COVID-19 Update, Morning 2-19-2020

This update is going to be a horror show of numbers involving “super spreaders” and public health incompetence in and around the Diamond Princess cruise ship. As of this mornings’s writing time hack, there are currently 75,129 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, including 2,007 fatalities. China: TOTAL 74,130 2,002 12,017 serious 13,818 recovered 6,242 suspected. (No one believed these numbers except the Who and CDC) Everywhere else: 999 cases, 5 deaths, 39 serious/critical

Next — the COVID-19 infection numbers from the Diamond Princess are horrific.


“Japan: The 542 people from the “Diamond Princess” cruise ship are listed separately and they are not included in the Japanese government’s official count. Fourteen of them are Americans whose test results came in while they were being evacuated from the ship. 246 were _asymptomatic_.”

Given 246 of 542 infected are asymptomatic…we are looking at a 45% of no-symptom super-spreader rate.

Note: the following additional “Diamond Princess” information culled from four US newspapers over at the Free Republic forum’s “Corona Virus Live—mostly Thread. 2/18-2/19”;page=151

In one flight of the Diamond Princess returnees. “…the original 14 tested have become 19 due to inflight testing, or 18 pending and 1 CDC confirmed.


The flight to Travis, CA had 7, and picked up 3 inflight – all asymptomatic


The Flight to Lackland, TX had 7, and picked up 2 inflight – all but one asymptomatic


So that’s 14+3+2


It was reported that Texas sent 6 to Omaha; however Omaha said they received 13. One requiring hospitalization but stable, and the rest asymptomatic. All are awaiting final CDC confirmation.


Of the 7 in Calif, 2 were transferred to QotV – one asymptomatic received CDC confirmation of positive today; one with mild symptoms is still awaiting CDC.

Third — More super spreader evidence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Returning Travelers from Wuhan, China

“In this effort to evacuate 126 people from Wuhan to Frankfurt, a symptom-based screening process was ineffective in detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection in 2 persons who later were found to have evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in a throat swab. We discovered that shedding of potentially infectious virus may occur in persons who have no fever and no signs or only minor signs of infection.”

Fourth – A couple stories and a video showing communal COVID-19 spread in Japan.

Japan prepares for widespread coronavirus outbreak
Mitsuko Nishikawa
NHK World Correspondent


“As cases of the coronavirus emerge around the country, Japanese health officials are finding it increasingly difficult to identify the routes of infection. The government has announced it is stepping up screening efforts and will have the capacity to test 3,800 people a day starting on Tuesday.”


New virus confirmed in Hokkaido 3rd case


“February 19, 2020 12:20New type pneumoniaSapporo City has announced that it has been confirmed that men in their 40s living in the city have been infected with the new coronavirus. Confirmation of infection in Hokkaido is the third case. The man has no recent overseas travel history and is under investigation for past behavior and close contacts.


Mayor Akimoto of Sapporo City told reporters that it has been confirmed that a man in his 40s who is a company employee living in Sapporo has been infected with the new coronavirus.”


This whistle blower video by a Japanese hot zone epidemiologist who was part of the Diamond Princess public health assessment team makes clear Japanese public health authorities were worse than incompetent.

See —

Diamond Princess is COVID-19 mill. How I got in the ship and was removed from it within one day.



Feb 18, 2020
kentaro iwata
“Diamond Princess has completely inadequate infection control, and there is no professional ID person in charge. Passengers, crews, health care professionals working inside are at risk of infection, and the practice is even worse than what I saw in Africa. Immediate action is needed to save people inside.”

Fifth — A paper published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology looked at 72,314 confirmed, suspected, clinically diagnosed, and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 illness across China as of Feb 11. [Morton Salt Mine Warnings apply}

About 80.9 per cent of infections are classified as mild, 13.8 per cent as severe and only 4.7 per cent as critical.


There were no deaths among children aged up to 9, despite at least two cases of newborn babies infected through their mothers.


Up to age 39, the death rate remains low at 0.2 per cent. (which is double the flu rate of .1 to .05 %)


The fatality rate increases gradually with age. For people in their 40s it is 0.4 per cent, in their 50s it is 1.3 per cent, in their 60s it is 3.6 per cent and their 70s it is 8.0 per cent.


Men are more likely to die (2.8 per cent) than women (1.7 per cent).


The overall death rate from the virus stood at 2.3 per cent.


The following is a comment from an e-mail correspondent of mine, too which I hardily agree:


“…what this thing [COVID-19] is doing is basically exposing CDC and WHO and global health organizations for the “Emperors With No Clothes” that they are.

Lots of things have happened which have made me lose confidence in them actually stopping any outbreaks; such as this incident:

“SEA-TAC AIRPORT, Wash. (KOMO) — An Oregon comedian who had been stranded on a Holland America cruise ship in Cambodia due to COVID-19 virus concerns managed to get a flight back home by breaking quarantine in a hotel where ship’s passengers were being held pending test results.


Frank King arrived at Sea-Tac Airport Monday afternoon on his way home to Eugene. He was a performer on the M/S Westerdam when their two-week cruise turned into quite the saga after a former passenger tested positive for the virus.


The ship left Hong Kong on Feb. 1 and was supposed to visit Shanghai but couldn’t because coronavirus gripped China. The ship was then denied entry in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Guam and Thailand before finally being allowed to dock in Cambodia.


An 83-year-old woman who disembarked the ship tested positive for coronavirus in Malaysia, bringing the whole disembarking process to a halt. Some passengers had been put up in a five-star hotel in Phnom Penh awaiting travel home when the news of the positive test hit, meaning those on board and those at the hotel would have to all be tested and await results before being allowed to leave.


But King, who says he had an important speaking engagement back in the U.S. decided he couldn’t wait.


“There was no official ‘you can’t leave’ (at the hotel) but if you tried to go out the front door with your luggage, security would stop you,” King said. “But if you went out with your backpack and you were sightseeing, not a problem.”


He said they were all tested for the virus on Sunday.


“How long is it going to take to get all those results back? Because I’ve got an engagement on the 20th of February,” he told KOMO News, adding he speaks on suicide prevention and wouldn’t get paid if he didn’t make it.


“So I thought, you know, I’m outta here,” he said.


King said he first walked around the entire hotel scoping out security and noted lesser security was along the back gate.


“So out I go the back gate with my luggage,” he said.


King says he was stopped by someone and repeatedly told he was not to leave, but he refused to comply unless he was going to be arrested and instead got into a waiting three-wheeled tuk-tuk, even carrying his luggage on his shoulders, to get to the airport.


He says he chose to fly back on his own on a more full-service airline, even purchasing a full-price, upgraded ticket as not to raise suspicion that he was trying to quickly leave the country at the last minute as cheaply as possible.


King said he sailed through the airports on his three connecting flights, only being asked if he had been to China, and had a rental car reserved in Seattle to get home to Eugene if he couldn’t fly from here.


King said somebody asked him if it was “kind of selfish to self deport?” He said while the results of his virus test weren’t back, he’s confident he’s OK since he has not shown any symptoms, nor fever, and says he had been essentially in quarantine for 14 days.


Officials with Holland America said guests at the hotel completed their screening, saying in part in a statement, “Results are being returned when completed, with the first batch of 406 all being negative. Cleared guests may travel home, and arrangements are being made for those guests.”


The cruise line said it expects it will be several days before the remaining passengers are allowed to leave the boat.


“It was frustrating,” King said. “It was disappointing, especially for the passengers because you know, some of these are bucket list destinations. But Holland refunded the money. You can put it on another cruise. They did everything to ‘make ’em whole’ — as they say.””

Let me put it this way. I trust NORTH KOREA more than the CDC.


A North Korean official who returned from China has reportedly been executed for going to a public bath in violation of his quarantine – while experts express doubts about Pyongyang’s claim that the hermit kingdom doesn’t have a single case of the coronavirus.


The trade official, who had been placed in isolation after traveling to China, was arrested and immediately shot for risking the spread of the deadly disease, the Dong-a Ilbo news outlet in South Korea reported.


With today’s Diamond Princess the news of no/low-symptom super spreaders and the extended time line from exposure to positive test infection in the last update from the South China Morning post here:

We will see the CDC release cruise ship returnees at 14 days of quarantine and we sill see community spread from those passengers as they develop the infection days or weeks after the 14 day quarantine ends.

Too admit the 14 day quarantine is insufficient is a bridge too far for the CDC.

Frankly, the CDC isn’t about protecting US citizens from disease any more than the Transportation Security Administration is about protecting you from terrorism. It is all about managing public perceptions via “Public Health Theater” and public relations spin as the disease disasters mount.

This credibility collapse of world and national public health authorities will cause thousands of preventable deaths both in this outbreak, and all the future ones that come from China.

20 thoughts on “COVID-19 Update, Morning 2-19-2020”

  1. Talk radio show host Hugh Hewitt’s twitter feed had the following numbers on the demographics of Chinese COVID-19 deaths.


    Age of deceased/Percentage of deceased

    60’s – 30%
    70’s – 30%
    80(+) – 20%

    The implication for the pre-election make up of the SCOTUS I will leave to the readers.

  2. I noticed CNN and MSNBC using the term “fake conspiracy theory” for Tom Cotton’s statement that this virus may have escaped from a lab, maybe a biowarfare lab, while manipulating the virus that is carried by bats.

    If a human contracts a virus such as Ebola, he or she would be dead within days. Yet members of the bat family are natural hosts to it, SARS, rabies and over 100 lethal and non-lethal viruses without suffering any ill effects.

    Recent research from China has provided another clue into the mechanics of the bat family’s anti-viral superpowers, which may be related to their capacity for sustained flight.

    I guess CNN has a lot invested in China but MSNBC is a new one.

  3. It does seem somewhat plausible that the non-growth in the West might be due to a much longer incubation time than they’ve been saying. And it is very hard to square the Diamond Princess numbers with the global numbers.

    Just the flu:
    A Chinese film director, his sister, mother and father have all died from the coronavirus, the latest high-profile victims of the disease in Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak.
    Chang Kai, 55, died on 14 February. His parents died over the previous two weeks, after the family spent days together in self-quarantine, the Chinese magazine Caixin reported. Chang’s sister died hours after he did, and his wife is in a serious condition.

  4. “Given 246 of 542 infected are asymptomatic…we are looking at a 45% of no-symptom super-spreader rate.”
    But they’ve been saying for ages that a large fraction, perhaps 80% (which I think is just a total guess) of people how get infected with the virus actually come down with the disease. And we’re supposed to feel *good* about that, though there’s a pretty strong reason to think that that’s really bad.

    The thing I want answered which I haven’t seen addressed in any detail anywhere is whether it’s true that there is either no acquired immunity, and/or when you get it again, the effects can be much more deadly. (Also, I’d love to know if all those videos from the first days in Wuhan of dead bodies in the streets were legit. The MSM never talked about those at all, but there were tons of videos on the internet purporting to show that.)

  5. ugh, it should say:
    “a large fraction, perhaps 80% (which I think is just a total guess) of people WHO get infected with the virus NEVER actually come down with the disease.”

  6. One of the Bragg brothers who won the Nobel prize for their work on X-ray diffraction was reputedly a bit of a wag. He is supposed to have said: “The key to scientific progress is knowing which half of the data to ignore”.

    This virus seems to be a case in point. Is it a threat to the entire human race? Or is it simply another generally mild infection which presents a threat only to the aged and infirm?

    If we accept the Chinese study (warts & all), it suggests something not far different from a standard flu season. The old & sick need to be careful, and the rest of us can carry on with only normal precautions. The peculiarity is the absence of baby & child deaths, since the very young would normally be expected to be as susceptible as the very old.

    If we give weight to the cruise ship fandango, then it looks a lot more serious. But we have to remember that confining a group heavily weighted towards the susceptible category (old and with pre-existing medical conditions) in an environment seemingly designed to favor the spread of the disease may not give a useful guide to the impact on the general population.

    If we set both of those aside, there is only limited other data, and not much evidence of any mortal threat.

    The big issue is the one that Subotai mentioned on another thread — the supply chain impact of any extended Chinese manufacturing shut-down. Who knew that micro-brewers depend on China for their kegs & cans? Who knew that the US depends on China for medications? Who knew that Airbus relies on Chinese parts? It looks like we are all going to pay a high price for the presumed benefits of globalization, even if the dangers of this virus turn out to have been greatly exaggerated.

  7. It’s just the flu.
    “All the doors are barricaded…All the houses are sealed up.”
    In efforts to stem the #coronavirus outbreak, at least 80 cities in #China are in so-called #lockdowns. This video shows empty streets. Every door is barricaded.

    That’s just weird and creepy as hell. Every door is barricaded *from the outside*. Remember the videos from Wuhan from weeks ago of people with their doors welded shut from the outside.

    Good thing it’s just the flu, though.

  8. The baby and child explanation may support the bat theory. The reaction to the virus may cause the damage. It sort of follows the “cleanliness hypothesis” in Polio, asthma and peanut allergies.

    Exposure to the antigen at an early age is protective.

  9. Mike K: “Exposure to the antigen at an early age is protective.”

    Isn’t that the principle behind most vaccines — expose the body to a dead or mild culture to allow the body to build antibodies without killing the patient?

    Along those lines, rather than wait 2 years for a bunch of bureaucrats and lawyers to ok a vaccine, would it not be more reasonable to allow the virus to spread while taking strong precautions only for the at-risk population — the aged & infirm? Because abruptly interrupting all the supply chains which directly or indirectly rely on China is going to have a whole lot of other hard-to-predict unpleasant consequences.

  10. The whole thing just points to something that I’ve always felt: An unfree, “information-tight” society such as China under the CCP cannot be allowed free and easy access to advanced societies that only exist because of the success they’ve experienced directly from the free transmission of information. And, when I say “information”, I’m talking about all of the information we use to run things–Money flow, company success, all of it. It isn’t just Mabel being able to talk freely over the back fence, either. Without true and accurate reporting of information, good and bad news together, a high-order society cannot function over a long period.

    This coronavirus issue is only an example; what’s going to happen when all those Chinese companies tip over from “solvent, with no visible reason” to “yeah, can’t deny that they’re bankrupt and never paying any loans back”? Does anyone think that isn’t going to be catastrophic for the world economy, and require a virtual Jubilee to get around?

    Frankly, I think we’re headed for some sort of massive upset in the order of things, and a lot of it is going to be coming from this sort of information lock-up in places like China. Modern economies require that the people participating in them be able to know that certain things are true, like “Chinese company “A” is an honest partner, and we can safely do business with them”, or, conversely, that “Chinese company “A” is as crooked as they come; we do business with them only at great risk…”. Don’t have that information, because China’s government refuses to let that out…? Yeah; China is not a partner we can afford to have participating in things. We’re not playing poker, here–A modern economy requires quick, honest flow of information, and without it, you can’t make it function.

    We’re all about to learn a salutary lesson, I fear.

  11. The paper Trent linked above shows that 93.7% of the fatalities were from the 50+ cohort. with the rate dropping sharply (from 30.2% for 60 to 69 to 12.7% for 50 to 59) for younger cohorts. The mortality rate follows a steeper curve with 14.8% of 80+ confirmed infections resulting in death with all other groups in single digits until the below 50’s are in fractions. All of these were from cases confirmed by detecting the virus nucleic acid. This probably says more about Chinese health care than anything else. Most hospitals there require cash in advance.

    I believe that the test could be sensitive enough to detect the virus in individuals that will never develop symptoms and maybe below the threshold for spreading it. I doubt that anyone has a good idea of how much of the virus it takes to cause an infection. Someone with detectable virus but without symptoms is not automatically a super spreader.

    I remember in the SARS outbreak, a large number of cases were eventually traced to one person who was shedding the virus in his feces and the victims were exposed because of leaking plumbing in a busy passageway.

    The WHO and CDC are very much about sharing information between peers, and this often works better than depending on formal channels. The CCP is all about controlling all information access, they’re the ones with troops and guns. The rest of the world has noticed; this is why closing off travel from China happened so fast. The rest of the world won’t say so out loud but they don’t trust the Chinese any more either.

  12. Kirk: “Frankly, I think we’re headed for some sort of massive upset in the order of things, and a lot of it is going to be coming from this sort of information lock-up in places like China.”

    Agreed we are heading for a massive upset. But it is not clear how much of that can be laid at the feet of information lock-up. Look at the situation we are in the US:

    – We can’t have governments run budget deficits and increase the National Debt indefinitely. Ross Perot made a big issue of this over a quarter century ago. We all know about it, and every year the National Debt gets larger.

    – We can’t run a balance of trade deficit forever. We all know about the economic devastation this unbalanced “Free Trade” has caused across America. President Trump is finally trying to do something about it — and for that he is lambasted by all the credentialed people, and getting surprisingly little support from other politicians.

    – We all know that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme which must certainly fail. We know that State & Municipal pension schemes have made promises which will not be fulfilled. We know that Medicare cannot meet its obligations. And we know that nothing is being done.

    – We all know that the US educational system is falling further & further behind other countries, especially at grade school level. Yet nothing effective is done. Instead of teaching teenagers math and languages, we are teaching them how to put condoms on bananas.

    All this information is open and uncontested. The implications are devastating. Yet the dominant political Party in the US is focused on the Climate Change scam and transgendered bathrooms.

    The problem is not that some information is hidden. The problem is that we ignore the undeniable information we already have.

  13. If you have a big enough gun to point at him, a “visionary” politician will admit that water has been known to run down hill, you’ll never get him to admit it will ever reach the bottom.

  14. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics must be postponed a year given the now demonstrated incompetence of the Japanese government concerning this epidemic. The epidemic would probably have made that necessary, but now people would have to be out their minds if they go to anywhere in Japan while the epidemic is in progress.

  15. One serious question is whether this epidemic will cause the recession that Democrats need to win the election. They have no chance unless there is a serious economic slowdown.

  16. Looking at the news from Japan, South Korea, and Iran, etc., this morning, countries sure as heck aren’t acting like “it’s just the flu”, no matter what people’s words are.

    A modest proposal from a complete non-expert–if the reports of no-acquired-immunity are true, could that explain the discrepancy between China and non-China mortality numbers? If you can’t stop getting subsequent infections after you’ve “recovered”, then what does a death rate even mean? So in Wuhan, you might get the virus, recover, and then get it again, which would be more severe, plus you have the previous damage to lungs, heart, etc. But in the West, you get it, you recover, and you’re released back in the population, where the virus isn’t present, so what happens to you next is very different. Like I said, I know nothing about if anything like this is plausible, but the issue of whether you are ever “in the clear” from the virus isn’t anything I’ve seen addressed in anything like an authoritative way.

  17. Mike: Honestly, I think this guarantees that there’s no way the average person could hold any economic slowdown against Trump.

  18. Agreed, Brian, with a simple modification: change “average” to “thoughtful”, “could” to “should”. Reading just a few of the ‘evaluations’ of last night’s Donk Debate leads me to almost the opposite conclusion of your read. That average person will easily herd onto a blame train.

    Put another way: I think Mike’s second sentence conclusion/assertion sufficiently accurate that it supports pondreing his first sentence’s question.

    And (puts on tinfoil hat with a wink to my last year earlier prognostication): despite the beating that my glance at Donk sources (mainstream media, social media) suggest Bloomberg took last night, I still wonder about a Hillary-Bloomberg ticket (note the order). ;^P

  19. From the when this first hit the online (“fake news’) news/info sites actions of .gov’s do not match what they are saying.

    Want a nice scare.. NBC national news broadcast last night did not even mention CV. This is what I call soft censorship. Not fake news.. no news. The normies will take that as all is well. Should be fun to watch the show when (if) the fact of world wide outbreak becomes undeniable.

    The situation requires close watching. Keep in mind an exponential curve is deceptive. The early stages appear small and linear but once the inflection point is reached hold on to your hats. If (when?) Japan and/or South Korea go from ‘soft’ quarantine to hard China style quarantine the rest of the world will mess their underpants. I most certainly hope and pray I’m being too pessimistic.. but the data trend does not suggest that.

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