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OnDoutside

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Home country: Ireland
Current location: Ireland
Member since: Mon May 23, 2016, 04:42 AM
Number of posts: 14,622

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Richard A. Epstein behind the The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Admin.

Yet another Libertarian.

The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration

President Trump, who at one point called the coronavirus pandemic an “invisible enemy” and said it made him a “wartime President,” has in recent days questioned its seriousness, tweeting, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.” Trump said repeatedly that he wanted the country to reopen by Easter, April 12th, contradicting the advice of most health officials. (On Sunday, he backed down and extended federal social-distancing guidelines for at least another month.) According to the Washington Post, “Conservatives close to Trump and numerous administration officials have been circulating an article by Richard A. Epstein of the Hoover Institution, titled ‘Coronavirus Perspective,’ which plays down the extent of the spread and the threat.”

Epstein, a professor at New York University School of Law, published the article on the Web site of the Hoover Institution, on March 16th. In it, he questioned the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, said that “public officials have gone overboard,” and suggested that about five hundred people would die from covid-19 in the U.S. Epstein later updated his estimate to five thousand, saying that the previous number had been an error. So far, there have been more than two thousand coronavirus-related fatalities in America; epidemiologists’ projections of the total deaths range widely, depending on the success of social distancing and the availability of medical resources, but they tend to be much higher than Epstein’s. (On Sunday, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimated that there could be between a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand deaths in the U.S.) In a follow-up article, published on March 23rd and titled “Coronavirus Overreaction,” Epstein wrote, “Progressives think they can run everyone’s lives through central planning, but the state of the economy suggests otherwise. Looking at the costs, the public commands have led to a crash in the stock market, and may only save a small fraction of the lives that are at risk.”

SNIP

You wrote last week, “In the United States, if the total death toll increases at about the same rate, the current 67 deaths should translate into about 500 deaths at the end.” We are currently at eight hundred deaths—over eight hundred deaths. [This was true when we spoke; the number is now over two thousand.]

First of all, let me just say I wrote an amendment to that, the thing I regret most in that whole paper. But I was not so much interested in explaining why my number was right. I was interested in explaining why the other projections were wrong.

O.K., but your number was surpassed in about a week, and now we’re already—

I understand that, but the point about that is that, first of all, there was a simple stupid error, which is you would never want to put it in a model that total deaths in the United States relative to the world would be one per cent. So if you just inflated it to five per cent or ten per cent, then all of a sudden you’ve got a number which is either five or ten times as high.

Secondly, suppose I should have been wiser in this and said, as I referred to the flu vaccine and later on to the H1N1 situation, if those are your benchmarks, then the number goes up to say between fifteen thousand and forty thousand deaths, as opposed to the one million-plus that are projected. [The Times model projected, without interventions by governments or citizens, a million deaths in the U.S.; with such interventions, the model showed that number dramatically decreasing.] And, remember, the one million-plus is on a model which is universal and worldwide, and you should expect to see something like that somewhere else. And there’s no evidence whatsoever that any of the situations, even in Italy, is going to approach the kinds of numbers that you had there. And so I am truly sorry about that [five hundred] number. I regard it as the single worst public-relations gaffe I’ve made in my entire life. But the question to ask, Isaac, is not whether I chose the right number but whether I had the right model.


"A simple stupid error"

Lots more at

https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/the-contrarian-coronavirus-theory-that-informed-the-trump-administration

David McWilliams Podcast EP48: Corona goes global ... The effect on the US, plus Russia v Saudi oil

fight.

With markets collapsing, oil prices plummeting and the West about to be put in lockdown, we examine the dramatic consequences of Corona for economics and politics. Plus in geo-politics what the showdown between Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil means for all of us. Hope you enjoy it!




or Stitcher podcast download

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/david-mcwilliams/the-david-mcwilliams-podcast

Ireland : ALL Schools, colleges, childcare facilities to close over Covid-19 until March 29

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the country's schools, colleges and childcare facilities are to close in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 6pm today, schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close.

In relation to cultural institutions, indoor gatherings of more than 100 people will not be permitted and a maximum outdoor gathering of 500 people will be allowed. The restrictions will stay in place until 29 March.

Where it is possible to work remotely people should do so, he said, adding that we need the public and businesses to take a sensible approach to coronavirus.

Mr Varadkar made the announcement in Washington DC where he is visiting as part of the St Patrick's Day celebrations, much of which have been cancelled in light of coronavirus.

SNIP

There has been one death in Ireland of a person with Covid-19 out of 43 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Around 80% of cases of Covid-19 will be a mild to moderate illness, close to 14% have severe disease and around 6% are critical.

Generally, you need to be 15 minutes or more in the vicinity of an infected person, within 1-2 metres, to be considered at-risk or a close contact.


Oh the irony....

https://www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2020/0312/1121820-coronavirus/

If Bloomberg were to drop out, and he follows through with his financial support commitment, how

does he achieve that, without crossing campaign donation rules ?

1. Superpac ? But if he is to offer his existing campaign staff/offices/data team etc, that means no contact with the Biden campaign ?

2. By "Suspending his campaign" can he just give all of the above to work for Biden ?

3 By not suspending his campaign (but not campaigning), he can spend as much as he wants, on whomever he wants ?

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