Covid-19 Is Still Here: Implications for Employment

A reminder that it’s still possible to save tens of thousands of lives, with a return to competence and science in the waning days of the Trump administration (it goes without saying management would improve immeasurably in the Biden-Harris administration). Covid-19 hospitalizations are soaring. Seven day rolling average of deaths is at 970, showing a rapid ascent (it’s rising 19% per week). How long can employment continue to grow as the pandemic again surges?

Figure 1: Current hospitalizations (blue, left scale), 7 days moving average of deaths (brown). Source: Covid Tracking Project, accessed 11/6/2020, author’s calculations.

My guess — as hospitalizations surge, fatalities will follow. My estimates are, 4/1/2020-11/6/2020:

Δzt = -0.0026 + 0.494hospt-7 + ut

Adj-R2 = 0.40, SER = 0.033, DW = 1.50; bold denotes significance at 5% msl, using HAC robust standard errors. zis the 7 day moving average of reported deaths.

Note that the first differences specification including a constant allows for a decrease in the fatality-to-hospitalization rate. The implied elasticity of fatalities with respect to lagged hospitalization is about 0.5.

As hospitalizations and deaths rise, more states will have to reimpose restrictions, slowing employment recovery.

Figure 2: Current hospitalizations (blue), current hospitalizations on Nov 6 (blue +), and nonfarm payroll employment, 000’s, s.a. (red, right log scale). Source: Covid Tracking Project, BLS.


67 thoughts on “Covid-19 Is Still Here: Implications for Employment

  1. ltr

    November 6, 2020



    Cases   ( 10,058,586)
    Deaths   ( 242,230)


    Cases   ( 8,460,773)
    Deaths   ( 125,605)


    Cases   ( 1,661,853)
    Deaths   ( 39,865)


    Cases   ( 1,146,484)
    Deaths   ( 48,475)


    Cases   ( 949,197)
    Deaths   ( 93,772)


    Cases   ( 641,362)
    Deaths   ( 11,364)


    Cases   ( 255,809)
    Deaths   ( 10,435)


    Cases   ( 86,151)
    Deaths   ( 4,634)

  2. pgl

    “Seven day rolling average of deaths is at 970, showing a rapid ascent (it’s rising 19% per week).”

    You do know this will cause more outrage from our Usual Suspects who kept telling us that this would keep declining. Of course Bruce Hall will still see no correlation between hospitalizations and deaths even as your graph clearly shows one. And of course the other Usual Suspects will object to your scaling. After all now that Biden has secured at least 280 Electoral College votes, this is all they have. BTW – Trump is still tweeting he won this election.

    1. Bruce Hall

      pgl, just for you (and Menzie):

      Data from the CDC on hospitalizations and the unexpected change in demographic mix since July, especially in light of schools and colleges reopening. This would tend to support Menzie’s assertion that deaths may be rising soon, but then you have to ask yourself if this is the right question: How long can employment continue to grow as the pandemic again surges?

      1. pgl

        “This would tend to support Menzie’s assertion that deaths may be rising soon”

        May be rising soon? They are soaring now. Bruce Mr. Magoo Hall.

        1. Bruce Hall

          pgl, it’s all relative. A 20% increase from 800 is different than a 20% increase from 2,800 (mid-April). At least it was the last time I checked.

          Yes, it’s still serious, but macro data are deceiving which I took the time to provide you and Menzie with some more categorized information. You have to look at the details to see who is affected most and take action accordingly… unless you think that wearing a mask all of the time, even in your own home, is going to stop infections. Now, go wash your hands with hot water and soap for a couple of minutes.

          1. pgl

            “A 20% increase from 800 is different than a 20% increase from 2,800 (mid-April).”

            Your mommy needs to take away your internet access because you are really embarrassing her with this stupid. Going from 700 to 980 is 40% increase. And it is in the opposite direction that some dumbass named Bruce Hall has been predicting. Also in case you are so blind that you cannot see reality but the death counts are still rising.

            BTW – death counts were high in April but they did not rise – they fell. Why? Because certain governors listened to the scientists and not lying jacka$$es like you and Trump.

            You really need to stop as your comments if taken seriously are a public health hazard. Of course NO ONE here takes a stupid little lying boy like you seriously. But you still are a total embarrassment to your poor mom.

          2. pgl

            “unless you think that wearing a mask all of the time, even in your own home”.

            This from the coward who cannot leave his basement even to buy his own food. I bet your mom wears her mask when she gets your food but none of us are wearing masks when alone at home. Brucie boy – your feeble attempts are humor are really pathetic. Grow up little boy.

        1. Bruce Hall

          pgl, you know (or should know) that I am not arguing a data point, but rather data in context. But just in case you don’t know that: I am saying that data out of context is misinformation.

          With regard to masks, The Federalist (OMG!) ran a piece recently about masks. You can argue with them, but you should ask if their data was incorrect and was it out of context.

          1. Barkley Rosser

            This is a highly cherry picked report. Where are all those US states without mask mandates or anything that has cases soaring all summer long? And a lot of the stuff in there does not support what he claims it does.

            Sorry, but not very convincing of your point. Are you planning to go maskless to your nearest “Stop the Steal” demo?

          2. pgl

            Sammy ran that scam from the Federalist and I have already commented. Pay attention dumb ass.

            “I am not arguing a data point, but rather data in context. But just in case you don’t know that: I am saying that data out of context is misinformation.”

            Context – from the clown who has misrepresented EVERYTHING from day one. The only context you know is what Kelly Anne Conway dictates that you say. Misinformation is your middle name.

            Bruce Hall – utter dunce!

      2. Dr. Dysmalist

        What are you talking about? Of course it’s the right question. As someone else said here (last week? two weeks ago?), the virus is in charge, and as many people have said over the last eight months, there is no trade-off between pandemic control and higher employment.

        I’ve seen it where I work and in my community. People are not as willing to go out in public; more of them are ordering online and either picking up outside the store or having things delivered. Businesses that do not have online ordering, or that cannot conduct their trade online, are screwed. People are allowed to visit in person, they just don’t want to.

        Again, it’s the virus, stupid.

        1. pgl

          You do know that Bruce Hall is Steno Sue for Kelly Anne Conway. He just copies and pastes the emails she provides him.

      3. baffling

        “How long can employment continue to grow as the pandemic again surges?”
        we now know how to control the pandemic and keep the economy afloat. and today we have news of a vaccine. why in the world would you continue to push for herd immunity? the trophy is within reach. protect the public, provide a stimulus to get us through the next six months, get the vaccine out into the community, and return to normal by summer time. president biden has a plan!

  3. ltr

    November 6, 2020

    Coronavirus   (Deaths per million)

    US   ( 730)
    Mexico   ( 725)
    UK   ( 713)
    France   ( 610)

    Canada   ( 276)
    Germany   ( 135)
    India   ( 91)
    China   ( 3)

    Notice the ratios of deaths to coronavirus cases are 9.9%, 4.2% and 2.4% for Mexico, the United Kingdom and France respectively.  These ratios are high, but have been significantly higher, while falling recently as new cases are being rapidly recorded.

  4. ltr

    November 7, 2020

    Chinese mainland reports 33 new COVID-19 cases, all from abroad

    The Chinese mainland registered 33 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, all from overseas, the National Health Commission announced.

    A total of 27 new asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were recorded, while 823 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation. No COVID-19-related deaths were reported on Friday, and 33 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering.

    As of Friday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 86,184, with 4,634 fatalities.

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

    [ There has been no coronavirus death on the Chinese mainland since May 17. Since June began there have been 4 limited community clusters of infections, in Beijing, Dalian, Urumqi and Qingdao, each of which was contained with mass testing, contact tracing and quarantine, with each outbreak ending in a few weeks.

    Currently there is an apparently limited community cluster in Kashgar, with mass testing, contact tracing and quarantine again being used to identify the origin of as well as to contain and end the outbreak.

    Imported coronavirus cases are caught at entry points with required testing and immediate quarantine. Asymptomatic cases are all quarantined. The flow of imported cases to China is low, but has been persistent.

    There are now 419 active coronavirus cases in all on the Chinese mainland, 8 of which cases are classed as serious or critical. ]

  5. pgl

    Lindsey Graham launched his partisan political career by getting Clinton impeached over a blow job. Over the past 4 years he has gotten worse and worse:

    In the days since Michigan and Wisconsin firmed up their ballot counts enough to signal that their electoral college votes would be going to Joe Biden, Republican lawmakers in both states laid groundwork to probe the administration of those elections, which ran remarkably smoothly despite the serious challenges the pandemic posed. The campaign of Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) — a top Trump congressional ally who, as chair of Senate Judiciary Committee, has previously launched investigations that benefit the President politically — put out a statement Saturday hours after Biden’s victory was projected, in which the senator promised that “all credible allegations of voting irregularities and misconduct will be taken seriously.” With it, the campaign released an affidavit from a postal worker who claimed that he had been instructed to backdate the postmarks of ballots being delivered after Election Day, so it would appear that they had been submitted on Nov. 3. Regardless of the veracity of the person’s claims, those ballots will have no affect on the outcome of the presidential race — as any mail ballot that didn’t arrive at election offices by Tuesday is already being segregated from the main tally. In the days since the tallying of ballots indicated that Biden was on track to a victory, Trump allies have scrambled to find evidence of impropriety to bolster the President’s false claim that the election is being stolen from him. The contrived allegations that they have been putting forward have largely been laughed out of court; the only legal “win” the President’s team has secured in their post-election litigation was a court order that their poll watchers be allowed to observe the canvassing from a closer distance. But the Trump’s team inability to grasp even the flimsiest of straws has not discouraged Republicans in Michigan and Wisconsin — two Trump 2016 states that flipped to Biden in 2020 — from previewing their desires to gin up fake accusations of fraud. Michigan Republicans called a rare Saturday legislative committee meeting — which they put on the schedule even before Biden has been declared the victor of the national presidential race — to approve subpoenas for various elections records. Likewise, a top Wisconsin Republican on Friday evening announced an investigation into the election there. The statement from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos directed the relevant committee use its investigatory powers to review “how the election was administered.”

    What total wastes of time. Why did the good citizens of South Carolina re-elect such a retarded piece of garbage back to the US Senate?

    1. macroduck

      1) End the belittlement of science by the president and White House officials.
      2) Return epidemic data collection to the CDC.
      3) Federal officials set the example of distancing, mask wearing and hand washing.
      3) Provide states and municipalities clear guidance on public health efforts.
      4) End White House meddling in the distribution of medical supplies.
      5) Provide substantial federal unemployment benefits so that workers feel less pressure to expose themselves to infection.
      6) Make clear which states and municipalities are engaging in best practices and work to impose political costs on those which do not.
      7) Encourage flu vaccination, which in itself would save lives, but which also may provide some immunity to Covid infection.
      8) Advertise the fact that uninsured individuals will not have to pay for Covid treatment, since there is evidence many victims are not aware of that fact.
      9) Need I go on?

  6. ltr

    Branko Milanovic mentioned Israel as a country that had dealt with the coronavirus spread well in the spring, also several Israeli doctors had looked to Chinese doctors for advice early on. So I would look to Israel most days and especially so when the Israeli government relented to political pressure and incautiously allowed schools and businesses to open when the virus spread had just been contained. What quickly happened was a new spread of the virus in Israel, far worse than initially and evidently far harder to limit.

    I showed the on-going results a number of times, since I thought the Israeli experience instructive. Looking about the United States and Europe now, the Israeli experience should have been but was not a warning.

    I am struck by how little public health authorities in different countries looked for learning to other countries.

    1. Dr. Dysmalist

      The current ‘authorities’ in this country don’t look to anyone “for learning.” Learning is not for real ‘Murkins, just for those not-macho types who value facts and truth.

      That’s a big reason they’re now lame duck ‘authorities,’ thank God (and I mean that literally).

    2. Moses Herzog

      @ ltr
      The example you gave shows you’re guilty of the very same sin you accuse Israel authorities of. The population density of Israel is more than twice as high as China’s, and higher than the vast majority of nations. It therefor makes any comparisons on lockdowns or transmission rates between Israel and any other nation extremely hard to quantify. Israel is also, may I be so ill-mannered to mention…….. A DEMOCRACY with largely free market tendencies, and is very proficient in creating its own technologies, rather than their spy networks copy/pasting from other nations’ technological ideas.

      This is on top of the fact that this type information from China (death counts) etc, has been shown to be both currently, and over decades, highly unreliable and tilted towards making Beijing bureaucrats look like living saints.

      It however does not surprise me, you got commenter “Dismalist” to buy into looking to China as a source of “learning” on how to manage a virus pandemic. China’s “learning example”: Have zero ENFORCED regulations on how exotic animals are sourced and transported for human consumption, and then try to cover up and punish Chinese hospital MD whistleblowers who warn about a new strain of virus. Maybe “Dismalist” is taking notes on this “learning” from Beijing leaders, I will “take a pass” on that one myself.

      1. Dr. Dysmalist

        He was referring to the fact that Israel’s experience should have taught us something.

        As far as learning something from China, I’m sure there are things we should learn from it, such as the fact that we are already very late to the push for greener energy sources, and that we should have stopped ignoring Africa at least 30 years ago.

        Economic regulation, however, is something that the rest of the world used to learn from us before Republicans bought into St. Ronnie the Simple’s economic ideas and then went even more extreme after St. Ronnie died. So, no, I was not advocating the adoption of Beijing’s regulatory regime (an especially apt noun in this case).

  7. ltr

    November 7, 2020



    Cases   ( 318,949)
    Deaths   ( 2,664)

    Deaths per million   ( 290)


    July 4, 2020



    Cases ( 29,170)
    Deaths ( 330)

    Deaths per million ( 36)

  8. Moses Herzog

    Honestly, I’m not a big believer in kicking a man while he’s down, but this has to rank up there with the all-time donald trump classics:

    From NYT’s Annie Karni and Nick Corasaniti:
    “ ‘Lawyers News Conference Four Seasons, Philadelphia. 11:00 a.m.,’ President Trump tweeted Saturday morning, before issuing a corrective and explaining that he did not mean the luxury downtown hotel near the city’s convention center and was referring instead to a business called Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

    The correction quickly met with derision and glee among many blue-checkmark Twitter users, who assumed the campaign had accidentally booked the wrong venue. The landscaping business, after all, was situated near a porn shop, Fantasy Island Adult Bookstore, and a crematorium.

    The apparent mishap went viral, with celebrities weighing in. ‘Four Seasons Total Landscaping is also my secret code name for a bikini wax,’ the actress Emmy Rossum tweeted Saturday evening.

    The actual hotel issued its own corrective. ‘To clarify, President Trump’s press conference will NOT be held at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia,’ the corporate account tweeted. ‘It will be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping— no relation with the hotel.’

    In reality, the mistake was not in the booking, but in a garbled game of telephone. Mr. Giuliani and the Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski told the president on Saturday morning their intended location for the news conference and he misunderstood, assuming it was an upscale hotel, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

    But the campaign had always intended to hold the news conference in a friendlier part of town. The president’s team had struggled with news conferences in this Democratic stronghold all week. Since Wednesday, the streets outside of the Convention Center have been filled with pro-Biden protesters chanting, “Count every vote!” On multiple occasions, the Trump campaign surrogates were drowned out and surrounded by the much larger pro-Biden crowd.”

  9. pgl

    So Biden has 280 Electoral College votes without Arizona or Georgia. Arizona has 90 thousand votes to count with Biden holding a 19 thousand lead. Georgia has 50 thousand votes to count with Biden holding a 10 thousand vote lead. If Biden captures just over 40% of the remaining votes, he wins in both states increasing his Electoral College vote to 306. So one would think Trump would concede.

    But wait – RUDY G. says he knows 600 thousand of Biden’s vote count were fraudulent. His basis for this charge was noted in his Saturday Night Live interview!

  10. ltr

    November 7, 2020



    Cases   ( 10,182,818)
    Deaths   ( 243,257)


    Cases   ( 8,507,203)
    Deaths   ( 126,162)


    Cases   ( 1,748,705)
    Deaths   ( 40,169)


    Cases   ( 1,171,441)
    Deaths   ( 48,888)


    Cases   ( 955,128)
    Deaths   ( 93,323)


    Cases   ( 658,481)
    Deaths   ( 11,435)


    Cases   ( 260,055)
    Deaths   ( 10,490)


    Cases   ( 86,184)
    Deaths   ( 4,634)

  11. ltr

    November 7, 2020

    Coronavirus   (Deaths per million)

    US   ( 733)
    Mexico   ( 729)
    UK   ( 719)
    France   ( 615)

    Canada   ( 277)
    Germany   ( 136)
    India   ( 91)
    China   ( 3)

    Notice the ratios of deaths to coronavirus cases are 9.8%, 4.2% and 2.3% for Mexico, the United Kingdom and France respectively.  These ratios are high, but have been significantly higher, while falling recently as new cases are being rapidly recorded.

  12. ltr–Vf68QCc8Te/index.html

    November 8, 2020

    Chinese mainland reports 28 new COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland registered 28 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, all from overseas, the National Health Commission announced.

    A total of 36 new asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were recorded, while 824 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation. No COVID-19-related deaths were reported on Saturday, and 37 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering.

    As of Saturday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 86,212, with 4,634 fatalities.

    [ There has been no coronavirus death on the Chinese mainland since May 17.  Since June began there have been 4 limited community clusters of infections, each of which was contained with mass testing, contact tracing and quarantine, with each outbreak ending in a few weeks.

    Currently there is an apparently limited community cluster in Kashgar, with mass testing, contact tracing and quarantine again being used to identify the origin of as well as to contain and end the outbreak.

    Imported coronavirus cases are caught at entry points with required testing and immediate quarantine.  Asymptomatic cases are all quarantined.  The flow of imported cases to China is low, but has been persistent.

    There are now 410 active coronavirus cases in all on the Chinese mainland, 7 of which cases are classed as serious or critical. ]

  13. pgl

    The Trump sycophants must be tired of Facebook and Twitter correcting their serial lies so they are migrating to this social media:

    “Parlor is the app for amazing conversations. Our many millions of users worldwide have had over a billion conversations since our launch. Download Parlor and experience how amazing a good old fashion talk with someone just like you really is.”

    “Friends are like chosen family. Sometimes there is no greater connection between people than two people that want to talk about the same thing at the same time. It’s the meaningful conversations that happen on Parlor that create solid relationships that last lifetimes.”

    And the really good news is that you can talk about voter fraud without producing a shred of evidence to back it up!

    1. Dr. Dysmalist

      My wife tells me that, since the election, she hasn’t seen any FB posts from her most reactionary distant-family members. She wondered if they had gotten themselves kicked off FB for the umpteenth time. They are so MAGA-nuts that she routinely has to block them even before FB acts. Maybe they’ve joined other MAGA morons (sorry, in MAGAland that should be spelled “moran’s”) on this new site.

  14. ltr

    November 8, 2020

    COVID-19: N China’s Tianjin enters ‘wartime’ mode after cold storage staff tests positive

    North China’s Tianjin Municipality has entered “wartime” mode after a new local COVID-19 infection was reported, local authorities announced Sunday.

    The latest development comes after a worker at a cold storage facility in the port city tested positive for COVID-19 and is at a designated hospital for treatment.

    The 38-year-old man had no contact history with other confirmed or suspected cases but was exposed to imported frozen food during his work. Doctors diagnosed him as a mild case.

    Tracing his close contacts, collecting and testing environmental samples and disinfection work are underway….

  15. ltr

    Noting the population density of Israel, relative to the spread of coronavirus cases on the opening of schools and businesses is important. However, the spread of cases was still striking to me and at a time when social distancing observation was lessening in a number of Western countries the Israeli experience might have been an important caution. Other such cautions from different countries strike me as having been important but little focused on by public health authorities and possibly as importantly little focused on or dismissed by the media.

  16. ltr

    Latin American countries have recorded 4 of the 10 and 6 of the 17 highest number of coronavirus cases among all countries.  Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile.  Mexico has the fourth highest number of cases among Latin American countries and the tenth highest number of cases among all countries.

    November 7, 2020

    Coronavirus   (Deaths per million)

    US   ( 733) *

    Brazil   ( 762)
    Argentina   ( 735)
    Colombia   ( 638)
    Mexico   ( 729)

    Peru   ( 1,052)
    Chile   ( 756)
    Ecuador   ( 723)
    Bolivia   ( 749)

    * Descending number of cases

  17. Jeffrey Brown

    U.S. again breaks single-day record for new covid cases


    Friday’s alarming case load may soon seem quaint. Without a coordinated national strategy for containing the virus, Mokdad’s institute is forecasting more than 305,000 cases a day by Dec. 31 and more than 686,000 a day if all restrictions are relaxed. Universal mask-wearing and other steps could bring that down to 172,000, the models show.

    At current infection rates, there is only a short time left to prevent overwhelming the nation’s hospital system, Mokdad said. That will require a national mask mandate, or some way of forcing states to adopt mandatory mask-wearing, and a coordinated plan to move staff and patients from hospitals with capacity to others that lack it, if necessary, he said.

    The public and businesses will need time to prepare if tighter measures or even stay-at-home orders are coming, he said. Stronger restrictions may be necessary to protect lives, the medical system and jobs, he said.

    “We are heading into a dark time, and we have to be extremely careful right now not to overwhelm our hospitals,” Mokdad said. “Time for unity. Time to face our common enemy.”

    1. pgl

      Cases are soaring. Deaths are soaring with the predictable lag. So does Bruce Hall admit he’s been wrong about everything all along? Of course not. He finds a story in the NYTimes that notes what everyone else has known – not all tests are the same. And putting things in his “context” (snicker) he concludes none of this can be what we say it is. Yes Bruce Hall asserts he has been right about everything since he found one story that says all tests are not alike. He is that incredibly STUPID!

  18. Jeffrey Brown

    Face Coverings Could Save 130,000 American Lives from COVID-19 by March


    Right now, it’s estimated that about half of Americans always wear a mask in public. According to the new study, published in Nature Medicine, if this incomplete rate of mask-wearing continues and social distancing guidelines are not adhered to, the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States could soar to more than 1 million by the end of February.

    However, the model doesn’t accept that we’ll actually end up at this daunting number. It anticipates that once COVID mortality reaches a daily threshold of 8 deaths per 1 million citizens, U.S. states would re-instate limits on social and economic activity—as much of Europe is now doing. If so, the model predicts that by March, such state-sanctioned measures would cut the projected number of deaths in half to about 510,000—though that would still add another 280,000 lives lost to this devastating virus.

    The authors, led by Christopher Murray, Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluations, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, show that we can do better than that. But doing better will require action by all of us. If 95 percent of people in the U.S. began wearing masks in public right now, the death toll would drop by March from the projected 510,000 to about 380,000.

    In other words, if most Americans pulled together to do the right thing and wore a mask in public, this simple, selfless act would save more than 130,000 lives in the next few months alone. If mask-wearers increased to just 85 percent, the model predicts it would save about 96,000 lives across the country.

    What’s important here aren’t the precise numbers. It’s the realization that, under any scenario, this pandemic is far from over, and, together, we have it within our power to shape what happens next. If more people make the decision to wear masks in public today, it could help to delay—or possibly even prevent—the need for future shutdowns. As such, the widespread use of face coverings has the potential to protect lives while also minimizing further damage to the economy and American livelihoods. It’s a point that NIH’s Anthony Fauci and colleagues presented quite well in a recent commentary in JAMA [2].

      1. Jeffrey Brown

        And the Trump ‘Herd immunity” approach would possible mean, “The total number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States could soar to more than 1 million by the end of February.”

  19. Jeffrey Brown

    Trump’s election night party adds to virus scrutiny


    WASHINGTON (AP) — It was supposed to be a scene of celebration.

    Instead, the Trump campaign’s election night watch party in the White House East Room has become another symbol of President Donald Trump’s cavalier attitude toward a virus that is ripping across the nation and infecting more than 100,000 people a day.

    Polls suggest that attitude was a serious drag on the president’s reelection bid as voters chose to deny Trump a second term in favor of his Democratic rival, now President-Elect Joe Biden. And the party — with few masks and no social distancing — is now under additional scrutiny after the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, became the latest top White House official to contract the virus, which has now killed more than 237,000 people in the U.S. alone.

    The White House has repeatedly refused to say who else has tested positive, even as the virus continues to spread. The latest White House cluster, coming just a month after Trump’s own diagnosis and hospitalization, includes a top Trump campaign official as well as a handful of undisclosed White House staff, officials said.

    The White House has been increasingly secretive about outbreaks. Many White House and campaign officials, as well as those who attended the election watch party, were kept in the dark about the diagnoses, unaware until they were disclosed by the press.

    That the virus would continue to spread in the White House — even though senior staff and those who come into close contact with the president and vice president are frequently tested — has come as no surprise to public health officials who have balked at the White House’s lax approach.

    “The administration was cavalier about the risks of the virus for themselves and for the country. And that’s one reason why we have so many cases,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, a public health professor at Johns Hopkins University’s school of public health.

    1. baffling

      biden is already paying dividends and delivering the goods. pfizer delivered an extraordinary vaccine result under the leadership of president biden. too bad ex-pres donald missed out on the opportunity. that has to really hurt the trump losers. biden will be rolling out the vaccine around the time he takes office in january.
      as i understand it, trump did not give any money to pfizer for the development of a vaccine in operation warp speed. funny how the timing of that worked out. reporting a week earlier may have gotten him reelected. but apparently donald was a bit too cheap in his offers. bummer, dude.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Donald Trump, Jr. is claiming that the delay in reporting this is “nefarious.”

        BTW, people are probably getting a little too overjoyed about this announcement. This possible vaccine must transported in -70 degrees temp, which is not so easy to do. Even if this vacccine is as good as it might be, it is going to be very hard to mass distribute it at all quickly.

        1. Moses Herzog

          My Las Vegas wager is still with Oxford-AstraZeneca to win the vaccine horse race. I wouldn’t have shared this thought, only I know Barkley Junior trusts me more than anyone else on the recession recovery shape, so I wanted to satiate his curiosity on my thoughts about the first real vaccine offered.

  20. sammy


    Maybe not.

    Try this science experiment: put a mask on and exhale moderately. Feel the air rushing around the mask and fogging your glasses if you wear them? This is breath that is not being filtered. In fact, up to 97% of virus particles escape.

    The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University summarized six international studies which “showed that masks alone have no significant effect in interrupting the spread of ILI or influenza in the general population, nor in healthcare workers.”

    An article in the New England Journal of Medicine stated, “[W]earing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection”

    1. baffling

      just curious, then, why hospital personnel wear masks while around infectious patience or in the surgery room? they must be a bunch of fools.

      now we do know that when you practice social distancing and wear a mask, then the coronavirus spread is reduced significantly. but i am sure the mask plays no role in this, right sammy?

      1. sammy


        Surgical masks prevent bodily fluids from a patient reaching the mouths or nose of the ER personnel, or to prevent bodily fluids from the ER personnel from infecting open wounds.

        1. baffling

          “Surgical masks prevent bodily fluids from a patient reaching the mouths or nose of the ER personnel”
          like when a covid patient coughs. your ignorance is astounding sammy.

          1. baffling

            menzie, it is truly astounding to see the depths of dishonesty people reach when denying the use of a mask. but one thing has been made abundantly clear. those who refuse to use a mask are the pinnacle of selfish. it is a direct measure of that particular character trait.

    2. pgl

      Sammy cites a blog post from the Federalist? Come on Sammy – get real. I love this paragraph:

      ‘The mask dogma had many cracks in it from the start. For one, the U.S. surgeon general and the Centers for Disease Control both previously said that “masks are NOT effective in preventing [the] general public from catching coronavirus,” so they were already starting with a credibility deficit. Furthermore, many officials have been frequently caught without masks when they think the cameras are off them. Dr. Anthony Fauci, for example, has been caught doing this multiple times.’

      People should know you quoted something written back on March 2. Not exactly the most recent information. And yea – Dr. Fauci did once pull down his mask at the Nationals opening game where he got to throw out the 1st pitch to sip on his beer as he sat next to his wife with NO ONE else around. And right wing liars like you have been making hay out of this ever since. So pathetically weak.

      1. pgl

        BTW – Bruce Hall linked to the same Federalist BS piece that Sammy linked to. So Sammy is also taking orders from Kelly Anne Alternative Facts Conway. I wonder what these two clowns are going to do after Kelly Anne is ordered to leave the White House and never return!

    3. macroduck

      OK, sticky the word “science” before “experiment” doesn’t make the experiment scientific. It’s just rhetorical trick, which is kinda like lying. Which s kinda what spammy is doing here.

      Notice that spammy provided a link to a non-science article (nonsense article, as it happens) but no links to the articles from which he cherry-picked quotes. Wonder why? Here’s what the authors of the NEJM article wrote in response to claims from people like spammy:

      We did state in the article that “wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection,” but as the rest of the paragraph makes clear, we intended this statement to apply to passing encounters in public spaces, not sustained interactions within closed environments. (See what spammy did here?) A growing body of research shows that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is strongly correlated with the duration and intensity of contact: the risk of transmission among household members can be as high as 40%, whereas the risk of transmission from less intense and less sustained encounters is below 5%.5-7 This finding is also borne out by recent research associating mask wearing with less transmission of SARS-CoV-2, particularly in closed settings. (The opposite of what spammy claims he authors said.) We therefore strongly support the calls of public health agencies for all people to wear masks when circumstances compel them to be within 6 ft of others for sustained periods.

      And, just to show that it is possible to provide links to actual authoritative information, here’s the source:

      The Oxford article from which spammy quoted but to which he failed to provide a link? Those six studies are all pre-Covid and the authors urge further study. Has there been further study? Why yes. Yes there has:

      The finding of that study? Masks work to reduce the spread of infection.

      Oh, and “up to 97%”? Says who? Well, spammy does and spammy is not reliable. Even if there is some source for that 97% claim other than spammy, that’s just the upper limit. Wonder what the lower limit might be? ‘Cause that might be important.

      Oh, and Ben Carson, who went unmasked to Trump’s victory (sic) party? Got Covid.

    4. 2slugbaits

      sammy Try looking at some real research. Here’s a nice meta-analysis of mask wearing from the Mayo Clinic:

      Not all masks are created equal.

      The problems with those twelve graphs are pretty obvious. As a homework assignment why don’t you see if you can figure out why. BTW, as a general rule one can usually judge the intellectual seriousness of a website by the types of ads that appear on that website. If you’re a regular reader of, then you might want to ask what those ads are telling you about yourself.

    1. Jeffrey Brown

      Trump’s post-election actions: Presidential pique (partly as a fear of possible criminal prosecution) and/or Doing Putin’s Bidding?

      Of course, these two scenarios are not mutually exclusive; it could be both.

      In regard to the ongoing question of whether Trump is a de facto Russian agent or just financially beholden to Putin or hoping for a financial bailout from Putin, the two scenarios are not mutually exclusive; it could be all of the above.

      However, what is fairly certain is that Trump’s actions—questioning the validity of the election and asserting that his successor is not a legitimate President; sabotaging the transition process; firing the Secretary of Defense and the possible firings of other key officials, such as the CIA Director and the FBI Director—are damaging to the country.

      So, irrespective of what his motivations are, his actions are certainly benefiting Russia, and it will be interesting to see what additional actions he takes in the next few weeks, especially in regard to national security issues, and the extent to which his actions benefit Russian interests and not American interests.

    2. Jeffrey Brown

      As an ex-president, Trump could disclose the secrets he learned while in office, current and former officials fear


      Many concerned experts were quick to note that Trump reportedly paid scant attention during his presidential intelligence briefings and has never evinced a clear understanding of how the national security apparatus works. His ignorance may be the best counterweight to the risk he poses.

      “A knowledgeable and informed president with Trump’s personality characteristics, including lack of self-discipline, would be a disaster. The only saving grace here is that he hasn’t been paying attention,” said Jack Goldsmith, who ran the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department in the George W. Bush administration and is the co-author of “After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency.”

  21. Ivan

    I think you are assuming a cause/effect relationship that is not proven. Personally I am staying away from non-essential activities not because the government is dictating but regardless of what the government is dictating. My concerns and self-restrictions are directly guided by the severity of the outbreak – so are the government mandated restrictions. In Sweden the economy slowed without a serious government crack-down.

    A government mask mandate may change the maskless Covid spreaders from 30% to 10% of the population and make a serious difference for the epidemic by reducing the spreaders 3-fold. However, a small business is dead whether it loses 70% or 90% of its costumers.

  22. Jeffrey Brown

    WSJ: U.S. Covid-19 Hospitalizations Set New Record (11/10/20)


    Coronavirus hospitalizations in the U.S. reached a record high Tuesday and are expected to continue their climb, health-care disaster preparedness experts said, a trajectory already straining hospitals across several cities and states.

    The number of Covid-19 patients in U.S. hospitals Tuesday reached 61,964, according to the Covid Tracking Project, passing the prior record of 59,940 set April 15 as critically ill patients flooded hospitals in the pandemic’s earliest hotspots of New York, New Jersey and California.

    Now, hospitals in Oklahoma, Minnesota and Texas are grappling with crowded intensive-care units and a stream of critically ill coronavirus patients, as cases surge nationally and across more rural regions of the U.S.
    Just now

  23. oee

    Paging Dr Redfield , we are looking for an improvement in daily death count…? where is it? also, as Peter Thiel had put it, ” the Trump administration would end up in calamity..” at least he was right this time. At this writing , the are 239000 Dead and counting…

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