A post on the Book of
Feces Faces was lamenting that we’re up to ten million cases of Covid-19. Just for perspective, the CDC estimates that during the 2018-2019 season, the US had some 35.5 million cases of the flu. Of these, 16.5 million people went to a health care provider for their illness, 490,600 were hospitalized, and 34,200 died.
So worldwide, we have just over 10 million cases of Covid-10. Of these, nearly 503,000 have died. In the USA, we’ve had 2.6 million cases, and 128 thousand deaths. So there are a lot fewer cases, but it does seem to have a higher mortality rate.
I still wonder what the reaction would have been had the news presented daily counts of the numbers of cases and deaths from flu two years ago.
FAKE NEWS: Media Falsely Claim Trump Invoked George Floyd When Discussing Jobs Report.
Source: FAKE NEWS: Media Falsely Claim Trump Invoked George Floyd When Discussing Jobs Report….
The issue of race relations in America has reached a new high pitch with the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, followed by mass peaceful demonstrations and instances of violence, looting, and arson in cities around the country.
Source: Thomas Sowell at 90: Understanding Race Relations Around the World
In his recent book, “ Stubborn Attachments ,” economist Tyler Cowen offers a brief thought experiment meant to illustrate how seemingly tiny differences in GDP growth rates generate massive wealth differences over time. What if, Cowen asks, the US economy grew at one percentage point less annually from 1870 through 1990?
Source: Is infinite economic growth a fantasy? Or is the fantasy the idea that we are quickly using up the Earth?
In the history of bad ideas, the latest progressive brainstorm — defund the police — is among the most idiotic of them all. Abolishing police and prisons were ideas first floated in our ivory towers. They have now gone mainstream.
Source: The Progressive Movement To Abolish The Police
The media keeps the focus on blacks whom leftists have taught to hate. In America, though, there are probably more blacks who don’t hate. Here are 3 of them. I went to the gun store again today, which is always a pleasant way to pass time. (By the way, thanks to all of you for your helpful ideas about which guns to buy.) Having handled about a dozen semi-automatics and test-fired the top three candidates, I think I’m going to get a Ruger because it fits my hands.
Source: Today is the day to talk about the blacks who didn’t riot
Beatty’s right that this switch story is a lie, but I would frame it a bit differently. For the most part, Northeastern (and West Coast) Americans were every bit as prejudiced as Southerners. However, they were different in two ways from the South: They didn’t believe in slavery and they didn’t have blacks living amongst them, as was the case in the South. Regarding that second point, Northerners simply consigned blacks to ghettos.
In the Guardian James Heathers, a research scientist, asks, “TheLancet has made one of the biggest retractions in modern history. How could this happen?”
The Lancet is one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world. Recently, they published an article on Covid patients receiving hydroxychloroquine with a dire conclusion: the drug increases heartbeat irregularities and decreases hospital survival rates. This result was treated as authoritative, and major drug trials were immediately halted – because why treat anyone with an unsafe drug?
Now, that Lancet study has been retracted, withdrawn from the literature entirely, at the request of three of its authors who “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources”. Given the seriousness of the topic and the consequences of the paper, this is one of the most consequential retractions in modern history.
It is natural to ask how this is possible. How did a paper of such consequence get discarded like a used tissue by some of its authors only days after publication? If the authors don’t trust it now, how did it get published in the first place?
The answer is quite simple. It happened because peer review, the formal process of reviewing scientific work before it is accepted for publication, is not designed to detect anomalous data. It makes no difference if the anomalies are due to inaccuracies, miscalculations, or outright fraud. This is not what peer review is for. While it is the internationally recognised badge of “settled science”, its value is far more complicated.
Just a guess, but I think there is a more immediate explanation for the way that this study was accepted a little too readily: a widespread desire among doctors and scientists to believe that anything Donald Trump believes must be wrong.
As it happens he probably was wrong. Though the use of hydroxychloroquine to try to treat the coronavirus appears not to be the disaster it was reported as being, the latest tests say it is not a cure for Covid-19 either. It does pretty much nothing either way. But we would have found out that useful piece of information earlier if the trials had proceeded without interruption.
Source: I think I might be able to guess
How does innovation happen, and how can we encourage more of it? Has China figured out a better way to do this? And why does innovation in the US seem to be slowing? On this week’s episode of Political Economy, Matt Ridley joined me to discuss these questions, and many more.
Source: Innovation, freedom, and prosperity: My long-read Q&A with Matt Ridley