COVID Day 59: Fauci’s Fallacy

To see other COVID posts, visit my Quarantine blog.

The three colored curves in the above plot are each defined with different mathematical expressions that collectively represent my COVID model. The blue curve is defined using a single exponential function whose area matches the number of deaths on April 16th (the apex), which is why it’s a smooth curve.

The red curve is a day-by-day plot of CDC data on the descent from the apex that matches the CDC’s reported number of COVID deaths each day, which is why it’s somewhat bumpy. The yellow curve is an inference based on exponential extrapolation from today out to August 4th, which is the date federal and academic models predict the crisis will be over.

Notice the bounce in CDC data today (end of red curve). I have been expecting a correction like this for several days because actual data should not have had the steady descent the red curve indicates. I hope that it’s just a coincidence this bump corresponds to Fauci’s senate testimony yesterday. Even with the bump, my model continues to project the crisis is over on June 7th, with 85,658 total deaths. Recall the President predicts 100,000 deaths and the University of Washington model projects 237,000 deaths, and both estimate the crisis continues until August. Keep in mind the federal and academic projections have been 100% wrong 100% of the time, while my model has been spot on since this crisis began.

Senator Rand Paul touched on a topic I’ve discussed numerous times, namely that there are limits to Dr. Fauci’s expertise. Whenever you hear Fauci make a prediction, keep in mind he’s speaking outside his area of expertise. Medical doctors are trained to diagnose and repair but are not experts in science, which is a different discipline. Medical doctors are like aircraft mechanics, highly trained to diagnose and repair complex systems but ignorant of the science behind complex systems.

The reason Fauci has been wrong in all his previous predictions is because he doesn’t know now to interpret scientific data and make credible inferences. The media hangs on every word Fauci utters as if based on hard scientific evidence when he’s just stating an inadequately-informed opinion.

Infection Rate Fallacy: Fauci puts a lot of trust in the CDC rate of infection as being a predictor of future death rates when in fact they are weakly correlated. There are multiple problems with the CDC reported infection numbers, including

  • The people being tested are believed to be infected, i.e., have symptoms. This means they are not representative of the general population.
  • The people being tested tend to concentrate in urban areas experiencing the highest death rates. This means they do not represent a cross-section of the country.
  • The more you test the more you find. This means as more tests are performed more cases are found but that has no correlation on whether the rate of infection is increasing or decreasing.
  • The CDC admits they botched multiple batches of tests, but don’t seem able to quantify the impact.

Any projection, inference, or conclusion made based on the number of infections is scientifically meaningless because the number of infections is based on a skewed sub-population. Likewise any projection, inference, or conclusion based on infection rates is wrong because the CDC is not measuring rates, rates are being inferred by pseudo-experts ignorant of what they’re doing.

The only value in tracking the number of cases is as a measure of how close the country is to achieving herd immunity, which is reached when 60% of the population has been infected. Current data indicates that 1.4M Americans have been infected, which is 0.5% of the population. Stanford University, in a very limited random study involving one California county, found the actual number of infections could be 80 times higher. This would put us at 40% of the country infected or two-thirds of the way toward herd immunity.

I am waiting for someone to perform a scientific study that samples a random cross-section of the country by region and demographic containing a sufficient sample size to make credible inferences on the true number of Americans likely infected. Then, we’ll know the rate at which we are approaching herd immunity and can declare the crisis over. Until then, I’ll continue to use the death rates as a bases for inferring when the crisis has abated.

Death Rate Fallacy: Fauci believes the CDC is under-reporting deaths by 25%, while his White House counterpart, Dr. Brix said this past weekend she believes the CDC is over-reporting deaths by 25%. New York and Pennsylvania admit to over-counting by 100%. This means even “experts” don’t know how many Americans have died from COVID, which renders any conclusion Fauci makes an opinion based on his opinion of how worthless CDC data is used.

The government pays doctors and hospitals $39,000 to report a death as COVID related, even if it’s not. Given the ethical ambiguity of the healthcare industry, does anyone believe over-counting is not happening? In 2017, 80,000 Americans died from flu. The CDC says the annual average number of flu deaths in America is 56,000. This year, the CDC is not counting flu deaths, choosing instead to label all respiratory deaths as COVID.

To date the over-counted CDC reported number of COVID deaths in the U. S. is 81,805. With the Facui/Brix over/under estimates, the actual number of COVID deaths is likely somewhere in the range of 61,354 to 102,354. However, when we subtract out the probable flu deaths the range reduces to 4,354 to 46,354 likely COVID deaths. When you factor in the financial incentive to falsely count deaths as COVID, we can conclude the number of actual COVID deaths is likely skewed toward the lower end of the range. To avoid argument, we can settle on the mid-range of actual COVID deaths being ~26,000. This is less than half of what we’d expect in a normal flu season and one-third of the deaths experienced in the 2017 flu season.

Can you remind me how many days schools were canceled in 2017 because of fear kids would get the flu? Was the World Series played to an empty stadium last year because people were locked down in their homes due to high flu deaths? Has the economy been shut down every year since forever to protect workers from respiratory infection? Senator Paul was right, the crisis was an overreaction and Fauci’s opinion based on his fallacious facts should be discounted. What we need is scientist driving his science-based discussion.

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