As the Nation Approaches 800,000 Covid Fatalities [updated graph]

Commenter Rick Stryker wrote confidently on August 20, 2020:

If I’m right, then we’d get a total death toll of 368K.

As of the 12/13/2021 CDC release of officially tabulated Covid-19 fatalities, cumulative fatalities through the week ending 11/27 were 793.834, somewhat exceeding 368,000.

[updated 12/16, 10:30am Pacific] Here is a graph to depict what this “forecasting miss” looks like:

Figure 0:  Cumulative weekly fatalities due to Covid-19 as reported to CDC for weeks ending on indicated dates (black), cumulative excess fatalities calculated as actual minus expected (teal). Note excess fatalities equals zero for early observations where expected exceeds actual. Light green shading denotes CDC data that are likely to be revised. Source: CDC  12/13/2021 vintage, and author’s calculations.

Since recent weeks’ worth of data are usually incomplete, it’s useful to use a tabulation up to a date several weeks prior. I use the week ending 11/6 to end the tabulation. Then cumulative official deaths is 775398, cumulative excess deaths is 871994.

Figure 1:  Weekly fatalities due to Covid-19 as reported to CDC for weeks ending on indicated dates (black), excess fatalities calculated as actual minus expected (teal). Note excess fatalities equals zero for early observations where expected exceeds actual. Light green shading denotes CDC data that are likely to be revised. Source: CDC  12/13/2021 vintage, and author’s calculations.

The latest CDC ensemble forecast shows over 10,000 fatalities/week over the next four weeks, with the cumulative hitting about 825,000 by 1/1/2022.

Source: CDC, release of 12/6/2021.


159 thoughts on “As the Nation Approaches 800,000 Covid Fatalities [updated graph]

    1. baffling

      are you simply trying to find somebody who had worse predictions than you and your brother predicted before your financial failures? losing your own money on your own poor predictions does not make you a better man.

    2. Barkley Rosser


      I could be wrong, but I do not think Menzie made an inflation prediction in August 2020 for now. Do you remember one? I think he was taking your wise advice about how humongously large all the standard errors are, so he stayed away from making any such prediction. Your kind of guy, Menzie is. Why have you not figured that out, yet, rsm?

    3. T. Shaw


      Who could have predicted the expodentially skyrocketing inflation rates while millions of people were dying of the pandemic????

  1. James

    Contrary to what I read on my Tweeter feed, where I follow a lot of rural and farming accounts, at the start of the pandemic – “No big deal – it’s flu 2.0”; “It’s just in the crowded cities” – after the first wave – this pandemic has been much harder on un-vaccinated rural communities – with older populations.
    Also their rural Trumper-GOP political leaders continue with anti public heath care messages (no mask, anti vaccine) leading to continuing high fatality rates and where the virus is becoming endemic.. Looking at county level data in Wisconsin – we find fatality rates that are twice as high in rural counties compared to metro area counties.

    1. baffling

      it is darwinian. but since most maga hatters do not believe in that science, they fail to see (or are unwilling to acknowledge) what is happening around and to them. but just because you don’t believe in darwinian evolution, does not mean it is not occurring. we are simply thinning the herd.

    2. Econned

      But these are the same who argue that winning an election in the county of Loving, Texas should carry just as much weight towards the overall election as winning Kings County, New York. MELVA – make empty land vote again!

    1. David O'Rear

      To be fair, only two were registered GOPers; the third appears to believe the GOPers are too timid.

  2. Econned

    What a(nother) weird post.

    Regarding the anonymous Rick Stryker on this very topic, Menzie publicly pondered “Am I going to believe (anonymous) you, or something like IHME with 295K fatalities by December 1”. As such, it’s strange Menzie is giving the anonymous Rick Stryker further attention related to a comment that is over a year old. One can’t help but wonder what it was that bruised Menzie’s ego as to be the impetus in his penning this attack-post on a guest whose comment he did not place much value on to start with. Menzie’s behavior is precisely why the comment section is such a [edited – MDC] storm on this blog. But, to be honest, we all love [edited – MDC]

    1. baffling

      so you propose that when an anonymous source intentionally publishes misleading or misinformation, it should simply be printed without comment? this is why idiots stock up on ivermectin at home, rather than get a vaccine. because some idiot thinks its ok to magnify misinformation on the web.

      1. Econned

        Not quite. My proposal is comment then and there. And simply forget about it. Sure, if this anonymous Rick Stryker continued with these claims for months and months and months maybe that would be justification. But instead, Menzie is merely seeking an ego boost by these regular attack-blog posts. No one is at home using anonymous Rick Stryker’s comment in an econbrowser post from a year ago to justify ivermectin or other nonsense. This blog, despite Menzie’s ego, isn’t that important.
        See, that was easy!

        1. pgl

          “Sure, if this anonymous Rick Stryker continued with these claims for months and months and months maybe that would be justification.”

          Maybe you should have some clue what you are talking about. THE RICK did continue with these claims as did CoRev, Bruce Hall, and the rest of the “Usual Suspects”.

        2. baffling

          “Not quite. My proposal is comment then and there. And simply forget about it.”
          based on your continued responses on this site, you don’t seem to practice what you preach.

      2. pgl

        He is known for quoting papers where he has provided no link, no title, and not even the author’s name. So why should this surprise you?

    2. pgl

      I need to apologize to rsm. Your comment is even more pathetic than his trolling. Dude – start your own damn blog. The rest of us can just ignore it.

      1. Econned

        Menzie is the one trolling here – I’m just calling him out on it and you’re upset because doing so bruises your ego given your devotion to Menzie .

        But, yes, you have many apologies you likely should submit.

      1. Econned

        Profanity is also often meant for emphasis. And as most of us are adults here, I wouldn’t think such a benign term would cause turmoil. If the word ”shit” makes something “unreadably offensive” to you, I do apologize.

      2. Barkley Rosser


        Wow, you are right. Using a profanity in a blog comment is far far far worse then praising a government while ignoring its massive violations of human rights. The latter is super admirable.

    3. Barkley Rosser


      Why are you so certain that “Rick Stryker” is anonymous? There is at least one real person out there with that name, which has been noted here several times. I just checked. If you google, this individual does show up and is a [edited-mdc] porn star as was noted here previously. I do not know if the “Rick Stryker” here is that [edited-mdc] porn star or not. If he is not, it is still possible that this is his real name. You do not know, nor do I. This sort of unsupported and quite likely false assertion by you is pretty typical of you.

      1. Econned

        “Barkley Rosser”,

        Why are you so damn pathetic at reading? This isn’t even reading comprehension that you’re having difficulty with. Literally just the written word that you’re struggling with. I never asserted I am “certain that “Rick Stryker” is anonymous”. I was quoting Menzie as asserting Rick Stryker to be anonymous. I never stated that I know. This sort of ludicrous and quite likely dementia-induced comment by you is pretty typical of you.

        Please seek help for yourself.

        1. Barkley Rosser


          Oh, now you are blatantly lying and then telling other people to “seek help.” Gag.

          I just checked, and you can too. Menzie simply refers to “Rick Stryker” as “Commenter.” I see nothing about him being “anonymous.” Did he say this in some previous post? He does not seem to have done so here.

          if you make mistakes like this while you grade the final exams for that Underwater Basket Weaving course you are apparently teaching, you will become unemployed I fear, “Econned.”

          1. Econned

            “Barkley Rosser”
            You are wrong. Again.
            This post is based on Rick Stryker’s comments in a different thread where Menzie clearly labels Rick Stryker as an anonymous entity. I even provided Menzie quote above but you’ve proven unable to read/comprehend. I’ll make it easier for you… see here.
            Now go get help for your senility and only do so after you apologize for calling me a liar.

      2. Rick Stryker


        Econned is obviously correct that Rick Stryker is not my real name. He’s also correct that Menzie is trolling here.

        1. Barkley Rosser


          I believe this is the first time that you have made this clear. I could be wrong, but back when various people were noting the existence of this [edited-mdc] porn star who carries this name, I do not remember you making any reply. So, fine, you are using the name of a [edited-mdc] porn star as your fake name here.

        2. Econned

          Just to continue, Menzie did, in fact, label Rick Stryker as anonymous as I clearly quoted in my original comment.

          Get help, old man.

        3. Barkley Rosser

          For that matter, “Econned,” how would Menzie know he is anonymous without him saying so. Did he ever say so? I remember lots of people getting on his case about being a [edited-mdc] porn star, but I do not remember him ever saying it was a fake name. But perhaps he did at some point.
          But what an idiot using such a fake name. Maybe he is really a fan of the real Rick Stryker.

        4. Econned

          Thanks for admitting you can’t read and you lied.

          Also, I don’t care about Rick Stryker’s name – I only pointed out that Menzie claimed Rick Stryker to be anonymous and was something Menzie seemed to suggest as a reason he didn’t believe Rick Stryker yet Menzie cared enough to pen this subsequent blog post over an anonymous commenter whose comments he didn’t believe. Real question is why do you care about Rick Stryker’s name? Get a life and stop starting fights on blogs that you keep losing.

        5. Barkley Rosser


          Menzie’s comment that RS is anonymous was in a parenthesis in comments on Aug. 19. No, I did not catch that.

    4. Macroduck

      “Bruised ego” is just you trying to spin Stryker’s politically motivated denialism to denialist advantage. An ad hominy attack (pardon my corn pone humor).

      A perfectly reasonable non-cr@ppy explanation for this post is accountability. Those who are prone to letting allegiance to dogma lead them into error should carry that reputation. Stryker is dogmatic, bombasticand error-prone. His error crowds the comments here, diluting useful discussion. It’s reasonable to point out who is a burden on useful discussion, who contributes.

      Which do you want to be? ‘Cause you might want to think before hitting “post comment” everybody often.

      1. Econned

        See, here’s the thing. I’m not denying anything other than your first sentence. The sad fact is you, and many others can’t see this or understand that someone could think this way.

        Larger point is that Menzie seeks ego-affirmation by brining up old comments made by commenters he doesn’t even like or care about their opinions (unless it’s to attack). He knows Econbrowser fanboys will unite in berating the guest and it makes him feel smart/important. He knows he has the control over this blog and he uses the power to support his ego. No self-respecting academic would waste their time with such sophomoric and childish waste of time. And Menzie does this all the time. There’s no need to get all upset when someone calls him out over this.

        Your narrow mindedness and broad-stroke painting makes you blind and foolish.

        1. baffling

          prof chinn could also simply not publish foolish comments by some folks on this blog. this would also lead to a situation in which he no longer needs to respond to such gibberish. econned, am i to assume that you would support him in this process? then we would eliminate any sophomoric wastes of time.

          1. Econned

            Yes, if that’s what Menzie and JDH want to do. I support this. The problem is, if done PROPERLY, it would take a long time for this blog to regain a respectable volume of comments. But Menzie begets this. He thrives on it. He is it. That’s the facts, Jack.

          2. baffling

            prof chinn, it appears that econned would have no problem with you not posting any more of his comments. i recommend a pilot study, and see if it improves the blog.

        2. pgl

          If you think this blog is such a waste of time, why are you wasting your time and ours with his rather worthless snide comments. Like I said – start your own blog. Or go hang out with the blogs of conservative economists. Oh wait – your only joy is life is being the troll you truly are. So OK – babble on troll.

          1. Econned

            I’m interested why in your narrow-minded brain you mention “conservative economists”. I hang out on blogs of both sides. Why is calling out Menzie for being childish attributed to conservatism?

          2. CoRev

            PGL’s, pot and kettle comment: “Oh wait – your only joy is life is being the troll you truly are. So OK – babble on troll.”

            Having followed your comments for decades now, you epitomize the babble on troll meme.

        3. Barkley Rosser


          There you go again, waaay over the top. Let us see. Menzie is “brining” us old comments, how salty of him. But then we learn that he must not be a “self-respecting academic” that he engages in “sophomoric and childish waste of time,” that he “does this all the time,” although he better not “get upset” at you calling him out on this, son of a sadistic illiterate mother who is about to lose his job teaching Underwater Basket Weaving. And then on top of all that he has “narrow mindedness” and is “blind and foolish.” But at least he tolerates you calling him all these names, all in one comment, no less.

          And then you declare that he does not have a respectable volume of comments here. But in fact there are now 125 on this thread, and this blog is one of the few that actually has a diversity of opinion with people from a variety of sides duking it out regularly, amazingly enough given all of these many flaws you have identified in him.

          Yes, this is the essential “Econned,” Start with a fairly mild complaint, but then alienate various people with questionable and obnoxious comments, so you start imitating CoRev at his worst again, moving goal posts until you are engaging in fully perfervid and way over the top denunciations of Menzie. Sorry, but I at least will say you have gone way too far. You look just as awful as it appears you really are.

          So, while you accuse him of bullying people, I can attest that he is a very nice guy as well as very tolerant of all kinds of nonsense, such as this off-the-wall denunciation. Of course, I may not be an expert, as I like to think I am a nice guy in person, while I have been told by an expert that I am frequently overbearing and intimidating, frightening people with how I regularly ask “devastating questions” (no, I had not reported that previously). Yes, it is sort of amazing how this senile guy that you have assured everybody here that I am, repeating it again here, is not only able to converse regularly with Nobel Prize winners, but has people around him frightened of him asking them unexpected devastating questions. But everybody knows these are exactly the sorts of things senile people do all the time.

          Anyway, I said it before, and now it looks like it needs to be said again. You owe Menzie an apology, but given what we know about you, that is not about to be forthcoming. Probably instead another streams of obnoxious and vacuous insults. Wow, you are a pathetically awful person.

          1. Econned

            I can’t reply to such idiocy other than to say you literally are the worst reader I’ve ever come across. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and go on thinking that you must be replying in such ignorance on purpose. Otherwise, it’s literally impossible for you to type these replies in earnest. I’m this single post you’ve shown multiple times that you cannot, will not, or don’t care to read the comments you reply to. But we can always blame the senility. There’s always that.

        4. Econned

          You don’t even realize you fit in with every single gripe I’ve made about this blog’s comment section. You’re the worst of the worst. But at least you admit to the senility. Acceptance is step one!

        5. Barkley Rosser


          So, I want to thank you for enormously improving both the quality of discourse and the level of knowledge on this blogsite, gracing us with your position as a Nobel Prize winner.

          So, without you there would have been no way to answer the repeated questions of rsm. It has been only through your superior knowledge of not only data gathering and time series economietrics, but also your deeper knowledge of mathematical probability theory and even the still deeper aspects of the philosophical problems underlying even that mathematics that you were able to clarify exactly which of rsm’s questions were valiid and provided answers for him, while also which wer not. I know he is grateful, as are all of the rest of us.

          Then there is the matter of the ongoign arguments between JohnH and others over various matters. Again,your aatute and informed and wise intervention resolved that debate so that all parties involved are now having a holiday love fest. Your contribution was inestimably valuable and worthy. Even Menzie is appreciative, as well being grateful for letting him know about his sophomoric childishness and ego problems, which all of us have been aware of but were simply too afraid to bring up.

          Then we have the matter of ltr’s promotion of the CCP line that has many upset. Again, your superior knowledge of China and all data and facts regarding China’s economy and society have clarified everything to everybody’s satisfaction, with even the CCP admitting certain errors once you pointed them out.

          Now I understand that you have not bothered to intervene in the matter of debates between Sreven Kopits and others here. But that is because he has stupidly and wickedly posted here under his own real name, and you as the great Nobel Prize winner know that only worthless senile suckers would do such a silly thing. Only those who post as ANONYMOUS are worthy of being given the time of day by your august and serene wisdom and knowledge.

          So, please keep up the good work. We would barely know anything about anything here if it were not for your wise and temperate posts.

        6. Econned

          Based on these comments, one can’t help but think “Barkley Rosser” is really a pseudonym for one Donald J Trump. Seriously. Look at these comments. Multiple mentions about “gay porn star” as if that were a ‘bad’ thing and then, only after being asked multiple time is he is homophobic, this “Barkley Rosser” says, “ family members of the persuasion. And plenty of other people were picking on “Rick Styker” for who his real namesake is, and, again, the part that is funny is not the sexual identity, but the porn star part. Frankly, I confess, I do not have a shred of respect for porn stars.” Reminds me of the classic “I can’t be racist, I have a black friend.” Also the focus on porn stars is very Trump-like.

          Come on, “Barkley Rosser”, admit it. You’re really 45 and came to this blog to learn from Menzie a little about international trade before your next campaign… Is that it? I mean, you read/understand at a very Trump-like level. Certainly not like an academic. Your mouth is as dirty as Trump. And reading your senile posts reminds me of the many times that Trump is interviewed and stays so far into left field that you give up even trying to follow. Your logic is very-Trump like. You love to drop names – unprompted, you’ve mentioned your hot date with Vernon Smith probably half a dozen times. This is a classic Trump thing to do… “I know the guy. Very smart.” And your focus on the identity of others is likely a ruse to keep the heat off your real identity.

          The gig is up, “Barkley Rosser”. Did Roger Stone put you up to this??? Stephen Miller? Kudlow????

  3. CoRev

    Yet, this persistent disease continues to kill the susceptible regardless of our efforts here in the US. Not Trump nor Biden have actually stopped the deaths of the susceptible. Indeed, deaths under Biden’s policies have exceed those under Trump’s even though Biden was favored with the Trump vaccines.

    Each day a new member to the cohorts of susceptible categories are added. Categories like age and obesity, and the medical co-morbidity categories of diabetes, COPD, hypertension, etc. see new members added. Thus adding new targets for this disease, and increased risk of dying. This is true whether vaccinated or not.

    Failure to understand or ignorant of these disease fundamentals are doomed to cause fear in those who will continue to demand mandates even when they are shown to be barely effective against the disease.

    1. pgl

      “regardless of our efforts here in the US.”

      Masking, socially distancing, the vaccines are helping. The problem is too many people listen to liars like you and disregard the steps that would make our efforts more productive. You know this but I guarantee you will continue your parade of disinformation.

      1. CoRev

        PGL, the ideologue, where your mission is to attack most conservative comments/commenters. What did I write that was a lie. I’ll wait. BTW, at this point you usually disappear.

        1. pgl

          We can start with this partisan nonsense:

          “Biden was favored with the Trump vaccines”.

          Trump did not create the vaccines. That would be the research of Moderna that goes back for many years. Trump had a clever little marketing title and I will give him credit for not putting his usual incompetents in charge of the NIH.

          I also provided you with what Kevin Drum wrote – which of course you either did not read or did not get.

    2. Barkley Rosser


      Sorry, but no. You continue to deny the usefulness of vaccines and of Biden’s support of people getting vaxxed thoroughly. Are you still holding out because of some fantasy you believe from Fox News or wherever?

      As it is, 98-99% of those dying from Covid in the US are unvaxxed. There is a very close rate between voting for Trump by county, low rates of vaxxing, and high rates of hospitalization and death. You really need to face up to the facts, CoRev, although I know you have never been able to, always trying to move goal posts when hard facts are pointed out to you that disagree with your barely coherent ramblings.

      1. CoRev

        Barkley, your reading comprehension is being trumping your logic. Where in my comment get’s you to this conclusion: “Sorry, but no. You continue to deny the usefulness of vaccines and of Biden’s support of people getting vaxxed thoroughly”

        Perhaps you haven’t looked at the latest numbers where so many vaxxed are catching and even some dying from Covid. Most of those dying and vaxxed are included in my cohort description above.

        How much longer must we wait to flatten the curve?

        1. Barkley Rosser


          Read what you wrote, most particularly the last sentence of your second paragraph, not only are all these new categories of people being added, but they face “increased risk of dying. This is true whether vaccinated or not.”

          No it is not, and your vague claim in your reply to me about “haven’t you looked at the latest numbers” shows it is you who have not looked at the latest numbers. Yes, lots of vaxxed people are getting the disease, but they are not getting hospitalized or dying. Those percentages continue to be the miniscule they were before, about 1-2%, with virtually all of those people like Colin Powell who have serious co-morbidities.

          1. Econned

            Hahahaha. Everyone sees that you can’t read. That’s at least three times in this single blog post. Give it up.

          2. Barkley Rosser


            I would think that a Nobel Prize winner like you would notice that indeed our friend CoRev did say “increased risk of dying. This is true whether vaccinated or not.” I would hope that someone with your elevated level of knowledge would know that this is utter unscientific nonsense. You suggest that I “cannot read,” but it looks to me that indeed that is exactly what our old friend CoRev did indeed actually write.

            Perhaps you are having a problem with reading., dare I suggest it such an august authority as you are? I know that you have a vast knowledge of languages, far exceeding mine, although it did turn out that you somehow thought that the Cambridge Dictionary of English was more authoritative than the Oxford Dictionary of English, although, of course that is a rather difficult and esoteric matter to ultimately resolve.

    3. noneconomist

      Another CoRev knee slapper.: “…though Biden was favored with the Trump vaccines.” Gee, Captain Blip, who constitutes the vast majority of those refusing to take the Trump vaccines? Biden supporters? Marxist progressives who do everything the government tells them to do?
      Might the increased numbers you mention have more than a little relationship to those whose understanding of disease fundamentals comes from listening to Drs. Hannity, Carlson, and Ingraham? Or those who do their own “research” from People, Better Homes and Gardens, and the ever reliable Soybean Monthly?
      You continue to be a riot, a regular riot. More so, because you honestly believe you’re a deep thinker with expertise in many fields. Right field, sure.
      The others not even close.

      1. pgl

        Was Trump the CEO of Moderna for the past decade? If not – he gets zero credit for creating their vaccine or what Pfizer came up with using their research. Can we check CoRev’s medical expertise? I bet it rivals that of Dr. Rand Paul!

    4. baffling

      “those who will continue to demand mandates even when they are shown to be barely effective against the disease.”
      a vaccine mandate is very effective against the disease. not sure where you are getting your data, corev, but it is incorrect. as usual.

  4. Anonymous

    What percentage of the 0.8 MM had comorbidities? Is COVID a sole cause of death or a correlation (as for instance in economics where multiple correlations are common in analyses). Are vaccine deaths being recorded with the same level of assignation (versus other factors) that Covid-assigned deaths are?

  5. 2slugbaits

    While Rick Stryker’s prediction was clearly wrong, what I found most morally repugnant was his insistence on normalizing deaths to population. As though one death in a large population is less serious than one death in a smaller population.

    I think Rick Stryker’s prediction went off the rails for two entirely predictable reasons. First, he assumed that everyone is rational and would jump at the chance to get a vaccine. The fact that so many voters were Trump supporters should have called that assumption into question. Humans are stupid and Trump voters are especially stupid. His second problem was that he assumed an SIR model was the correct model. In fact, we now know that a SIRI model in which natural immunity is only temporary would have been more appropriate.

    1. Rick Stryker

      My analysis wasn’t wrong. Menzie was forecasting 1918 level fatalities in August 2020 based on the original characteristics of the virus. That couldn’t have been right as I showed. Nor is it morally repugnant to point out that you have to adjust for population differences between 1918 and 2020. That’s just simple logic.

      I made no claims about vaccine uptake but rather correctly noted in August 2020, long before the so-called experts, that vaccines would arrive shortly and help. That prediction was correct too. Finally, there was nothing wrong with using SIR for my back of the envelope calculation: almost all professional forecasters were also using SIR at that time. If we were predicting infections, then SIRI would have been relevant, but we were predicting fatalities, which should not have affected significantly the forecast.

      1. 2slugbaits

        Rick Stryker Why would you implicitly assume that the only COVID variant to emerge would be the wild variant? Viruses mutate for a living. It was entirely predictable that more infectious variants would emerge. Conditioning your forecast under an assumption such as that effectively makes your prediction unverifiable because it’s a foregone conclusion that the COVID virus would mutate into a more infectious variant.

        Menzie was forecasting 1918 level fatalities in August 2020 based on the original characteristics of the virus.

        I don’t recall that Menzie ever conditioned his forecast on the wild virus only. My guess is that Menzie is intelligent enough to understand that viruses mutate.

        correctly noted in August 2020, long before the so-called experts, that vaccines would arrive shortly and help.

        Huh? The timeline for the vaccine rollout was well known by almost everyone. It was not exactly a state secret. By August 2020 several vaccines were already in clinical trials.

        I made no claims about vaccine uptake

        Well…here’s what you actually said: Probably the numbers will never really get as high as these calculations would suggest because 1) R0 will not stay up above 1 permanently if deaths and cases are increasing; 2) better treatments and a vaccine are on the horizon,
        Sounds to me like you are taking into account an expectation that people will take the vaccine.

        If we were predicting infections, then SIRI would have been relevant, but we were predicting fatalities, which should not have affected significantly the forecast.

        Again, you’re assuming that natual immunity would provide some significant protection against morbidity. The problem is that natural immunity doesn’t last long, so yes you would expect an uptick in deaths due to reinfection. But it gets worse. Reinfection also means the virus gets another shot at mutating. The standard SIR model predicts a single wave. Recurring waves happen when people get reinfected for one reason or another.

        Nor is it morally repugnant to point out that you have to adjust for population differences between 1918 and 2020.

        That’s true enough if all you’re interested in is per capita deaths; however, from a moral point of view 800K deaths among a large population is always and everywhere a worse outcome than 675k deaths in a smaller population. The tone of your comment suggested that 800k is no big deal. As I recall we covered this ground back then.

        1. Rick Stryker

          I’m not going to take the time to comment on all that. But I’ll just note, as you acknowledge, that I did expect vaccines to help sooner than expected. You are revising history when you say everyone knew the vaccine was coming soon by August 2020. No, check out this article from August 2020 that quotes Fauci as saying that vaccines would be available in the second half of 2021. That was the conventional wisdom at the time, reflecting the views of academic experts. But I got most things right about the covid epidemic, including the accelerated vaccine timeline.

          The vaccine rollout in 2021 would have been rolled out even sooner had Biden not flubbed it.

          1. baffling

            “My analysis wasn’t wrong. ”
            really, dick? you predicted 368k deaths, WITHOUT a vaccine. we are crossing 800k WITH a vaccine. so unless you are arguing that the vaccine increased deaths, your analysis wasn’t even wrong. it was garbage.

            “The vaccine rollout in 2021 would have been rolled out even sooner had Biden not flubbed it.”
            i assume you mean we should have followed trumps nonexistent plan to roll out the vaccines? sure. hack. even when trump did something successful, he couldn’t help but sabotage the effort by not having any plans to get shots in arms. why? it would have meant the virus was much more dangerous than he had been claiming for a year.

            rick, why do you insist on doubling down rather than simply admit you were wrong about covid?

          2. pgl

            “The vaccine rollout in 2021 would have been rolled out even sooner had Biden not flubbed it.”

            Of course you offer no reason to believe it was “flubbed” whatever that is supposed to mean. Now had Trump been in charge, imagine the chaos right now.

      2. 2slugbaits

        Rick Stryker I’ll also point out that if you only want to look at predictions from the original COVID virus, then you should also only look at deaths from the original 1918-1920 virus. That virus also mutated, as all viruses do.

        1. Rick Stryker

          Virus’s mutate but in an unpredictable way; they might mutate in a way that reduces or increases fatalities. We simply don’t know. There is no way to include unknowable unknowns in a forecast. Omicron looks much more infectious but there is some preliminary evidence that it is less virulent. We don’t really know yet, so there is no point in making any forecasts now.

          1. pgl

            “Virus’s mutate but in an unpredictable way”.

            This is your excuse for assuming no mutations? Damn – no wonder your forecasting record sucks!

          2. Moses Herzog

            Another evil Republican dies from Covid 19. Anybody have some Junior Mints, Raisinets, or Skittles they can spare me to improve the entertainment experience as I read this??

            “Ericksen was a former leader of Donald Trump’s campaign in Washington. He also was an outspoken critic of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 emergency orders, and had introduced legislation aimed at protecting the rights of people who do not wish to get vaccinated.

            It was unclear if Ericksen had been inoculated against the coronavirus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people should be fully vaccinated before visiting El Salvador, where current levels of COVID-19 are “high.”

            Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!! Taste the rainbow,

  6. SecondLook

    A million dead by July 4th.

    Assuming that no new, more deadly variant emerges.
    That Omicron remains as aggressive.
    And deliberate stupidity continues to dominate a third or more of the population, and leadership.

  7. mike v

    I can totally imagine Menzie has a notepad full of dipsh*t comments he waits to remind his readers about when the time is right.

      1. baffling

        that is why i keep pressing people to provide numbers. none of the inflationistas will give their number on what terrible level of inflation we will endure for the next year. none of them.

  8. ltr

    December 15, 2021

    Chinese mainland reports 67 new COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 67 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with 50 linked to local transmissions and 17 from overseas, data from the National Health Commission showed on Wednesday.

    A total of 24 new asymptomatic cases were also recorded, and 452 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    Confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland now total 99,923, with the death toll unchanged since January at 4,636.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

  9. pgl

    THE RICK started with a very simple model, made a lot of dubious assumptions, and came up with a result pre-approved by Team Trump. What a brilliant forecaster!

  10. baffling

    “As the public sees more cases and deaths, it increases social distancing. And when it sees a plateau, it relaxes social distancing.”
    this is one more quote from the eminent dick stryker. apparently, his research skills failed to account for the significant number of maga hatters who decided to reduce social distancing as the virus plowed mercilessly through the population. dick has been wrong, probably intentionally, on most of his covid research from the beginning. hey dick, you want to reconsider your downplaying of the virus now? or are you going to double down that it is just the flu?

  11. Rick Stryker


    As you usual you quoted me out of context. Back in August of 2020, we were talking about whether the original coronavirus could have a death rate similar to the 1918 flu pandemic, as you were claiming. I used a simple SIR model, empirical estimates of the virus’s infectiousness, and uncertain estimates of the infection fatality rate (IFR) to show that it could not have even come close to the 2.2 million fatalities you would need to have to have been equivalent to 1918. I gave a range of estimates as well. I did the calculation using the CDC’s then current IFR estimate of 0.6 to get 735K and I also used the CDC’s previous IFR estimate of 0.3, which I thought at the time closer to the truth based on the studies, to get 368K. But the point estimate was not what was important. I was showing that a reasonable range based on the properties of the original virus could not result in a 1918 flu pandemic, as you falsely suggested. In my comment, I also–in August 2020–correctly predicted that vaccines and treatments were coming soon, in contrast to most “experts” who were much more pessimistic.

    Of course, since August 2020, conditions changed dramatically. Delta showed up early the following year with twice the infectiousness of the ancestor virus and took hold before vaccine uptake could catch it. Now we have yet another variant, Omicron, which is even more infectious than Delta and evading vaccines. All those new developments will drive up the numbers. But my forecast was based on the original virus and it was very accurate.

    We’ll need new predictions for these new developments. But you were late to the party making your 1918 prediction in August of 2020. That issue mattered back in March-April, when the market bought your 1918 scenario. In March 2020 I did calculations much like what I showed you in August 2020 as well as other modeling and concluded that the 1918 view was false. Again, it’s not the point estimate that matters but rather if it could be anywhere close to the consensus disaster view that held in the March-April 2020 time frame. Based on my calcs in March 2020, I moved multiples of seven figures of my own money into the investments that assumed 1918 was not even close to happening in 2020-21. And I made 80% returns. So, I’m very happy with my calculations and glad that there are people like you on the other side of the market.

    1. pgl

      “we were talking about whether the original coronavirus could have a death rate similar to the 1918 flu pandemic, as you were claiming.”

      So you did not anticipate this virus mutating – even though every scientists said it would. Thanks for clarifying that your little forecast was based on an overly simplistic little model!

      1. Rick Stryker

        Another incredibly silly comment from pg13. In August 2020, all the forecasters, IHME, Columbia, etc. were forecasting based on the original virus since that’s all anyone could do. And that’s what I did and that’s what Menzie was doing too. Of course variants are possible but there is no way to know whether they will be worse of better or happen at all. I would like to believe that you understand that you can’t include unknowable unknowns in a forecast, but based on your record of foolishness I doubt it.

        1. pgl

          So if people in 1491 said Columbus would sail off a flat earth, you are still afraid to get on a ship? You write a lot of gibberish in the hope of some day making a real point. Good luck with that!

        2. baffling

          do you think it is disingenuous to use the original virus excuse when calculating your numbers, because it would undercount compared to variants, but include all the variant deaths in the 1918 pandemic? you are then intentionally using a lower bound compared to an upper bound count, and saying “see, things aren’t as bad as people claimed.” if you were a student, this kind of analysis would result in an F.

    2. baffling

      “Of course, since August 2020, conditions changed dramatically.”
      of course, we also have had a vaccine since then. this kept the numbers from being even worse. your model did not include this significant discount. your error would have been much greater, otherwise.
      “So, I’m very happy with my calculations”. we get that with a lot of D students. they are happy, but wrong.

  12. Bruce Hall

    If I were inclined to wild conspiracy theories, I’d claim that COVID-19 was a plot to restore economic viability to Social Security and Medicare.

    If I were inclined to wild conspiracy theories, I’d claim that based on the age distribution of deaths from COVID-19 and the percentage of people who have been vaccinated by age group, the vaccinations are designed to make older people more susceptible to death by COVID-19 as part of a plot to restore the economic viability of Social Security and Medicare.

    But the reality is that COVID-19 seems to trigger death in older people who have weakened immune systems and those with severe underlying health problems and that the partial protection offered by the current COVID-19 vaccinations is insufficient to help these people avoid death. This is supported by the fact that less than 20,000 people of the nearly 800,000 who have died are under the age of 40-years old despite that fact that nearly all of the older population has been vaccinated to some degree while far fewer of the younger demographic have been vaccinated.

    When you get older, [edited – MDC] happens.

    1. pgl

      You are even more sicko than usual. OK – call Mitch McConnell is tell him you have found a way of getting even more tax cuts for the rich by killing off granny so we do not have to pay for her Soc. Sec. benefits.

    2. pgl

      “This is supported by the fact that less than 20,000 people of the nearly 800,000 who have died are under the age of 40-years old”

      As I recall you were saying people under age 40 had nothing to fear from this virus. Thanks for reminding us of one of your many incredibly WRONG predictions.

    3. Barkley Rosser


      Why is it that when people here make egregiously wrong statement they highlight them? You sure just did.

      I just checked. The percent of those dying of Covid in the US who are unvaxxed is on the order of 98-99%, while the percent vaxxed is well belowe that. So, sorry, but vaccing provides far more than the “part5ial protection” you put in emboldened letters. How is that you are so ignorant?

      1. pgl

        Hold on there. If Bruce Hall is not allowed to repeat Kelly Anne Conway’s Alternative Facts, Team Trump will have to dismiss him. Which means he becomes homeless.

    4. macroduck

      “…the reality is…the partial protection offered by the current COVID-19 vaccinations is insufficient to help these people avoid death.”

      If you are saying vaccination didn’t help dead people avoid death, that’s true but silly. If you are claiming that old people with weak immune systems or health problems never benefit from vaccination, that’s untrue. If you wrote an intentionally vague sentence meant to provide you with wiggle room, I’m not surprised. In any case, it sounds like the same old “who cares if old people die” stuff we heard from those opposed to public health efforts from the beginning of the pandemic.

    5. baffling

      “This is supported by the fact that less than 20,000 people of the nearly 800,000 who have died are under the age of 40-years old despite that fact that nearly all of the older population has been vaccinated to some degree while far fewer of the younger demographic have been vaccinated.”

      this is misleading. the older population deaths were significant prior to vaccination. that changed after vaccinations became available. just look at the data bruce.

      let me provide you with some data comparing the vaccinated to the unvaccinated
      yes bruce, you may challenge such data as it comes from that liberal state of texas. but it shows no such thing as only partial protection. vaccination status is important.

  13. Anonymous

    Permian natural gas production is increasing.

    Article is mostly about the nitty gritty of processing plant moves/development. These are the facilities that strip out NGLs (ethane, propane, butanes, and pentanes+) from the “wet gas” stream to allow near purity methane (dry gas) to go into long haul natgas transmission pipes.

    There will be a need for more long haul pipes also, though. And these have gotten trickier and trickier to get approved, especially if a state border crossing is needed (applies to Permian for NM gas). Significant amounts of money (several billion) have been lost by midstreamers who had to abandon previous projects that encountered too much regulatory and litigation obstruction…abandoning projects and the sunk cost of pre-construction development. This doesn’t mean all projects are off, of course (well except in the northeast). But it does change the risk calculus and drives a higher basis differential and overall price for midstreamers to commit to projects. This impacts the long range futures expectation for natural gas, which is quite a big higher than it was a couple years ago.

    DEC23 contract:
    15DEC2019: $2.66/mmbtu
    15DEC2021: $3.58/mmbtu


    Note that I picked a couple year out contract to get past the immediate gyrations of weather and inventory. [The numbers are even uglier if I pick DEC22 or the prompt, JAN22, but that doesn’t make sense analytically since natty is amazingly responsive to seasonal weather differences.] Also that I’m comparing pre-Covid to post-Covid. And if anything, should be expecting more robust outlook for demand pre versus post Covid. So this is an indication of an expectation of supply issue. The current administration took a very hard stance against US production (much worse than Obama or Trump). It’s not just specific projects, of course, but the overall outlook for the industry (regulations, leasing, permits, pipelines). They are just starting to make contrary statements now “(please drill”, .literally.) I hope they continue in that vein and if so, I expect US production to rebound and at a lower marginal price, than currently.

    1. Anonymous

      Note that coal to gas switching (and back) by coal-capable*plants is a key dynamic of the power market. The very low price of natural gas incented a huge amount of coal to gas switching from ~2011-2020. Was the major driver in the paradoxical drop in CO2 by USA under Trump/Obama.

      Long history of this and happens relatively fast–doesn’t require long term expectations, even weather gyrations will influence it. This occurs because a
      coal plant can readily burn natural gas. They are essentially boilers with steam turbines. Just need a fuel source to combust. On the other hand, natural gas turbines are like aircraft engines with pretty little blades and can’t combust dirty coal powders. Of course, longer term changes involve construction of new gas plants (which can’t “go back” to coal). Or even new coal plants (really not that feasible in the US, but still very common in rest of world). (This same near term switching used to apply with oil and natural gas in oil power plants–lots of cool econ/MBA case studies on this from the 80s and the like, they used to be more competitive substitutes…nowadays very few US oil power plants remain, just in the upper Northeast, paradoxically of course given the politics, but understandable with the blocked natgas transmission lines).

      1. Barkley Rosser


        Why are you posting this stuff nobody is commenting on on this thread about Covid when there are other threads here about inflation? Do you like being inappropriate?

  14. ltr

    December 15, 2021

    Federal Reserve Will Pull Back Economic Help More Quickly as Inflation Accelerates
    Federal Reserve officials suggested as many as three interest rate increases in 2022 as the economy heals and inflation persists.
    By Jeanna Smialek–15LWpnlwgRW/index.html

    December 7, 2021

    Can the Fed overcome its transitory policy mistake?
    By Mohamed A. El-Erian

    It took way too long, but key officials at the U.S. Federal Reserve have finally acknowledged that for months they mischaracterized an inflationary surge that has proven larger and more persistent than they expected. That recognition is welcome, especially given the likelihood that inflation will remain uncomfortably high in the coming months. The challenge now, not just for the Fed but also more broadly for the United States and other major economies, is to navigate a policy terrain in which communication and implementation have been rendered significantly more complex by a fundamental misreading of inflation as “transitory.”

    Mohamed A. El-Erian, president of Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, is a professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

  15. joseph

    Stryker: “Based on my calcs in March 2020, I moved multiples of seven figures of my own money into the investments that assumed 1918 was not even close to happening in 2020-21.”

    Ha, it’s hilarious how all the kids on reddit make claims about their brilliant investment moves long after the fact. Given Stryker’s previous history of relationship to truth why would anybody believe Stryker moved millions of dollars into the stock market in March 2020. First of all, you would have to believe that he had millions in cash and bonds just sitting on the sidelines waiting for this opportunity and then that he decided to go Texas Hold’em all in on one deal. And that he managed to do it precisely at the bottom on in the third week of March. Quite the drama queen Stryker is.

    Perhaps he could post a link to his brokerage statement showing the trades? You can even black out the name and account number if you like. Doesn’t even require “megapixels.” Surely if one can believe Stryker’s story about Trump’s biggest crowd in history it should be no difficulty believing this tale.

    1. Rick Stryker

      I don’t like to reveal personal details but I did in this case since there is a very good lesson here. Markets are mostly very efficient and the evidence against market timing is strong. I don’t typically do what I did. However, there are occasionally very unusual cases in which there are no precedents and markets aren’t efficient. The initial covid crisis presented just such an opportunity. Forecasts in August 2020 were irrelevant, just academic blah blah at that point. You needed to get it right months before to matter.

      I’ve very happy I live in a world in which guys like you, pg13, baffles, and Menzie are sometimes willing to sell me assets at unreasonably low prices.

      1. baffling

        I moved money into the market very near the lows. glad you did too. however, I have my doubts you had multiples of 7 figures in liquid assets that you moved into the market at that time. too much exaggeration, for a porn star.

  16. Anonymous

    Covid sweeping through the NFL and other sports leagues.

    I listened to the Re…WFT coaches press conference today, I hear they are the second hardest hit team.

    Coach speculated (and admitted it, just ideation) that perhaps it is the new variant. Extremely rapid spread and throughout a lot of the team. Almost everyone was vaccinated, lots of asymptomatic cases.

    I’m just speculating myself, but I would not be surprised if many of us are exposed to Omicron over the holidays, perhaps even with antibodies that would show on a test, but never even know it, being asymptomatic or having mild symptoms and not bothering to test. (Like I wouldn’t bother testing if I just got it and got well on my own.) Of course some people will get sick, and given the rapidity of the spread, total sick may be briefly high. (Won’t be the whole “respirator shortage” as oxygen is not needed for most patients, even hospitalized.)

    Dr. John Campbell on UK surge. Some interesting comments (over 50% of positive tests were asymptomatic, also he expects US surge in late JAN…I suspect earlier…but just Internet chitchat from me, based on holiday travel in the US, and the data from sports teams that do more proactive testing than the general population).

  17. ltr

    What is completely clear is just how effective the collective coronavirus vaccines have been. Add to the full-dose administration of vaccines, mask-wearing and quarantine of those exposed to the virus, and protection is remarkably effective. This would be better understood were we able to look objectively at the Chinese experience, as well as the experiences of Israel, Ireland and Cuba.

    China has developed and administered several vaccines domestically, with over 2.62 billion doses administered, fully covering more than 80% of mainland residents. There has been “no death” of a vaccinated person and importantly few infections. Israel, Ireland and Cuba have had remarkable success with vaccines and social precautions. Learning, beyond prejudice, from a range of experiences was necessary from the beginning.

    1. ltr

      December 14, 2021

      Over 2.62 bln COVID-19 vaccine doses administered on Chinese mainland

      BEIJING — More than 2.62 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered on the Chinese mainland as of Monday, data from the National Health Commission showed Tuesday.

      [ Chinese coronavirus vaccine yearly production capacity is more than 5 billion doses. Along with over 2.62 billion doses of Chinese vaccines administered domestically, more than 1.85 billion doses have already been distributed to more than 120 countries internationally. Nineteen countries are now producing Chinese vaccines from delivered raw materials. ]

  18. Macroduck

    That’s roughly 400,000 per year. Annual population growth in the U.S. is about 2 million. So a roughly 20% slowing in population growth. And the U.S. has a reasonably modern healcare system. Brazil, India, Turkey and other hard hit countries may suffer larger population distortions. This isn’t as bad as the black plague by a long stretch, but the effects will be long lasting.

    1. macroduck

      If long-term economic consequences are proportional to deaths per hundred thousand, which seems a reasonable, though far from perfect, assumption, the U.S. will face substantial long-term economic effects. The U.S. is 20th from the top on deaths per 100,000, out of 184 countries:

      We don’t know the long-term impact of Covid on labor market participation, but participation and JOLTS data so far suggest that personal choices growing out of the pandemic will have a larger impact on the workforce than death due to Covid. So far, departures are an order of magnitude larger than deaths.

      The “Big Quit” reported in the U.S. and UK is not happening in France (

      Not in Germany (

      Those countries have more generous social safety nets than the U.S., which makes claims that increased income support is at the root of the Big Quit look silly.

      We should probably keep in mind that the U.S. participation rate had been trending down for quite some time prior to the pandemic. Disability sucks, but not as bad as an Amazon warehouse or a candle factory.

      China’s tang ping phenomenon is interesting and coincident with Covid, but I don’t know much about it.

  19. paddy kivlin

    stryker’s problem was he believed biden’s promises that he would stop covid.

    when do covid deaths (outside of the unexplained sinusoidal ‘noise’) decline, given how effective biden has been keeping his promises on covid?

    1. baffling

      would you explain what actions should have been take, and what the expected outcomes would have been?

      1. Barkley Rosser


        Why he should have single handedly prevented he delta variant from appearing! This is obvious. Donald J. Trump would have done it. he would have threatened to send it back to Mexico where all the rapists come from! And on top of that, if it dared to show its ugly spikes again, he would douse it with cleaning fluid!

  20. joseph

    One of Stryker’s all time greats regarding pandemic predictions was this one where he leaped to the defense of the “stupidest economist alive”, Stephen Moore:

    Stryker: “You are mischaracterizing what Moore said again. What he is saying is clearly falsifiable and we’ll know within a few months whether he is right. Moore is saying 1) the slowdown will be temporary with no recession; and 2) the temporary slowdown will happen over a matter of months, with growth coming back in time for Trump’s reelection as people see the virus under control; and 3) we don’t need a giant stimulus to address this problem, but rather small, targeted stimulus.”

    This was March 8, 2020 literally days before the economy plunged by its greatest GDP change in history and a record 20 million people lost their jobs.

    Oh, and good prediction on the Trump re-election thing, too, although Stryker may have been overconfident based on inside information about the government coup.

    One, two, three strikes — you’re out.

  21. joseph

    CoRev: “Each day a new member to the cohorts of susceptible categories are added. Categories like age and obesity, and the medical co-morbidity categories of diabetes, COPD, hypertension, etc. see new members added.”

    The data is in. Unvaccinated people are dying at 10 times the rate of those vaccinated. According to Gallup 92% of Democrats are vaccinated and only 56% of Republicans.

    It turns out that being Republican is the highest co-morbidity factor for covid death. Fox News will kill you — literally.

    1. CoRev

      Joseph, how does your comment relate to what you quoted from me? “It turns out that being Republican is the highest co-morbidity factor for covid death.”

      I’m going to quote Econned here: “The sad fact is you, and many others can’t see this or understand that someone could think this way….(Assuming that I disagree with vaccinations. Do you really disagree with what you quoted from me?)

      Your narrow mindedness and broad-stroke painting makes you blind and foolish.” If you disagree with my quote then you disagree with what the medical professionals have been saying form the very earliest days.

      After all you are a liberal, thereby considering your political opinions superior even to all others with technical expertise.

      1. pgl

        Wow – way to admit you focus on the most irrelevant things. Look – if you want to pretend your are the smart a$$ in the room while being totally disingenuous with respect to the topic at hand, then you may be Econned kind of guy. You two should get married and have a happy life together!

      2. pgl

        “After all you are a liberal, thereby considering your political opinions superior even to all others with technical expertise.”

        Political opinions may not be superior to people with technical expertise but give us a break. Your only expertise is playing Steno Sue for Kelly Anne Conway. Now be a good boy and watch Dr. Tucker Carlson mansplain these issues for us.

      3. noneconomist

        So, Captain Blip. You got “technical expertise” from “researching “Family Handyman, TV Guide, and Wild West Magazine?

      4. Barkley Rosser


        Check out this link from a Fox News station in Indiana where apparently the Covid death rate is three times as high in counties where Trump won by more than 60% compared to counties Biden won, and indeed the vaxx rates are what we would expect, over 80% for self-identified Dems and under 60% for self-identified GOPs. .

  22. baffling

    “Unvaccinated people are dying at 10 times the rate of those vaccinated. ”
    in texas, that is 20 times the rate. becoming less red and more blue by the day.

  23. Anonymous

    Coal plant retirements continuing:

    Kind of a disappointing analysis actually, especially since they have the info to do it better. Doesn’t give us capacity over time for instance (simple metric, buts hows evolution), or percent capacity over time. Generally, I find Today in Energy capsules very good, interesting, but this one was sub-par.

    I guess a minor insight from first chart is that we can see a small boom around 2010 in new builds. I would assume driven by lagged view of natgas prices. Quite high around then. And this was the time of “peak gas” and people like Greenspan or Hughes saying we couldn’t build LNG import(!) terminals fast enough. Maybe some aspect of the 70s-80s boom also based on that, or on oil prices, have to disentangle from overall capacity though. But I do remember “we are the Saudi Arabia of coal” (J. Carter).

    1. baffling

      am i supposed to believe the porn star who was so wrong on his covid predictions was prescient enough to move millions of dollars into the market at the bottom? the same anti-lgbtq person who accidentally named himself after a [edited-mdc] porn star? i don’t think so.

  24. joseph

    paddy kivlin: “stryker’s problem was he believed biden’s promises that he would stop covid”

    That’s hilarious given that Stryker made his prediction two months before Biden was even elected. And Stryker is also on record predicting Trump would be re-elected due to his superb job bringing covid under control.

    1. noneconomist

      If paddy’s writing from anywhere but home, let’s hope he has a designated driver or access to Uber or Lyft.

  25. Rick Stryker

    Wow. More incredible dishonesty from Professor Troll. If you had wanted to post an honest chart, you’d need to make the following changes:

    1) Clarify the context of the discussion in which you pointed out that the 1918 flu pandemic lasted two years and therefore we still have time to get cumulative deaths similar to 1918 by March 2022
    2) Show both estimates I provided, and clarify that they differ only by the infection fatality rate assumption. The lower estimate used 0.3% consistent with published studies at that time. The higher one used the the CDC planning IFR assumption of 0.6% and results in numbers not far from the current realization.
    3) Clarify that I caveated the lower estimate by saying “if I’m right.” I was clearly giving a range but thought the lower estimate more consistent with the published studies at the time
    4) Then put your estimate of 2.2 million deaths by March 2022 on the chart and clearly label that was your view

    Once you represent the discussion fairly on the graph, it will be obvious that I was completely right that we’re not getting a repeat of 1918, i.e., 2.2 million deaths in 2 years. That was the point of my comment.

    You won’t do any of that of course. What I can’t understand is why you think all this dishonesty helps you. You might fool the small gang of yahoos that comment on this blog but you are not fooling anyone who is intelligent or really matters.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      “Rick Stryker,” emboldening anything in a blogpost is prima facie evidence that what you are writing is totally wotthless garbage, as well as suggestive evidence that the person doing so is also that, which it looks like you are.

      1. Rick Stryker

        Calling me “totally worthless garbage” is fine by me. But I do draw the line at slurs, as should we all.

        I believe you mentioned a lawsuit you were contemplating? I think I may have mentioned that I’m also Professor of Free Market Law at Wossamotta U. My learned opinion is that such a suit could raise discovery issues in the following areas: 1) making false econometric statements; and 2) impersonating an economist. You might want to think carefully before proceeding.

  26. Anonymous

    Interesting cell culture study, suggesting that Omicron is more present in the upper lung (thus more transmissive), but less in the deep lung, thus less deadly.

    Similar pattern to how Covid in general presents in children. Or how colds present in all of us.

    I recommend to listen to the end, as there are even some interesting details about Delta versus original strain.

    1. Rick Stryker

      “Unnecessary?” That’s your take? No, that term is not “unnecessary” but rather reprehensible when it is used as a slur in comments. Stop for a minute and consider whether LGBTQ students will feel welcome in your classroom after reading your blog. You want the answer to be yes.

      Mostly, I think these internet debates are all in good fun. I don’t take them very seriously as I imagine most people don’t. Nonetheless, I understand people can get pretty heated. But it crosses a line when commenters start spouting homophobia. Other commenters on this blog should have spoken up but they remained silent.

      1. Econned

        Interesting point, indeed. I can’t help but think how the students unfortunate enough to be enrolled in “Barkley Rosser’s” courses would feel reading his disposable comments. What a shame.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Hey, Nobel Prize Winner, “Econned,” were you the first person here to notice that crude oil prices had stopped rising back in October with what that implied for a major topic of discussion here, namely the future path of the rate of inflation as I was? Was that a “disposable comment” on my part since indeed you were not the first person here to note this important fact?

  27. Menzie Chinn Post author

    Everyone: In light of the acrimonious exchange, I have deleted the discussion of the moniker “Rick Stryker”. Homophobic comments and unjustified accusations of homophobia will not be allowed.

    I suggest that people who decide to post anonymously under a pseudonym choose their moniker carefully, if they wish to avoid unnecessary confusion.

    1. Econned

      This last sentence is an absolute disgrace. I seriously doubt that “Rick Stryker”, or anyone using a pseudonym, cares what other commenters write about their name. EXCEPT when commenters like “Barkley Rosser” make bigoted comments. It isn’t the potential misrepresentation of “Rick Stryker” that is the issue. And Menzie is legally blind in suggesting such.

      So, for example, if someone were a proud lesbian asian and they decided their name be “Proud Lesbian Asian” it is now assumed that Menzie’s suggestion is to just deal with any bigoted replies to such a name. They should “choose their moniker carefully”. No word about the despicable comments that lead to this “acrimonious exchange”. Yes, those who are raped shouldn’t be wearing short skirts. Breonna Taylor shouldn’t have been living in that apartment. George Floyd shouldn’t have resisted arrest. It’s all just “unnecessary confusion”. Right? Disgraceful. Poor form, Menzie. You know better and you should be ashamed.

      So, here’s a real suggestion, that Menzie Chinn grow a spine.

      1. My name is Rick Stryker and if you slur me it's my fault


        Yes, I had the same reaction you did when I saw the second statement. Just imagine the standard that would set.

        But it wasn’t just the second statement. The first was just as obtuse. I still don’t think Menzie gets it that when people refer to someone’s sexual orientation as a putdown or as a way to discredit them, that’s homophobia pure and simple. There is nothing “unjustified” about that point.

        Let’s get real. Menzie removed all those comments not because the discussion was “acrimonious” but rather because those comments were highly embarrassing to the people who made them, as well as to the people who dragged their feet in not addressing them. Not to worry though. I’ve kept exact copies of the web page comments in case there is any tendency to re-offend.

        The self-delusional bubble these guys live in is pretty amazing. They think that because they are progressives they can’t possibly be guilty of racism, sexism, or homophobia.

          1. Econned

            So why did you make it a point to edit any reference to the term “gay” and suggest the term “gay” was irrelevant to the discussion? It’s because you know homosexuals as a group who have faced an abundance of unnecessary discrimination. You also know it was a particularly targeted and unnecessarily bigoted attack from “Barkley Rosser”. Your friend. Yet now you’re back peddling like crazy – even going so far as to delete your comment about editing the term “gay” from this discussion. Now you’re moving the moral goalpost to “it’s okay to discriminate because those who are discriminated against should’ve seen it coming.” Victim shaming is now approved by Menzie Chinn. Moreover, the shaming of marginalized groups (such as homosexuals) is approved on Econbrowser so long as additional adjectives (such as pornstar) are used to describe the marginalized group. Because, who really knows which of the attributes were being shamed? Under Menzie’s thought process, my prior hypothetical of berating a commenter choosing the moniker “Proud Lesbian Asian” should be allowed because the person berating this hypothetical guest may not see pride as a desirable quality. Pride/porn star/gay/Asian/Lesbian – what’s the difference? What’s next? A post by Menzie that Japanese Americans should’ve choose their place of residence carefully in the mid-1940s? I mean, just think of all the “unnecessary confusion” they could’ve avoided if they just didn’t live where they lived.

      2. Menzie Chinn Post author

        EConned: Breonna Taylor and George Floyd did not “choose” to live in a society (or at least police jurisdictions) that exhibited systemic racism. On the other hand, Econbrowser commenter “Rick Stryker” chose his pseudonym, and retained it over time. That I define as a “choice”.

        1. Econned

          Hahahaha. I knew your ego wouldn’t allow you to resist the bait and contort the logic to fit your ugly biases. You’ve been showing your true colors recently.

      1. Baffling

        It is very straightforward. Yes or no. You either think it is ok to discriminate against somebody, or you dont.

        1. Econned

          On being “very straightforward”…
          1) your original question asks nothing about if I “think it is ok to discriminate against somebody”.
          2) your original question lacks relevant information including why the lgbt person was refused service.
          3) “ok” in what sense? Morally? Legally? From a business perspective?

          1. Baffling

            If you dont want to answer a straight forward question, that is your right. I though you would be interested in standing up to discriminatory behavior.

          2. Econned

            If you don’t care to acknowledge a straightforward explanation of why your question was not straightforward, that is your right. I thought you would be interested in further clarifying your question.

          3. Baffling

            You seem more interested in distraction than answering the question. I find that rather interesting. Not sure what you are afraid of. Its not a trick question.

          4. Econned

            How is it distraction? Just address my points and the question(s) can be answered. I’m not afraid of anything – I just think you omitted pertinent info. Why are you afraid of clarifying your question(s)?

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