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Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco

The Coronavirus is named after the fact that under a microscope it looks like the surface of the sun, with lots of little protrusions and bumps. These are series of diseases, but the one everyone is talking about for now, is the Chinese (Wuhan COVID-19 for COrona VIrus Disease circa 2019, or SARS-CoV-2) that's going pandemic. While the CDC, WHO and FDA all blew their response, we've never seen a more effective response to a pandemic, and the U.S. outperformed most of the world in objective metrics. But as to be expected, partisan Democrats and their media never let an opportunity go to waste: to politicize, polarize, divide and undermine the American economy and people.

COVID : 22 items

Branch COVIDians (aka COVIDIOTS), are the enthusiastic Karen Enforcers of policies that they've been told work by the DNC or their media, but demonstrate no actual domain knowledge of the problems or skepticism (critical thinking skills) to back it up. They are the Dunning-Kruger's who believe the evidence against masks or shutdowns are conclusive: "the science is settled" when in reality, both are still hotly debated in scientific circles and there's as much evidence against both as effective as for. When cornered, instead of discussing the topic, they usually attack people, or post links to their favorite non-scientific source, or rarely, to a junk study that's easy to debunk.

While I sometimes argue with these people, the point is not to change their mind (their views demonstrate that they're not open to the nuances of reality), it's to get them to show to others that their consensus demanding tantrums are not based on nuance or reality, but based on a desire to conform to what they've been told to think (usually by the far left).

COVID Biden - Biden ran on the fallacy that he would have handled COVID better, and that Trump was wrong, despite all his excuses for why he would handle it better were either already being done or of dubious merit at best. He has promised that on Inauguration day he'll create a mask mandate for 100 days. What we know is:
  • This defies science: the bulk of scientific evidence is that Mask don't help. Places like Belguim, Peru, Spain, Italy, all had mask mandates and dramatically underperformed places with none or lackluster mandates that weren't enforced.
  • It defies logic: we already had local mandates. Why create a national one for places that aren't having outbreaks to help with places that already have local mandates?
  • Why do you think 300+ days into a pandemic that now is the time to enact a mandate? And why do you think that you know you'll only need the mandate for 100 days.

COVID Death Rates - COVID deaths and death rates were intentionally exaggerated from the start to maximize fear/impact in the public. Then the facts/data that would offer context and alleviate some of the public's fears (overreactions) with actual facts/data were suppressed by not only failing to consider them newsworthy, but by intentionally attacking the medical professionals who offered them and censoring people who were repeating them. We can speculate why, but the facts are that it did happen, and that should not happen in a free country or in places where people "care about the facts/science".

COVID FakeNews - The media has been generating a landslide of FakeNews around COVID (SARS-CoV-2). Some of these are fabrications, most are more lies of exaggeration or omission (removing context). If you need evidence that the Media is against Americans and willing to sacrifice lives, or lie for ratings, this catastrophe alone will separate the informed from the media believers, examples include: COVID Anti-AsianCOVID is a hoaxCOVID ModelsCOVID WHOLysolgatePolarizing the shutdown

COVID Immunity and mutation rate -
There's some dispute on the Coronavirus mutation rate. The basics are it is an RNA type virus, that's twice as complex and mutates at half the rate of the seasonal flu. Combined, that's an effective mutation rate at 1/4th the Flu. Is that slow enough that we can create vaccines? We aren't sure yet. We think so. But some Chinese researchers dove deeper and found more mutation and outcomes than expected. So need more info. On the other hand, there seems to be evidence in at least limited immunity (plasma/antibody treatment, low re-infection, and study on monkeys). Also there were a few stories about China or Korea finding patients who had been cured that later tested positive. But it is believed that it's just residual RNA fragments that haven't been flushed from the body yet. (Nothing to worry about).

COVID Masks - Masks for stopping COVID defies science.
  • Some bad studies claim to show through inference that masks work, because a few place had lower case loads and wore masks -- but they ignore other better reasons for fewer cases and ignore outliers that prove them wrong. Other better studies/papers contradict the efficacy (especially before the politics of COVID), and credible places call them more placebos or "talisman's" -- good for politics or confidence but little else.
  • If the cloth masks worked against COVID, then cities, states or countries with masks mandates would outperform those that didn't. You can cherry pick places that had fewer cases and mask mandates (but it's nearly impossible to isolate it to masks as the cause and not other things), and other places that were disastrous despite mask mandates (like Belgium) which proves that they are not a prime contributor to slowing the disease.
  • We know that most people that got COVID were mask wearers. (The CDC says >85%, but other studies show U.S. compliance is closer to 93% and we still had a second outbreak).
  • There is a lot of evidence that masks may actually exacerbate issues: touching, talking louder, getting closer and repeating yourself, false security, moist place for virus to survive, all contribute to increased risk, not decreases.

COVID Overreach - When COVID happened, in general the left ignored the problem with the disease long (often too long) maximizing harm to their populations, then once they recognized an opportunity to seize power -- they took it. And they are usually the last to release it (and then as slowly as possible). They exercised that power in a specious and obnoxious as possible. You'll notice that most have a (D) after their name. Examples: Mills Newsom Whitmer

COVID Shutdown -
The shutdown was enacted under the guise that we needed to "bend the curve" and prevent a caseload surge that would overwhelm our healthcare and have millions die waiting for ventilators. What we got was the stock market to drop 30%, GDP to drop 40%, Trillions in debt , and 30%+ unemployment (including healthcare worker laid off for lack of work). The COVID Models were off by 4-10x or more, and we never neared capacity, even in the worst hit places. We had at least twice the ventilators per capita as Germany at the start and was surging manufacturing to have many times that in months. Oh, and ventilators turned out to be the worst way to treat it (with 80% dying anyways). As long as the economy was still alive and Trump might get re-elected, they are prepared to burn the whole economy down for their political ends: creating a dependency class of unemployed dependents is what they wanted all along. The most effective mitigation is the one that does the least harm, but keeps from destroying lives: the Swedish Model. The Shutdown does the most harm possible. Despite experts from top Universities saying End the Shutdown the anti-liberty left, doesn't care about the lives they're ruining.

COVID Studies - Antibody tests are proving that continuing lockdown is senseless, and that we are completely being lied to about the denominator (how many total cases there are), which inflates the death rate and scares people unnecessarily. Examples: COVID Monkey Study Boston China Colorado Diamond Princess Germany Iceland L.A. Massachusetts Miami Netherlands NY Santa Clara Theodore Roosevelt Washington

COVID Testing - When you're trying to contain a disease break-out, testing matters. Once the disease is in the general population -- and contact tracing and controls are impractical, testing is strictly for individual diagnostics (to decide treatment) or for trend tracking in your community. This is especially true if the CFR (Case Fatality Rate) of the disease is closer to that of the flu than ebola. If the Press isn't telling you that, it's FakeNews. And if an economist is telling you we need to test everyone before we go back to work, they're idiots or frauds. Based on COVID Studies we can guesstimate that 10-20M Americans have been exposed to COVID, and that number is far higher globally. The idea that you can test all of us weekly, and contract trace everyone who shows positive is delusional. Police states don't have the resources to do this, and they aren't limited by our Constitution or armed population with a passion for civil liberties (including privacy).

COVID Trump - The Trump hating (TDS suffering) media, decided everything Trump said was wrong. Lies about Trump and COVID included: Trump claimed COVID is a hoax, Trump claimed drinking Lysol is a cure, Trump claiming vaccines in 2020 was impossible, Hydroxychloroquine had no evidence or broader that other drugs like Remdesivir or Ivermectin were false hope, that it originated in China, that the travel ban was racist, that it might have originated in a lab.

COVID timeline - Timeline:
  • 2019.12.12 - Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that a "new viral outbreak was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China.
  • 2019.12.21 - Chinese epidemiologists with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) published an article stating that the first cluster of patients with "pneumonia of an unknown cause" had been identified.
  • 2020.01.02 - 41 admitted hospital patients in Wuhan, China, were laboratory-confirmed to have contracted the 2019-nCoV (Novel coronavirus)
  • 2020.01.21 - 291 cases had been reported across major cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai.
  • 2020.01.21 - the U.S. reported its first laboratory-confirmed case in the state of Washington.
  • 2020.01.24 - Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. all confirmed their second cases.
  • 2020.01.26 - the U.S. confirmed its third, fourth, and fifth cases: two in California and one in Arizona.
  • 2020.01.30 - the U.S. confirmed its sixth case, and the first confirmed case of human to human transmission within the United States (the spouse of another patient in Chicago).
  • 2020.01.31 - the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services declared the SARS-CoV-2 virus a U.S. public health emergency.
  • 2020.02.03 - CDC submitted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) package to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to expedite FDA permitted use of the CDC diagnostic panel in the U.S.
  • 2020.02.04 - FDA issued the EUA. IRR began distribution of the test kits to states, but shortly thereafter performance issues were identified related to a problem in the manufacturing of one of the reagents which led to laboratories not being able to verify the test performance.

COVID-FAIL - Our "experts" and agencies that we poured billions into failed miserably at their charters. The TLA's (Three Letter Agencies) like the WHO, CDC, FDA, CIA and CCP, all blew chunks and/or lied, undermining faith in them amongst the rational. The mainstream media was an embarrassment, getting most stories wrong by taking the far left view of everything, and later being discredited and having to reverse themselves. By being the tools of the far left (DNC) and MSM, Big Tech (Social Media) was worse, censoring stories that didn't fit their agenda, and later it turning out all they did is magnify disinformation that they claimed to be protecting us from. And of course progressive's (politicians and individuals), in demanding conformity to the far left collective, managed to do more harm than COVID ever could. So what did we learn?

Coronavirus Correction - Look, the market reacts to fear and tries to price in uncertainty. The problem is that there are magnifiers, and most often the market OVER reacts to new information. And COVID breaking out is new information -- so overcorrection in March (stampede for the exit), wild volatility until we know how our government and the people will react -- then slow stability as normalcy returns (with corrections as new information is exposed). People have been asking me investment advice or tips. The basics is you’re trying to time the market, you’re betting on "when is peak fear"? (Not peak impact of the virus, but when everyone is done over-reacting). That depends on how the government and people react, where the peak virus is, and how quickly we can learn to cope with the new reality (and fear of a virus).

Coronavirus as hate - Democrats never let an opportunity to politicize, demonize and hate go to waste. Here's a few examples where when others went high, they went low: Amy BednarzCandi CdeBacaCOVID Anti-AsianCOVID ShutdownFlu Klux KlanMusk on COVID

Coronavirus mitigation - I went to the movies the other day, and watched The Hunt. A fun slasher film. But it was also interesting seeing the regulations to mitigate the Coronavirus as implemented in San Jose (the Icon Theater at Valley Fair). The floorplan looked different, because they kept 2 empty seats between each seat pair, and no one could sit in front or behind you (a checkerboard). This prevented easy transmission. And they ran a promo at the beginning letting you know if anyone was coughing near you, ask and you could be re-seated. So they were really trying to be as accommodating as possible. But I couldn't help but wonder that theaters are not a high margin business -- and cutting the efficiency down this much, was not economically viable in the long term (or likely the short term).

Coronavirus treatment - There are a lot of positives for various treatments around COVID: Existing DrugsVaccinesHydroxychloroquine

Flu Klux Klan -
The Flu Klux Klan is my joking term for the "never let an opportunity (to steal power) go to waste" crowd. They see everything through the lens of progressivism. They were the first to leap on the COVID Shutdown and will be the last to let up. While some are sincere, there are many that just want to hold the baby (economy) under water until the bubbles stop -- and as long as the economy was still alive (and Trump might get re-elected), they are prepared to burn the whole economy down for their political ends. After all, creating a dependency class of unemployed and clueless followers is what they wanted all along.

Herd Immunity - Herd immunity means that enough people have had a disease, that the contagion can't spread and dies out. (Basically the effective R0, or how many people each person with the disease passes it on to, is less than 1 other person). This belief leads to misconceptions.
  • Some people think that needs to be 60 or 80% of the population. Oversimplified: a disease with an R0 of 3 would require >66% of the population to have immunity so that more than 2 out of 3 people it tried to pass it to, would already have immunity -- dropping the transfer rate below 1.0 and the disease would die out. Basically, true, but there's more to it.
  • Herd immunity stacks on other measures: so if you can reduce a contagion to spreading 1/2 as fast by social distancing, hand sanitization, masks, etc., then the R0 of 3.0 is now effectively a 1.5. Which loosely means that if >33% (1 in 3) people already has it, that slows it by an additional 33%, and you're below 1.0, and it would die out. Behavior/culture modifies transfer speed (R0).
  • Distribution vectors also matter. Not everyone is equally at risk from everyone else. We have cliques and social circles (clusters/tribes). Someone in BF Idaho doesn't have an equal threat from someone in NYC or Wuhan as from their neighbor or family, because they interact with them slower and less often. If the people immunized are all the people that travel from NYC to BF Idaho, then it doesn't matter if anyone in Idaho has herd immunity, because you cut off the threads of transfer. So inoculating the 5% that travel, could offer significant protections for the other 95% of the sub-population.
This is why the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic only infected only 30% of the population -- and NOT 80% required to get theoretical herd immunity.

Joe Biden First Speech - Biden comes out of hiding: the most transparent administration ever is the slowest to address the nation in over 100 years, and still no press conference. His speech started, ended and was filled with lies and disinformation, that divides the nation, and politicizes a pandemic, in the name of unity and healing. This breaks that down.

Memes-COVID - These are the meme's about COVID -- take them for what they are, some sardonic humor that pokes fun at the ironies, hypocrisy or grim realities of human nature. COVID DeathsCoronavirusLysolShutdown

NYT on COVID - The New York Times was living up to their all propaganda narrative with an article headlined, "One Year, 400,000 Coronavirus Deaths: How The U.S. Guaranteed Its Own Failure" and the subhead blaming Orangeman, "After the White House declined to pursue a unified national strategy, governors faced off against lobbyists, health experts and a restless public consumed by misinformation." Their points were:
  • Americans kept questioning conflicting expert opinions
  • Local governments wallowed in a cesspool of distrust and incompetence
  • The reason Operation Warp Speed and the Vaccine wasn't starting as well as it could have, was because there was no national policy

Of course like most progressives, they get it backwards. (Without understanding the past or present, their ideas for the future are doomed). The facts are that:
  • Questioning authorities is called Scientific skepticism. And there is more questioning when the experts flip-flop and can't explain why. (Like they flipped on efficacy of lockdowns, masks, told people there would be no vaccines this year, that hydroxychloroquine did or didn't work, that it was/wasn't spread by the asymptomatic, that the death rate was 20x what it actually was, they cooked the books on how many have it or died from it instead of just with it, and so on).
  • If you think there was distrust at the local level, with politicians they know -- imagine how much MORE distrust their would have been from a top-down Washington Bureaucrats. Local works better in more places than it works poorly -- and where it failed poorly was generally Democrat run places.
  • Operation Warp Speed did offer federal guidelines back in October... the places that failed the worst were Blue States that decided they knew best. Red States like Texas, South Dakota, etc., were performing wonderfully from the start. The problem wasn't that the Fed didn't run it, it's that Democrats run things poorly.


Written by: Ari Sabouni