April 3, 2020

Yesterday, I wrote about the pressing need for data --- not the long-term data some medical researchers insist on seeing before they advise us to start returning to some semblance of normal, but what we can learn NOW to help us know how to respond. Today, we have more of that.

Of course, we have this piece of data to consider: 6.6 million unemployment claims. In a flash, we’ve gone from virtually full employment in the last year of Trump’s first term to this staggering statistic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, coming from the point of view of a researcher, has said the fight will continue until there is absolutely no new case of COVID-19; of course, he’s looking ahead to a vaccine. Well, a vaccine will be just super, but a proven-safe and effective vaccine for the population at large could be 12 to 18 months away –- though one trial with mice at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is already looking promising –- and we cannot shut America down that long. We can’t shut America down for 12 to 18 more WEEKS. So let’s look at what we can reasonably do in the meantime.

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Alex Berenson, a former NEW YORK TIMES reporter who has been looking hard at available numbers, said as a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show Thursday that the computer models predicting apocalyptic effects of this virus in terms of serious illness and death are turning out to be wildly wrong. “In some cases,” Berenson said, “these epidemiological models are extremely new. They’ve gone extremely ‘south’ in a matter of days." He’s daring to ask if there might be some other strategy that would do just as well and might be less damaging to the economy. “We’ve done it [put millions out of work] on the basis of models that don’t seem to line up with reality in real time.”

He cited the University of Washington model, “which was created and released only a week ago.” In other words, its accuracy has never been tested. It predicted that as of now, about 50,000 people in the state of New York would be hospitalized with COVID-19. The real number is about 12-13,000. It’s as I said yesterday, these models really have no predictive value. Garbage in, garbage out.

Berenson contrasted this with the prediction of another model, from the Oregon state government, that was revised on Monday to show that “if Oregon did nothing, ended the lockdown...there would be 90 people in ICU beds at the beginning of May...If the lockdown continued, there would be 30 people.” And so the question becomes, are we going to lock the state of Oregon down, with all the societal disruption that will cause? He’s concerned about other serious problems such as escalating domestic abuse and other deaths, by suicide.

"Do these massive lockdowns make sense,” he asks, “when we can’t even necessarily figure out how they’re working?”

For a case study in how a less-strict approach to containing the virus would work, we can look at Sweden. (Surprising, isn’t it, that a safety-net country like Sweden would decide to take their chances?) People are being trusted to take basic precautions –- keep a distance, wash hands, etc. –- and use their own judgment on the rest. They didn’t take what they consider drastic measures such as closing all schools (they did close high schools and universities) and restaurants. Gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, but many are choosing to avoid crowds and work from home if they can. Only people over age 70 are specifically being asked to stay isolated.

Sweden’s death rate from coronavirus has been compared to that caused by “a bad winter flu.” Out of a population of 10 million, 308 have died according to Johns Hopkins University. Of course, Swedish society has some differences that might contribute to the relatively low number; for example, many more people in Sweden live alone, so it’s easier to isolate. Still, this gives us something to think about as we contemplate months of a shut-down economy.

It seems to me that the only way a “lockdown” is even feasible for more than a few more weeks is if there could just be a “pause” button everyone could hit. No one pays anyone. Your business doesn’t pay the rent, say, and the mortgage-holder on the building doesn’t pay the bank, either. It would be like a “holiday” for everyone up and down the line. (This might leave the huge financial institutions holding the bag, but considering how they cleaned up during the bailouts of 2008-2009, it’s hard to cry too much.) Of course, this sort of cooperative effort has never happened; Melissa Francis of FOX BUSINESS NEWS actually brought up the possibility of doing it but noted that it would take “the best financial minds” to figure out exactly how it could be achieved.

Barring something like that, it’s hard to imagine how we can keep so much activity shut down. And some of the rules are getting downright crazy. As I reported yesterday, the state of Vermont has put in place new rules that “non-essential” items can’t be bought in big-box stories, even by people who are already there to buy essentials. This is reportedly happening in some other states as well, such as Massachusetts. (If social media reports are correct, even vegetable seeds can’t be sold --- at a time when people are trying to stay home and be more self-sufficient --- because the garden section is considered “non-essential.”)

The idea is to discourage “wandering” in the store. This is idiocy. It’s definitely the leftist mindset at work: the reflexive micromanaging of every aspect of life.

Some other bureaucratic restrictions absolutely defy common sense. For example, in New York, at least at this writing, a patient can’t be prescribed hydroxychloroquine without being admitted to a hospital. Again, insanity. I understand that the intention is to make sure patients with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can still get their medication. But New York hospitals are reportedly overwhelmed; if a coronavirus patient can be helped without going to one, it needs to happen. (Plus, it's better to get the treatment before becoming that sick.) Doctors around the world are increasingly using the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combination drug therapy with good results.

It’s downright criminal that people might be denied such a promising treatment, for whatever reason. One reason, of course, is shameless politics, with some like the WASHINGTON POST accusing the President of offering “false hope” and peddling “snake oil.” But the President has been right. Some in the anti-Trump media have finally, reluctantly, had to admit that there’s something to it.

If we’re going to survive this mess and get back on track, it won’t be through months of government-imposed quarantine but through identifying those who have immunity --- the definitive antibody test is reportedly 1-2 weeks away --- and the quick, effective treatment of those who contract the virus. This drug therapy, if given early enough, seems to be doing a very effective job of keeping people off ventilators (and only about half of patients, once they’re put on a ventilator, will recover). As has been said, you go to war with the army you have. So praise the Lord and pass the hydroxychloroquine.

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Comments 1-25 of 162

  • louis zachman

    04/17/2020 12:18 PM

    This is not necessarily about the virus but more about the checks from the IRS. I did file taxes in 2018 but had to pay therefore did not supply my bank info. Now I can supply them with my bank info so I can get direct deposit but have been all over their website and cannot find the right "portal" to insert the information. What am I supposed to do now??? Please help Mike. I know you haven't read any of my comments yet but I hope you read this one . Help Mike!

  • Dena Wayman

    04/07/2020 12:46 AM

    I wrote a great patriotic song for America!
    Titled: "This American Can!"
    Need a C W singer to sing it
    And you know of one ore two! Right?
    Thank you so much!

  • Mary E. Stewart

    04/05/2020 09:24 AM

    I just love reading your stuff! You always are shirt - to the point and throw in some wit to put a smile on my face! Great job!

  • Ted huckabee

    04/05/2020 08:08 AM

    My wife and I live in the country where the risk of contracting the virus is much lower than for those who are city dwellers, and have to work much harder at dodging the bullet. Never the less, we are practicing social distancing, and the use of disposable gloves and sanitizing wipes for collecting our mail or delivered packages as if we were in town. I don’t know what the comparison of the two lifestyles are as far as the numbers are concerned, but I believe that if we are to start making progress we all must get more serious about social distancing. My wife and I are surprised when we make a necessary trip to town at the number of people who don’t seem to be taking the matter seriously enough. Thanks

  • Jerry Jensen

    04/04/2020 11:51 PM

    I agree completely. Here in CA we are shutting down activities that have no effect on transmission of the virus.

  • Kathy Thornbrough

    04/04/2020 08:07 PM

    Many people and many businesses throughout the country are doing their part to stop the spread of the virus. I'm all for us continuing to be cautious, but I'm also ready for our people to get back to work. I was bemoaning to my son one day that I felt so badly for President Trump because he built such a strong economy only to have it wiped out by this virus. His response was, if President Trump had not strengthened our economy we would be in a whole lot worse shape at this point.

  • Deborah Mulholand

    04/04/2020 03:15 PM

    Why are we letting pharmaceutical companies hold the nation hostage when inexpensive, safe, Vitamin C in high enough quantities has been helping people get over colds, flu, pneumonia and cancer for thousands, if not millions, of Americans for decades?

    Many of us who have osteopathic, naturopathic doctors, have been waking up with sore throats or ear aches, popping 2-8 Vitamin C tablets, and going right back to sleep for the night with no problem.

    Many of us know from practical experience that it’s possible to take enough Vitamin C that we no longer get colds, and if we do, the sneezing and coughing go away within minutes or hours, instead of days!

    Andrew Saul and Steve Hickey shared Dr. Linus Pauling’s work on Vitamin C in their book below. Dr. Linus Pauling was a 2 Time Nobel Prize Winner and a world renowned chemist who shared his expertise in the 2nd book below.

    We should get those IV Vitamin C drips going in Ohio and America and get everyone back to work!

    <a href=“”>Vitamin C: The Real Story</a>

    <a href=“”>How to Live Longer and Feel Better</a>

  • Cynthia Pacheco

    04/04/2020 12:33 PM

    So, let everyone go back to work! We don’t stop the world for the flu.

  • Steven Warren

    04/04/2020 08:32 AM

    I think this is helping people go back to depending on themselves instead of the government. Some good a lot of good will come from this. We are learning how spoiled we are. We need to shape up. We need a little humility.

  • Bill Codner

    04/04/2020 08:09 AM

    Fear is our greatest enemy. Im 74 years old and I cannot understand this Fauci approach. At the rate we are going, the virus will end up being the least of our worries.

  • Thomas R Sprenger

    04/04/2020 06:29 AM

    People will and are developing "cabin fever" by following stay at home recommendations. I am inclined to believe in hydroxychloroquine as a method of prevention. I finished medical school in 1956 and am a retired Army National Guard General. Take some hydroxychloroquine and I will see you in one of the better restaurants.

  • R Reedy

    04/04/2020 01:09 AM

    Centivax, working on a COVID-19 Cure, was discussed on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show.
    Help support us as we race to engineer our antibodies against COVID-19. This money will be used to scale production into GMP manufacturing and clinical trials as well as to bolster strategic partnerships and hires. We are also actively looking for all and any financial, GMP, clinical, and strategic support in addition to our military partnerships for our COVID-19 program and appreciate any suggestions. Thank you, and please contact [email protected] with any questions or comments! (Disclaimer: Centivax is a for-profit corporation and this is neither a charitable donation nor equity crowdfunding.)

  • Patsy Prothro

    04/04/2020 12:33 AM

    I was taking this medication for Lupus. I can no longer get it! I was told there was a shortage! Can’t understand this when it is cheaply made! They should have it for everyone who needs it! I’m sure I will be fine, however that is not for the government to say! I know other people who take the medicine and they can’t get theirs either!

  • Melinda Meahan

    04/04/2020 12:09 AM

    Your last sentence made me look up the song that it is a parody of, and the second verse of that song is as relevant as the first. I'm copying the first two verses here because many people might not know the song:

    Verse 1: Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition,
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition,
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition,
    And we'll all stay free!

    Verse 2:
    Praise the Lord and swing into position,
    Can't afford to be a politician,
    Praise the Lord, we're all between perdition,
    And the deep blue sea.


    04/03/2020 10:50 PM

    Being in my eighties, I'm pretty much following the stay at home and stay safe policy. I have gone out to by the things we need but try to shop when the crowds are the least. I see workers doing their jobs but there are a lot less of them because of the drastic measures taken to keep this virus under control and keep people away. the news media in general is not much help because the negative Is so much more than the positive. cooperation and helpfulness are the real American way and is sadly missing by many. we are still fortunate enough to have great minds and leadership at work and I believe this will,put us back on track quickly. GOD BLESS AMERICA !!

  • Kelly Lindner

    04/03/2020 10:36 PM

    Thank you so much for your wonderful articles. You are so smart and sensible and a good man. God bless you

  • Debra Schmidt

    04/03/2020 09:58 PM

    Thank you for addressing data, Sweden and other options. I am shocked at the Vermont store rules! I am worried about the abuse of power that is beginning to happen in little towns, etc.

  • Janis Tobin

    04/03/2020 09:57 PM

    California has "flattened" it's curve. Did the coronavirus show up in December and January and then leave? If so, then the rest of our country is right behind them. Dr. Fauci should not be determining U.S. policy. I hope President Trump leans less on the "experts" (who have been wrong about all of this from day one) and get our economy rolling again! People need to go back to work. The "hotspots" in New York, Louisiana, Connecticut, Florida, etc. could be restricted in some activities. We now have a treatment in place; medical supplies are becoming plentiful; hospitals have enough beds; there are enough medical in the very near future, we need to get America back to working again.

  • Yvonne Carson

    04/03/2020 09:54 PM

    The Bureaucratic solutions are taking away freedom and making us slaves to the government largess. Some of it is great, to help those who through no fault have lost wages, etc. But we need to be wary of some of the over-control. Not able to buy SEEDS??!! On the hydroxychloroquine, that is a prescription medication that does lower immunity and HAS to be under a doctor's direction to be safe. One can't just decide how much and when to take it--I am a retired nurse and understand that aspect on that issue. Everybody stay safe and follow medical guidelines while anticipating the freeing up of our society and economy again. The government agents need to quit using this pandemic for personal/political gain and power-grabbing!

  • William Fuhrer

    04/03/2020 09:38 PM


  • Lori Olson

    04/03/2020 09:01 PM

    I agree that we need to stop putting so much emphasis on the models. We can’t stay locked up for as long as the doctors want. We need alternatives and quickly. There will be so many “side effects” to shutting down the economy that the scientists don’t take into account because it’s not data. Actually kind of tired of hearing the word data. I like Dana Perino’s suggestion of starting another task force (now!) that would be focused on the transition period to open up the economy and everyone’s lives. We know life won’t be the same, but doing something is better than nothing.

  • Carol J Mathews

    04/03/2020 08:40 PM

    We lose 10 times more each year to the plain flu than has been lost to the Covid 19. Granted it Covid 19 seems to be much more contagious and spreads more rapidly, it seems, but there needs to be a commission to study how the healthy, recovered or even immune can return to work. Limit the number of people in a restaurant or store and insist on the 6 foot distancing. If people refuse to follow the distancing rules, they could be sent home or ask to leave. Most stores have the floor marked off in 6 ft increments and at our Costco, employees were standing in the lines and telling people to stand on the white lines and move forward when the person in front moves to the next line. If told they can work by following the rules, or else sent home, think people would rather work. The rules are very simple; distancing, washing hands and if necessary we can all wear a cloth mask and gloves but get America back to work again. I am elderly so not affected buy my children are becoming more anxious even with business lessening the bill schedules. Stress is a real factor with consequences.

  • Ann Marie Boehlert

    04/03/2020 08:22 PM

    We cannot wait at home on pins and needles for a year to a year and a half while researchers do their jobs. The rest of us won't have any jobs to return to with that time frame. A drug combo of two drugs that have been tested, vetted, approved, produced, and used for years SHOULD NOT be looked at like it is a tremendous leap to grasp onto some invisible trapeze!!! Rather, let people suffer unnecessarily and in some case die because the United States medical researchers didn't come up with the idea first.
    Then of course, there is the aftermath of this pandemic...exactly when did it start...why didn't China say and do something in November 2019?...oh yeah, Wuhan has a biomedical research lab...can you say collusion...I'll leave you to fill in the names of those plaers.

  • De Ette Moon

    04/03/2020 08:21 PM

    CORONA 2020
    This was on Facebook, from my daughter Steffi, who is a nurse. VERY HELPFUL
    CORONA 19 - very sound information
    The following is from Irene Ken, physician, whose daughter is an Asst. infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University.Quite informative. Maybe the best information I've seen to date.
    * The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code. (mutation) and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells.
    * Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.
    * The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That is why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam CUTS the FAT (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam).
    By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own
    * HEAT melts fat; this is why it is so good to use water above 77 degrees Fahrenheit for washing hands, clothes and everything. In addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful.
    Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.
    * Any mix with 1 part bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaks it down from the inside.
    * Oxygenated water helps long after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein, but you have to use it pure and it hurts your skin.
    * NO BACTERICIDE OR ANTIBIOTIC SERVES. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive.
    * NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or cloth. While it is glued to a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates only
    -between 3 hours (fabric and porous),
    -4 hours (copper and wood)
    -24 hours (cardboard),
    - 42 hours (metal) and
    -72 hours (plastic).
    But if you shake it or use a feather duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours, and can lodge in your nose.
    * The virus molecules remain very stable in external cold, or artificial as air conditioners in houses and cars.
    They also need moisture to stay stable, and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it faster.
    * UV LIGHT on any object that may contain it breaks down the virus protein. For example, to disinfect and reuse a mask is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin.
    * The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.
    * Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.
    * NO SPIRITS, NOR VODKA, work. The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol, and you need 65%.
    * LISTERINE IF IT WORKS! It is 65% alcohol
    * The more confined the space, the more concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.
    * You have to wash your hands before and after touching mucosa, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. And when using the bathroom.
    * You have to Moisturize dry hands from so much washing them, because the molecules can hide in the micro cracks. The thicker the moisturizer, the better.
    * Also keep your NAILS SHORT so that the virus does not hide there.
    -John Hopkins

  • Hauskins

    04/03/2020 08:10 PM

    I can't figure out why people can determine what is essential and non essential. We have kids at home that need entertainment along with lessons and I need to not go bonkers and do puzzles. Are they essential? Today. Yes