Why the sudden uptick in cases?

From Nate Silver, I am smushing together his tweet storm:

Something to think about: re-openings have been occurring gradually since late April in different states/counties. If you had a metric averaging out how open different states are, it would likely show a fairly linear pattern. So why is there a nonlinear increase in cases now?

Obviously some of that gets to the nature of exponential growth. An R of 1.3 isn’t *that* different than an R of 1.1, but played out over a few weeks, it makes a lot of difference. Still, a more complete story probably includes premature re-openings coupled with other stuff.

What other stuff? Two things seem worth pointing out. First, there seems to be some correlation with greater spread in states where it’s hot and people are spending more time indoors with the AC on. That *is* a bit nonlinear; there’s much more demand for AC in June than May.

And second, the conversation around social distancing changed a lot in early June with the protests and Trump making plans to resume his rallies. And COVID was no longer the lead story. Not blaming anyone here. But the timing is pertinent if people felt like “lockdowns are over”.

Here is the link, including a good picture of how the demand for air conditioning rises.

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Bars are good spreaders. People are close to each other and talk loudly and emit a lot more droplets. You can see the emitted droplets increase significantly in the laser light experiment ( normal talking vs loud talking) . That’s basically similar to the choir incidents.
Air conditioning is not even necessary for this to happen.

Seems to be a real problem.

The Bus Case and the Restaurant Case both seem to support this. I find each endlessly fascinating, not least due to the spectacular anomalies involved. One day they'll be fully explained, hopefully before I die.

Two reasons:
The uptick in testing.
The simple fact that this is a communicable disease that at least 70% of the population WILL get before the herd immunity stops the spread. Doesn''t matter if you open bars or close them. Wear mask and social distance or not. It is a highly contagious disease that will eventually infect most people. All the shutdowns and "measures" are pure BS.

I am in general sympathetic to this argument.

There is, however, some value into delaying some of the cases until treatments are better. Not several trillion dollars and a significant percentage of the nation's 2040 human capital [which is what the current children would have become if the schools had remained open], but some value.

Save the geezers! We can almost certainly find 70% of the population to infect without going too deeply into people who will be permanently damaged by an infection.

-dk

-dk

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As usual, nobody mentions immigration, the name that can't be mentioned. A lot of the uptic is associated with border counties, and likely becuase they are taking in a lot of Mexican cases:

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/horowitz-border-state-surge-rise-serious-southwestern-cases-driven-border-crossers-mexico/

Lots of Mexican borders jumpers in Florida, are there?

I don't think border jumpers are the problem, but a Florida example doesn't help the argument. Go to the deaths and check 7 day moving avg.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/florida/

Not seeing what argument it doesn't help. Deaths not rising could be either because of a lag between new cases and deaths or that it's infecting younger populations who aren't dying. I don't know how it would be related to Mexicans illegally entering florida or not.

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Bars are good spreaders.

Bars shouldn't be good spreaders. They should be safe. At least until we get up to Covid-21

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Until one month ago, coronavirus and social distancing were the most important things in the history of the world. Then, The Establishment decided that the death of some drugged-up bouncer in Minneapolis was instead the most important thing in the history of the world.

That sends a message.

So did the fact that the president has never worn a mask, and that even his own covid press briefings weren't socially distanced. I also think his downplaying of the whole thing and encouraging reopening sent a very clear political message to red state governors, which they generally complied with.

The need to change the subject away from the protests is so overpowering that people will even babble that Trump caused the spike himself. Moreover, Trump has never worn a mask, so the attempt to tie his unchanged behavior to a change in the number of cases is nonsense on its face. Note too the implicit lie about Georgia, red state that is reopening well, and California, a blue state that isn't.

The whole idiotic responses comes down to Trump and his willingness to sacrifice literally over 100,000 people to pretend it's fine and the economy is great.

The protests didn't cause spikes in Texas and Arizona and Florida. The wholesale incompetence by the GOP and its anti-science idol worship that's broken everyone's brains did it. Make no mistake.

But please, let's write the OAN article about how this is the Antifa Virus now.

"sacrifice literally"

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See covid19mapped.com ... the US is doing better than most of Western Europe on deaths per capita.

As long as that's the case, claims he "sacrificed literally over 100,000 people to pretend it's fine" are pretty ridiculous.

By objective measure, US has done better. Maybe bc of early travel bans. Maybe something else.

At any rate, people often miss this important datapoint in their critiques of US leadership.

The US per capita numbers falling in the middle of the European pack really messes with the narrative about the broad superiority of socialized medicine, and the narrative that the US response was outrageously bad. How to explain the motivation behind the "human sacrifices" implemented by the Europeans?

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@Jan but most everyone knows by now Trump is a fool, even many of his supports know to ignore him on covid19.

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I hate to break it to you Steve, but this is the establishment

https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1276325668607819776?s=19

Orange people, am I right?

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Odd that there is one major country that has an Establishment unable to slow the growth of a pandemic and is also unable to reduce the number of deaths caused by the police.

Crazy. If I didn't know better, I'd say the establishment actually wants the Deep State Fever to be worse and deaths "caused by the police" to keep happening regularly. But if that were the case, they'd have to benefit somehow from those, don't you think?

It is as if the idea that there is a big wide world out there is beyond your comprehension. America is exceptional, not typical.

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Well, the Establishment (which is still Trump’s team for a few more months at least) benefits from the virus because they get a pretext to put in immigration and travel restrictions they’ve wanted all along, and benefit from deaths caused by police because they like to show people who’s in charge.

you don't actually believe that do you?

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Awww because preventing the deaths from police violence is just a simple flick of the old public policy switch.

It’s all just that easy....

Between 2015 and 2019, the number of people killed by police gunfire has remained essentially constant. Almost as if no simply one can find any public policy switch to flick in the U.S.

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Rats. Boats are also good spreaders then because you have to speak pretty loudly to hear over the motor and the country music. Are yachts safe? Where are we supposed to hang out if bars and boats are out and we don’t know anyone with a yacht?

We need much better batteries and fuel cells.

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Gee, it's been three weeks since Dems started urging millions of Americans to crowd in the streets every night. What could POSSIBLY be behind the uptick in cases?

Nate's first thought -- air conditioners!

When he finally gets around to the riots, he then has to conflate them with Trump PLANNING to hold rallies. You see, millions of people in the streets is the same as Trump making a plan. But you know, he "isn't blaming anyone."

Thanks for making it clear that Nate Silver is a partisan piece of shit.

Just like our epidemiologists, our nurses, and so forth. Trump's election expressed a lot of incompetence and partisanship in our supposedly neutral Institutions, and the virus has only amplified that process.

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The upticks are not correlated with states where there was a lot of protesting (i.e. Minnesota). It's correlated with hot places.

Places that had lots of protests also saw the most damage to testing sites. The numbers from those locations might be less reliable.

Lol. Stretching.

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Yeah, those massive protests in AZ, FL, and SC must be driving the surge in COVID cases.

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It's not the air conditioning per se - it's the fact that when people are indoors the air is being recirculated so virus particles build up in it. The more people in the same indoor air space, the faster that happens, and the higher the likelihood of infection. Whether the AC is in fact on is beside the point. The point is that heat is driving people *indoors*.

Not a lot of evidence for that indoor argument. It could be true.

The age of the newly infected seems to indicate that biggest driver is that younger people aren't as worried about the disease and are taking fewer precautions. Perhaps watching the rioting and protests gave them a sense that they don't have much to worry about. Whatever, it is younger people and their habits that seem to be causing rapid growth.

Trump rallies have been few and isolated. Hard to see it having much if any impact.

There's plenty of evidence for it. All of the big super-spreader events have been in indoor environments.
Read this:
https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them

I suspect the reason for the change in age distribution is related to a change in the age distribution of people who are spending a lot of time indoors. In March/April, the weather in florida is nice and the only people trapped inside were bedridden elderly people in nursing homes. Now, lots of other people are staying inside to get out of the heat and humidity. Gonna take a guess that the age distribution of people dying of COVID in NY and Michigan has also changed.

LOL stretching

Young people in Texas and Arizona at night are often in open bars with patios. It is young people in concentrated groups not taking precautions. The biggest percentage increase in cases has been in Idaho.

Nursing homes, prisons, cruise ships, and meatpacking houses are confined spaces but they are also congested. Areas where water vapor can spread, lots of people talking, can also generate an atmosphere in a confined space to spread the virus.

Increased testing is finding more cases. The CDC has talked about all the testing sites that were destroyed in the uprising. Tell them that had no impact on the reported results from different areas. What do they know?

Well, yes, congestion is a problem too, moreso in indoor spaces than outdoor ones, but you'll note nursing homes, prisons, and meatpacking houses are also indoor environments. Cruise ships too, often have indoor spaces with lots of people.

In Texas and Arizona, sure, lots of people drink on open bars with patios ... when the weather is nice. When it's 101 degrees, less so. There are plenty of indoor bars with air conditioning in Arizona too.

A few questions

If it is air conditioning, don't older people in hot climates use air conditioning? Then why is the spike mostly in younger people? Perhaps air conditioning is at best a secondary factor.

Having people like you and much of mass media claiming that protest gatherings didn't cause an increase in cases didn't have an impact on how younger people perceived the dangers?

Congested indoor spaces cause problems. But outside spaces can become very congested, combined with an increased spread from aerosolized transmissions over a sustained period. Bars and restaurants that are seeing increased use are a threat. Bars tend to fill at night when evening temperatures can be very comfortable outside in Texas, Arizona, and Florida.

As a general rule, 80% are mild cases. 8-10% intensive. 1-2% fatal. Without testing, it takes time to see the impact of new cases. Perhaps a month. Time will tell.

I'm not certain what is going on, but your assumptions seem overstated given the last of testing in some areas.

It's not the air conditioning per se, it's the being indoors, where the air is being recirculated and infected people are breathing into it. It can also happen outdoors, but the probability is much lower.

I suspect that the reason the spike is among "younger" age groups (and we're not talking exclusively 20 year olds here, but younger than 65), is , again, because they are now ALSO spending more time indoors, in the hot states. Back in march ONLY older people were staying inside - because those are the people too sick to go out.

The primary driver is people going out to locations for mass gatherings. For some reason, perhaps people who claimed that mass protest marches are virtually risk free, the attitude changed quickly and dramatically. Physician friends tell me that people coming in for routine tests preprocedures are testing positive. They had attended BBQs, Parties, etc. The bigger the gathering the more likely the infection. Or they had a family member who attended such an event. More contact more opportunities to spread.

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Or humility is a true virtue when gaining experience. Many continue to apply previous knowledge of another disease to extrapolate how a new pandemic will work. Turns out the meat packing plants provided an excellent template to predict how seasonality applies to SARS-CoV-2.

Amusingly, the solution may be as simple as reducing airflow and raising room temperature. But what are the public choice implications of people in Houston or LA living and working in spaces with an air temperature of 78° or higher if it reduces viral spread? Will it lead to armed protesters demanding the right to work in an office with conditions better suited to spread the virus?

Humidity matters a lot for comfort. Humid and hot areas like Houston would find it much harder to lower the AC than Los Angeles.

And humidity, at least in the context of meat packing plants, seems to aid the virus in spreading. In other words, there may be two separate explanations to explore - temperature and humidity. Possibly, dry heat is best for reducing viral spread, which likely would be impractical using HVAC systems in a place like Houston.

We really don't know, and with a half year's experience involving this virus, that is to be expected.

Add a fresh complication, too: the Saharan dust cloud wafting over the Caribbean into the Gulf States. (Will the fine dust particles help displace the finer coronavirus particles or will the coronavirus particles adhere to and travel on the dust? Let's wait and see!)

Spain is exposed to Saharan dust storms on a regular basis. Suggesting that one could possibly use existing Spanish data to see if any signal can be extracted from the noise.

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Since Spain is exposed to Saharan dust storms on a regular basis, one could possibly use existing Spanish data to see if any signal can be extracted from the noise.

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AC systems also dehumidify - you can't have it both ways. AZ is a very low humidity state. So much for the 'humidity helps spread' story.
There is one golden rule to follow if you want to stay safe:
"Don't breathe other people's backwash". Period.
For whatever reason, people in some states have cast that rule aside... and unlike Nate Silver, I DO blame somebody.

Houston is not low humidity, however.

So, humidity seems to have no impact on spread of SARS-Cov2 virus, nor on the COVID-19 complications.

Nor the season.

Forget comparing coronavirus to influenza.

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"I AM TRULY HUMBLE! NOW EVERYONE DO EXACTLY AS I SAY UNTIL THE MOMENT I CHANGE MY MIND!"

Better than never changing the recommendation.

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QUOTE: "the conversation around social distancing changed a lot in early June with the protests and Trump making plans to resume his rallies."

Gawd, I hate when quotes start with "the conversation around..." but anyway, loath as I am to say anything in Trump's defense, these two things are very much not alike: "protests" and "making plans" -- which do you think is more likely to lead to transmission?

Also, 'protests' is almost a euphemism at this point.

Good point, protests for days with thousands of people and making plans for rallies are very different things.

That's a more polite way of saying that media and political elites got tired of having Covid as the main story and decided to ignore it and hope it went away on its own. This is dumb, but so are most media and political elites....

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Ah, yes, the “events” that dare not be spoken about. Apparently the uptick in cases and hospItalizations in Texas coincided with the time period from the “protests” through incubation through hospitalization. Seems also to be centered in Democrat run cities - Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin.

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There has been no protest-related spike. You're just trying to invent a story to justify a political view.
Minnesota was the epicenter of protests... no spike there.

Are you nuts? On June 10 Minnesota hit an all time low with just 8 new cases. The first riots were on June 5. Two weeks after the first riot, MN was well back into double digit daily increases. Yesterday had 493 new cases.

Phase 3 reopening started on June 10. And two weeks later, there are 493 new cases.

Phase 3 is still pretty restrictive: Gatherings of 10 or less indoors, restaurants at fractional capacity. Many states have counties operating at Phase 3 without spikes.

And plenty of counties in MN have had no uptick in spite of re-opening

Assume for a moment the upticks were 100% because of the riots? Are you OK with that?

Why would I be OK with any simplistic explanation that assumes a single factor is 100% responsible for a rise in infections?

Try this instead - OK with 20% reopening and 70% protests, with 10% other reasons? Or OK with 50% reopening and 30% protests, with 20% other reasons?

Yes, it seems very plausible that 70% is due to protests and 20% due to re-opening.

The original assertion was that none of this was due to protests.

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"Several Protests" in Toronto:

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/several-protests-in-support-of-black-lives-matter-movement-taking-place-in-gta-1.4983062

Population of Ontario: approx. 14.5 million (larger than every US state except Cal. NY, Florida, Texas).

Number of new cases in Ontario on June 1: 404

Number of new cases June 27: 160

Seven day average number of cases on June 27: 167.9

Also London UK:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/06/uk/london-black-lives-matter-protests-saturday-gbr-intl/index.html

No noticeable rise in cases in June (cases steady in double digits since late May):

https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/coronavirus--covid-19--cases

While we're at it, NYC:

"New York City protests haven't caused a spike in COVID-19 cases":

https://abc7ny.com/black-lives-matter-coronavirus-protests-news-update/6267466/

Plus a study:

Furthermore, we find no evidence
that urban protests reignited COVID-19 case growth during the more than three weeks following
protest onset. We conclude that predictions of broad negative public health consequences of
Black Lives Matter protests were far too narrowly conceived.

https://www.nber.org/papers/w27408.pdf

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How would you know since de Blasio has orders contact tracers not to ask about protests?

That may be so, but what effect does that have on the daily number of cases?

Jersey city which is 5 minutes from Manhattan where infections rates have tracked those of NYC for months, have not seem a spike either, and de Blasio does not control what happens there.

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I think you nay have answered Rich Berger's question from the Nate Silver post: "I’d like him to take a look at NY’s numbers - https://covidtracking.com/data/state/new-york#historical

Something very fishy is going on. They are reporting no change in hospitalizations since June 3 - stuck at 89,995. They are showing almost a million tests since June 11, but only about 10,000 new cases- 1% of tests. I think they are cooking the books."

Well, I can't speculate on the number you cited, but there doesn't seem to be a conspiracy to hide or deny ongoing hospitalizations (see quote from Cuomo):

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-york-coronavirus-hospitalizations-drop-below-1000-lowest-march/

See chart (currently hospitalized vs. change in hospitalized):

https://www.syracuse.com/coronavirus/2020/06/where-is-coronavirus-in-ny-see-map-charts-of-covid-19-cases-deaths-hospitalizations-thursday-june-25.html

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That would indicate activity outdoors has a low likelihood of spreading, but anything that moves people indoors seems to be an issue.

High temperatures moves people indoors. I suspect the A/C is more of an incentive to move indoors than a direct cause of spread.

That is exactly what it is. In March, it was freaking cold in New York and Michigan. Now it's freaking hot in Texas and Florida. Both drive people indoors.

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Do you people even bother to check data.
Google 'mn coronavirus cases' - yeah, it hit 8 cases for ONE DAY on June 10th. Otherwise it's been averaging a few hundred cases per day. It was probably sunday or something. At best there is a slight uptrend in the last three weeks but hardly a spike like Florida and Arizona.

How can the test in the Minneapolis area when testing sites were destroyed? It is very hard to judge the accuracy if you can't test. Much of the national increase is in testing results. A younger population (protestors) could see a bigger outbreak but how would you know if you don't have testing facilities? They are less likely to need hospitalization.

You're simultaneously arguing that we're not seeing the increase in cases because the testing sites were destroyed AND that the increase in cases is due to more testing. Interesting.

Not all areas had a destruction of testing sites. Minneapolis did. Claims about the number of cases in Minneapolis where less testing is being done are suspect. Projections of what you want to be true but lacking in data. In other parts of the country, testing has increased. Not that hard to figure out.

Speculative and too convenient. I doubt that so many testing sites were destroyed that it would make a noticable difference.

Look again then. Pharmacies were important centers for testing and a prime target during looting. About 16% of CDC centers were destroyed, Guess where the destroyed ones were located. Wish and hope all you want. LOL the data is easy to find

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Yes, it had to be humiliating for Silver to write that. Like all of us, he knows how well the protests tie to the spike in cases, geographically and temporally, but he understands the anti-intellectual rage that will be turned loose on him if he comes out and says that

This may also be the first time Tyler has hinted at publicly acknowledging the obvious, too.

Protests in Blue states/cities drive up infection and complications known as COVID-19 in Red states/cities?

Is COVID-19 really political apoplexy?

wouldn't it be more likely that protests in red states increase infections in red states rather than protests in blue states increasing infections in red states?

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Another obvious factor is that, unlike parts of Europe and Asia where C-19 was largely defeated, the USA never eradicated C-19 to a low level. Just look at the John Hopkins site. The USA never did a proper lockdown, which is a month of very strict quarantine. Nor did the USA make masks mandatory in public. You cannot defeat the laws of physics, there's no American Exceptionalism when it comes to the behavior of viruses.

To me it would be amazing if despite all the Covid-19 disaster in the states, which will get worse, the US stock market reaches record highs in the fall...and....Donald Trump is reelected. ...and, four years later (2024), elections are canceled....by popular demand and/or a constitutional amendment. One in 100k chance but not impossible, just look at how dictatorship started worldwide (GR, PH, Germany, etc etc etc)...initially they were popular (Metaxas in Greece, Marcos in PH, and yes, H*tler in Germany, he was popular with at least 33% of the multi-party populace in GER). Not betting on it, but Nate Silver might even agree. 1 in 100k are very small odds but nothing in stats is 0% or 100%.

The president of the United States, the man with a bully pulpit, has been pushing for "it's over" and "reopening" since April.

If it had been over, and reopening had been a good idea, then sure, he might win. But his fundamental problem is that it didn't work and he is unable to pivot. He went too all-in on "freedom." As Noah says,

https://twitter.com/Noahpinion/status/1276745561333350401?s=19

So in a great American tragedy, he's done, because to coin a phrase he lied and people died.

To indict the American people a bit though, we are semi-savages, and we did not show that in the face of moronic leadership, we could find science and the best answer on our own.

"You are not the boss of me" prevailed, though not as I say on its own. It was led and inspired by a "you're not the boss of me" president.

“Boo outgroup!” - comparing outgroup to zombies now, classy

Still don’t understand the mental model where Newsom is making California policy based on whatever Trump tweets

Try again.

You got nothing.

For four years you've been saying "you can't blame the Republicans for what they did because that's partisan."

Well, this is the thing they did, and I blame them.

I am certainly not alone in that.

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/coronavirus-polls/

Ok Boomer. Lol

Of course I never said any of that, since that makes no sense, and I’m not even a Republican. Glad to see you’re spamming childish “Boo outgroup!” taunts, lying and trolling at 3AM in your golden years.

Anyways.....

Show me the model where roughly half of the nation’s governors are taking their policy cues via Tweets from a POTUS that their constituents loathe.

Or even better, be a sane non-hack adult. Make a falsifiable prediction that partisan share will actually have real outcomes in the world

Why on earth would you think it is smart to get on this forum and claim nobody believes the president, and that makes him okay?

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It is also an amazing concession on your part that you recognize that the president is not the president of the United States, he is only the president of the Republicans.

By your own logic.

I certainly want more than that. My theory of democracy is more than that.

That's the reason I don't like this guy. It isn't that he is in the wrong party. Is that he simply cannot perform the role necessary.

Sadly, as an American citizen I have to accept that he is my president. McCain set the example when he called Obama "my president" in his concession speech. The president of the Republicans beat the president of the Democrats in an election and became the president of the United States.

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And let's not forget, that it was precisely because Trump was president that the medical establishment did not lead on NATIONAL messaging for pandemic response.

He put Pence in charge, and he had Pence push reopening, and this is the direct result.

You must have immovable priors to believe that that didn't matter, it was all inevitable.

To believe there is no counterfactual.

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lol, priceless clip

https://twitter.com/holmescnn/status/1276275639893532673

the dude we can't criticize, because that would be partisan

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> The president of the United States, the man with a bully pulpit, has been pushing for "it's over" and "reopening" since April.

But the states decide these things, not the president.

Another genius defending the president by saying don't listen to the president.

But the states did NOT listen to the president (nor are they required to). Remember, he closed borders and the various state govs went out of their way to tell everyone to ride the subway, party in confined places and enjoy the celebrations

Okay, to give you a chance here .. did you back Gavin Newsom on lockdown?

Because if you did, you did more than the MAGAs *in state*. The top photo at this link is San Diego:

'Abusive, dictatorial, tyrannical': Republicans ramp up attacks on lockdowns

As a resident of Orange County, let me tell you that MAGAs did call for re-opening and at the same time did demand a roll back of the mask mandate.

Quick resigned earlier this month after a series of questions from Republican Supervisors Michelle Steel and Don Wagner over her mask order and pushback from residents. Some people made threats against Quick, with Steel classifying one of them as a death threat.

Orange County Coronavirus Mask Debate Heats Up

So don't try to tell me that "a blue state" has no MAGAs, that they weren't listening to the President, or that they did not change policy.

I initially did want very strict lock downs. But as we learned more about the virus--the CDC published their IFRs about a month ago-the data suggested the IFR for those under 60 was about half that of flu. And at that point, lock downs to me became a bit silly UNLESS you were using them to manage your ICU capacity.

Concurrent to that, I started noticing just how many people were wearing masks that did nothing: they were just a few layers of cloth in spite of the plentiful ability of Level 2 surgical masks on Amazon. To me, a person wearing a cloth mask when surgical is available is simply posturing.

Worse, you have people wearing cloth masks berating those wearing nothing, when in reality there's not much difference between the two.

So, the worst people in all this are those in cloth masks they bought on Etsy whipping everyone into a frenzy. Our gov in WA state has switched to surgical. But Pelosi and her ilk see masks as fashion statements. She doesn't really care about masks. She doesn't really care about lockdowns.

Overall, I think Newsom has done an OK job. I don't get the pettiness of stopping people from gathering on the sand, however.

To be honest, I think that comment would be fine in a climate of (even slowly) declining new cases.

It's not fine in the context of a new explosion. Not at all.

With hindsight the thing we should have done, across the whole country, was lock down hard and kill the virus.

Then go to the beach.

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No politician has performed well in this-remember the Dems all screamed when Trump blocked flights from Wuhan-Cuomo& de Blasio were a dueling clown act in Feb and March(go to the theatre! Fight over closing down-Schumer&de Blasio attend China town celebration 3/1-Cuomo forced nursing homes to accept COVID patients- the list is long). Actually, the only good move was by DeSantis -at least he quickly blocked transfers of COVID patients to nursing homes ( we should have been forewarned when the 1st serious outbreak was in a nursing facility out west- but hindsight is 20-20). Neither party has clothed itself in glory in this mess-but novel situations are rarely managed well-best seen by the incredibly poor job by public health officials in, at 1st, trashing the public use of masks & then strongly promoting them.

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Great photo of those conservative San Diegans throwing bricks through windows and burning buildings. Also pulling down statues of liberals.

Actually, they seem rather nice, other than supporting a cause that I think is unwise. We do, after all, live in a democracy where peaceful protest is considered legitimate free expression.

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As far as why the uptick was "sudden," obviously a critical mass of reopening.

Florida started their re-opening 7 weeks ago. Yesterday, Florida had 9000 new cases and 37 deaths and a total of 3366 deaths.

Yesterday, NY (same size as Florida) had 933 new cases, 48 deaths and a total of 31.4k deaths.

NY, is still handily beating Florida on deaths

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" The USA never did a proper lockdown, which is a month of very strict quarantine"

Nor did Japan, which also tested less than the United States, yet has 50 times fewer Covid-19 deaths than the U.S. and most of Western Europe.

How exactly was the emergency stay at home order in Japan different in practice?

For one, there was no "lockdown order."

I meant, there was no "stay at home order." Japan followed the Sweden model but with much less testing.

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As has been pointed out here before, Japan closed schools and banned public events in late February and then closed some non-essential businesses in April and May. It also advised people to stay at home except to perform essential activities.

One can debate whether stay at home orders are necessary if non-essential businesses and places of public accommodation are largely closed (since there is nowhere to go and congregate in groups anyway, except at private parties, which are impossible to police effectively). One can also debate the relative effectiveness of government orders versus strongly worded public health advice, especially in a mostly rule-abiding society like Japan. But one cannot debate that Japan and Sweden are polar opposites in terms deaths per million and Sweden appears to have left non-essential businesses mostly open.

By the way, Texas registered more new cases over the past 4 days than Japan recorded since the very start of the pandemic. What do you think Texas is doing wrong and how can they learn from the Japanese experience?

We now know that closing schools did essentially nothing to slow the virus anywhere.

What is your explanation that Japan is the polar opposite of both the U.S. and Germany in terms of deaths?

Also, Japan did not ban public events in February. Instead, government asked organizers to consider postponing mass events for two weeks, make them smaller or cancel them.

"What is your explanation that Japan is the polar opposite of both the U.S. and Germany in terms of deaths?"

I repeat, what specific lessons do you think a place such as the state of Texas should take from the Japanese experience in order to slow the growth of infections?

To address your question, you might as well ask me why Keith Richards is still alive at age 76. Any number of factors including plain luck could be involved: no one is required to offer an explanation for every outlier and anomaly in existence. You keep on bringing up Japan but refuse to pinned down on any falsifiable hypothesis explaining its success. We have to leave it as an anomaly much like Keith Richards' health unless you want to advance an actual theory.

Keith Richards is not an anomaly. He is alive at 76 when the average British male has a life expectancy of 79 years and tons of them smoke, drank too and are overweight, unlike the svelte Richards.

South Korea also has had 50 times fewer deaths than the U.S. and 15 times fewer deaths than Germany but that is always attributed to South Korea's rapid response through testing - something Japan never did as it tested less.

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Well, I read this from May 8 ..

"Of Japan's 47 prefectures, 27 have decided to relax stay-at-home requests issued in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, a senior government official said Friday."

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/05/63f302386105-over-half-of-japan-prefectures-easing-stay-at-home-requests.html

there is obviously some subtlety here, but I don't think we should fall into games of semantics.

If the government requests everyone to stay at home, and everyone cohesively does, that is a very effective lockdown.

I mean the words they used for Japanese anyway ..

This isn't semantics. The Swedish government also made a similar suggestion and the Japanese government said nothing until April 7 for urban areas and April 16 for the entire country.

How do you explain 50 times more Covid 19 deaths in the U.S. than in Japan and 15 times more Covid-19 deaths in Germany than in Japan?

Massive cultural differences. If the Japanese government asks their people to do something, they do it. I bet they can get better compliance with a polite ask than Americans can get with a hard law.

It's obvious to me that here in California we responded to lockdown in largely the same way as the Japanese.

Everything was 99 percent voluntary. I think total enforcements were like three surfers arrested or something.

If you want to argue that we had something different in kind, show me the arrests.

There is no way "massive cultural differences" explain why the U.S. and Western Europe have had 50 times as many Covid deaths as Japan. There is also no evidence at all that Japanese stayed home more than the U.S. under lockdown or Italy where people hardly left their homes for two months.

The streets cleared in LA and OC. It wasn't because there was arrests or direct enforcement.

There was no enforcement until BLM protests triggered an actual curfew. There was no curfew until June.

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Maybe they've some sort of genetic, uh, mask? The pundits - otherwise so bullish on "science" or at least on the imagined science of masks - seem disinclined to take up this question, or the study that first validated it as a line of inquiry, though the disparity in Asian/Western deaths would seem to be asking an awful lot of facemasks - more, for instance, than one would expect someone like Nate Silver to swallow.

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Polite ask/hard ask ??? How about an example? The President, VP, health leaders were maskless for weeks ? How long ago was Covid threat Fake News? How long ago was it common, well understood knowledge that our health care system was so much better equipped to deal w/ this than China or Italy? How serious should every one else take it ?? This administration's response has been a shit show in real time every step of the way

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Calendar dates for various measures are not relevant: what counts is where the state or country was in terms of number of infections and community spread. For instance, New York State's stay at home order went into effect on the evening of March 22. By that time, the state already had 15,000 confirmed cases. South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam don't have 15,000 confirmed cases even today and Japan has around 18,000.

What explains New York's remarkably poor performance up until March 22? I don't know but it obviously waited much too long to take action. Japan could afford to wait until early April to start closing non-essential businesses because it had far fewer cases and community spread was much slower in March.

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There was never any lockdown in Japan. There was never even any large work from home shift in Japan.

They “locked down” much less than Sweden.

"Lockdown" is an overused and ill-defined term. I don't know enough about Japan's experience to comment on what happened to office workers but there certainly were closures of non-essential businesses:

"More prefectures consider suspending nonessential businesses to contain coronavirus": https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/04/22/national/prefectures-business-coronavirus/#.Xvc3dCgzbIU
"Osaka and Fukuoka call on businesses to shut down to help fight pandemic": https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/04/13/national/osaka-fukuoka-business-closures-commuter-cut/#.Xvc3dCgzbIU
"Japan Emergency Decree Shuts Headquarters, Nintendo Flagship": https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-07/japan-firms-to-shut-with-emergency-decree-7-elevens-stay-open

Many other such articles in English are readily available by googling. If non-essential businesses are closed ("voluntarily"), a formal stay at home order may be unnecessary because there just aren't that many places to go.

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I mean the words they used *were* Japanese anyway

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Ray, them's fighting words. Do not bring physics into this, and definitely do not deny American Exceptionalism. The MAGAng is unmasked, angry and ready to rumble.

LOL thanks Jan.

Reading this thread, "Turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so"...

Bonus trivia: they found a new Covid-19 case here in Greece (which is down to almost zero new cases) the other day... a visitor from Japan.

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Parts of the US like NYC have kind of followed a European trajectory though—a big spike that was brought down to low levels relatively quickly. The US outbreak is kind of like Europe in the North, Singapore on the West Coast, and Brazil in the South.

It’s like Brazil in the south?

Obviously time will tell and if they have to open the mass graves in Florida, Alabama etc we will find out but that’s an awfully big statement you are making there.....

The case numbers and trajectory are like Brazil. Florida and Arizona already has faster per capita case growth than Brazil. The South is much richer than Brazil so they would be better able to treat patients and bury people properly.

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Florida's deaths need to grow 10X to hit NY's levels. Both states are the same size. NY did bad beyond words. NY and NJ are at 1600 deaths per million population. UK is at 640. Spain at 600, Italy at 574.

@Phinton - I always assume, reading your posts, you are an intelligent person. So you are no doubt aware the Wuhan Flu virus, being chimeric (man-made) is temperature sensitive (a hallmark btw of lab viruses; nearly all vaccine, attenuated viruses are temperature sensitive, working better to 'infect' or 'catch' in a human body in cold weather rather than warm weather). Florida is warmer than NY state. You can solve for the equilibrium...

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To extent there even is a real trend.... The protests absolutely did seem to change the conversation in your media towards "social distancing is over", at least as it reverberated through internet and world media. Trump's planned rallies not really - at least as far as most of your media was concerned, they were very vigilant on the topic of social distancing not being over, and this being against rallies (and were happily using this as ammo).

I get that of course Silver has to fake even-handedness here, and then caveat that fake even-handedness with "not blaming anyone". But we all know this is the case, and he knows we'll know this.

Or I say outdoors, and you say indoors - let's call both things off. But there are actually pictures from protests and that Tulsa rally. The protesters are outside, often wearing face coverings (quite possibly for reasons having nothing to do with reducing viral spread, of course). The Tulsa rally pictures show a crowd indoors, fairly close packed for more a couple of hours, generally without masks. Thankfully, that Trump indoor rally was a one-off, and he will certainly not be gathering supporters for any further potential corona parties in the short term future.

Who am I kidding? Of course he plans to gather his supporters into indoor spaces for several hours at a time into the foreseeable future. Luckily for everyone, those opposed to mass gatherings will continue to condemn such events evenhandedly, regardless of reason.

I think rigorous analysis will not find this correct, even adjusted for size of protests and rallies (rallies smaller of course!). But even if it were true, the sheer numbers and aggregation of unmasked people at protests much larger even if a greater % at protests wear masks.

But regardless, my comment is on the contribution of each to medias focus falling off social distancing, not on rallies Vs protests as superspreader events (both probably not driving trends, former not even *possible* as driving trends even a little bit).

The Memorial Day weekend is pretty much the current driver, which means that the protests are just adding more fuel to the fire. Just like the reopenings being done in various states around and after Memorial Day - May 29. There were not a notable number of BLM protests in places like Arizona or Oklahoma in the weeks following Floyd's death.

The U.S. is so, so messed up.

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I see the protests as effect more than cause. They did not actually come first. Memorial day came before that, and reopening protests came earlier.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/12/us/ozarks-missouri-party-coronavirus-positive/index.html

(George Floyd was actually killed on Memorial Day, in the midst of that great American reopening, and the protests came shortly after.)

I, of course, don't plausibly see the BLM protest as caused by other protests, of completely different ideological dispensation, demonized by people that backed the BLM protests. It's a pretty dubious way to shift back the blame really...

Did you or did you not call lockdown unnecessary?

Did you or did you not say young people could go out and be safe?

Lockdown (orders and powers) mostly was unnecessary compared to simple government advice and encouraging people to follow it.

Young people mostly are safe and at low risk, empiracally, and they should follow the advice to protect the older population.

Connect the damn dots.

You just endorsed outdoor protest by young people.

Nope. (Anon right now - https://imgur.com/gallery/ZESV9).

Show me a link where prior to memorial day you said young people should stay home.

This is a ridiculous demand. The burden is surely on you to show that I ever said they should go out and congregate in large groups on the street?

This upturn is directly a result of "lockdown is unnecessary."

There are no two ways about it.

You're simplifying things in an almost ridiculous degree to somehow get to "People on the internet commenting in random blog who suggested lockdown was no more effective than social distancing advice, which people ought to follow" are somehow responsible for huge gatherings of protests which an entire media complex and social media sphere actively pushed as a righteous and necessary social justice movement... Obviously I think this is absolutely absurd, but at this point we're effectively spamming MR's comment section with a back and forth that is going to make it awkward and difficult for others to follow and provides pretty low information density. So let's not do it further.

So you want to argue a position in comments, but you want no responsibility for it.

No, I just thing it is implausible that any position taken in these comments leads to the outcome. This is not denying responsibility; it's like saying that someone here that is anti-police has not led to the murders of police. It is implausible that it would.

Leaving aside that my specific position was not that people should gather in large numbers in the streets in the first place, and that they are much more plausible voices that were pro-people gathering in the streets that supported that happening.

But I'm trying to close this down because I feel it is an unproductive conversation; you're way too partisan here.

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If anything, I'd probably suggest lockdowns intensified the likelihood that protests would take place by schools closures, shutting down ordinary socializing among college students, making city centres into spaces that could be dominated by protestors, etc....

Well that's my whole point, that irrational response to the lockdown got us to this point.

That irrational response to lockdown was for led from the top. From the office of the President.

I just can't understand how you can say you were right to oppose lockdown, as cases explode.

There is no math for that.

Lockdown was necessary then, and lockeddown is necessary again right now.

Because international evidence (Sweden, etc) seems to show that explicit lockdown policies, as opposed to the other NPIs used and distancing, seems to have had minimal effect on growth of infections, far from what lockdown advocates estimated, and the deaths and real infections have been on a declining trend absent lockdown. If you don't understand this, you don't really understand wha we've talking about. Lockdown (compulsory shutdown orders) was never necessary.

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Your observations are quite correct. However, if Vienna could have a giant protest without a notable uptick in case in the following weeks, the problem might lie more in the U.S. being unable to get the pandemic under control between the beginning of April and the beginning of June.

The U.S. is so, so messed up.

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By the way, everyone here (I think including you) who had a "plan" of "hoping" Sweden was right, was directly involved.

You guys gave 1001 reasons why lockdown was not necessary.

Don't be surprised if people listened.

My stance was pretty much always that lockdown (compulsory shutdown orders and compulsory shelter in place) wasn't necessary but Sweden's sort of voluntary advice and a population bearing it in mind, always was.

Again, blame shifting. The people who protested for BLM knew the deal, and are responsible for their own actions, and the media that massively switched focus and made it legitimate to go back out, by their support of the protests, are also responsible for their own actions..

What do you mean shifting blame?

You like many conservatives on this page supported exactly the policy that caused the explosion in cases.

You take the bizarre position that Democrats are supposed to be smarter and should have done the right thing and saved everyone.

Same as always.

No, suggesting that Sweden's policy may have been the right one did not cause an explosion in cases. Didn't happen in Sweden, where the death curve is pretty much the same and the R0 pretty much the same too, and certainly far from the huge explosion that was predicted under dodgy models.

Supporting that Sweden may have got the policy right absolutely did not cause the massive BLM protests. Media echoing and sympathy and reproduction of what were initially small protests, that did. And that's on the media and on the protestors themselves.

I fail to see how you cannot follow the logic.

M is not having a reality-based covid discussion. He's doing mental gymnastics and refusing to eat crow--the only thing on the menu, given his previous comments on this topic.

Is he not? Mostly I’m seeing “Boo outgroup!” nonsense and straight up trolling by anonymous

Not seeing the model where Trump tweets stupid things so all the Blue state governors decide to reopen.

This should be easy: make a falsifiable prediction like an adult instead of spamming tweets calling your outgroup zombies

opening is at the state level. All of these decisions will be made at the state level. To not be a partisan retard your model should be able to predict statistically significant effects of partisanship

Of course it’s irrelevant, all 50 states began reopening exactly like I said they would.

Guess what, there is a state chart here, and restaurant traffic is higher in red states and does lead to higher infections.

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/06/26/this-chart-shows-the-link-between-restaurant-spending-and-new-coronavirus-cases.html

it's really amazing when you think about it, that the same people who said here we don't have to lock down because we live in sparse red states, have this result, and now claim it's BLM's fault.

The same people like Nate Silver?

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lol, don't wear your irrationality on your sleeve.

And talk about a tag team. One guy asked for data, the next guy rejects data.

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It's not the lockdown (or lack thereof) OR the protests. It's the heat.

Everyone wants to shoehorn this thing to fit their own political narrative ....

If I could only have one emoticon, it would be the eye-rolly one.

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Trump has been saying it is overblown, over and done. If you want to blame this on protestors outdoors, mostly in masks, rather than the president telling the country to open up and red state governors complying with him his order, I will have to put your comment in the category of "see what you want, not what is".

Silver: "the conversation around social distancing changed a lot in early June with the protests"

I happen to agree with him that this is plausible. Perhaps Silver, noted right wing conservative, is only "seeing what he wants, not what is".

Lol. Silver is trying to both sides this for credibility, and regardless, he is wrong. Opening up, limited masking and people hanging out indoors in close proximity is doing this. There is literally zero evidence that the outdoor protests drove up cases. Google it.

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If the reason for the uptick is the change in the media conversation, then you’d expect the uptick to be happening across the whole country. But it’s not—it’s really concentrated in the South. Minnesota, the epicenter of the protests, is still on a declining trajectory.

To the extent changing media conversation is behind the uptick, it’s because of conservative media spreading conspiracy theories about the virus and telling people not to wear masks or keep distance.

I honestly don't think outbreaks are monocausal enough to predict things of the sort of "Where media drops focus on social distancing most is where case counts will increase the most". Too much stochasticity. There's probably a broad based effect, but...

"Conservative media" is pretty marginal. The centre mass media focus shift has to be what matters, if anything does.

Conservative media is not marginal. Fox News is the biggest cable news channel. In parts of the US, Fox is constantly being played in bars, fast food restaurants, and other public places. Radio is also dominated by conservative news.

Marginal enough.

But here's another argument: conservative media did not have a sudden step change towards skepticism of cv19 that aligns with changes in case growth rates.

The change in conversation that does align, as Nate Silver (noted hardcore rightwinger that he is) is the change in the mainline centre of media, which was around legitimising large gatherings in the streets and de-emphazising social distancing, to legitimize.

*missed the sentence end there: "... to legitimize the protests."

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To add to this, the contribution of Conservative media *may* well have been negative.

But it didn't suddenly change in at any point that coincides with the increase in cases (which may or may not actually coincide with significant increases in real infection). It has nothing to do with the uptick, obviously.

Silver's thesis presents a media event that did plausibly link to the uptick, and I'm merely noting that I both find his thesis plausible, but think the mention of rallies as having anything like the significance on behaviour as the constant BLM / protest media avalanche is pretty silly (its obvious that a few mention of rallies are not going to have the effect of a constant, unending media avalanche of protest related material). He know it and is really just trying to play the even-handed one, I think.

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The governor of Florida lifted the lockdown because Trump wanted him to lift the lockdown. Why was Trump so anxious for Republican governors to lift the lockdown? Because timing is everything, in this case timing of the second wave: if cases and deaths are rising in the Fall, Trump is toast, but if cases and deaths are falling in the Fall, Trump will coast. Did Trump seek Fauci's advice about the best timing for Trump to lift the lockdown? What does Fauci know and when did he know it? Hey, right-wing crazies shouldn't have all the fun with conspiracies.

I am not a conspiracist, but if I was, I would say "needs more Russia."

The gray areas there are dark enough to support a lot of hypotheses.

Yesterday I observed that Florida's governor, having told his "citizens" that it's safe to go outside, or inside or wherever his "citizens" wish to go, can't un-ring the bell. I suppose that was a cowbell.

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To quote Cowen's friend Scott Sumner, never reason from a lockdown. Actually, Sumner did say that (paraphrasing his go to explanation for everything, which is never reason from a price change). https://www.themoneyillusion.com/as-i-keep-saying-lockdowns-are-mostly-endogenous/ According to Sumner, lockdowns are for losers: lockdowns reflect a failed policy. Of course, Trump is a winner, or likes to be perceived as a winner. What better way than opposing, or lifting, a lockdown. Being an economist, Sumner likes four-bit words when a two-bit word would work just fine. Thus, he observes that lockdowns are mostly endogenous. Except when they are exogenous. Got that? I like Sumner's explanation better than Nate Silver's.

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Trump also tried to use Republican convention leverage between NC and FLA...FLA already welcoming NBA, auto racing, golf.....FLA always open for more biz

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+1...in response to rayward.

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If anyone has daily case numbers and daily unemployment claims or some other economic indicator, they should look for correlation. I hypothesis that increased cases is a good thing because it’s a correlate of increased economic activity.

At this point in time, I don’t know what people are fussed about. The 0.02% of the population that is going to get COVID and get seriously ill is going to get it. Might as well make the world better for the 99.98% better and get the economy back on track.

This JP Morgan said he might be close to what you're suggesting:

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/504709-in-restaurant-spending-can-predict-increased-covid-cases-jp-morgan

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Tyler, now you are upset with NYT and shift to Nate Silver&Co for ideas. You prefer the MR platform to be a place for X-theory people to shout poor arguments for X while ignoring everything else. I wonder if you allow this sort of debate in your classes.

You are losing the competition with reporters, with people that have strict deadlines to fill space with words that hopefully make sense. For example, compare your post and comments with WSJ reporters

https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-surge-in-south-and-west-looks-different-from-norths-11593203105?mod=hp_lead_pos7

More important, however, you prefer to remain silent on relevant issues

https://www.wsj.com/articles/cuomos-covid-chutzpah-11593212522?mod=hp_opin_pos_1

Yes, Tyler. You have the right to remain silent. I hope, however, you read

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/06/why-is-andrew-cuomo-bragging/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=river&utm_content=featured-content-trending&utm_term=first

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The uptick in cases is very regional, really being concentrated in the South and to a lesser extent the West. Cases are still flat or declining in most of the Northeast and Midwest, even places that weren’t really hit hard in the first wave like Ohio. So any explanation that is national in nature (protests, reopenings, etc.) is at best incomplete.

The explanation I find most convincing is that people in the South are being indoors more with AC and also generally taking this less seriously in terms of wearing masks and voluntary social distancing. In my area (Midwest), almost everyone wears masks in stores and its probably at least about 50/50 outside, but I have friends in Southern states seeing an uptick say very few people are wearing masks.

The smaller but real uptick on the West Coast could support the multiple strains theory—the West Coast was impacted the least in the first wave because it had the less virulent Asian strain, and is now more impacted because it’s being hit by the more virulent European strain that hit the rest of the country.

The AC/indoor theory is interesting. It was first advocated by Hazel here.
But I wonder, do we see a similar pattern for the flu, with relatively more death in summer in the south than in the north? If not, doesn't it cast a serious doubt on that theory.

Influenza and corona are two different viruses. Much like how I do not expect cholera and typhoid to act the same way, though both involve water borne bacterial transmission.

It was an understandable, but increasingly untenable, position that two airborne diseases are similar. As we learn more, the differences are becoming ever more clear.

Perhaps. But this is precise the reasoning I am submitting to critic (while it is plausible and interesting) that is supposing a similarity between flu
and coronavirus, namely its increased contagiousness in closed space. But while this is used for flu to explained its winter seasonality, it is used for coronavirus to draw a different conclusion, a double-seasonality, winter in cold places, summer in hot places. There is something that must be clarified here.

'namely its increased contagiousness in closed space'

Cruise ships. Meat packing plants. Churches.

Your reading comprehension is abysmal.

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I didn't come up with it out of the blue. The fact that it spread more readily indoors has been brought up by others here, and elsewhere.

Here's a good article summarizing what is known:
https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them

I don't even think this is a "theory" anymore. It's just a fact that staying indoors (whether to get out of the heat OR the cold) is going to spread the disease faster.

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So far the best predictor of rising case (%) in the US is.....States that weren’t hit hard in the first wave.

It’s an interesting case of base rate fallacy

Guess it depends on how hard you thought California was hit.
April 15 new cases - 1302
May 15 new cases - 2034
June 15 new cases - 2719
Latest - 5619

California clearly has not been able to get the pandemic under control in over two months. Maybe you can remember the days of late March when California was considered one of the harder hit states of the original wave.

There has been far more testing in June. Here is California in terms of increases in Covid-19 deaths per day:

Apr 14 to Apr 22.....7.4%
Apr 23 to Apr 29.....4.4%
Apr 30 to May 6......3.4%
May 7 to May 13.....2.8%
May 14 to May 20...2.6%
May 21 to May 27...2.2%
May 28 to Jun 4.......1.5%
Jun 5 to Jun 11........1.4%
Jun 12 to Jun 18......1.2%
Jun 19 to Jun 26......1.2%

Who cares about more testing? It is the testing/positive ratio that is more important. And according to the LA Times on June 26, "In the last seven days, about 5.7% of the 615,612 tests conducted have returned a positive result."

That number is horrible, by the way, as increased testing that reveals increasing positivity as the number of cases is rising is bad. coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/individual-states This is not California specific, but the rise in tests, new infections, and positivity is sadly obvious over the last couple of weeks.

Okay Bill/clockwork/whatever, this is an interesting figure. If correct, it
means that at some point of last week, about 40,000 persons were infected in California among those tested. Of course there were also
many infected people among people not tested last week. Since only less than 2% of the California population was tested, and tests are not anymore reserved to people with big symptoms (since everyone can get tested if they want to, and some need to if they want to work), we can expect a real number of people infected last week, which is much higher, certainly in the hundred of thousands. I'd like to ask you, what is your own estimate of the number of infected people (at some point last week) in California?

Why would I care about the number of infected people when talking about looking at a curve based on testing/positivity? Increased testing with a stable or declining infection rate will lead to a decreasing positivity rate. This is currently not the case in the U.S. if you follow the link.

Maybe to have a falsifiable theory. Combined with your repeated assertion that the mortality rate being at least 1%, even the 40,000
infected people found in California last week (among the less than 2% tested) will cause an increase in the number of deaths in California in three weeks. You must estimate (reasonably) that the actual number of infected is much larger than that in California since you say it is very bad, and this would mean a huge increase of deaths in Caloifornia in three weeks. Let's see.

Empirical data is not about a falsifiable theory.

'Combined with your repeated assertion that the mortality rate being at least 1%'

At no point have I asserted a fatality rate when talking about new infections. Now that new infections are rising in the U.S., it appears that many people only want to talk about death rates, something which leaves me indifferent as a discussion point. A sad commentary, considering that as of yesterday, 127,952 Americans have died. I will note that the American death rate per million is now 387, which is not that far from France's 456, and more than three times Germany's 108.

'that the actual number of infected is much larger than that in California since you say it is very bad, and this would mean a huge increase of deaths in Caloifornia in three weeks.'

I have said absolutely nothing of the sort - please do not put words into my mouth. What I said, in response to Skeptical talking about the first wave, was that California has, from the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S,, been considered a hard hit state in comparison to places like Iowa or South Carolina or Montana.

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Just reading the Guardian about testing.

NY - less than 1% of the roughly 73,000 people tested for Covid-19 on Friday were positive. The 703 new cases account for 0.96% of those tested, down from 1.4% the day prior. (Obviously, that swing is not important - even a rate of 3% is more than enough for the comparison that follows)

Florida - There were 76,129 tests conducted Friday, with a 12.7% positivity rate, officials said.

Hopefully, those current and quite directly comparable numbers are sufficient to demonstrate the importance of positivity when looking at test numbers. Especially in connection with the first sentence concerning Florida - Florida has broken its one-day record for new coronavirus infections for a second straight day with an additional 9,636 positive cases, the state’s department of health said on Saturday.

If Florida was to double its testing to 150,000 tomorrow, its positivty rate would still be over a fairly alarming 6%.

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I disagree. It looks more regional than anything. Look at these charts; there are a ton of states (mostly in the Midwest, plus the upper tier of New England and arguably Colorado and Pennsylvania) that were not hit much in the first wave and still are not experiencing an uptick now: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/coronavirus-us-cases-deaths/?itid=hp_hp-top-table-main_web-gfx-death-tracker%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

Meanwhile, Louisiana, which was the only Southern state hit hard in the first wave, does look like it's starting to see a second wave:

Top 5 since 6/20

New Jersey
Illinois
California
Florida
Arizona

Then drops to Massachusetts

I’m not seeing a clear regional divide.

Where are you getting your data? According to the Washington Post link I shared above, the highest per capita new case totals over the past few weeks are Arizona (41 new cases per 100,000 population per day), Florida (23), South Carolina (22), Arkansas (20), and Mississippi (19). Illinois is at 7 and New Jersey is one of the lowest states at only 3.

I used your link, deaths since 6/20. I always use deaths since it’s the only reliable way to compare.

We’ll know in about 2 weeks if the top five swap

Are you f-ing kidding? Deaths lag cases by weeks.

And is a hell of a lot more accurate than all the problems with testing.

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Why would California require a separate explanation? Lots of places in Southern California are hot this time of year. Maybe the temperature in los Angelas proper is in the 70s, but what about the Valley?

Here's a temperature weather map of S. California.
https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/california/current-weather-maps

Sure, it's 79 on the coast. But go a few miles inland and it's 99 degrees.

S. California has literally the hottest place on the planet in it: Death Valley.

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Isn't it strange that while China and Brazil, which are so criticized by Trump and America's regime's media, have controlled the COVID-19 plague in their territories, our country, America, the richest country in the history, still can not produce a rarional strategy to deal with the problem? Maybe we are in the wrong side of history after all? That failure of our vaunted system has made me wuestion my beliefs and the regime propaganda we are being fed by the Trump-controlled mainstream media. I think it has become clear we have been lied to.

I have lost my faith on our refime and our leaders, especially Trump. It has become clear he is unfit to lead and only Republican principleless shameful hyperpartisanship prevents this modern-day King George from being dragged in utter disgrace from the White House as the appalling fraud he has been proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, to be.

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The failure of our vaunted system?
No, I think is a failure of individual Americans. Ignorance - deliberate- about the disease and its spread and disregard - also deliberate - of the lives of other people are totally expected outcomes of the me-first American culture. It's not a man-made disease but it is a man-made US pandemic. The evidence is there in the numbers in black-and-white. Arguments about protests, climate, and air conditioning can simply be tested by comparing to other countries.. and they disappear in the face of the facts.

Maybe, but it has become clear now thag our system empowers the worst of the bad people to destroy the lives of their neighbors. It is sad. Our leadership has failed us, deserted us in our time of need. Our country, like Rachel in the Gospels, weeps for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. We have reached a no-return point.

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Thiago having a conversation with himself

Or maybe you are trying to delegimitize the increasing frustration we, the common American citizens, are feeling towards our regime and its leaders.

Thiago ,buddy way to hang in there.
you doing ok?

I am Mr. Petersen, a New York City businessman.

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Isn't the sudden uptick in cases happening in the very cities, like Houston and Los Angeles, that saw massive crowds gather in protest 3 weeks ago? We don't need to theorize about A/C to explain this.

No. See Minnesota - no spike.

Wrong, see above: Minnesota is at nearly 500 new cases a day. 3 weeks ago they were at 8.

Talk about cherry-picking.
https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1EJFC_enUS874US874&ei=gbL3XveMCfmhytMPtfWk4Ak&q=mn+coronavirus+cases&oq=mn+coronavirus+cases&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIFCAAQsQMyAggAMgIIADICCAAyAggAMgIIADIFCAAQiwMyBQgAEIsDMgkIABAHEB4QiwMyAggAOgQIABBHOgYIABAHEB46BAgAEEM6BAgAEAo6BwgAEA0QiwM6BAgAEA1Q6o4CWPCzAmDyuAJoA3ACeACAAVCIAcQDkgEBNpgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXq4AQM&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwi30Yz88KLqAhX5kHIEHbU6CZwQ4dUDCAw&uact=5

Just go to Google and type mn coronavirus cases.

There is no uptick. The 8 cases is a cherry-picked single point in an overall downtrend.

You do not see the clear downward trend from May 20 to early June? And you dont' see a clear rise from early June on?

There's maybe a slight rise from early June. Not much of an uptrend to pin the huge outbreaks in Florida, Texas and Arizona on, if your trying to say that it's related to protests.

For MN, there is a hard down trend turning into a mild up trend - coming from your graph. Pretty big change in trajectory.
Now google deaths. No real uptick. Same as Florida

Well, you didn't think the hard downtrend was going to intersect zero and go negative did you? It was always going to be an exponential decay.

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It's young people congregating, shouting, talking whether outside in crowded protests or inside in crowded bars and not using masks
Inside is a bit worse as the air circulation is generally worse and people stay longer at the same spot.
It's not necessarily a big problem if older people keep protecting themselves. It won't lead to a big spike in ICU admissions deaths because the average age of infections is lower.
The optics look bad and it becomes a media storm but it's not a huge problem.
You can look at it at a good thing. Non vulnerable people getting infected.
Moderate bars and protests but keep the economy open, encourage masks is all that's needed.

+1 that may be the best take and the best option on this mess

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+1 Exactly. Deaths mostly not rising, or if they are, it's in places that had almost none throughout the whole epidemic.

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This uptick is also notable in Arizona and Oklahoma, two states where massive crowds never gathered in protest 3 weeks ago.

There were massive protests in both of those states as well. They looted a mall in Arizona.

Links?

I simply searched for BLM protests Arizona/Oklahoma, and basically nothing much came up. Searching for BLM looting Arizona brought up one incident at a Scottsdale mall, and Oklahoma City seems to have a single protest without looting.

Not picking up on anything massive, at all.

Oklahoma

Tulsa and Oklahoma City both had large and sustained protests.

Links? Especially to massive protests?

There do seem to be several protests involving a few hundred to a few thousand people, meaning that Trump's Tulsa rally would appear to be the largest single public gathering in Oklahoma since Memorial Day.

Ok, sorry, just enjoy yourself I guess.

I did, but maybe a state like Oklahoma has different standards for massive or large protests than either coast.

Nice to see the lack of links remains consistent.

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Seems like pointless information. The issue is the fatalities and the profiles of those people not how many people are getting a disease that for most people is not particularly serious.

Low level long term lung damage is serious.

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Two remarks on the "sudden uptick in cases":

1. I don't think the number of cases is necessarily the factor to concentrate on. Obviously, as testing increases, the number of detected "cases" will also increase. The better number to look at is the "positivity rate"---the percent of persons tested who are positive for the virus. The rate of the latter is increasing in many places but not nearly has much as the rate of detected cases;

2. Even the positivity rate may be misleading. It appears that the virus may be detectable and present in the body in some form after a person has recovered from all symtoms and even perhaps after that person is no longer contagious to others. See here, for example: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/06/how-long-does-coronavirus-last-inside-the-body-cvd/

If this is true, some (many?) of the people who test positive may not be susceptible to actual illness and are not a risk to others. And, the further we are in the process, the larger the percentage of previously ill/contagious persons who will test positive. That said, I don't think the experts have a complete understanding of how persistant the virus is in the human body and how long it remains in contagious form.

In some ways, the data may be good news. Hasn't it long been argued that we need to obtain herd immunity and the way to do that is for more people to get infected while not overwhelming the health care system? The latter doesn't seem to be overburdened and the death rate and the rate of persons in IC is declining even as the number of detected "cases" and the positivity rate is increasing.

>I don't think the number of cases is necessarily the factor to concentrate on.

Well, it is if you are Tyler, or CNN, or a lefty. But I repeat myself.

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Hi, Tyler. Can you describe your mental model of how cases data is generated and/or why you think it's informative? I was under the impression the number of people infected at any given time is much, much higher than the case count, so I would expect things like test-and-trace or social network information cascades (e.g., one college kid finds out they were infected, posts it on social media, and then a bunch of other people who have a high probability of also being infected go get tested; credit to Eric Winsberg for that hypothesis --> https://www.facebook.com/eric.winsberg/posts/10223926144328523) to drive an increase in the number of cases vs. just testing those with symptoms. So that would make make it hard to judge how "bad" things are with cases data. As evidence this might be happening, the median age of new cases in Florida is 34 and the modal age is in the 20s --> https://github.com/mbevand/florida-covid19-line-list-data. Further, available ICU beds in Florida have been hovering a little over 20% since the cases started ramping up over a week ago --> https://bi.ahca.myflorida.com/t/ABICC/views/Public/ICUBedsCounty?%3AshowAppBanner&%3AisGuestRedirectFromVizportal=y&%3Aembed=y. So it seems like Florida is detecting the abundant asymptomatic/mild cases that states like New York never had the opportunity to find.

If you test positive the hospital will pay you cash to declare this publicly. Then the hospital can do more efficient response. A hundred bucks spent may yield hundreds of thousands in return.

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People read the news.
But repeated trials are needed to find the triadic response.

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Brazil has officially announced it will buy enough doses of the Oxford vaccine ro lasr the whole pandemics. Moreover, more about 700,000 infected Brazilians have already overcome thendisease. I thank Acting Healthcare Minister Divisional General Pazuello for his correct leadership in health matters. His wisdom guides the freedom-loving peoples of the world.

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I consider this a legit and important question with all the new

infections to ask:

What does it mean to test positive for covid? I know the potential

illness/damage to ones body it can do but what about disclosure? Do you

tell your friends/neighbors/co-workers/ employer? And how will they treat you? If you are covid positive are you the new pariah (e.g. HIV/HepC persons)?

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Tyler should read his colleague Max Nisen's explanation. Perhaps some states reopened too soon. The mantra was to flatten the curve. Perhaps it should have been to smash the curve. Flattening the curve is not enough if there is already widespread infeection.
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-26/coronavirus-a-horrifying-rise-in-u-s-covid-cases-is-explained

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I have read only a couple of the 199 comments here so far, and those from the usual Trumpanzees seem to contain the usual idiocies not even worth bothering with.

As for Nate Silver, did he not mention the obvious item: mask wearing? This clearly makes a huge difference, almost certainly (along with being outdoors) that there has been little uptick in cases from BLM protests, whereas the upticks have been in states where lots of people take Trump seriously with his disdain for mask wearing. This is just screamingly obvious. Why did Nate Silver ignore it, or maybe he mentioned it and Tyler just left it out.

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Well, they are testing more random people. A good portion of these cases which are among 20-40 yr olds, are asymptomatic/minor symptoms. These are cases that would have been turned away from testing earlier. COVID hospitalizations are down, even as they test and categorize all inpatients for COVID regardless of reason for inpatient care, so the media and idiot "experts" hype the ICU beds in use. But per the TX LT governor, most ICU beds there are in use by non-COVID patients due to resumption of life-saving "elective" healthcare. Get that heart valve the government deemed "non-essential" repaired, you are going to the ICU for a day or two.

In any case, after the internment of the population, after they came out in public, there was going to be a surge. Remember, flatten the curve never meant preventing infections, only spreading them out, but it also didn't mean the spread wouldn't be bumpy.

The lab monkeys, after a rough start, have done reasonably well, but the health experts have exhibited a profound lack of critical thinking skills when it comes to public policy.

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3-4 weeks ago TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE gathered in extremely illegal public gatherings, and we're all just going to collectively pretend this didn't happen?

There is a massive spike because a bunch of people went out and started riots. Anyone who doesn't immediately understand this is either too malicious to be trusted or too stupid to be allowed to speak

No, techanon, you obviously are completely oblivious to readily available reports. There is zero connection between where "a bunch of people went out and started riots" and where the major spikes are happening. People rioting in Florida, Texas, and Arizona?

Why is it that so many commentators are so ignorant while being so arrogant and wrong. You are all a shameful lot.

BTW, I have now more carefully read comments here, and while a few of you mentioned the mask issue and noticed that the supposedly brilliant Nate Silver did not mention it, mostly people here were ranting about lockdowns and riots and lot of other stuff that are basically sideshows, much of it designed to let our criminal POTUS off the hook for the mounting thousands of deaths he is personally responsible for.

That most certainly includes you, "techanon," a complete fool.

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Why do we still not have repeated randomized testing (both DNA and serological) of asymptomatic people in any state?

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