Saturday, October 31, 2020

Typhoid Trump's COVID-19 Death Count Includes 700 Deaths from Rallies and 99,300 New Cases Yesterday

Arlington-National-Cemetery | Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 

The Wall Street Journal reports today that the U.S. suffered 99,300 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. The WSJ notes that this marks a new record high. COVID marches on in the U.S. with its death toll at about 230,000. Fox News reports that number does not count total "excess deaths" suffered in the U.S. which would bring the death toll to 305,000 dead Americans.

Such numbers demand reflection and context. The COVID death toll now amounts to 100 times the number of deaths Osama Bin Laden inflicted on the U.S. on 9/11. The COVID death toll more than doubles the total U.S. deaths from the Viet Nam War, the Korean War and World War I combined. It exceeds U.S. combat deaths in World War II. All this death in only six months.

The U.S. death count per capita now exceeds 70 fatalities per 100,000 people. The U.S. death toll amounts to 6 times the deaths per capita in Germany from COVID, and 10 times the death rate in Greece. Singapore boasts at least as much diversity as the U.S. and its death toll is less than 1/100th of the U.S. per capita death rate. South Korea boasts the same 4-season climate as the U.S. and their death toll per 100,000 stands at less than 1. Taiwan with a total of 7 deaths has a per capita rate that stands at 1/2000th of the U.S. death rate. In the "US political failures have driven COVID-19 morbidity and mortality."

For example, the Trump Administration raised the White Flag on COVID-19 in recent days and pushed the pseudo-science of "Herd Immunity" as its excuse for abject failure to control the contagion. Thus, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows stated in a live interview with CNN that: "We are not going to control the pandemic." 

This finally explains the consistent recklessness of the Trump Administration in hosting super-spreader events, mocking the use of masks, and ignoring its own guidelines for the isolation of Administration personnel infected by COVID. In short, Trump now seeks herd immunity as cover for an out of control pandemic that now rips through our population sowing deaths beyond any war, conflict or terrorist attack.

In fact, a team of Stanford economists just posted a paper demonstrating that Trump rallies leave behind localized spikes in COVID cases and they attribute 700 American deaths to these super-spreader events. Here is the (edited) abstract:

We investigate the effects of large group meetings on the spread of COVID-19 by studying the impact of eighteen Trump campaign rallies. To capture the effects of subsequent contagion within the pertinent communities, our analysis encompasses up to ten post-rally weeks for each event. Our method is based on a collection of regression models, one for each event, that capture the relationships between post-event outcomes and pre-event characteristics, including demographics and the trajectory of COVID-19 cases, in similar counties. [W]e conclude that these eighteen rallies ultimately resulted in more than 30,000 incremental confirmed cases of COVID-19. Applying county-specific post-event death rates, we conclude that the rallies likely led to more than 700 deaths (not necessarily among attendees).

Typhoid Mary only infected 53 persons with Typhoid fever!

I urge all thoughtful Americans to read this study prior to casting a vote for Trump. The reckless disregard of U.S. citizens evinced by the Trump campaign in terms of exposing Americans to more death and disease renders Trump unfit to govern.

More fundamentally, the Typhoid Trump approach to COVID implies millions of deaths and long-term disabilities due to the 156 million cases we will need to reach herd immunity without a vaccine: "A strategy of going for herd immunity from natural infection would lead to a massive death toll—estimates suggests the result could be somewhere between 1 million to 2.5 million dead Americans. The U.S. health system would buckle under the weight of so many hospitalizations and ICU admissions." Only our most vicious enemies could want an American massacre of such a scale!

Very recent research shows the folly of seeking herd immunity before mass vaccination: the COVID anti-bodies fade over time.

Surging COVID cases will also crash the stock market and kill small businesses with all the job losses that follow which explains the massive support of Wall Street for Joe Biden. Herd immunity spells economic devastation.

We simply cannot afford the costs of Trump's herd immunity approach of doing nothing to control this pandemic.


  1. steve, many Americans are fatigued by coronavirus vigilance and although the infection and fatality numbers are stunning, most Americans are still unaffected by the pandemic. how do you respond to those Americans that say "I support the President and if I am infected at a rally, then I will suffer the consequences and fight it off like the President did. Things will be fine"? i have heard this repeatedly by rally attendees in response to the handwringing of Biden supporters over Trump superspreader events.

    1. Steve, it was useful (and nevertheless sad) to see the numbers of deaths be put into perspective. Covid-19 is certainly a major problem that needs to be effectively addressed by the President. Many lives can still be saved. He needs to allow as smooth transition, especially in the Corona Virus task force because numbers are certainly catastrophic. The US leads with 14, 570, 523 in total number of cases. According to the World Health Organization there have been 67,210,778 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, of which 1,540,777 have resulted in death.

      To follow up on professor cummings question, I would ask the skeptic followers if they (and those around them) have insurance, or the means to pay for a high level of care such as the one given to President Trump at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center??? Specially given the likelihood of having uninsured relatives given the high number of uninsured people (27.5 million reported by in 2018). As revealed by Business Insider, Trumps treatment was over $650,000. In addition to Coronavirus treatment being cost prohibitive for the average American, Trumps care included having access to medication that has not yet been approved and distributed by the FDA. Obviously this is to be expected because after all he is the President. But what is not expected is that the President fails to apply the correct health standards.
      Wearing a mask is a simple health principle that has been used since the bubonic plague (1656). Doctors have used masks for centuries to protect themselves and their patients.
      Therefore, my question is since when is wearing a mask a political issue and not a health issue?
      I grew up watching both of my parents wearing masks when treating patients, and I do not think we ever thought that was governmental intrusion.
      Another very important concern you raised in your article is leaders diminishing the value of science, and not because we should not question science, as it has often been proven wrong, but as some leaders are by no means experts in the field. Unfortunately, the peril of passive leaders who push pseudo-science is not only felt in the US, but in Mexico as well, as President Obrador for instance urged citizens to carry a religious stamp to keep Corona away.
      **As a female, I think it is interesting to note that the world leaders who have best dealt with the Corona Virus are women. (

  2. p.s. steve, what are we to make of wall street's overwhelming contribution support for biden over trump ($74 mil to biden - $16 mil to trump)? does that indicate the biden will be soft on wall street regulation if he were to be elected president?

  3. Fatigue? Like when did fatigue get in the way of saving American lives? When did our soldiers say they were fatigued? On Omaha Beach? Okinawa? Honestly I do not think fatigue allows us to sacrifice our co-citizens. I am shocked you think we can sacrifice thousands of Americans because we are fatigued. That is not fatigue it is cowardice.

    1. It's funny that you mention this, in conversation with someone, I was comparing the laziness of not wearing a mask to help save people's lives as the equivalent of soldiers saying "I can't sleep in a tent, I need a hotel, the sleeping bag is just not comfortable." Instead the conversation has been about tough people aren't afraid of COVID-19 and don't need to wear a mask, when in actuality it's the complete opposite. It's the weak minded that can't wear a mask when they are around people, because it makes them slightly uncomfortable, despite the mask protecting others more so than the wearer. Thanks, Brittaney Akel

    2. This administration's approach to Covid-19 should not be shocking to anyone. From the beginning, this administration (and those who voted for it), rejected experts. A vote for this administration was a vote for a political outsider who would run this country like a business. Trump's promise to "drain the swamp" was a pledge to reject Washington's learned leaders, policies and procedures. For this, he won enough votes to hand him the presidency, and four years later, has cost more than 250,000 people their lives.

      Tom Nichols predicted our country's fate in his 2017 Foreign Affairs article "How America Lost Faith in Expertise." He says that Americans "prosper because we specialize, developing formal and informal mechanisms [. . .] that allow us to trust one another in those specializations and gain the collective benefit of our individual expertise. If that trust dissipates, eventually both democracy and expertise will be fatally corrupted, because neither democratic leaders nor their expert advisers want to tangle with an ignorant electorate."

      Unfortunately, we are right where Mr. Nichols said we would be: America divided by racial, economic, and political tumult facing a deadly pandemic.
      The current attitude towards science, reason, and expertise cannot and must not continue. A debate should not exist about the deadliness of this virus because we can all see hospitals scrambling to provide care for the sick. A debate should not exist about the effectiveness of a mask because scientists have vocalized that worn correctly and socially distanced, it is more effective than a vaccine. A debate should not exist about the pseudo-science of herd immunity because we do not know enough about the long term effects of the virus to advocate for uncontrolled spread throughout the population. It is clear that we have not only lost trust in our experts, but also each other. We cannot even trust each other to wear a mask.

  4. I am not saying that I believe we should sacrifice American lives because we are fatigued. I am most assuredly not saying that. I am simply asking you to respond to the argument that dozens of thousands are making every day by attending rally's across the country, unmasked, essentially saying, "I will suffer the consequences if I get sick." From your response, I assume you are saying that humanity and patriotism requires us to follow not our own predilections, but thinking of our fellow citizens by safeguarding them through masking and social distancing, i.e. wearing a mask is not only about protecting myself, but perhaps more importantly, it is about protecting all others from me.

    1. I have struggled with this since the beginning of the pandemic. I agree with Trump and his supporters on the point that we cannot simply hole up in our homes and not go about our daily lives. Doing so causes as many problems as it solves. We have seen an uptick in both domestic abuse and suicide including a grade school child shooting himself during a Zoom class. Human beings are social creatures and isolation kills us just as surely as the virus, we just don't see it in as public a fashion.
      Where I disagree and have admittedly no sympathy for people is those who refuse to where a mask. I go out to dinner with my wife once per week. I take my kids out every now and then. Every time we have our masks and comply with social distancing guidelines. I am no less free than I was before by wearing the mask. It is at most a minor inconvenience. If doing something that is honestly easier than buckling a seat belt is too much then I don't know how to reach them.

      James Gift

  5. Save American lives! Just like those who perished in wars of yesteryear. Sacrifice to save lives.

  6. With respect to the support of Wall Street it is striking that despite all the tax cuts and regulatory laxity Wall Street prefers Biden so strongly. It must be that market experts understand the threat of doing nothing to control the virus to the stock market and the economy.

  7. The small sacrifices of wearing masks and social distancing to save ourselves and our co-citizens from the harsh costs of COVID is akin to driving close to the speed limit instead of 125 mph on the Interstates.

    1. Steve, thank you for this remarkable post. The Trump administration’s lackluster response is all the more lamentable when one considers the outsized impact COVID has had on black, brown, and native communities. For example, a recent article in Vox estimated that about 1 in every 1,000 Black Americans has died from the virus. One wonders if the administration’s response would have been more urgent if the virus wasn’t initially perceived as being more of a minority or “blue-state” problem. It is mind boggling that Trump is now even throwing members of his so-called base to the COVID wolves in his campaign to minimize the devastation his negligence has wrought.

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