Unpossible, I say!
As of Wednesday (April 8), officials in eight remaining states have yet to issue full stay-at-home orders. Those states are Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Officials in three other states — Alabama, Missouri, and South Carolina — only issued stay-at-home orders within the last few days after being resistant to enacting such a measure in the weeks prior.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that those states, due to their inaction, would reap the consequences in the form of higher COVID-19 death toll projections. But that has not been the case.
According to data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which tracks the coronavirus outbreak in each individual state, predicting its death toll and hospital resource usage, all but one of the states in question have downgraded their death toll projections.
In addition to downgraded death toll projections, the states also saw significant downgrades for their projected hospital resource use, which include intensive care unit beds and ventilators.
The data doesn’t suggest that social distancing as a whole is worthless, or that it isn’t having any effect. But it does raise the question of whether every single state and locality needs to institute the same exact stay-at-home-on-government-orders regime. Many commentators have suggested that such measures might well be necessary in some places, but not necessary in others. The fact that both hospital usage and fatality projections are going down even in states without stay-at-home orders indicates that these people might be right.
I’d say so, yeah. But YMMV—particularly if you’re a Democrat-Socialist apparatchik looking to take advantage of widespread panic to advance your eternal agenda of glomming more power and control while you have the chance. Julie Kelly suggests that it might be time to shitcan the scare-mongers.
Those alarming forecasts were based on a model produced by the University of Washington late last month. Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, assembled a set of graphs to show how COVID-19 would overwhelm the country’s health care system, causing a shortage of hospital beds, intensive care units and ventilators.
Murray also originally calculated that 2,271 people would die on April 15, which would be the peak “death day” in the United States. But that wasn’t the only scary news. Sick people would by dying in the streets and entryways outside of hospitals across the country because no beds would be available.
The Murray model has been fully embraced by the president’s top two health advisors, Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci. The pair presented the doomsday model to President Trump on March 28, which prompted his decision to extend the CDC “social distancing” guidelines until the end of this month. (It bears repeating that the Murray model factored in “full social distancing” such as the shutdown of schools and nonessential businesses as well as stay-at-home orders through the end of May.)
Birx and Fauci also presented Murray’s charts to the White House press corps on March 31. Birx, relying on the model’s most extreme range of total fatalities, warned that upwards of 240,000 people would die of coronavirus in the United States by the beginning of August. The next two weeks, Birx admonished at the time, would be particularly painful. “As sobering as that number is, we need to be prepared for it,” Fauci told the socially distanced reporters in the briefing room. “Is it going to be that much? I hope not.”
But this week’s Pearl Harbor and 9/11 didn’t happen. Widespread death and devastation couldn’t be found.
Aside from two states, the rest of the country escaped terrorist-attack level fatalities this week. Between April 4 and April 9, a little more than 8,000 people in the country reportedly died from COVID-19; more than half of the fatalities occurred in New York and New Jersey. A tragedy no doubt, but certainly not the “hardest and saddest week” for most Americans, as Adams warned.
Only one other state—Michigan—has more than 1,000 recorded deaths so far. Populous states such as California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas have fewer than 500 fatalities. Many states are still in the double-digit range.
Further, the Murray model has been revised dramatically since its publication. An April 2 update predicted more than 93,000 total deaths by August; the April 5 update revised that figure downward to about 82,000. The total number of hospital beds needed dropped drastically between the two updates, from 262,092 beds to 140,823 beds. Predicted demand for ICUs dropped by about 10,000; ventilator demand dropped by nearly 12,000. Some of the model’s state-by-state projections also changed.
Beds and ICUs are aplenty across the country. There are so many ventilators available that we will now supply the machines to other countries in need.
Rather than admit the inherent flaws in the Murray model and confess the doomsday scenarios were completely unwarranted, Fauci, Birx, and Adams are stepping up their demands to keep the country under house arrest while the once-vibrant U.S. economy dives into Depression-era territory.
Curious indeed. Why, it’s almost as if there might be a different agenda at work here than the one they’ve been shrieking about. As if—I dunno, it’s such a crazy, out-there idea I really hate to even think it—as if goobermint bureau-rats and “experts” might possibly be ass-covering, incompetent liars or something.
Ohnononono, that’s just ridiculous. Sorry I mentioned it, folks. Go home, stay home, wait for further instructions from the proper authorities. That is all.
Update! Heard this great old tune on the radio earlier, and it seemed particularly appropriate for a Saturday night house-arrest music selection.