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Post #63: Straight from the CDC horse’s mouth

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Straight from the CDC horse’s mouth (please click on “posts” tab to see table below correctly)

US COVID-19 (Corona virus) deaths continue to PLUMMET. Specifically, to 181 deaths for the week ended 7/11/20 from 3,668 weekly deaths a month ago. US Corona virus-attributed deaths have most thankfully dropped each and every week since the 4/18/20 weekly peak of 16,897 amidst sharply rising new cases.  How does one spell rapidly rising herd immunity or the disease’s bell curve “playing out.”

But, too many of our elected officials and bureaucrats – and, of course, the Pravda press – insist that we face a “second wave” crisis that ultimately threatens to kill many more Americans if renewed shutdowns and lockdowns aren’t instituted and enforced.  Talk about adding insult to economic and civil liberties evisceration injury (also known as despotism) thanks to potentially doubling down on officials’ Corona virus policy response.

Plus, the media continues to broadcast overwhelmed hospitals related to spreading Corona virus cases.  Often, sharply rising bed utilization rates across the country are referred to without considering that this is being materially caused by a surge of so-called elective surgeries and other deemed “non-essential” medical procedures, which are now being done, after having been suspended for roughly three months.  This was kindly brought to my attention by a bright and very well-read subscriber to my dkanalytics youtube channel, a lady by the name of Debi Duckels.  Debi, a fellow Floridian, also dug deeply into Florida State medical data, which showed that out of 47,933 statewide hospital beds, 8,239 (as of about 12 noon ET on July 15th) are occupied by patients with the primary diagnosis being the Corona virus.  That’s 17.2%.  Not exactly “virus overwhelming.”

In addition to re-instituting shutdowns and telling us that hospitals are being, or soon will be, hopelessly overwhelmed (when have you heard that one before, yet the results stood in stark contrast?), “everyone” needs to wear a mask, and social distancing must be adhered to — OR ELSE!  From a county in Maryland last week, courtesy of a friend:

Truly Orwellian. And this against the backdrop of plummeting Corona virus deaths in the US.  You can’t make this stuff up!

Oh yes, those CDC COVID-19 weekly US death numbers from this July 15th, 2020 during the morning hours ET (before they disappear or are altered?).  Please see below.  I’m getting the data from this link

Data as of  Start week  End Week  Group  State  Indicator  COVID-19 Deaths  Total Deaths  Percent of Expected Deaths  Pneumonia Deaths  Pneumonia and COVID-19 Deaths  Influenza Deaths  Pneumonia, Influenza, or COVID-19 Deaths 
07/14/2020 02/01/2020 02/01/2020 By week United States Week-ending 0 58,325 98% 3,774 0 478 4,252
07/14/2020 02/08/2020 02/08/2020 By week United States Week-ending 1 59,069 99% 3,777 0 518 4,296
07/14/2020 02/15/2020 02/15/2020 By week United States Week-ending 0 58,319 99% 3,797 0 554 4,351
07/14/2020 02/22/2020 02/22/2020 By week United States Week-ending 5 58,286 100% 3,654 1 561 4,219
07/14/2020 02/29/2020 02/29/2020 By week United States Week-ending 5 58,486 102% 3,773 3 640 4,415
07/14/2020 03/07/2020 03/07/2020 By week United States Week-ending 34 58,638 101% 3,905 16 622 4,544
07/14/2020 03/14/2020 03/14/2020 By week United States Week-ending 52 57,672 101% 3,896 27 611 4,531
07/14/2020 03/21/2020 03/21/2020 By week United States Week-ending 561 58,509 103% 4,494 249 546 5,345
07/14/2020 03/28/2020 03/28/2020 By week United States Week-ending 3,126 62,478 112% 6,115 1,411 440 8,220
07/14/2020 04/04/2020 04/04/2020 By week United States Week-ending 9,907 71,649 128% 9,831 4,716 477 15,263
07/14/2020 04/11/2020 04/11/2020 By week United States Week-ending 16,011 78,325 141% 11,887 7,173 471 20,856
07/14/2020 04/18/2020 04/18/2020 By week United States Week-ending 16,897 76,001 140% 11,291 7,252 262 21,011
07/14/2020 04/25/2020 04/25/2020 By week United States Week-ending 15,209 72,879 135% 10,239 6,520 143 18,975
07/14/2020 05/02/2020 05/02/2020 By week United States Week-ending 12,969 68,081 127% 8,815 5,455 64 16,373
07/14/2020 05/09/2020 05/09/2020 By week United States Week-ending 10,949 65,258 124% 7,655 4,626 46 14,015
07/14/2020 05/16/2020 05/16/2020 By week United States Week-ending 8,933 62,435 119% 6,565 3,690 19 11,824
07/14/2020 05/23/2020 05/23/2020 By week United States Week-ending 6,932 59,096 113% 5,660 2,889 22 9,721
07/14/2020 05/30/2020 05/30/2020 By week United States Week-ending 5,850 56,359 109% 4,991 2,373 10 8,478
07/14/2020 06/06/2020 06/06/2020 By week United States Week-ending 4,617 54,732 104% 4,564 2,002 11 7,190
07/14/2020 06/13/2020 06/13/2020 By week United States Week-ending 3,668 52,189 101% 3,981 1,630 10 6,026
07/14/2020 06/20/2020 06/20/2020 By week United States Week-ending 2,783 48,581 94% 3,469 1,189 5 5,068
07/14/2020 06/27/2020 06/27/2020 By week United States Week-ending 1,463 40,438 78% 2,341 559 6 3,251
07/14/2020 07/04/2020 07/04/2020 By week United States Week-ending 522 28,269 54% 1,417 257 0 1,682
07/14/2020 07/11/2020 07/11/2020 By week United States Week-ending 181 10,378 20% 528 87


Caveat: The start and end week dates given by the CDC are the same, which is unexplainable to me.

Parting food for thought: given what is on offer in a “global sense,” including the unprecedented amount of money that will most likely be printed as the economy stands to take it on virus policy chin anew, do you think it might be a good idea to hold some physical gold and silver stored outside the banking system, preferably in your possession (if you can’t hold it, you don’t own it)?

Greetings,

Dan

FYI: Stylistic improvements, additional source links, and tertiary expansions of topics addressed were made past the initial July 15th, 2020 publishing date.  That said, neither the post’s initial content or its stance were altered.

Post publishing addendum on mask front:.

The obligatory boilerplate:

This commentary is not intended as investment advice or as an investment recommendation. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Price and yield are subject to daily change and as of the specified date. Information provided is solely the opinion of the author at the time of writing.  Nothing in the commentary should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Information provided has been prepared from sources deemed to be reliable but is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision.  Liquid securities can fall in value.

 

 

Post #62: The destructive Corona virus policy response, revisited

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The destructive Corona virus policy response, revisited

The economic and civil rights implications of an absolutely misguided (and I would argue tyrannical) US/western nation Corona virus policy response that is now increasingly focusing on daily new cases instead of on daily mortalities, or on mortality rate trends, are potentially devastating.  Never mind that sharply rising new US Corona virus cases, or the so-called “second wave,” have typically been accompanied by dramatically lower confirmed new daily deaths, as a younger population cohort is again permitted (for now, however short-lived) to venture back out into the wider world — a cohort that has a miniscule risk of dying should they contract the virus (“new cases”).  In fact, it is precisely this cohort again being “out and about” which will help put this virus down (spreading herd immunity, which widespread lockdowns postponed).  

Here’s what the CDC is saying about the fatality rate for the Corona virus broken down by age (their current scenario 5, which is their best estimate):

  • 0-49 years old: 0.05%
  • 50-64 years old: 0.2%
  • 65+ years old: 1.3%
  • Overall ages: 0.4%

Note that the overall case fatality rate of the Corona virus in the US, according to the CDC, is 0.4%.  That number only pertains to symptomatic cases, which, according to CDC estimates, comprise 65% of all cases.  If one includes asymptomatic infections, then the implied overall US Corona virus mortality rate is about 0.26%.  Stated differently, if 1,000 people contracted the virus, fewer than 3 of those individuals would be expected to die from it.  

For those of you who think this is “Monday morning quarterbacking,” please have a look at the following NE Journal of Medicine article lead-published by Anthony S. Fauci on March 26th, 2020.  In particular, this paragraph (italics mine):

“On the basis of a case definition requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia, the currently reported case fatality rate is approximately 2%.4  In another article in the Journal, Guan et al.5 report mortality of 1.4% among 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19; these patients had a wide spectrum of disease severity.  If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.2

Contrast the above COVID-19 or Corona virus assumptions (as published on March 26th, 2020 by the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the CDC, Anthony S. Fauci) and the ever-increasing confirmations of a benign overall Corona virus death rate with an utterly and insanely destructive Corona virus policy response in which much of the population was “locked down,” in one way or another — lockdowns instead isolating and protecting the most vulnerable members of society, as was previously done during pandemics to typically great overall effect.

In fact, with society opening back up and new cases spiking, the overall Corona virus mortality rate is increasingly converging with that of more benign modern-day pandemics, and could end up being lower, perhaps significantly lower, the more younger people are free to resume normal lives and lifestyles (herd immunity dynamics)*. With this in mind, will society be well-served by revisiting lockdowns? 

Below a graphic depiction of the the expanding divergence between new US Corona virus cases and new US Corona virus deaths as an indication as to where Corona virus mortality rate is currently heading (south!): 

Or, please see: https://ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid?country=~USA.  As regards “Our World in Data’s” political orientation, please click here.  (Sadly, if the left, the statist bureaucrats, and the pathetic RINOs have their way, we will soon be doubling down on lockdown and shutdown policy lunacy based on spiking new daily Corona virus cases juxtaposed against broadly declining new daily Corona virus deaths, which on June 30th comprised only 4.5% of average daily deaths in the US of 7,708 people.)

I reviewed this topic at considerable length in part of my most recent video (as of 18:56 minute mark): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr5LvK10rWs.  And I’ve also delved into considerable detail as concerns Florida in this matter.

If all that leaves you “cold,” please dwell on this KISS principle for a moment.  The global population is said to be 7.8bn.  The world, well into this disease’s “life-cycle,” has suffered 516K Corona virus-induced deaths to date, according to a Google/Wikipedia aggregation.  That means that 0.01% of the world’s population (and 0.02% of Florida’s population) has succumbed to the Corona virus.  Yet, the policy makers’ virus shutdown/lockdown responses have triggered unparalleled (Post WWII) job losses, unmatched economic collapses, a peerless plunge in world trade, and unheralded increases in debt and money printing that, collectively, are already doing (and threaten to continue to do) MUCH, MUCH more harm than the Corona virus ever could.  Which is why I titled the first video I devoted to this back on March 22nd , 2020 “Is the cure is worse than the disease?”  

A close, long-standing friend of mine (I got to know him during the CFA study sessions in Massachusetts and North Carolina between 1988 and 1990) has been at least a bit critical of my harping on this virus policy response issue.  He is concerned that I may be putting my (once?) solid analytical reputation at risk by throwing my hat into the ring here again and again, and in the process risking a widening credibility gap if I pick up on something that turns out to be less than “well-vetted.” This unfortunately does happen, from time to time.  But when it happens, I immediately apologize and draw it to the same people’s attention I first shared it with.  In short, I am trying to “see the forest without getting every tree right.”

As such, I am much more concerned about what is going to happen to our already badly damaged rule of law and what is left of free market capitalism and freedom (“the forest”) as a result of grotesque, liberty-eviscerating, small business-killing virus policy diktats issued by public officials and public employees that are often entrenched in well-paid positions with gold-plated pension and healthcare benefits.  In particular, and in addition to “blue state” governors,  I am referring to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats at various levels of government that are politically motivated.  Individuals who have gotten “punch drunk” on their “lockdown power.”  Persons that wouldn’t know how to spell “cost/benefit analysis” if their lives depended on it. And, last but not least, pampered people who have shown little if any compunction when issuing diktats to close down small businesses for months at a time — which is bankrupting them — or then imposing re-opening regulations (social distancing, masks, etc.) that virtually guarantee many Main Street businesses’ ultimate demise.

With nearly half of all private sector Americans (and a similar percentage of most other western citizens) employed by small businesses, this is no idle concern, especially as nearly half of all small businesses in America have made it known that they will eventually be forced to close their doors for good.  With so much debt, such large deficits, and so many bad investments/malinvestments courtesy of what effectively amounts to financial repression (ZIRP, NIRP, and QE) already weighing heavily on future national and global prospects, on real growth potential, and on the best outcome for the greatest number of economic participants and citizens, the American/OECD nations’ despotic Corona virus policy response is materially dimming already cloudy prospects.

Socialism never works, except for the elites.

Greetings,

Dan

* In everyday terms: the risk for the average person in the US of succumbing to the Corona virus is approximately equivalent to the risk of dying behind the steering wheel.  Last I checked, we can still get in our cars and drive places …  Hope dies last.

FYI: Stylistic improvements, additional source links, and tertiary expansions of topics addressed were made past the initial July 2nd, 2020 publishing date.  That said, neither the post’s initial content or its stance were altered. In terms of a sustained and very marked decline in Corona virus deaths in the US from its weekly high point of 16,987 as of April 18th to 181 for the week ended July 11th, 2020, click here.   

The obligatory boilerplate:

This commentary is not intended as investment advice or as an investment recommendation. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Price and yield are subject to daily change and as of the specified date. Information provided is solely the opinion of the author at the time of writing.  Nothing in the commentary should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Information provided has been prepared from sources deemed to be reliable but is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision.  Liquid securities can fall in value.