“This is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom.”

Elon Musk to the barricades:

The rant began after Musk said, “We are a bit worried about not being able to resume production in the Bay Area, and that should be identified as a serious risk.” Six Bay Area counties jointly extended the shelter-in-place orders affecting San Francisco, Fremont, and other cities through May 31st, with only some minor relaxing of restrictions.

“The expansion of shelter-in-place, or as we call it, forcibly imprisoning people in their homes, against all their constitutional rights, is, in my opinion, breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong, and not why people came to America and built this country,” Musk said. “What the fuck!”

“If somebody wants to stay in the house that’s great,” Musk continued. “They should be allowed to stay in the house and they should not be compelled to leave. But to say that they cannot leave their house and they will be arrested if they do… this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.”

Thou shalt multiply thy output, says the state. The state can’t do that, says the capitalist.

via HotAir

Leading Swedish Epidemiologist Slams British Scientist Whose Paper Triggered Worldwide Lockdowns: ‘Normally Quite Arrogant’ . . .

. . . But “never . . . as tense and nervous as during that interview” that launched a thousand lockdowns, said the Swedish man Johan Giesecke. He “modified quite a few of the straightforward statements [from his report], but still seems to think that the lethality is somewhere at just under one percent, while I think it is actually much lower, perhaps as low as 0.1%.”

And the model he used, and models in general?

I think it’s not very good, and the thing that they miss a little is that any models for infectious diseases —they’re very popular, many people do them — they’re good for teaching, they seldom tell you the truth because — I make a small parenthesis — which model could have assumed that the outbreak would start in northern Italy, in Europe, Difficult to model that one.

And any such model — it looks complicated, there are strange mathematical formulae, and integral signs and stuff, but it rests on the assumptions. And the assumptions in that article will be heavily criticized for — I won’t go through that, it would take the rest of your day if I went through them all.

The paper was never published scientifically; it’s not peer-reviewed, which a scientific paper should be; it’s just an internal departmental report from Imperial [College]. And it’s fascinating; I don’t think any other scientific endeavor has made such an impression on the world as that rather debatable paper.

If it was right to shut down when the Brit said so, it’s right to pay attention to the top man in Sweden, who’s skeptical.

via The Daily Wire

We Have No Idea Which Interventions Work Against COVID-19

Flying blind.

We have loads of modeling estimates of various interventions:

Stay-at-home orders
School closings
Social distancing
Mask wearing
Bans on large gatherings
Closure of restaurants
Closure of non-essential businesses
Mass testing and contact tracing


For practical purposes . . . we have no reliable empirical data at all on any of these measures. It makes sense that some or all of them have an effect—and it’s probably safe to say that all of them put together have an effect—but we have no idea which particular ones have a large effect vs. which ones have a small effect.

And given the vast range of assumptions used in various models, it’s not clear to me that we can trust models to tell us anything useful at the level of specific interventions.

Flying blind.

via Mother Jones

Coronavirus Disease 2019 vs. the Flu — Infections, Deaths worldwide and U.S. Etc.


COVID-19: Approximately 2,994,640 cases worldwide; 965,933 cases in the U.S. as of Apr. 27, 2020.*

Flu: Estimated 1 billion cases worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year.


COVID-19: Approximately 206,811 deaths reported worldwide; 54,877 deaths in the U.S., as of Apr. 27, 2020.*

Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

Wrinkle in our time?

The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. Since this disease is caused by a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu.

Who says?

*This information comes from the Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases map developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

via Johns Hopkins Medicine

Prosecutor’s memo: Pritzker’s stay home order may not survive scrutiny in court

Says the state’s Appellate Prosecutor’s Office:

“My research leaves me less than confident that a reviewing court will hold that the Governor has the authority close businesses (sic), bar attendance at church services and assemblies in excess of ten citizens (particularly if they are assembling to redress grievances),” Robinson wrote.

“From a strict enforcement standpoint, although well-intentioned on an emergency basis, the EO (executive order) is very broad and does not appear to meet strict scrutiny – this is not to mention the EO appears to be beyond the framework of the specific Act [it] cites as support.”

Sloppiness in Guv P’s office?

via Cook County Record

US cardinal dismisses prayer power during pandemic: We can’t just pray and think things will change

We have to wonder why he beats this drum in this way at this time. It’s a harsh way to put down foolishness. Does he know of Catholics who dismiss self-help and ignore danger for the sake of magical prayer? Is this how he sees the day’s challenges?

It’s as if he sees his role as designated apologizer for the supernatural, front man for an organization eager for majority support. A little nuance might work better. It’s unseemly for him to appear so eager to cater to the suspicious or uninformed.

Later: Whom does he know who prays but ignores the peril? It’s Cupich one, straw man nothing.

Turley: Say, why isn’t the media talking about Biden’s paranoid-conspiracy mongering?

Answer? Easy:

Probably for the same reason the media won’t cover Tara Reade’s accusations against Joe Biden. To cover either story would potentially help Donald Trump, and that is something media outlets will go far out of their way to avoid.

CBS legal analyst and center-left attorney Jonathan Turley raised the issue I covered on Friday, which is the former VP’s serial public allegations that Trump would somehow try to postpone or cancel the election in November.

A bridge too far for Joe B. But mainstream says so what.