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First, get a handle on this virus

Wednesday, Aug 12, 2020

* Wirepoints

Six months into COVID-19, the media and Illinois’ political elite continue to push cases and the case positivity rate as the key statistics of the pandemic. So much so, that Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot have threatened shut downs all over again if the case numbers continue to go up.

The persistent reporting of rising cases and high positivity rates invoke fear, but the public should know that cases alone don’t matter. What really matters are hospitalizations and deaths. And those have yet to rise in Illinois, even if cases have risen significantly for more than a month and a half. […]

We’re not implying that more hospitalizations and deaths won’t follow the increase in cases, as has happened in states like Texas, Florida and Arizona recently. A rise is inevitable in Illinois as the state loosens its strict and protracted shutdown.

What’s clear, however, is that cases in Illinois are currently decoupled from hospitalizations and deaths.


* First of all, case numbers have zero to do with the state’s phased mitigation plan (although Chicago does look at cases). The state’s regional plan is based on a sustained increase in positivity rates above 8 percent (which, despite what they’re claiming, is an all too real danger zone), or a sustained increase in positivity rates along with a sustained increase in hospitalizations or pending bed shortages.

Also, ignoring what happened in Illinois and now in Florida, etc. is kinda mind-boggling.

* Illinois Policy Institute headline today

Pritzker gets OK to treat businesses as criminals for failing to enforce his COVID-19 mask order

From mid-April

“As an owner of 2 small businesses, one essential (radon mitigation), one a restaurant … nothing I can say will express the absolute disdain I have for this man or his policies,” a commenter complained about Pritzker.

A Policy Institute staffer replied to her comment asking if she would be open to speaking to a member of the IPI team. “We’ve been doing our best to give our community a voice on our site and pressure JB to reopen the state’s economy.”

Another commenter predicted that Pritzker “and his boss lori lightfoot will kill Illinois.” An IPI staffer replied with the same request to speak with her about her story. “We’ve been featuring small business owners on our site to try to pressure the governor to reopen the state’s economy.”

I originally told subscribers about this on April 10th. On that day, Illinois reported 596 total deaths from COVID-19. Exactly a month later, Illinois reported 3,406 deaths. Two months later, Illinois was reporting 6,095 deaths.

…Adding… The IPI is also falsely claiming business owners face jail time, when that’s clearly not what the IDPH rules say…

* Want to open up? Deal with the virus. Encourage businesses to follow common sense guidelines and then we can hopefully get to where New York is…

* Meanwhile

First it was Seattle. Then New York City. Then the novel coronavirus hit Arizona, Texas, and Florida with a vengeance, infecting hundreds of thousands of people and leading to backlogs of bodies in morgues that are still growing today.

The big question, as the weather begins to turn cold, flu season approaches, and schools reopen across the nation, is a simple one: Which city is next?

The modelers at PolicyLab, the think tank at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) whose projections are often used by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, think they have an answer: Baltimore, Chicago, and Boston. The reasons range from density to climate to behavior to demographic factors. But, cumulatively, they have created a dangerous and swelling disease burden within the cities and in their immediate environs, according to PolicyLab models and interviews with a slew of public health experts.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 2:54 pm:

    ==We’re not implying that more hospitalizations and deaths won’t follow the increase in cases, as has happened in states like Texas, Florida and Arizona recently. A rise is inevitable in Illinois as the state loosens its strict and protracted shutdown.==

    So, increased cases inevitably lead to more hospitalizations and deaths, but you should ignore increased case counts.

    This Wirepoints guy is a real hoot. Brilliant scientific mind he is.

  2. - Ilgirl - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 3:06 pm:

    I will say I wish there was a mandate that could fine individuals as well as businesses if masks were not worn. I feel a little sorry for the 18 yr old kid try to tell the 60 yr old Trump republican that he/she has to put on a mask. Give the kid some ammunition so to speak. The ability to call the local LEO to write a nuance ticket. My opinion may not be popular but it’s what is needed. If the general Assembly has to come back to pass this… so be it.

  3. - Morty - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 3:30 pm:

    I was blocked from Wirepoints after saying their disdain for the carnage the their ‘policy’ recommendations, especially as it would fall on the poorest and the inform, was ghoulish behavior.

    I’ve seen nothing to indicate that I wasn’t correct.

  4. - 1st Ward - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 3:33 pm:

    “open up the economy” is a lazy statement. What specifically should open up? You can fly anywhere in the US currently but people don’t want to fly and businesses don’t want to hold conventions, therefore hotel occupancy and tourist attractions (including restaurants) foot traffic are all way down. How would “open up” help any of these industries?

    Do they want to open up more bar capacity? Tried that and it didn’t work.

    At this point the economic downturn has shifted from government policy to consumer behavior trends that are hurting certain service-based industries.

    What’s IPI’s and Wirepoints stance on extending UI as that would help the economy and retail/service based industries.

  5. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 3:33 pm:

    Sorry. They lost me after “political elite.” When you start your argument with this statement it tells me that you’ll be spouting opinion and not fact.

  6. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    “Pritzker gets OK to treat businesses as criminals for failing to enforce his COVID-19 mask order”

    Don’t call right wing ideologues conservative or pro business. They certainly are not conserving life, health and the economy. The mask rule is there to protect and preserve businesses and the economy. The economy is hurting more because of no national plan and the anti-mask and early reopening failures. The right wing death cult sees people and businesses as replaceable commodities.

  7. - Leigh John-Ella - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 3:35 pm:

    Noted public health expert Ted Dabrowki writing in the American Journal of Wirepoints Medicine.

    There is no bottom.

  8. - Give us Barabbas - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    How this should work is like when the liquor control people and cops set up stings to check if quick-mart-type stores and groceries are selling liquor and cigs to under-aged buyers. Those stores card hard because they never know when a sting is coming and they don’t want to lose their licenses, and thus the lowly young clerk can say to an old customer with confidence: “I can’t sell you anything if you won’t wear a mask in here; please come back when you have a mask on.”

    I’m telling you; time to have the Local Public Health departments temporarily yank a few bar and restaurant licenses for non-enforcement, and things will shape up right quick.

  9. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 4:08 pm:

    Fundamentally, lots of folks are not going to participate in the ‘opened up economy’ until they feel safe.
    You can open up until you are blue in the face but plenty of folks are going to wait until they feel safe.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 4:18 pm:

    Wirepoints is about money over lives, or how to justify monies that they feel others don’t deserve. They are sad and soulless, you can’t help them.

    The reality is…

    You can’t have an economy in a pandemic, when you control a pandemic you can start having an economy.

    Minimizing lives or impact on lives isn’t controlling a pandemic, it’s rationalizing.

    I’m over being angry or frustrated by these types, I feel sorry they are warped. I know I can’t help them.

  11. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 4:38 pm:

    When we were in Michigan, there were signs up everywhere saying, “Stay safe to Stay open.” I thought that summed it up pretty well

  12. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 4:58 pm:

    @Soccermom- yep, you are right.

    I waited until my work day was over to post this./s

  13. - Ryan - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 5:07 pm:

    You’re right to stress that the Illinois plan (the Pritzker plan) already focuses more on positivity rates and on hospitalization than raw cases.

    I think there’s more truth when it comes to media focus on cases. I find it bizarre that the Trib’s basic daily updates mention cases but not positivity rates. I consider their report useless except as a reminder to come here to get a more complete report. And on the radio (WBEZ, WBBM) I keep hearing things like “more than 1,500 cases for x days in a row, for the first time since May” without the context of the wild increase in the number of tests done. As if the two figures are even remotely comparable.

    There is also an increasing sense that other factors may set the ‘herd immunity rate’ significantly lower than 60% (a figure that is basically unattainable without a casualty rate far beyond even today’s horrific toll). See the sober treatment of this issue yesterday by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, by no means a Covid-19 optimist. I’d include a link but fear it would get my comment auto-killed.

  14. - truthteller - Thursday, Aug 13, 20 @ 7:50 am:

    if the situation isn’t dangerous why the push for a shield law?

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