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One often-heard statistic is the “case fatality rate”—that is, the percentage of people diagnosed with a disease who will die of it. This afternoon that figure stands at 3.5 percent for COVID-19 in the U.S., but this rate is significantly inflated because it does not count asymptomatic cases or undiagnosed people who recover at home. What we really need to know is the infection fatality rate: the percentage of all the people infected who eventually die of the disease. That’s what the German study attempts to do.

Over the last two weeks, German virologists tested nearly 80 percent of the population of Gangelt for antibodies that indicate whether they’d been infected by the coronavirus. Around 15 percent had been infected, allowing them to calculate a COVID-19 infection fatality rate of about 0.37 percent. The researchers also concluded that people who recover from the infection are immune to reinfection, at least for a while.

For comparison, the U.S. infection fatality rates for the 1957–58 flu epidemic was around 0.27 percent; for the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, it was about 2.6 percent. For seasonal flu, the rate typically averages around 0.1 percent. Basically, the German researchers found that the coronavirus kills about four times as many infected people than seasonal flu viruses do.

Bad but maybe not bad enough to justify the response. On the other hand, it’s hard to base actions in February on studies that come out in April.

CONSTRUCTION IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS: Coronavirus could soon topple one of NYC’s most luxurious new supertowers.

One of the tallest residential buildings in the nation, 111 W. 57th St., is just weeks away from missing its construction deadline, known as an “outside date,” thanks to years of delays and the construction moratorium caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If that happens, in-contract buyers could — and likely would thanks to coronavirus fears and an abysmal stock market — walk away with their deposits, leaving the $1.45 billion development empty.

Plus: “Just about any luxury condo in New York — whether it’s complete, almost complete or partly complete — is in the same boat right now: It’s frozen.”


And here’s the chart for deaths, which are usually a lagging indicator.

Either social distancing has worked, or it’s burning out on its own. Sadly, I’m pretty sure it’s the former. Why are deaths improving faster than number of cases here? I’m guessing, but probably because the disease started with retirement homes, where the death rate was huge, and has now moved to a more general population. And perhaps treatment is better. But that’s just my guess.

A friend on Facebook raises a good point, though: “What I would like to see from these ‘deep thinkers’ is what would constitute success? Hold them to it.”

Related: Seattle’s Army-built field hospital is coming down without treating a single patient. “Even as some questions remain about the extent of the outbreak in Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee Wednesday announced he would return to the federal government the field hospital recently assembled in Seattle’s CenturyLink Field Event Center to help the health care system cope with the new coronavirus. With the USNS Comfort still stationed in New York, and the USNS Mercy in Los Angeles, Inslee’s decision could mark the first return of hospital beds to the federal government during the pandemic from anywhere in the nation.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Heritage Coronavirus Commission Releases Five-Step Plan to Reopen America.

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: U.S. urged to go slow on easing coronavirus lockdown, even as jobless claims surge.

TOEING THE COMMUNIST PARTY LINE IS NOT A GOOD LOOK: Respected scientific journal issues apology for associating coronavirus with China over racism fears.

AS IT SHOULD: Harris Poll: The Coronavirus crisis is turning Americans in both parties against China.

Republicans and Democrats now largely agree that the Chinese government bears responsibility for the spread of the pandemic, that it can’t be trusted on this or any other issue, and that the U.S. government should maintain a tough position on China on trade and overall, especially if Beijing again falters in its commitments.

“It’s as much of a consensus issue as you can get in today’s divided world,” said Mark Penn, chairman of the Harris Poll. “Overall, there’s very little trust for anything that the Chinese government says or does, especially its premier. Xi Jinping has less than half the credibility of President Trump in this poll.”

Which is surprising, given how much more supportive the press has been of Xi than of Trump.


*For one, if we all drank like Nancy Grey Goose Pelosi, there wouldn’t be enough alcohol in the world for an American lunch break.

FOR INSTANCE, THERE’S THIS:  Doctors just uncovered another unusual coronavirus symptom.


I think part of this is a hold over in people about 10 years older than I who thought of computers as “smart.” These are people who can barely navigate email or social media, and for whom computers are somehow, mysteriously, infallible.  If someone can’t get Garbage In Garbage Out across to them, then we’ll just have to hit them with metaphorical two by fours when they go off half-cocked on some models. Because otherwise they will destroy us.

SO FAR, THIS PANDEMIC HAS NOT BEEN A GREAT SHOWING FOR THE EXPERT CLASS: COVID-19 Projection Models Are Proving to Be Unreliable. “As I detailed in the last post, the revised April 5 model was grossly wrong even in predicting conditions that would obtain on April 5 itself. It had predicted that on that day, New York, the epicenter of the crisis, would need about 24,000 hospital beds, including 6,000 ICU beds. In fact, the model was off by a third — New York had 16,479 hospitalized COVID patients, 4,376 that were in ICU.”

Related: USNS Comfort, Javits Center at fraction of capacity during coronavirus crisis.

The Javits Center military hospital in New York is treating 134 patients — despite a capacity of 1,000 beds that is expected to increase to 2,500 to deal with the spreading coronavirus pandemic, the Pentagon said.

The Comfort, docked in the Hudson River with 500 beds and about 1,000 medical workers aboard, currently has 62 patients and has treated 79 to date.

Similarly, the Javits hospital has a medical staff of about 900, mostly from US Army field hospitals.

Part of the reason for the lack of patients is that hospitalizations are down, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

“If the hospitalization rate keeps decreasing the way it is now, then the system should stabilize over these next couple of weeks, which will minimize the need for overflow on the system that we have built in at Javits and at the USNS Comfort,” Cuomo added.

That’s good news, of course, but it does call into question the information on which these plans were made.

THIS COULD BE BIG — BUT OF COURSE, IT DEPENDS ON WHO’S BEING TESTED: Roseland Hospital phlebotomist: 30% of those tested have coronavirus antibody.

A phlebotomist working at Roseland Community Hospital said Thursday that 30% to 50% of patients tested for the coronavirus have antibodies while only around 10% to 20% of those tested have the active virus.

Sumaya Owaynat, a phlebotomy technician, said she tests between 400 and 600 patients on an average day in the parking lot at Roseland Community Hospital. Drive-thru testing is from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. each day. However, the hospital has a limited number of tests they can give per day.

Owaynat said the number of patients coming through the testing center who appear to have already had coronavirus and gotten over it is far greater than those who currently have the disease.

Stay tuned.

COBOL NEVER DIES: Wanted urgently: People who know a half century-old computer language so states can process unemployment claims. Yeah, I had a post on this a few days ago, but I just love this. COBOL was my third (and basically last) programming language, which I learned in high school after Basic and Fortran.

NO, CORONAVIRUS DIDN’T COME FROM THE WUHAN MARKET: Joshua Phillips of The Epoch Times leads this documentary that should open eyes to the reality the disease is man-made. This is a must-watch.

ADAPT. IMPROVISE. OVERCOME. Nightclubs in Mexico allegedly offering ‘home delivery’ sex services during coronavirus pandemic.


I wonder if the folks at the New California movement are paying attention? Who am I kidding — of course they are.


Dramatic demographic shifts in the past century have made containing a pandemic increasingly hard. The rise of globalization, urbanization, and larger, more densely populated cities can facilitate a virus’ spread across a continent in a few hours—while the tools available to respond have remained nearly the same. Now as then, public health interventions are the first line of defense against an epidemic in the absence of a vaccine. These measures include closing schools, shops, and restaurants; placing restrictions on transportation; mandating social distancing, and banning public gatherings. (This is how small groups can save lives during a pandemic.)

Read the whole thing.

Earlier: Learning From A Century Of Bad Urban Planning. Or to put it another way:

BECAUSE THEY’RE SWAMP CREATURES. THAT’S WHAT THEY DO. In another episode of “We Have to Pass It to See What’s In It” it turns out that the COVID bill exempts the Federal Reserve from their obligation under the law to make their records public. Politico reports that:

“Tucked into the recent recovery bill was a provision granting the Federal Reserve the right to set up a $450 billion bailout plan without following key provisions of the federal open meetings law, including announcing its meetings or keeping most records about them, according to a POLITICO review of the legislation.”

Even worse, when contacted by POLITICO, the Senators wouldn’t take ownership of the provision:

Spokespeople for Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the chairman and ranking member on the Senate Banking committee, declined to comment on how the change was added to the recovery bill or who requested it.

Oh, yeah, I said some stuff, too.


The total number of recovered cases in Knox County surpassed 100 on Thursday while the total number of cases surpassed 150.

Knox County reported 6 new positive local cases and no new deaths Thursday. There are now 42 active cases in the county as of April 9, down from 65 on Wednesday.

The total number of recovered cases now stands at 106, up from 77 on Wednesday. Recovered cases refers to those who have been released from isolation.

Nineteen of the 152 cases have resulted in hospitalization at any point during the illness. This figure does not reflect the number of patients currently hospitalized in the county.

Stay tuned. I think our early shutdowns — and the pre-shutdown cancellation of the St. Patrick’s parade and Shamrock Festival — really helped.

HMM: South Korea Reports That Coronavirus ‘Reactivates’ in Some Patients Thought Cured.

SO I GUESS TRUMP WAS RIGHT TO CRITICIZE EUROPE’S OPEN BORDERS WHEN HE SHUT DOWN FLIGHTS FROM THERE. Most New York Coronavirus Cases Came From Europe, Genomes Show: Travelers seeded multiple cases starting as early as mid-February, genomes show. If Europe had shut down flights with China when the US did, this problem would have been reduced dramatically.


Of course. In times of maximum chaos, people take comfort in what they know, and the modern left’s ideology is entirely framed by identity politics.

DETACHED FROM REALITY: Democratic students blame Trump more than Chinese government for global spread of coronavirus: poll.

IT’S ONLY A MODEL. BUT: Leading Model: New York Among 7 States Projected To Have Hit Its Peak.

WHEN PEOPLE TIRE OF SUPPORTING ACADEMIA WITH THEIR HARD-EARNED DOLLARS, WE’LL BE TOLD IT’S BECAUSE OF “ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM.” ‘Marxian economist’ professor doesn’t blame Trump for coronavirus ‘mess.’ He blames capitalism.

SO YOU’RE SAYING TRUMP HAS SAVED US ALL? CDC director downplays coronavirus models, says death toll will be ‘much lower’ than projected.

IT IS UNWISE TO DEVIATE FROM THE PARTY LINE, COMRADE: Chinese coronavirus critic Ren Zhiqiang under investigation, Communist Party disciplinary committee says.


Just one section of Massachusetts could have more than 100,000 coronavirus cases — many times more than the entire state has identified at this point, according to an MIT-associated study of local sewage.

Biobot Analytics, which is a lab associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published research this week that an analysis of sewage from a treatment facility in “a large metropolitan area in the state of Massachusetts” suggested that many more people potentially have the highly contagious disease than tests have confirmed.

“On March 25, the area represented by the sample had approximately 446 confirmed cases of Covid-19,” Biobot researchers wrote Wednesday in a post about their research. “Based on our sewage analysis, we estimate that up to 115,000 people are infected and shedding the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

This would be great news, if true.

PATHOGENS DON’T SPREAD GEOGRAPHICALLY, BUT ALONG NETWORKS OF HUMAN INTERACTION: Coronavirus Invades Saudi Inner Sanctum: More than six weeks after Saudi Arabia reported its first case, the coronavirus is striking at the heart of the kingdom’s sprawling royal family.

CHANGE: U.S. Allows Google Internet Project to Advance Only if Hong Kong Is Cut Out.

Related: “Japan has earmarked $2.2 billion of its record economic stimulus package to help its manufacturers shift production out of China as the coronavirus disrupts supply chains between the major trading partners,” Bloomberg reports.

FACE, MEET PALM: FBI arrests Texas man for coronavirus hoax meant to empty grocery stores.

I’D LIKE TO HEAR GOOD NEWS HERE, BUT. . . New study investigates California’s possible herd immunity to COVID-19.

Researchers at Stanford Medicine are working to find out what proportion of Californians have already had COVID-19. The new study could help policymakers make more informed decisions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The team tested 3,200 people at three Bay Area locations on Saturday using an antibody test for COVID-19 and expect to release results in the coming weeks. The data could help to prove COVID-19 arrived undetected in California much earlier than previously thought.

The hypothesis that COVID-19 first started spreading in California in the fall of 2019 is one explanation for the state’s lower than expected case numbers.

As of Tuesday, the state had 374 reported COVID-19 fatalities in a state of 40 million people, compared to New York which has seen 14 times as many fatalities and has a population half that of California. Social distancing could be playing a role but New York’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 22, three days after California implemented its order.

Sunshine and lower density?

EXCEPT THAT THERE REALLY DOESN’T SEEM TO BE A VENTILATOR SHORTAGE:  Engineers convert breast pumps into ventilators amid coronavirus-related shortage.

IF I WEREN’T DEATHLY ALLERGIC TO FEATHERS…  Coronavirus concerns: People are panic-buying baby chickens, reports claim.

However, as I’ve said a number of times you don’t have to be a weather man to see which way the wind is blowing.

GEE, THEY SEEMED SUCH A RICH, WELL MANAGED COUNTRY ONLY A FEW DECADES AGO – I WONDER WHAT HAPPENED:  Venezuelan doctors languish in fuel lines amid coronavirus pandemic.

CHINESE TOOL PROVES FRAGILE, SHATTERS: World Health Organisation’s ‘China centric’ leader launches bizarre attack on Taiwan.

The leader of the World Health Organisation has gone on a bizarre rant attacking Taiwan while claiming to be the victim of racist comments and death threats.

WHO general manager Tedros Adhanom was responding to calls he should resign for failing to condemn China’s role in covering up the coronavirus crisis which has since killed more than 87,000 people.

“This (racial) attack came from Taiwan,” he said.

“We need to be honest. I will be straight today. From Taiwan.

“And Taiwan, the Foreign Ministry also, they know the campaign. They didn’t disassociate themselves. They even started criticizing me in the middle of all that insult and slur, but I didn’t care.”

Sky News Australia revealed yesterday Mr Adhanon was blocking the release of the names of doctors who voted against declaring a global health emergency in late January, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths.

Two days prior to that decision Mr Adhanom was photographed happily smiling with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.
China was at that stage lobbying the world, Including Australia, not to implement economically devastating travel bans.

US President Donald Trump has also threatened to withdraw funding from the WHO and formally investigate the body he described as being “China centric”.

That’s polite. “Chinese tool” is accurate. But, you know, those don’t hold up well under hard use. And complaints of racism are a tired defense of commies and incompetents.

FALSE HOPE: Colton Underwood credits two controversial drugs with curing COVID-19 symptoms. “Former ‘Bachelor’ star Colton Underwood claims two controversial drugs heavily touted by President Donald Trump ‘saved’ his life after he tested positive for coronavirus.”

Why are they “controversial?” Because President Trump “touted” them.

It would be different if Obama had touted them, of course. Then instead of “controversial,” they’d be “lifesaving miracle drugs.”

LEGITIMACY? THEY’RE A GANG OF CORRUPT INCOMPETENTS WHO RULE AT BAYONET-POINT: Beijing unnerved by alleged US attempts to undermine Chinese Communist Party legitimacy.

Related: Time to put China on lockdown for its dishonesty amid coronavirus crisis.

CBS MORPHED INTO SHUTTERSTOCK SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED: Another ‘Editing Mistake?’ CBS News Again Airs Italy Hospital Footage in U.S. Coronavirus Segment.

NEVER LET A PANDEMIC GO TO WASTE: Joe Biden: Coronavirus Is an ‘Opportunity’ for ‘Structural’ Change on Voting, Climate Change.

MAYBE WE SHOULD GO FOR GERMAN HEEL-CLICKING: Dr. Fauci Says He Doesn’t Think Americans Should Ever Shake Hands Again to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus.

OH: Biden Cronies Accused of Withholding Coronavirus Resources for Political Purposes.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Six Reasons Why Obama Would Have Botched the Coronavirus Response.

THEY’LL HAVE FACED ENOUGH BACKLASH ONCE THEY’RE OUT OF THE NEWS BUSINESS: NBC faces mass backlash after touting China’s coronavirus numbers to contrast with US.


The dishonest Copperhead media might not like the answer, though; if the virus is as deadly as the president and other world leaders say it is, they may soon find themselves in the same predicament as the newsmen of Lincoln’s day: shut down for sedition. And they will have thoroughly earned it.

Read the whole thing.

AND WITH GOOD REASON: Europe Is Abandoning the European Union And Embracing Nationalism In The Face Of The Coronavirus.

NEWS FROM MY NECK OF THE WOODS: Coronavirus in Tennessee: Knox County cases up to 146, one new death reported. “The Knox County Health Department said Wednesday the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Knox County now stands at 146. Knox County reported 20 new positive local cases and one new death Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths to four. There are now 65 active cases in the county as of April 8. . . . The total number of recovered cases now stands at 77 up from 74 on Tuesday. Recovered refers to those who have been released from isolation. Nineteen of the 146 cases have resulted in hospitalization at any point during the illness. This figure does not reflect the number of patients currently hospitalized in the county. A total of 2213 tests have now been conducted.”

Meanwhile, I was talking to a friend who owns some businesses in Knoxville and mentioned that I’d heard the local SBA office was flooded. His response is encouraging: “Well they have turned over a whole lot of stuff to the banks. And our banks, Truist/BB&T, Regions have been phenomenal. Hell I get notices about stuff coming online and fill it all out. When filling out my application for Payroll Protection Program, at 11:45 pm Saturday night, I had a question, emailed our bank representative and our CPA, and they both responded within 10 minutes!”

He also got a notice that the University of Tennessee is refunding his kid’s unused room & board for the semester, something I didn’t know we were doing, but I’m glad we are.

HMM: New York’s Coronavirus Death Toll is Almost Certainly Far Higher Than Reported. “Before the pandemic struck New York City, 20-25 people a day were dying at home according to the city medical examiner’s office. Now, that number is more than 200, raising questions about how many of those who die in their own beds actually died of coronavirus.”

That’s troubling. Hospitals have almost certainly been overcounting COVID-19 deaths, but what else could account for such an increase in in-home deaths?

LEGITIMATE CHINA GOVERNMENT ACTS LEGIT: Taiwan shows up China, sending hard-hit countries lifesaving coronavirus supplies.

LOTS OF DEREGULATORY LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM CORONAVIRUS: Don’t expect to read about it in the MSM but lots of bureaucratic red tape in the health care field is being waived to speed the official response to the coronavirus pandemic. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) are compiling lists, pointing to additional areas for action and making the case for permanent reforms.


KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Will a Coronavirus Quarantine Baseball Season Be Awesome or Really Weird? “Major League Baseball is teasing me now. Ed Morrissey wrote a post yesterday at our sister site HotAir about a plan that baseball officials are working on to be able to stage a bizarro baseball season in this most bizarro of years.”

It’s a crazy idea, but it just might work. And crazy baseball is better than no baseball.

GROCERY WORKERS ARE KEY HEROES, AND DESERVE BETTER PROTECTION. Front-line fatality: Market Basket worker dies after battling coronavirus.

NEW YORK: Today’s coronavirus update: NYC deaths top 9/11, panic shopping hikes prices.


As of Wednesday at 10am, Germany had more than 107,600 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

They differ slightly from Robert Koch Institute (RKI) figures which only take into account electronically transmitted figures from Germany’s states and are updated once a day.

The actual number of Covid-19 cases is thought to be higher. Depending on an individual state’s policies, many other possible cases may not have been tested because they show only mild symptoms or have not been in contact with a known case.

There have also been more than 2,000 deaths, with increasingly more cases being reported in old people’s homes. More than 38,200 people are reported to have fully recovered.

According to RKI chief Wieler, the so-called reproduction rate of infections stood at around 1.3 on Wednesday April 8th. This number indicates how many more people a person with coronavirus infects on average. The goal in Germany is to keep the value below 1.0.

Stay tuned.

ITALY: “Infections continue to slow as Italy records 604 more coronavirus deaths.

The number of patients in intensive care also decreased by 106 to 3.792 on Tuesday, and 1.555 patients have recovered from the virus in 24 hours, with recoveries rising to a total of over 24,000.

There were 604 new fatalities reported.

In total, 17,127 lives have now been lost to the virus in Italy, and there have been 135.586 cases in total since the outbrk began, according to official figures.

If you look at lives lost as a percentage of total cases, the death rate looks pretty awful.

SPAIN: Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll rises again. ” The number of new infections in Spain grew to 146,690, up from 140,510, it added. The number of new infections rose by 4.4 percent to 146,690, the health ministry said, as Spain has ramped up its testing for the disease. The number of daily deaths, which peaked on Thursday at 950, rose for the first time on Tuesday after falling for four straight days. But the rate of increase in both deaths and new infections on Wednesday was largely in line with that recorded the previous day, and half of what was recorded just a week ago.”

FRANCE: ” French health authorities run daily briefings and the figures from Tuesday night make for difficult reading – the death toll now stands at 10,328, up from 4,503 a week ago. Between Monday and Tuesday 607 patients died in hospital and 7,131 people are seriously ill in intensive care.”

FASTER, PLEASE: The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Not Stopping Border Wall Construction.


A total of 687 people have died with the coronavirus in Sweden, according to the Public Health Agency’s latest update (presented at 2pm), and there have been 8,419 confirmed cases so far. A total of 678 people have so far been in intensive care, and around 469 patients are currently in intensive care. Sweden is currently seeing an average of around 45 deaths a day, said state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell.

Tegnell however told the press conference that there are signs that Sweden, or particularly Stockholm, may have reached “more of a plateau situation than before”. “But we are starting to see an increase in other parts of the country,” he said.

The department for thoracic surgery at Linköping University Hospital in Sweden tested all of its staff, around 50, for the coronavirus and found that around five to ten tested positive without obvious symptoms or with only very mild symptoms, such as a light headache or a slightly blocked nose.

A Public Health Agency survey is currently under way to investigate how many people in society may be carrying the coronavirus. But asked about the example from Linköping University Hospital, the agency’s analyst Karin Tegmark Wisell told Swedish radio: “This underlines that paying attention to symptoms is not enough, but you have to observe social distancing to as great an extent as possible.”

Yes. Lack of symptoms is great for you, but deadly for others.

SURPRISINGLY, THE EU BUREAUCRACY DISAPPOINTS IN A CRISIS: ‘Extremely Disappointed’: EU Science Chief Resigns In Stinging Criticism Of Coronavirus Response.

MODELS ARE MODELS: A Popular COVID-19 Model Just Got Rosier. Don’t Read Too Much Into It.. It’s important to remember that when you like the news they’re providing, just as much as when you don’t.

Models are always perfect, so long as you have perfect data and a perfect understanding of the processes that are being modeled.

Related: Modeling coronavirus: ‘Uncertainty is the only certainty.’

CASH ONLY, PLEASE: G7 Nations Should Sue Communist China for $4 Trillion Over Coronavirus Malfeasance, Report Says.

CONNECTING DOTS:  Wuhan Coronavirus – An Origin Hypothesis.

IT DOESN’T MAKE HIM WRONG:  Pastor who criticized coronavirus ‘mass hysteria’ dies from illness.

“We just never thought our father would pass away because of this,” Jesse Spradlin told the outlet. “But he wasn’t the type of person to just live in fear and let it rob him of the joy of the life that he had.”

FASTER, PLEASE:  Finland to begin randomized coronavirus antibody testing.

NOTHING BIDEN DOES IS HELPFUL. INCLUDING TO HIMSELF:  Biden campaign coronavirus offer making governors’ jobs ‘difficult’.


In the Age of Trump, White House press briefings have become a time for some reporters to have their fifteen minutes of fame. Reporters no longer try to disguise their own personal political opinions in the name of professional journalism. Few reporters are able to participate without looking like they are more concerned about a gotcha question against the president, his administration, or even the press secretary herself or himself. A prime example of this behavior is CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. He’s even written a book about covering Trump though the president is not even finished with his first term. He’s not the only one to do that, he’s just the most obvious example.

During the Great Hunkering Down period of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump and his coronavirus task force have been giving daily press briefings. He’s been so good at it that his approval ratings are up and his harshest critics in cable news, CNN and MSNBC, decided to stop carrying them in their entirety. Imagine that – cable news networks so unhinged about a president that they don’t bother to cover press briefings concerning a pandemic. It is as though they cheer for failure just to be able to say Trump couldn’t handle the crisis. Those networks are only too happy to do puff piece interviews with the likely Democrat nominee Joe Biden, though.

Indeed they are.

OPEN BORDERS: Disaster in motion: Where flights from coronavirus-ravaged countries landed in US. “From December through March, as severe outbreaks cropped up in China and then Italy and Spain, among others, thousands of flights from the hard-hit nations poured into U.S. cities, according to an ABC News analysis of more than 20 million flight records obtained from the tracking service Flightradar-24. While it is unclear the precise number of passengers into the U.S. who were infected with the coronavirus, the medical experts told ABC News such a huge pool of people virtually assures that a number had the highly contagious disease.”

But stopping them from coming back then would have been xenophobic, and probably racist.

UPDATE: That was fast, the ABC story seems to have been taken down. Here’s the Google Cache version.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Eugene Volokh says it’s still available at this URL.

GUESS WHAT’S BURIED WAY DOWN IN THIS STORY? “It was the worst 2 weeks of my life”: Woman recovers from coronavirus. Here it is:

It wasn’t until she was given hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat Malaria, that things started looking up.

“After I started taking the Malaria medicine, I started to feel a lot better,” she said. “Like, the next day.”

False hope.

CHINA BARS CHURCHES FROM STREAMING SERVICES: Millions of Americans are holding church services and meetings via the Internet during the coronavirus pandemic. Not so in China, which has recently increased its already oppressive measures against Christians.

PROGRESS: South Korea trial uses survivor blood plasma to treat coronavirus.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Time to put China on lockdown for its dishonesty amid coronavirus crisis. “China’s response was inept, dishonest and utterly inconsiderate of the world. We need to teach the Chinese government a lesson.”

BOJO UPDATE: “Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said he is ‘confident’ Boris Johnson will recover from coronavirus, describing the prime minister as a ‘fighter’. Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, Mr Raab said Mr Johnson remained in ‘good spirits’ and was breathing without assistance.”

Related: This Lefty Mayor’s Attack on Boris Johnson Was So Disgusting It Got Her Booted From Her Own Party.


Or to put it another way: China’s Long Tentacles Extend Deep Into American Media.

The companies that own the major news networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, all do significant business in China. On the print side, top U.S. newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times have been criticized for running paid China Daily inserts. What they were paid for these inserts is still unknown.

By contrast, conservative news companies are much less involved in China. Conservative radio giant Salem, whose attempt to buy Tribune several years ago provoked an enormous freakout from media reporters over consolidation, is all-American. And Fox, after several troubled attempts to break into the Chinese market—including sending a News Corp team to help build People’s Daily a website—has mostly given up, after selling its Asia-Pacific operations to Disney over the last two years.

Disney owns ABC and has a park in Shanghai. It also owns ESPN, which was criticized for its coverage of China’s retaliation against the NBA earlier this year over one team owner’s support of the Hong Kong protests. But other than ABC, Disney is relatively uninvolved in news.

Comcast, on the other hand, has a much larger footprint in the U.S. media landscape, between NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC. The company’s role in fostering cultural exchange is truly historic: they’ve brought to millions of American homes a customer service experience akin to a utility provider in a communist country, and have invested billions to bring “Minion Land” and a Harry Potter village to Beijing, with the help of a state-owned investment vehicle.

What might the Chinese government do if it were displeased with something that ran on MSNBC? Perhaps they’d have a tense conversation with their partners at 30 Rockefeller Plaza about the forthcoming slate of movie releases in China. Or it might be worse, given their decision to cut off all NBA games to retaliate against one team owner.

But evidently China is pleased with their partnership so far, and no NBC journalists had their residency permits pulled earlier this month. A March 10 post on the New York consulate’s website touted a recent meeting with Comcast execs:

Comcast Corporation is not only the participator of the increasingly close cultural exchanges, but also the contributor and beneficiary of deeper economic exchanges between China and the US. The NBC and the Universal Studios Theme Park in Beijing are witnesses of the in-depth development of Sino-US economic and trade relations and increasingly close cultural exchanges.

Consul General Huang Ping made a point of discussing China’s response to the coronavirus, as well as news coverage in the U.S.: “China’s prevention and control practices have earned valuable time and experience for other countries. …We hope that the NBC and other U.S. media will objectively and fairly report China’s efforts to control the epidemic.”

Comcast’s masters in Beijing must be quite pleased with the coverage they’re receiving from NBC:

As Jim Geraghty wrote in October, when the CCP-NBA connection exposed for millions of Americans to see: We’re Not Exporting Our Values to China — We’re Importing Theirs.




MEMORY HOLE: What the Media Wants You to Forget About Their Biased Coronavirus Coverage.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Time to put China on lockdown for its dishonesty amid coronavirus crisis. “China’s response was inept, dishonest and utterly inconsiderate of the world. We need to teach the Chinese government a lesson.”

COLD WAR II: GOP sounds alarm after ‘quasi-official’ Chinese outlet gains access to coronavirus press briefing, promotes Beijing.

“Only last week, there were multiple flights coming from China full of medical supplies,” the reporter from Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV began during Monday’s briefing. “Companies like Huawei and Alibaba have been donating to the United States, like 1.5 million N95 masks and also a lot of medical gloves, and much more medical supplies.”

“Sounds like a statement more than a question,” Trump interjected.

The reporter then asked if Trump was willing to work “directly” with China; Trump responded that China should honor its trade deals with the United States.

“Are you cooperating with China?” she pressed. “Who are you working for, China?” Trump responded. “Who are you with?”

The reporter smiled. “Um, no, I’m working for — Hong Kong Phoenix TV.”

“Who owns that? China?” Trump asked.

“It’s based in Hong Kong. … It’s a privately owned company.”

But it turns out that Phoenix TV, which has aggressively sought to expand in the United States, has closer ties to the Chinese government than the reporter let on.

While we were enjoying our cheap consumer goods, Beijing was busy figuring out all-new attack vectors for Cold War II.

SALENA ZITO: Truck drivers make it possible for everyone else to work from home.

Truckers have become a new wave of front line responders in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic — starting with Eby, who gets the piglet to the farm to be fattened, and the next driver who gets the fattened pig to the butcher, and the next one who gets the refrigerated meat to the store.

Before the realities of this pandemic, trucks were often ignored. Their impact on our daily lives was considered an annoyance, as they chugged slowly up the winding hills of our back roads on the way to that grocery store, hospital, department store, or Amazon distribution center.

Never mind that they are filled with those essential things we have to have or nonessential things we thought we had to have. Too often, people mindlessly assume what they buy at Target or Walmart or Whole Foods comes from the back room, not from a farm upstate, or a factory four states away.

“I’m glad that our industry is finally getting a little bit of a positive spin,” said Richards, “So many times, you run up and down the highways and all you see is plaintiff attorneys advertising, wanting to sue truckers.”

Read the whole thing.

JOHN FUND & JOEL HAY:  “Has Sweden Found the Right Solution to the Coronavirus?”

“I THINK I’LL TROLL TRUMP BY BRINGING IN A PRC REPORTER.” I guess that sounded better at the time. Trump Breaks CNN, Smokes Out Pro-Beijing Reporter in One Press Conference.

Related: “For the record, ABC News anti-Trump huckster Jonathan Karl is currently in charge of assigning seats for the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings. In other words, it was no accident.”

Big Picture: Don Surber: Anti-Trump reporters trapped themselves on COVID-19. “Having watched the impeachment backfire on them, the Washington press corps moved on and opened the next package from Acme.”

HMM: Is the Coronavirus Curve Already Flat?

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Time to put China on lockdown for its dishonesty amid coronavirus crisis. “China’s response was inept, dishonest and utterly inconsiderate of the world. We need to teach the Chinese government a lesson.”

THEY’RE CRITICAL-THINKING ACADEMICS. THEY DON’T NEED FACTS WHEN THEY HAVE FEELINGS AND A NARRATIVE: Professors accuse Fox News of downplaying coronavirus. These clips suggest otherwise.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Time to put China on lockdown for its dishonesty amid coronavirus crisis. “China’s response was inept, dishonest and utterly inconsiderate of the world. We need to teach the Chinese government a lesson.”

UPDATE: This piece has only been up for a little while and my work email is getting a steady stream of suspiciously-similar emails defending the Chinese government. I’m not going to respond, of course, but if I did I’d send Tim Blair’s response.

WHEN IS A CORONAVIRUS DEATH ACTUALLY A CORONAVIRUS DEATH? Good question, raised by Julie Kelly of American Greatness. The answers are about as clear as a gallon of Mississippi River mud flats water.

WHAT A NASTY BUG: Latest Coronavirus Science: Heart and Brain Damage May Be More Common Than We Thought.

BUREAUCRACY KILLS: They Want to Make Masks in America, But Regulators Can’t Let Them.

One of my former students, now a very successful entrepreneur, brought a planeload of masks into the country for distribution in Knoxville and remarked that he can see why there’s a shortage, because getting permission to bring them into the USA was like pulling teeth.

GIVING IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS: China forces Italy to buy same coronavirus supplies it had donated to Beijing a few weeks ago.

ACT OF JOURNALISM COMMITTED ON CAPITOL HILL: Which of these presidents disbanded the National Security Council’s anti-pandemic section, Donald Trump, Barack Obama or George W. Bush? How about all three of them!

Credit Roll Call’s Rachel Oswald with doing the research, interviewing key players, asking them pointed questions, and then presenting the results in a straightforward, no-nonsense fashion. Here’s the summary paragraph:

“But a variety of longtime experts in disaster response who spoke to CQ Roll Call warn that the country risks missing some of the lessons from what is the largest public health crisis in a century if opprobrium is heaped solely at Trump’s feet. Rather, they say, there is blame to be shared, going back decades through multiple presidencies and on both sides of the political aisle.”

Other than a perfunctory paean to Pelosi’s pandemic commission near the end, Oswald keeps it balanced and informative. It’s called “journalism” and the nation needs a huge revival of it. I just hope Oswald’s career doesn’t suffer for having done this excellent piece.

Compare Oswald’s work with this Establishment agit-prop from The Washington Post, pushing the Trump-pushing-risky-drug and Trump-White House-divisions-widen narratives.