Sunday, September 27, 2020

Survival rates for COVID-19

The CDC last week posted its new estimate of the survival rates for COVID-19, broken up by age.

This link put those number in clear terms:

0-19 years: 99.997%
20-49 years: 99.98%
50-69 years: 99.5%
70+ years: 94.6%

Those numbers are practically identical to those of the flu. In other words, practically no one dies from it. It makes some people sick for a week or so, and then goes away.

And we have destroyed western civilization over this. It boggles the mind (for those who are still using it).

The worst part is that no one will believe me. Instead, too many will be outraged that anyone would even hint that this virus is not the plague.



Just 1% of US Counties Have Had Nearly Half of All COVID-19 Deaths

As Heritage Foundation researchers have demonstrated throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. has been heavily concentrated in a small number of states—and among a small number of counties within those states.

As our research has pointed out, state-level figures do not adequately describe the concentrated nature of the spread of COVID-19.

Moreover, even though the U.S. saw a rapid rise in cases during the summer, the overall levels of concentration have remained fairly consistent.

For instance, as of Sept. 15, the 30 counties with the most COVID-19 deaths accounted for 26% of all the cases in the U.S. and 40% of all deaths, much greater than those counties’ share of the population (18.4%). That is, just 1% of the counties in the U.S., representing just over 18% of the population, are responsible for almost half of the country’s COVID-19 deaths.

The Heritage Foundation’s newest interactive graphic allows individuals to see more detail on these concentrations among the counties with the most deaths as well as those with the fewest.

For instance, the graphic allows users to select data from the five counties with the most deaths, all the way up to the 50 counties with the most deaths. It also allows visitors to select data from counties with no deaths, all the way up to counties with 10 or fewer.

Once a category is selected, the graphic provides the percentage of counties represented by that category, the percentage of the population contained in those counties, and the percentage of all U.S. COVID-19 deaths in those counties.

For example, as of Sept. 15, 60.6% of all counties are reporting 10 or fewer deaths. These counties represent 13.1% of the population, and account for only 2.7% of total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

In contrast, the five counties with the most COVID-19 deaths represent just 0.2% of all counties, but they account for 16% of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., nearly three times their population share of 6.5%.

A list of the 50 counties with the most deaths is also provided, and that list has not changed very much since April. New York, for instance, recorded 32,745 deaths as of Sept. 15.

In fact, New York City has exerted an outsized influence on the national COVID-19-related death rate. Removing New York City’s deaths moves the U.S. from eighth place in the world in deaths per million to 13th place.

The New York City metropolitan statistical area even has an outsized influence on the overall statistics for the state of New York.

Removing counties in the New York City metropolitan statistical area from the state’s totals drops the death rate for New York state to 348 per million, nearly 80% lower than the state’s rate when the New York City metropolitan statistical area is included (1,674).

That’s well below the national average and would move New York state from second place to 23rd place in deaths per million.

The same exercise with COVID-19 cases in the New York City area has a similar effect on the state’s totals.

Specifically, when withholding the New York City metropolitan statistical area cases, the overall case rate for New York state plummets by 71% (from 22,065 to 6,505), a level that is well below the national average.

Removing the New York City metropolitan statistical area moves the state of New York from sixth in case rate among U.S. states to 42nd place.

As new Heritage Foundation research shows, as of Aug. 22, the death rate of 2,196 per million residents recorded in the New York City metropolitan statistical area is almost twice that of its nearest rival, Detroit, at 1,177.

Furthermore, the gap between New York City’s COVID-19-related death rate and those of cities that have experienced more recent outbreaks is even more pronounced. The New York City metropolitan statistical area’s death rate is more than triple those of Phoenix and Miami—two cities that have recorded higher rates of infection than New York. It is four and a half times that of Los Angeles and nearly six times that of Houston.

Now that COVID-19 testing has increased dramatically and many state and local governments have relaxed stay-at-home orders, it’s even more critical to study the trends in deaths along with cases.

To make studying these trends easier, The Heritage Foundation now has two interactive COVID-19 trackers. One tracks trends in cases; the other tracks trends in deaths.

The trackers describe whether the trend of cases—or deaths—is increasing or decreasing over the prior 14 days, and provides a visual depiction of new cases—or deaths—during that time period.

These tools help put the concentrated nature of the pandemic in perspective with county-level data. They show just how difficult it can be to use only one metric to gauge whether a county—or state—is doing well.



FBI finds mail-in ballots discarded in Pennsylvania. All of them were cast for President Trump

HARRISBURG – On Monday, September 21, 2020, at the request of Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, the Office of the United States Attorney along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Scranton Resident Office, began an inquiry into reports of potential issues with a small number of mail-in ballots at the Luzerne County Board of Elections.

Since Monday, FBI personnel working together with the Pennsylvania State Police have conducted numerous interviews and recovered and reviewed certain physical evidence. Election officials in Luzerne County have been cooperative. At this point we can confirm that a small number of military ballots were discarded. Investigators have recovered nine ballots at this time. Some of those ballots can be attributed to specific voters and some cannot. All nine ballots were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Our inquiry remains ongoing and we expect later today to share our up to date findings with officials in Luzerne County. It is the vital duty of government to ensure that every properly cast vote is counted.



Making Mail-in Ballots ‘Secure’

Although more deeply at odds than at any time since the Civil War, both sides of our fractious nation’s political divide seem to agree on this: the 2020 federal elections are the most consequential of our lifetimes. Voters are being asked to decide nothing less than whether they want to “fundamentally change” America, or to keep America fundamentally American.

If the franchise is so very precious, if voting is a “sacred” right, then government must do everything it can to protect the integrity of our elections. But government has been failing in that solemn duty. Yes, the states spend a bunch of money and go through the motions on voter registration, but they never go to the heart of the matter when establishing the identity of each voter.

The claim that there is no evidence of fraud in America’s elections needs much more scrutiny. The reason that some, like the “experts” at the Brennan Center, contend that there’s “no evidence” for widespread election fraud is because it’s a debate tactic, an attempt to put those who make the opposite claim in the position of having to disprove the experts’ claim. But two can play that game, for there is “no evidence” that election fraud does not occur, and that each ballot was freely cast by an eligible voter who voted only once. Why is evidence expected for one claim but not for its opposite?

We know that election fraud occurs because people have been convicted of it. So when apologists for the current systems say that there’s “no evidence” that such fraud is widespread, they should be required to put a number on it. But they can’t, because with our current election systems fraud can be undetectable.

Unless fraud is detectable, it’s crazy to talk about there being “no evidence” for it. Even with in-person voting, election fraud can be pretty much undetectable. If an ineligible person, like an illegal alien, can just get on a voter registry, there’s little to stop him from voting. (Check out this August 29 article by Jon Levine at the New York Post on fraud with mail-in ballots.)

Suspicion of fraud and thoughts of stolen elections are corrosive. Since an election can be decided by a single vote, no fraud whatsoever should be tolerated. So those who contend that election fraud isn’t a problem need to be able to show the means by which the states detect fraud.

It’s doubtful that mail-in voting could ever be as secure as in-person voting. Even so, mail-in voting can be made more secure. Recently, this writer wrote that the inclusion on the ballot of a single piece of information, the SSN, would help government to ensure election integrity. Indeed, with the SSN on the ballot, fraud becomes detectable. Without a valid SSN that is on file with the feds, a ballot could be rejected. By requiring the SSN, elections could be flooded with more ballots than there are U.S. voters and the true winners could still be known. We’d even be able to detect double voting.

But with our current methods of doing mail-in voting, fraud is much more likely than with in-person voting, and much more undetectable. For instance, how can one know that a mail-in ballot was used by the person to whom it was mailed and not by someone else, like some “ballot harvester”?

With our current methods, whether or not one’s mail-in votes are deemed legitimate and are added to the counts can depend on the subjective judgment of whether or not a signature is legitimate. This would be less of a problem if mail-in ballots had to be notarized by a notary public. This June 1 article at NPR treats the states’ notarization and witness requirements and it includes an interesting map. The map shows that the states have several ways to verify ballots. Congress should require the states to abide by a single standard when conducting their elections for federal office.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is running a series called “Voting Outside the Polling Place,” or VOPP. But the NCSL’s search page for “VOPP” doesn’t seem to list any studies regarding any notarization and witnessing standards for mail-in ballots held by the states, (perhaps you can find them).

However, when one looks at “Signature and witness requirements” in the Ballotpedia entry for “Absentee/mail-in voting,” one sees that the vast majority of the states have no requirement for notarization, nor do they even require a witness. The only states that have any such requirements are the Red States of Alabama, Alaska, Missouri, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.

Immediately after the section on signature and witness requirements, we come to this: “Temporary modifications to absentee/mail-in voting procedures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.” And what we see is that requirements are being modified (waived, actually) for the 2020 elections. Of special interest are the modifications in Oklahoma: “On May 7, 2020, Governor Kevin Stitt (R) signed SB210 into law, reinstating the absentee ballot notarization requirement struck down by the state supreme court on May 4, 2020.” (When it comes to voting, Oklahoma seems to be more rigorous than the other states, see SB 210).

There seems to be a media blackout of Joe Biden’s cognitive decline. Yet, early voting has already begun, and we haven’t even had the first debate. I doubt that Biden voters availing themselves of the early voting option will be allowed to change their early votes if they’re horrified by Biden’s debate performances.

When one puts early voting together with the way the states are doing mail-in voting, one might think that the 2020 elections really should begin again. If we were to start over and send out mail-in ballots again, the voter should be required to enter his SSN on his ballot. The gist of this was laid out in my last article and it’s pretty simple. My solution assumes that there will be voter fraud, but it provides a way to detect and correct it.

Because it’s dysfunctional, it’s doubtful that Congress can get itself to do anything about this insecure election coming up. Besides, Democrats think it perfectly fine to allow fraudsters to decide the character of our nation and her future.

Left-wing “activists” are threatening violence if President Trump nominates a replacement for Justice Ginsburg. But the uncertainty that mail-in voting has put our elections makes it more likely that candidates will be headed to court, just as in 2000. Having the full complement of nine justices, with its impossibility of a 4-4 tie vote, is essential for achieving a definitive decision by the high court. America may need a new Supreme Court justice just to decide the election.

America is conducting a supremely consequential election with election systems that are wide open to fraud. If that be so, then we need to do nothing less than restart this election with a single secure new system that all the states must use. Yes, early voters would need to vote again. But if the authorities cannot give confidence to the electorate by demonstrating and proving that the vote counts are correct and legitimate, then we can expect continued chaos in the streets.



For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Personal). My annual picture page is here. Home page supplement


No comments: