COVID Update: Positive Trend, More Insanity

Some people look at stock market numbers to determine trends and where to invest. You can make a lot of money making predictions from the numbers. There are even mathematical theories which can be applied to this kind of analysis. I’ve been looking daily at the COVID numbers to see what trends are developing and what it means for the future. I don’t come at this from a medical or infectious disease perspective, but the numbers can tell us a lot even if we are not experts in the thing being measured.

The trend developing now is a decline in U.S. COVID cases. COVID cases declined for two months between January 11 and March 13 and then cases rose for a month, but in the last four days, since Wednesday, April 14, we are seeing a decline once again. In my post from Friday, (COVID Numbers – Who is Telling it Straight? – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com)) I explained that the rise in the last month has been modest and nothing like the rise seen during three COVID waves experienced in 2020. The media, of course, tells us any rise in numbers means we are heading the wrong direction and we all need to run in circles and scream and shout. I wonder how long it will before the media mentions declining cases, and whether they find some other negative data point to focus on instead.

There are days when the 7-day moving average moves in the opposite direction of the current trend, but four days in a row of falling numbers with the average dropping 500 to 1,000 daily tells me we are on the verge of another turnaround. Cases are generally rising or falling for extended periods: they rose for four straight months starting in early October, then fell two straight months, rose for another month, and now we are in another transition period. Note that holidays are exceptions; we often see a reversal in trends for a week or so because the numbers reported go down due to office closures and the like, but then the prevailing trend continues the following week (you can clearly see this for Thanksgiving and Christmas below)

Notice the slope of the recent increase is much less than earlier increases, and if you look carefully, you can see the curve starting to bend down again; that trend should become more pronounced in another week. I was expecting this drop because the U.S. vaccine numbers are stellar and we are following in the path of the U.K. and Israel who have seen dramatic declines in the last month or two. I wasn’t sure when it would come, but it appears it may be here now. There’s no going back once the decline picks up. This bend down could be fool’s gold, but cases are clearly not rocketing upward either.

Once the trend takes hold it usually lasts for a good while. I expect this decline will soon pick up speed. After all, what pressure is there to move the needle back up? Will easing of restrictions and the elimination of mask mandates drive numbers back up? In my post from April 2 (COVID – Is the End Near? – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com)), I demonstrated that cases and deaths actually declined for four weeks following the elimination of mask mandates in Texas and Mississippi (and have continued to decline in the two weeks since). The warm weather combined with the continued vaccine rollout and the natural ebb and flow of virus outbreaks are all working in our favor at the moment.

Even in Michigan, which led the latest surge, case averages are dropping again. Are we going to see the toothpaste ooze out at some other spot in the country now? If so, when and where? In California, which has led the nation in COVID deaths for the last several months, we are still seeing significant a decline. In late January, California was averaging 570 deaths per day. As of Sunday, April 18, that number is down to 85. Likewise, New York has seen deaths fall from 206 per day two months ago to 66 per day; Texas has seen deaths fall from 231 per day down to 54 in the last six weeks. What’s the impetus to reverse the trends in these states? I think we are closer than ever now to the end of COVID in the U.S.

But What Does Dr. Fauci Think of all This?

Dr. Fauci is befuddled about why Texas is doing so well after lifting its mask mandate. Fauci ‘not sure’ why Texas doesn’t have COVID uptick after nixing masks (nypost.com) News flash to Dr. Fauci: the big decline in Texas coincided almost exactly with the time the mask mandate was lifted. Tell me again how masks are effective? Tell me again how Texas sacrificed lives by not following the science? Tell me why I should listen to Dr. Fauci?

Let’s go back once more into the way back machine. Last May, Dr. Fauci insisted that masks were not needed (here’s the evidence: Video: Dr. Fauci Explains Why Face Masks Aren’t Necessary (sandrarose.com)

Last weekend, he was asked to explain his inconsistent position once again in an interview on MSNBC. It was the one tough question he received in a 12 minute interview. Check out his response around the 8:30 mark:

https://www.msnbc.com/mehdi-on-msnbc/watch/dr-fauci-on-the-latest-u-s-covid-19-response-110033989845

Dr. Fauci clearly says in this interview in April 2021: “There was no evidence at the time that masks outside of the setting of the hospital worked”. What he does not say in this interview is what evidence has been provided since to show that they work. Here is a simple follow up question that this anchor doesn’t ask:

  • What changed, Dr. Fauci? After decades as the NIAID director and more than 50 years as an MD, you found no evidence that masks work. Yet, in a period of few weeks between April and May of last year, you suddenly discovered never-seen-before evidence that masks do work and they are our most effective panacea against COVID. What is the evidence you found, Dr. Fauci? Why has this evidence not been more prominently highlighted?

Dr. Fauci is admitting masks don’t work. He said it last Spring, he reiterated it this past week, and he provided no evidence to the contrary. If this is not the clear evidence the man is a fraud, I don’t know what will convince you. Will Dr. Fauci please submit to being interviewed by someone who will ask tough questions instead of making the rounds with all the Trump-haters at MSNBC, CNN, and the rest of the “one-channel” media? I am not sure the man even realizes he is being used to push a political narrative which says only Democrats “follow the science”.

What else did the good doctor say in this interview?

  • He said it is not safe to eat in a restaurant. In other words, continue to stay in your bubble until he and President House Plant say you may venture out. Don’t visit your grandkids. Don’t go to lunch with your friends. Don’t watch your kids sporting events. Don’t take a vacation or, if you must have a break, be sure to eat all your meals in your hotel room or your car. Live in fear. Don’t live your life until Dr. Fauci tells you differently.
  • He said even after you are vaccinated, continue to wear a mask and act as if you are still at risk. No way, Jose. The vaccine is the end of this. You have lost all credibility and we’re not listening any longer.
  • He said we really don’t know when herd immunity is reached, so again, we need to wait until he says it is safe to go in the water. I will live my life and take his advice with the skepticism it deserves. Watch the numbers with me. They tell the story. They will tell us when herd immunity is reached.
  • The worst of this interview was when the news anchor talked about Trump. The anchor declared the Trump administration was a failure on COVID and that Trump’s policies led to hundred thousands of deaths. Dr. Fauci was part of this administration, but he let this comment stand. It is one of the most unfair charges leveled at the former president, but Dr. Fauci allowed his personal dislike of Trump to prevent him from rebutting it (or perhaps he is afraid he would never be booked by MSNBC again if he contradicted this?). What Fauci did say was that Trump took his advice on some issues and didn’t take his advice on others and that should tell us something. That tells us that Trump listened to Dr. Fauci and listened to contradicting opinions and then made up his own mind. Is that a bad thing? We are creeping up on almost 200,000 deaths since the Biden Administration took over. Would it be fair for me to blame the Biden administration for hundreds of thousands of deaths also? Of course not. It is not true for either administration and this disgusting comment from the MSNBC anchor deserved a response from Dr. Fauci. Dr. Fauci yet again showed the measure of himself with his silence. He could have at least said something about lives saved. The prior administration created the environment for the vaccine to be developed and began the rollout. The current administration has kept it going (it is the one good thing I can say about them). How many lives have been saved because of their efforts? Instead, Fauci had to take sides against Trump and the one-channel media loves him for it, which is the point of the interview.

One positive I took from this interview was Fauci’s response regarding COVID boosters. There was a story circulating that the Pfizer vaccine only is good for six months, but Dr. Fauci put this into a better perspective. Along the same lines, in my last post, I also passed on that my pediatrician stated that the COVID vaccine is likely to last more than a year and that we probably will not need annual boosters as we do with the flu. Dr. Fauci appears to be somewhat in synch with this view (although, like the political animal he has become, he did play both sides with regard to this question as well).

What About the CDC Mask Study Earlier this Year?

Back in February, the CDC published a study on mask wearing, showing a slight benefit obtained from mask wearing, but the rebuttal below shows that slight benefit to be even less than previously stated. Per the rebuttal: The CDC’s conclusion might have made more sense if the real-world evidence we have about mandates did not actually exist. In other words, who cares about your study of what might theoretically happen when we have empirical data that tells us what actually happened?

Here’s the entire article: The CDC’s Mask Mandate Study: Debunked – AIER. There is quite a bit of actual science in it along with real world evidence provided in this article, including this eye-popper:

  • Just look at the data from Jonas F. Ludvigsson that is emerging from Sweden in children 16 years old and under when preschools and schools were kept open and there were no face masks though social distancing was fostered. The result was zero (0) deaths from COVID-19 in 1.95 million Swedish children across the study period. The number of infections was exceedingly low, the number of hospitalizations was exceedingly low, and there were no deaths in children with COVID-19, all this despite not wearing masks due to no schoolwide mask mandate. Is this merely a perfunctory and legally prudent warning by the CDC that “your mileage may vary?” Or is it more like a hot mutual fund telling you that “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” What is the CDC really trying to say about face masks and why so much confusion?  

Last summer, before the start of the past school year, I sent a petition to our governor citing similar facts with regard to COVID and school children. I never received a response because despite what he tells us, he didn’t follow the science. Sweden has vindicated the position we advocated for back then. We were right then and we are still right now.

Dr. Fauci is quoted by his scientific peers in this article as well. Apparently, it’s not just non-scientists like me, who see through the man:

  • In relation to this, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the NIAID created appreciable confusion by initially suggesting and encouraging the use of double masks instead of one. Dr. Fauci then reversed his statements on the use of double masks. Dr. Fauci’s advisories took on a form of double speak which has an appearance of randomness or worse, capriciousness. 

I thought I would get off my mask hobby horse a while ago, but I keep on it because apparently not enough people have figured out that masks aren’t doing much for us. I need to do a retrospective post this summer and provide the mass quantities of evidence which show masks and lockdowns are not effective and have actually done more harm than good.

More Insanity

I have shared previously clips from Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Stanford professor and COVID expert. He has spoken out frequently on COVID and provides common sense advice on the topic, but he does not always follow the approved political narrative, so he, like so many other medical professionals in the past year, has been censored. After all this is over, I need to do another retrospective post on social media censoring of actual scientists who are following the actual science. It’s one of the most disturbing trends we’ve seen in the last year. Here is a rather long interview if you are interested in learning more and hearing from Dr. Bhattacharya himself and how the so-called medical experts at You Tube know better than him:

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya // Coronavirus Censored | WUWE – YouTube

Finally, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has also bucked the political narrative by daring to fully open his state last September, by daring to send kids back to school last Fall, and by daring to eschew a mask mandate, was ambushed by 60 Minutes. DeSantis policies have been proven right by one simple fact alone: Florida, the state with one of the oldest and most vulnerable populations in the entire country, ranks 28th in COVID deaths per capita. He has been too successful for the one-channel media to accept, so they make up stories to discredit him while ignoring the very real scandal plaguing Governor Andrew Cuomo (who lied about nursing home deaths and is being investigated by the New York attorney general). New York still ranks 2nd in deaths per capita, among the highest in the entire world, in fact, but CBS wants to tarnish the success of DeSantis, potential presidential candidate, while giving Cuomo a pass; the story is utterly ridiculous and totally false. DeSantis debunks it in a few minutes and even local Democrat officials in Florida back him up. Our one-channel media can’t have the alternative narrative, whether it be Florida or Sweden or anything the Trump administration did, prove successful. I won’t go into detail on this story, but here is more detail if you want it:

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Governor Ron DeSantis Debunks False, Defamatory and Partisan Attacks by 60 Minutes (flgov.com)

Final Note on Numbers

I noted in my last post that the death average in the U.S. had fallen to 727 per day last Friday, but Saturday the numbers adjusted upward as states “caught up” on their counts from earlier in the week. This does happen from time to time and it makes it a little bit harder to follow the numbers. We ended the week at 741 per day. The trend is still moving downward and I still expect to see the death numbers come down still this week, especially as cases begin to fall.

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