Good morning, and Happy Tuesday to you....
I want to start off with continued good news, even if you don't hear it anywhere else! The Covid cases are continuing to decline in South Carolina! Another week, and another case total that came in lower than DHEC, the "health experts," predicted, even after DHEC had adjusted its predictions downward following the declining numbers seen over the last few weeks.
Now here's the bad news...the press keeps slanting the Covid narrative. A newspaper article from "The State" yesterday reported, "Starting in late June, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients has steadily increased." The statement was followed up with information that hospital utilization numbers were incomplete in July due to a new tracking system and that the hospitalization of Covid patients is actually now declining.
So why did the section of the article start by claiming the numbers were up since June? I can also tell you that Roper has been reporting a continued decline in its hospitalized Covid patients as well as those in the ICU and requiring a ventilator!
Also in “The State” over the weekend, there was an article reporting on strife between Dr. Linda Bell, the state's epidemiologist at DHEC, and Governor McMaster’s staff. She apparently disagreed with Governor McMaster about reopenings in the state dating back to May. Dr. Bell supposedly had preferred a later opening date for restaurants and barber shops, desired different restrictions, etc.
I don't want to use this blog to get into politics, but instead want to simply help whoever reads this blog to have a better grasp of the Covid truths as I can ascertain from the data I see and the articles I read. Regardless of whether you like or dislike McMaster, here is what the data shows even on the DHEC site regarding cases in South Carolina.
We started reopening in May, but the peak or surge occurred in July. The numbers per capital are lower in Beaufort than Charleston County, for instance, and both counties are tourist hubs with plenty of restaurants. Also, Beaufort County is closer to Savannah, and I had even heard rumors of South Carolinians hopping over the state line in May since Georgia opened-up its salons even earlier than we did in South Carolina. So, can the increased cases in South Carolina be attributed to reopening restaurants and hair salons, or are the numbers due to something else?
The news also keeps focusing on the supposedly horrifying fact that South Carolina is close to topping the 100k mark in total cases, but what does this actually mean? If you watch TV, you are left thinking that by living in Charleston, we are in one of the worst Covid epiceters. In fact, Charleston County has reported 12,300 cases. I have heard it stated by health "experts" that for every positive case there are 10 more people out there in the community with the virus who have not been tested. This would mean that Charleston County is up to 123,000 cases.
This doesn't even account for the numerous false negatives. Since most of the County's population, I would guess, resides in the city, and the City of Charleston has a population of only 130,000 people, aren't we looking at herd immunity? Wouldn't that be a good thing? Also, I am not a fan of this reporting of "probable cases" and "probable deaths." In medicine, if something acts like strep throat, for instance, but the strep test is negative, we still give antibiotics; clinically speaking, I get the idea of probable cases.
But when it comes to Covid, with all the claims out there about numbers being fudged, especially the death numbers, I am very wary. But, if you also take into account the "probable cases," then we are even a little closer to that herd immunity idea.
I have been doing considerable reading about Covid, as well as constant evaluation of the case numbers.
Just like the media reports, the daily case numbers continue to create panic for many people, and like you, I am on a quest to really understand what these daily high case counts mean; even though I am pleased that the daily case numbers are declining, nonetheless, approximately 1000 cases/day are still being reported. We are basing our lives, the lives of our schoolchildren, our businesses, etc., on these case numbers.
In my reading I came across an essay written by Angelo Codevilla, a professor at Boston University, called the “Covid Coup.” He brought up a fundamental point which needs to be addressed...
"Establishing any infectious disease’s true lethality is characteristically straightforward: test a large sample of the population proportionately representative of location, age, sex, race, socioeconomic categories. Follow up with the subjects a month later to add up the rate of infections and learn the results thereof. Period. Today, we still lack this definitive, direct knowledge of COVID’s true lethality because bureaucrats have prevented widespread testing for the purpose of firmly establishing the one figure that matters most. That is because that figure’s absence allows them to continue fearmongering.“
Professor Codevilla goes on to explain the following...hold your hats…
"In May the Centers for Disease Control, by then discredited professionally (though not, alas, in the mass media), was forced to conclude that the lethality rate, far from being circa 5% was 0.26%. Double a typical flu. The CDC was able to keep the estimate that high only by factoring in an unrealistically low figure for asymptomatic infections—never mind inflated figures for deaths. But the U.S. government, instead of amending its recommendations in the face of reality, tried to hide reality by playing a shell game with the definition and number of COVID “cases.”
During March and April, the authorities had defined as “cases” people sick enough to be hospitalized, who also tested positive. Whoever divided the number of reported deaths (a number inflated by a CDC directive to count deaths due to other causes as being due to COVID) by the number of cases thus defined, was predictably scared and willing to heed “the best advice”—namely societal lockdowns—on how to stay safe. That turned out to be ruinous in and of itself. At the time, they defined the number of these “cases” as the “curve” which we were supposed to sacrifice so much to “flatten,” lest the wave of hospitalizations overwhelm our health care system. Because their premises were wrong, that wave never came.
Instead, in May, as various non-official surveys were published showing that the majority of those who tested positive for COVID either barely knew that they had been infected or had not known at all, these very authorities doubled down their dishonesty. They began labeling mere infections as “cases.”
They divorced reporting of these “cases” from reporting of the number of deaths, and warned the inattentive public about “spiking COVID cases” as if infection carried a serious risk. They also promoted widespread testing of wholly asymptomatic persons for current and past infections, the results of which tests were sure to produce a surging number of new "cases" thus defined."
I find it ironic that Dr. Linda Bell (think of her as South Carolina's Dr. Fauci), accused McMaster’s staff of being "manipulative" in that newspaper article. But who's really being manipulated? Is it you and I? After reading the above from Prof. Codevilla, do you find it interesting that the South Carolina numbers really started to rise in June? And how many times did you read that the rise was not simply because we were testing more, but because the virus was that contagious as evidenced by the percent positive number. According to the DHEC website, the SC percent positive number remains on a downward trend for the last month as well as 14 days. In fact, yesterday was the lowest percent positive number in months.
I think that this fact should have been a headline if that percentage is so important. But like with so many other barometers when it comes to Covid, it appears that the ideal percent positive number is also a moving target. Earlier in the summer, when the percent positive number started rising, sounding alarms, I remember reading that a 12 % number was ideal, and that the very low numbers SC reported back in the spring were evidence of very little testing.
Now that the number is back in the 12 % range, “The State” yesterday reported that nationally the number is actually closer to 9%; I also interpreted from the article that the previously low rate in SC in May (3-4%) was our new target...forget that previously this indicated not enough testing was being done. DHEC has also taken down the graph that depicted the date of onset of illness for patients. Could it be because so many of the persons who tested positive had no signs of illness? Just asking!
Now getting back to
After the Professor outlines the games being played by the CDC with regards to "cases," he goes on to address the Covid hypocrisies and the impact on the elderly. While the CDC noted the importance of asymptomatic patients for the purposes of reporting cases, sounding alarm as case numbers went up, they had no problem exposing sick Covid patients to nursing home populations. It is worth noting that in SC, nursing home patients comprise 40% of the Covid deaths in the state. The professor goes on to state that…
"Worst of all, these authorities, these experts, transferred elderly persons known to be infected with the virus into nursing homes. In Michigan, the authorities even assigned to a nursing home an aide known to be infected with the virus. As a result, the as-yet fully uncounted deaths in these facilities, which house about 1.3 million people (about 0.39% of the population) come to about half of the total U.S. death toll. That is what happened, and it is perverse. It deserves punishment.
But there is zero evidence that apparently healthy (i.e. asymptomatic though infected) people infect others with the COVID-19. The evidence is that only symptomatic people (ones with coughs and sniffles) do, and that not through casual contact. Moreover, if separating known spreaders had been Fauci’s intention all along, why had the CDC ordered known COVID carriers to be shifted to nursing homes? At the very least, the man who drove the COVID team did it in a reckless manner that killed people. He too had other things on his mind—political ones."
So what does all of this mean, and where do we go from here?
Sadly, I think it means that the governmental health experts do not have all of the answers, they make mistakes, and unfortunately, they are human beings with their own sets of ideas, belief systems, politics, motives, etc. I believe that the information they provide is important, but health experts alone cannot be the sole arbiters of our decision making.
As a community and a nation, we have been risk takers, have been confident and proud, but we have lost these qualities over fear about a virus, but a fear that appears to have been largely manufactured. I just hope that we can get our kids back to school and that we can resume our routines. We need pro sports. We need college football. My husband may be a Gamecock, but we need to take a lesson from Clemson Tiger, Trevor Lawrence, who had the courage to try to save the fall football season yesterday (check out his Twitter account).
We need to focus on the positives and not the negatives. Some more good news is that there are now treatments available for Covid, and the vaccines are making progress. This is very different than the situation back in the spring. Even the hydroxychloroquine is resurfacing as a potential viable treatment after that Lancet article (which claimed the drug to have no place in the treatment of Covid) has been totally discredited and has been pulled. More recent studies and articles have demonstrated the efficacy of the ole time drug! I am going to end with one last quote from Codevilla's essay, which I strongly urge people to read. It can be found online and is called the "Covid Coup." This last quote refers to the way the health experts vilified hydroxychloroquine and how use of the drug was handled...
But it was too late. Fauci and the medical establishment did not apologize. For the media and for headline-readers, the case was closed. The lie stood. Then, on July 1, Michigan’s Henry Ford health system published a peer-reviewed study that shows Hydroxychloroquine significantly cut death rates even in mid-to-late COVID cases. Again, the ruling class machine ignored the truth. Again: all mainstream news about the COVID affair is related to health only incidentally. Be very afraid."
So let’s head the warnings from Professor Codevilla and take the cue from Trevor Lawrence. Let’s be smart, sensible, and in no way reckless, but let’s take our lives and livelihoods back!