promote a crisis that just quite never seems to live up to its hype. Those who follow my blog, are familiar with the first principles, exponentially-based, model I developed for COVID projections. With deliberate clarity I derived the mathematical underpinnings of the “Dolin model” and demonstrated how it can be used to forecast the epidemic’s behavior. While the big-three COVID models have been embarrassingly wrong since April, the Dolin model has consistently been spot on.
The table above summarizes the performance of the Dolin COVID model relative to the big-three. If you look at the performance of the media favorite University of Washington (UW) model, you see their error rate in May was 44%, in June it was 40% and in July jumped to 69%. The error rate is determined as the percent difference between the model’s projected death count and the actual death count as reported by the CDC. Keep in mind that the discredited UW model was used as the basis for government lockdowns and facemask mandates even though with an error rate this large, the UW model couldn’t accurately predict the number times an apple tossed in the air comes back down.
The UW model rose in prominence by forecasting a cataclysmic crisis that never materialized but nonetheless aligned with political and media agendas. The fundamental flaw in the UW model is that it was developed by medical doctors untrained in the scientific method of data analysis who have no understanding of how to interrupt model results. Yet, the UW model is irresponsibly responsible for schools being canceled and you having to wear ridiculous facemasks in order to buy groceries.
The Wharton School of Business was this month’s winner of the “Fantastic Farce” award, coming in with a whopping 82% error rate. If Wharton trains their business students to generate economic forecasts with the same rigor they apply to pandemic forecasts, you should never take financial advice from a Wharton graduate, including their esteemed alumni President Trump. The performance of UW and Wharton models are an indefensible embarrassment to both institutions and the fact that faculty in these departments still have jobs is a clear indication of the state of academia today.
The FEMA model, which should represent the federal government’s best foray into crisis modeling, is an equally dismal failure. Their error rate for July was an embarrassing 75%. Even warfare planners try to keep error rates below 50%, and there is way more uncertainty in the fog of war than in pandemic modeling. This epic failure on the part of an agenda-driven government agency should tell you everything you need to know about anything Drs. Fauci or Brix have to say concerning COVID.
Not only did the Dolin model outperform the big-three in July with a 0.01% error rate, the Dolin model has consistently outperformed the big-three since this crisis began. I have repeatedly attempted to get my model results published and presented to the White House Coronavirus Task Force so decision makers have access to sound scientific data, but since the Dolin model is grounded in facts rather than fiction, there has been little interest. What separates the Dolin model from the big-three is I’m a scientist trained to objectively apply data to modeling, and to understand both the limitations of a numerical model and how to interpret results. If you think being a trained scientist is a trivial skill any academician or medical doctor can compensate for, I refer you to the big-three performance data above.
Before moving on to commentary, lets lay down the gauntlet once again and look at August forecasts. You should be aware that in the run up to the November election, the fictional projections made by the UW, Wharton, and FEMA models will only get more wildly outrageous. Consider the projected end-of-August death count, the Dolin model predicts the death count will be at 173,000 while the big three predict a combined average death count of 464,000. The difference between the Dolin and big-three projections for August is 287,000 COVID deaths. Consider how differently decision makers would react with such wildly different sets of information. Imagine where we would be today as a nation had decision makers been using the far more accurate Dolin model as a basis for policy decisions.
For the Dolin projection to be valid, 774 people would die from COVID each day in August. For the big-three to be accurate, 10,062 people would have to die each day from COVID. If you’re politically agnostic, I challenge your brain, if you’re a liberal I implore your heart, and if you’re conservative search your soul, for an answer to this simple question; who do you think is more likely to be right, the Dolin model or the big-three?
Statistical Data Analysis: According to the CDC, the mortality rate from COVID is down 86% from its peak in April. In addition, influenza like illnesses (ILI) are below the baseline and have been decreasing for the last 15 weeks. The U.S. percentage of confirmed COVID cases resulting in death at the start of June was 4.79%, which dropped to 3.89% by the end of the month. When applied to the population of America (320M), that represents a significant increase in survivability. This also represents the fourth straight month survivability improvement. One can argue this trend from several perspectives, however, it seems to indicate the virus is attenuating (i.e., mutating to a weaker state), which I predicted would happen in March, when I discussed how Darwin would apprise the COVID crisis.
The takeaways from the CDC data are 1) the COVID survival rate significantly increased in July, 2) the coronavirus appears to be attenuating, which is great news. 3) politicians ignore this data to promote partisan ambitions. 4) no one in the media is willing to acknowledge these very inconvenient truths.
Actuarial Analysis: In January, prior to the start of COVID, the highly respected Index Mundi projected the number of Americans who would die from something in 2020 would be 2,863,859. This translates to 7,846 American deaths per day. Through July month end, 1,666,108 American’s have died from all causes, including COVID. Shockingly, this is 5,130 fewer deaths than Mundi’s pre-COVID projection, which means COVID did not impact annual death rate projections. If you think this is too fantastic to be true, consider that in 2017, 61,000 Americans died from flu and that didn’t even penetrate the news cycle. It also means that 1.2 million Americans are still going to die from something before the year ends, which is both sad to consider, and normal.
In a study of Italian COVID deaths, the government admitted that 99% of those who died from COVID had three or four pre-existing conditions and were likely to die from something this year. The median age of an Italian COVID casualty was 80.5, with only 17 deaths under the age of 50, and they were all males with pre-existing conditions.
The U.S. is reticent to publish similar data because it would show that lockdowns and school closures are/were an overreaction. Last month when looking for evidence of a surge due to riots and rallies, I reported that the delta between the Mundi projection and actual deaths remained flat in June. In July things improved as the actual number of deaths decreased relative to Mundi’s projections. Using death rates as a metric, which is the only metric that matters, evidence indicates the COVID crisis continues to abate. Politicians and the media continue to lie and mislead the country by hyper-sensationalizing the increasing rate of infections, a statistically meaningless metric, while ignoring the inconvenient truth that death rates are declining.
Herd Immunity: While no one should want to get COVID, another inconvenient truth is that as a nation we want the infection rate to increase. To date, the CDC confirms 4,495,224 Americans have COVID. However, a Stanford University study found 85 times more Americans are likely infected, which is probably wrong because that would put the infection count at 382 million and there are only 320 million Americans. Politicians want you to believe increasing infection rates demand closing schools and reinstituting lockdowns when in fact our nation’s goal should be reaching a point where between 60% to 85% of the population is infected; this is when herd immunity is achieved.
The Stanford study would conclude 100% of the country has been infected, which we know is not true. The CDC confirms that 1.4% of the nation has been infected, which we also know is incorrect. If you split the difference then somewhere around 52% of the country has been infected, which means we are well on our way to herd immunity. This is one reason why I predict the government will announce their placebo vaccine in October to end the crisis (to everyone’s surprise). By then we will be at herd immunity and few people will get COVID after taking the placebo vaccine, in other words, just like taking the flu vaccine. But think of the trillions of dollars big pharma and politicians will rake in while forcing a mass vaccination.
Commentary: As we have done at the end of every month since April, it’s time to take stock of where we are as a nation, as a society bubbling toward anarchy (from both sides), and as individuals wanting to reacquire the freedoms making America unique. Throughout July, particularly after the CDC declared the Coronavirus epidemic over, politicians ramped up their campaign to convince us we are enmeshed in an existential COVID crisis that can only be resolved by their ordained wisdom. Borrowing from Karl Marx, liberal governors outlawed church gatherings and funerals; that is until John Lewis died and the opportunity for publicity and political exploitation presented itself. Then suddenly, as if Noah himself reappeared, it became permissible to sit shoulder-to-shoulder in a crowded church proclaiming to the great unwashed (i.e., you and I), as good liberals always do, to “do as I say, not as I do.”
And let’s not forget the hypocrisy of Anthony Fauci, the bureaucrat responsible for our facemask fiasco, who was spotted enjoying opening day at the Washington National’s stadium without his facemask. As we approach the election you can count on the hyper-marketing of COVID hysteria to heighten, and the absurdity coming from the political class to increasingly resemble the run-up to the French Revolution with a cornucopia of cake.
But fear not my little minions, as you tepidly touch your toe into the supermarket the miracle vaccine is slated to arrive in early October. Forget until then that China has already tried to steal the formula from us, that England is already starting immunization, or that Russia is currently in mass vaccine production, we American’s must wait until October, you know, for our quad-annual surprise.
To all the Mom’s with school age children, let’s take a moment away from media hype and political agendas for some perspective. First, do you know your child is more likely to die from a lightning strike while at school then from COVID? There have only been 151 COVID deaths from people 24 years old and younger. That’s a death rate of 0.00047%. Meanwhile, the probability of being struck by lightning is 0.008% I am collecting data on how many days last year you held your child home from school to prevent their lightening caused death. Just forward me the number so I can integrate it into my statistical study.
Second, and hang on to your freshly poured Chardonnay for this, there are no known cases of an infected child passing COVID to adults. Whoa, did I just say no known instances? Don’t repeat that to a schoolteacher or you’ll be accused of being part of the vast rightwing conspiracy. Third, and this is where you and I need to be serious, more children are dying from suicide and overdoses than from COVID, according to the CDC director. Our kids need to be in school for their social health, their mental health, their emotional health, and their physical health. Stop letting liberal politicians destroy your children, you know, your precious spawn who’ll decide which nursing home you end up in.
Conservatives are Wusses: If you’re a conservative, I have an increasingly hard time respecting you. How much longer will you put up with state governments robbing you of your liberties? As a nation we look to conservatives for leadership and for protection in times of crisis, God knows we won’t find either on the left, they’re too busy destroying once great cities. You are failing our Nation and embarrassing yourself. It’s time for you to stand up and pushed back. . . or are you just all talk and no backbone?
Liberals are Lost: Shame on liberals for the sadistic pleasure derived from destroying a way of life that brave men and women have fought and died for. Shame on you for manipulating your fellow humans with lies, deception, and the threat of physical harm. Shame on you for sacrificing our children for your blind lust for power and autocratic control. You have become so lost, you now align yourself with domestic terrorists and support open anarchy. You call anyone who disagrees with you a racist but the only racism I see emanates from the left. You call your political rivals fascists but you don’t even know what a fascist is; if you did you’d realize that you’re the ones behaving like fascists’.
Buddha talked about how a bird needs a left and a right wing to fly. If a bird just flaps it’s left wing it falls from the sky. If it just flaps it’s right-wing at best it goes in circles until crashing. The wisdom of America is having strong left and right political wings coupled with an understanding that they need to work in concert for the nation to fly forward. What we saw in July, was a continuation of the last four years, two radicalized parties ruled by self-interest that would rather unravel the nation than work to resolve a crisis. As a nation, we picked a horrible time to be leaderless and regardless of the outcome of the November elections, that’s not going to change. . . even after we get out placebo vaccine.