SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 Evening Update 2/24/2020 — Public Health Institution Credibility Collapse Proceeds A-Pace

The themes of this update will be on issues of COVID-19 spread, public health institutional messaging credibility, and my personal analysis of same, and finally China’s honking of Pres Trump after the top line infection numbers and headlines.
Top line, There are currently 79,774 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, including 2,628 fatalities as of the 24 February 2020 at 5:24 p.m. ET time hack on the BNO News corona virus traking site (
coronavirus-cases/) China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Iran and R.O.K. all appear to have local, or endemic, spread of the disease. Italy, ROK and probably Iran have exponential growth in progress. Singapore has it’s infections seemingly under control. The Chinese reported numbers indicate increasing control…but few believe them. The USA reports a large increase in COVID-19 cases and a pathetic number of COVID-19 tests being conducted.
South Korea COVID-19 Infection Chart
South Korea COVID-19 Infection Chart
World Summary Headlines:
o Stocks slide as CDC releases new US case numbers [More later]
o Italy reports 7th death, 200+ confirmed cases [More later]
o Spain reports 3rd case
o WHO says outbreak not yet a ‘pandemic’ [More later]
o WH reportedly considering expulsion of Chinese journalists in retaliation for WSJ reporters
o US consulate in Milan temporarily halts visas
o California has 8,000 under ‘self-imposed quarantine’
o CDC warns Americans against travel to South Korea [no S–t!]
o Italian finance minister suspends tax payments in virus-hit areas
o First cases reported in Oman, Bahrain
o WHO kowtows to China in statement [more later]
o Wuhan issues order to loosen lockdown, then U-turns
o NHC says outbreak is fading, though situation remains “grim”
o 2 new cases confirmed in Canada
o China approves crackdown on wildlife trade after WHO says virus likely came from bats
o Iranian lawmaker says more than 50 deaths in Qom; officials say 12
o Hong Kong bars South Koreans [But allows Mainland Chinese in?!?]
o More cases reported in SK

First — After days of showing little or no infection growth, the CDC confirmed 18 new cases in the US, including two that were non-Diamond Princess related, bringing the number of US infected to 53 on Monday 2/24/2020.
Coronavirus Live Updates: Confirmed Cases in US Rises to 53
This might not have spooked markets too badly save that;
1) Social media feeds pointed out the relative performance of the CDC testing with that of China and South Korea/ROK. China has performed nearly 200,000 tests. South Korea has performed nearly 28,000 tests. The CDC has performed just 414 tests and has little or no capacity to perform more. CDC numbers have been updated from 414 tests from Jan 29-Feb 21 (an appallingly poor throughput of 17 tests per day) to to a larger 426 number for tests from Jan 21-Feb 24 (an even more appallingly poor throughput of 16 tests per day). And ,
2) Doctor Nancy Messonnier, the Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, and sister of Rod Rosenstein, former high level Dept. of Justice official involved in the approval of spying upon candidate and later President Trump, was caught out lying about how badly the COVID-19 situation in the USA deteriorated.
CDC lying on COVID-19 severity in the USA documented in social media.
This is a "4th Turning" Style Credibility Collapse Mistake by a Top US Public Health Official
This is a “4th Turning” Style Credibility Collapse Mistake by a Top US Public Health Official
Second — Iran has been confirmed to have slimed the following list of nations in the last two days: on 2/23 Canada and Lebanon; today 2/24 Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Pakistan, Turkey, Armenia closed their Iranian land border, Afghanistan bans travel over coronavirus fears. The UAE, Qatar and Kuwait are taking neither planes nor sea traffic from Iran (officially, smuggling seems unimpaired) There was also huge row between Iran’s Health Minister a representative from Qom who sated there were 50 deaths in his city compared to 12 reported in Tehran.
The BBC has also reported they believe the initial Italian cluster started with a person who traveled from Iran and had no China travel. Also believe COVID-19 is widespread in Iran and Iran is hiding their numbers playing the “nothing to see here” game.
Dr. John Campbell, a major YouTube medical video blogger, says he received a direct email this morning from Iranian nationals quoting: “Tehran situation is terrible with reports of deaths by the hour.” He added that it’s from a contact in Iran and he has no way to verify that, but he knows who they are and don’t believe they are lying. He also says that there’s no real doubt that there’s a huge outbreak in Iran.
Monday morning news
Feb 24, 2020
Third — Italy is in exponential growth and is shutting down large portions of Northern Italy. See/listen to the following:
Italy's COVID-19 Infection Chart
Italy’s COVID-19 Infection Chart
War Room: Pandemic
Steve Bannon and Jack Maxey are joined in studio by Curtis Ellis to discuss the shutdown of Italy. Calling in is Maria Luisa Rossi Hawkins to highlight the situation on the ground in Italy. Also calling in is Christopher Balding to discuss the microeconomics of China and the virus.
EU just shut down train traffic between Italy and Austria….
Fourth — WHO New Conference high points (Various sources)
[My comments in these]
On severity: most patients are mild cases.
80% are mild.
13.8% severe.
6.1% critical.
Death rate 3-4% nationally.
Death rate outside Wuhan: 0.7%. [ROK, Iran and Italy numbers do not match this 0.7%]
From symptoms to confirmed, lowered from 12 days in early Jan to 3 days now.
For Wuhan, 15 to 5 days. Evidence diagnosis ability has improved…
Average recovery time: 2 weeks for mild cases from onset to recovered. 3-6 weeks for severe cases.
[Message Avoided Note: A Chinese study I’ve read said 80% of deaths have been for those aged 60(+). This is spread
demographically thus — 60’s at 30% mortality, 70’s at 30% mortality and 80(+) year old at 20% of total mortality.]
Here are a the rest of the WHO’s “messaging” of the “Key findings” on the nature of the virus:
o No mutations have been discovered in any of the more than 100 patients whose virus samples were subjected to genome
sequencing. [Researchers around the world have warned of evidence of mutation]
o Average age is 51 years, age range primarily 30-59 years old, 70% of cases from Hubei [Note: 80% of deaths are for 60(+) year olds]
o Bat is the host, and pangolin might be one of the ‘intermediate host’ – but research is ongoing. [Checks out in most studies]
o There is risk of fecal-oral transmission, but this is not the major way of transmission in China – once again research is ongoing
[Put Fomite threat here. Public restrooms will be a problem]
o Cluster cases observed in two provinces were mostly observed in families [This seems an attempt to avoid/deflect attention from “super spreaders”]
o That ‘secondary infections’ mostly occurred in families, not communities, shows ‘effectiveness’ of China’s approach [Big grain of salt here. WHO has a major conflict of interest here as a major portion of its budget from China]
o Virus is a new pathogen that is age indifferent; public is ‘universally suspectible’ [Virgin fields infection, check]
o Most early cases had association with seafood market where zoonomic transmission first occurred [Recent Chinese studies say otherwise]
o Decline of new confirmed cases and onsets since lockdown began [Big grain of salt here. WHO has a major conflict of interest here as a major portion of its budget from China]
There was a major set-to between the Trump administration and China. The press reported about the expulsion of three Wall Street journal reporters by China and a tit for tat expulsion of three Chinese reporters.
The “Non-News” was China not only out export restrictions on N95 Face Masks. China then nationalized a US Factory that Produces them in China. This is amounts to an act of war in a pandemic.
This Chinese action appears to be one of the subjects of the secret briefing on COVID-19 the Trump Administration will soon give to Congress of a pending $1 billion emergency budget request on the Pandemic.

32 thoughts on “SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 Evening Update 2/24/2020 — Public Health Institution Credibility Collapse Proceeds A-Pace”

  1. The stock market response to COVID and Bernie might just be enough to elect Bernie.

    Ironies abound. The Democrats are largely owned by China, especially Bloomberg, but they are all compromised. One purpose of the Russia Hoax might have been to divert attention from China. Ukraine was low hanging fruit for the corrupt politicians.

  2. Odd story of the day–both UAE and Kuwait banned travel to and from Thailand, which is not on anyone’s list of countries with a major outbreak. Why? What do they know?

  3. Mike K: “The stock market response to COVID and Bernie might just be enough to elect Bernie.”

    Indeed! And is it not possible that China’s rulers might consider getting rid of President Trump to be a significant Victory for their side?

  4. Looks like Public Agencies in the US are both fully “diverse” and uselessd. The Department of State was so concerned about its paperwork that it was willing to allow the return of confirmed Corona cases without any quarantine or travel restrictions.

    Obviously, President Trump waited too long to begin culling the deadwood, traitors, and “Resistance”. They have the potential to get a lot of Americans killed while they squirm to protect their empires.

    Blood for blood……. Remember their names.

  5. Wait, you honestly think this is all a Chinese plot to get rid of Trump? In the words of a certain senile old crook we won’t have to kick around much longer-c’mon man. That’s cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

  6. >>Wait, you honestly think this is all a Chinese plot to get rid of Trump? In the words of a certain senile old crook we won’t have to kick around much longer-c’mon man. That’s cuckoo for cocoa puffs.


  7. Filed this under “Do not tempt the fates”

    Yesterday Iran’s Deputy health ministry spoke on state tv in a press conference alongside Government spokesman says that if the number of dead is half or one quarter the MP of Qom is claiming (50) he will resign

    He then added total number of coronavirus cases in Iran was at 64.

    Today Iran’s deputy health minister tests positive for coronavirus and Iran’s health ministry is telling Iranian to stay indoors and don’t travel is you can help it.

  8. It seems the day for bad things to be happening to national Public Health institutions.

    The ROK civil servant in charge of the new COVID-19 infection emergency safety planning office in charge of national emergency and crisis management. in the ROK Dept of Justice committed suicide by jumping off a bridge into the Han river.

    This will not give the ROK public any warm fuzzy feelings.

    Ministry of Justice in Corona 19 launches on Han River
    Reporter Oji
    2020-02-25 11:03:07

    Ministry of Justice in Corona 19 launches on Han River
    Dongjak Bridge, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. /yunhap news

    A male civil servant in his 30s from the Justice Department died on a bridge over the Han River.

    According to the Ministry of Justice on the 25th, Mr. A from the Ministry of Justice’s Emergency Safety Planning Office was killed at Dongjak Bridge at 5 am on the day. Mr. A was in charge of the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19) at the emergency safety planning office in charge of national emergency and crisis management.

    When the police checked the closed-circuit (CC) TV, Mr. A drove off and bumped into the railing of the Dongjak Bridge, and then reportedly got out of the car and jumped under the bridge. Mr. A was discovered by the Banpo Rescue Rescue Team at 9 am but was said to have died.

    The police and the Justice Department are investigating how Mr. A came to extreme choices and their links to work.
    / Oh Ji Hyun Reporter

  9. Trent – do you have any feel for the reliability of that text message from Dr Messonnier? I’m not seeing any news feeds picking up on it. If it’s true, I would think the media would be mentioning it, if for no other reason than sensationalism drives clicks and ad revenue.

  10. The Prime Minister of Slovakia has been hospitalized with “acute upper respiratory tract infection accompanied with high temperature”. But it’s totally nothing to do with coronavirus, and to speculate so would be grossly irresponsible.

    Just out of curiousity, how many senior Chinese leaders have appeared in public in the last few weeks?

  11. “Iran’s MP Mahmoud Sadeghi said he had tested positive for the coronavirius, telling supporters: “I don’t have a lot of hope of continuing life in this world”.”
    Totally normal stuff for a healthy 57 year old to say when diagnosed with the flu.

  12. China and its allies respond to the epidemic and its failure to cope.

    The WSJ had a column on it:

    The likeliest economic consequence of the coronavirus epidemic, forecasters expect, will be a short and sharp fall in Chinese economic growth rates during the first quarter, recovering as the disease fades. The most important longer-term outcome would appear to be a strengthening of a trend for global companies to “de-Sinicize” their supply chains. Add the continuing public health worries to the threat of new trade wars, and supply-chain diversification begins to look prudent.

    The reaction:

    This somehow could not stand. China’s Communist rulers took offense to the column — allegedly to its headline, but also, we may assume, the substance of the column itself. Kimmy Yam reported for NBC News “The Wall Street Journal criticized for op-ed with derogatory reference to China in title.”

    And not just China’s rulers! Yam consulted Catherine Ceniza Choy, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Choy opined: “The consequences of publishing an opinion like this by mainstream media include stoking more fear and anxiety, and increasing hostility against Chinese and other Asians throughout the world. This is extremely harmful and wrong.”

    UC Berkeley has been an outpost of China for years. California residents are routinely denied admission in favor of Chinese students who pay full tuition.

  13. A new post of advice from Ian MacKay:

    He is very much a stay-calm-but-prepare guy, and no one can honestly accuse him of being a fear-monger, so hopefully his perspective will start to spread.

    I have to object somewhat to his main takeaways though:
    “REMEMBER: As long as the virus circulates, and as long as you have never been infected, you are susceptible to infection resulting in COVID-19. This will be the case for the rest of your life until you have been infected which should protect you from severe disease. COVID-19 is mostly a mild illness but can cause severe pneumonia in approximately 20% of cases, leading to hospitalization for weeks and in a portion of these cases, to death.”

    1. So far as I know, to this point there is zero evidence that getting infected once protects you from subsequent reinfection. None.
    2. If 20% of cases are that severe, we are screwed. The health system has no chance to hold up under those conditions.

  14. Right now, at 11:30am Eastern time, the CDC is giving a live update. It’s actually reasonably good. They’re saying PREPARE NOW, expect a wide outbreak, expect public event cancellations, expect school closures, etc. It’s all a month late, but the main problem now is that we don’t have a functional media or political system–the very first question wasn’t about anything practical, but was if the CDC has enough money, clearly going for a political angle. So frustrating.

  15. Brian asserted: “That’s cuckoo for cocoa puffs.”

    Yes, and those radar blips could not possibly be Japanese bombers approaching Pearl Harbor, could they?

    These posts are getting rather repetitive, so look back to an earlier one where I laid out four possible explanations of what we all agree has been a Chinese government over-reaction to a disease which is milder than the flu. Remember that the WHO reports the ordinary flu kills 290,000 to 650,000 human beings across the globe every year.

    Something else to check out would be Michael Pillsbury’s book “The Hundred-Year Marathon” about China’s long-range plan to restore the Middle Kingdom to its proper place of global pre-eminence. The US is the primary impediment to that plan. We all know that the Chinese slipped some money to President Bill Clinton and (surprise!) got access to missile guidance technology. Some of us remember Charlie Trie and Chinese money being used to influence US politics. We are now learning how much advanced US industry has already been shipped to China. With an increasingly hollowed-out US economic base, China has been successfully neutralizing the US without firing a single shot. Then President Trump surprisingly got elected, and tried to call a halt to the process.

    Would the Chinese leadership like to see Trump removed and the US slip further down the path to its designated role as a low-tech provider of food & raw materials to China? Of course! Sometimes those blips on the radar really are incoming bombers; most of the time they are not. Time will tell.

    For the avoidance of doubt, my bet remains that China’s rulers over-reacted to this flu-like virus because of concerns about “face”, given international criticism of their earlier response to SARS. Bureaucrats in other countries are doing what bureaucrats always do — going along with the flow.

  16. Gavin, sometimes your posts are insightful, but most of the time they are flaming nonsense. You can do better.

  17. I feel like I’ve been talking to a guy who’s been saying, of course the mob didn’t kill Kennedy, that’s just nuts, knock off the craziness and calm down, and now he’s saying that ACTUALLY Kennedy was killed by space aliens, duh, it’s totally obvious, and I’m just slowly backing away now because he’s obviously totally crazypants.

  18. Paranoia about PRC dishonesty and subversion is probably the only sane position.

    But the right way of addressing those concerns is not to pick a particular model of what PRC leadership intentions are, and commit to it. The Covid as bioweapon threads at have some excellent points made on this.

    These regimes do not have a secret set of true information, and cannot always be modeled by outsiders as rational. You cannot anticipate how crazy their thinking may be, you don’t know their information inputs, and you should not try to figure out where the truth is by reading the tea leaves of their actions.

    This illness should be considered separately from estimations of the PRC regime. Yes, they are coupled problems, but solve them separately as best you can.

    Three interesting possibilities with this Iran thing. 1) Bioweapons program 2) Higher than we were aware undisclosed economic contacts between China and Iran. 3) Public health impact of features Iran and China have in common.

    Could things be worse in totalitarian regimes than in the regular old Third World? Previously, Second World was used for the USSR. Perhaps we should look at the PRC and Iran as being Second World nations, and hence more of a public health hazard than Third World? On the other hand, both countries were in unrest, and expected to have greater than usual chance of regime failure. Historically, there have been many illness deaths in warfare. Could some social precursor of civil war make totalitarian regimes more vulnerable?

  19. Tom H wrote: “sometimes your posts are insightful, but most of the time they are flaming nonsense.”

    We all make our own judgments, Tom. The “flaming nonsense” getting too much exposure on these pages is the idea that — Oh! My! God! — the world is facing an incredible health crisis and there will be dead bodies everywhere! Scare-mongering on a Climate Change scale. That is foolish, and there is no need for it.

    650,000 people around the world died in one year from flu — and the world took it in its stride. The +/-3,000 deaths from this coronavirus are individually sad occurrences — but even if the final total is 100 times larger, it will still only be equal to a normal flu year.

    The bigger risks we face are from an unwarranted disruption of the global economy. How many people in the West are going to die because the Chinese factories making medications for many other diseases are shut down? This is a time to keep open minds and take sensible precautions, not for scare-mongering.


    “In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence.

    As described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the cognitive bias of illusory superiority results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is, “the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.”

  21. Very disappointing, Tom.

    Stooping to Ad Hominem attacks is usually more or less an admission that an individual has nothing worthwhile to say about the topic of discussion. And to do it by quoting from Wikipedia! Enough said.

  22. Then let me stoop too. Gavin, you are either grossly ignorant or deliberately lying. You are the propaganda equivalent of the infected person who deliberately infects others. Nothing you say lines up with the known facts or makes any sense and I’d be glad if you stopped posting, as your garbage gets in the way of intelligent discussion between other posters.

  23. Mr Black alleged: “Nothing you say lines up with the known facts”

    Please demonstrate the truth of that allegation, Mr. Black.

  24. I don’t waste my time trying to convince people who are full of themselves. Just be quiet and I’ll be content.

  25. Mr. Black ducked and weaved: “I don’t waste my time trying to convince people who are full of themselves.”

    Well, Mr. Black. You made an allegation. You were unable to demonstrate the veracity of that allegation. You have lost all credibility.

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