Regarding the events surrounding the corona, John Mauldin writes:
I truly believe that something affecting all of us so deeply should be kept in the scientific realm to the extent possible, not the political.
Let’s see how well he performs. He begins by noting he only wants to look forward, and not backward:
It is relatively easy to look back and see what happened, but I am more interested in future responses.
Of course, he would want to do this, given that he pounded the table for the most purposely and voluntarily destructive policies – both economic and health – perhaps in human history (absent war, of course). Some examples of his handiwork back in March:
Without radical action (some of which is already happening, some places, but not enough), this pandemic could cost many lives and potentially launch an economic depression. I am not exaggerating when I say this. I really mean it.
Of course, it was the radical action that cost many lives and launched the economic depression. I really mean it.
I’m saying this strongly because as recently as this week, I’m still hearing from lots of readers who don’t get it.
Of course, it was those readers who “got it,” and not those like Mauldin who chose the purposeful destruction of millions of lives and thousands of businesses. But enough of that. Let’s not look back – the call of every criminal in history. Let’s just look at what Mauldin says today. What have we learned:
First, the median age of fatalities seems to be around 80. Deaths below that age level are highly associated with one or more conditions like obesity, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, a weakened immune system, etc. Deaths among those under 20 are quite rare.
The estimated Infection Fatality Rate is close to zero for younger adults but rises sharply with age, reaching about 0.3% for ages 50–59, 1.3% for ages 60–69, 4% for ages 70–79, and 10% for ages 80–89.
…according to CDC data, only about 6% of COVID-19 deaths were from COVID-19 alone. All the others had at least one comorbidity associated with them and, on average, all US deaths had 2.6 additional conditions.
In many countries, 50% to 60% of COVID-19 deaths are from care facilities. In some countries, it approaches 80%.
Without getting into the weeds on the data, I will take his numbers as a given. In other words, nothing much different – even less deadly – than a normal flu season. The older you are and the more risk factors you have, the more likely it is that your body will succumb to an additional complication. What a breakthrough in science.
So, what does he have to say about all this?
With the benefit of hindsight, I am sure that we would’ve made different choices in terms of our response to the disease.
What would these different responses include? Don’t shut down the economy? Don’t add trillions in new debt? Don’t destroy hundreds of thousands of small business? Don’t increase the suicide rate? Don’t decrease the number of doctors’ visits for cancer screenings, heart disease, etc.? Nope, none of these:
It would’ve been nice to have a stockpile of N95 masks and other PPE gear.
Yes, that would have been the right call; it would have made all the difference in the world. And it has absolutely no basis in the “what have we learned” based on the “scientific realm” comments from Mauldin, noted immediately above.
He continues with solutions that have nothing to do with the facts he cites: more hospital beds and billion spent on vaccines. He now insists, praise be to God, that we cannot have another lockdown, even if case numbers (nonsensical as this statistic is) rise.
He also notes that until this recent event, public health guidelines when facing a flu pandemic were exactly opposite of what has been implemented: no stay-at-home orders, no closing businesses, no forced isolation and quarantine, no restrictions on movement. Jolly good, John. Maybe ask yourself: what’s different this time?
He also notes that, believe it or not, other health issues have gone untreated during this time: heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis, etc. The cost in lives will far exceed anything from the corona. Of course, had he been calm and rational six months ago, he would have realized this at that time.
He advocates for the continued use of masks and social distancing. Mauldin should spend three minutes to understand the completely unscientific basis underlying these measures, along with the negative health effects brought on by their implementation. Instead, he wants more study on the exact distancing necessary. Is it six feet? Is it 50% capacity at restaurants? What nonsense.
He writes positively of the experience in Sweden, but…not so fast. The measures taken there might not be applicable to the US population.
Nothing to offer here. I read Mauldin because he provides a window into the thinking of many important actors. Many times over the years, his cognitive dissonance has poured over the pages – perhaps never as obvious as it has been on this episode, where even his daughter’s stroke when the lockdowns were first announced wouldn’t shake him from his view regarding the deadly consequences of his policy views.