Category Archives: Uncategorized

Music Center’s Sustainability and Future

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Brown County Music Center (BCMC) can’t make their mortgage payments. On April 15, 2020, the county council approved a loan for $150,000 to pay the next three months interest payments.

The $150K was borrowed from the county motor vehicle highway (MVH) fund which has to be reimbursed by the end of December.   A six-month extension can be granted.

Economic Assessment – IndyStar Pandemic could lead to deficits in millions 20200426

  • The city of Indianapolis and its tourism industry are bracing for budget shortfalls stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, an unknown economic impact that has already prompted a multimillion dollar budget cut for the city’s marketing agency and hiring freezes elsewhere.
  • Convention and visitor bureaus throughout the state are going to have to rethink their mission, Hicks said.  “I think this is an existential moment for the tourism industry and the way it’s supported in the state,” he said, noting a potential need to end marketing efforts in smaller counties and spend the money in more efficient ways.

Questions

  • Does the county have a legal liability to pay the mortgage? No. Per councilman Darren Byrd who is also a member of the Maple Leaf Management Committee, “This (150K) was an emergency loan to make the interest-only payments. It wasn’t done because of an obligation; just to mitigate a disaster. As with any mortgage, default could lead to eventual foreclosure.
  • How will the 150K loan be paid back, when, and by whom?
  • Are county taxpayers legally obligated to pay the mortgage?
    • No. Per councilman Darren Byrd who is also a member of the Maple Leaf Management Committee.
  • Would a default negatively impact the county bond rating?
    • Yes. Per councilman Darren Byrd who is also a member of the Maple Leaf Management Committee, a “foreclosure could have a negative rating effect.”
  • Why would a default affect the credit rating?  The county only loses a marketing budget for tourism which is a relatively small contributor to the county tax base.
  • What is the impact of a negative bond ranting?  Would this lead to higher interest rates being paid for loans and possibly make it difficult to even borrow money?  
  • If there was a downside to a default, was this fact and the details communicated by the attorney (s) to county government officials?
  • If taxpayers are not currently liable for paying the debt as currently structured in contracts, can this be changed to obligate the taxpayers?
  • Will there be a recurring need to loan money from the MVH fund and then pay it back with other tax money?  Is this a work-around to claim that income and property tax is not being used to pay the mortgage or any other operating expenses the venue may need?
  • If a default on the mortgage, what happens?  Would the venue appraise – at or over the amount borrowed?  Is it correct that all the revenue from the innkeeper’s tax would be transferred to the bank until the debt is settled?
  • The Convention Visitors Bureau (CVB) relies on revenue from the innkeeper’s tax for marketing and promotion of tourism – that includes funding of the Visitor Center.  Will they also be requesting a subsidy from the county taxpayers?

What Is a Credit Rating?  A credit rating is a quantified assessment of the creditworthiness of a borrower in general terms or with respect to a particular debt or financial obligation. A credit rating can be assigned to any entity that seeks to borrow money—an individual, corporation, state or provincial authority, or sovereign government.

What is a Bond Rating .  A bond rating is a way to measure the creditworthiness of a bond, which corresponds to the cost of borrowing for an issuer. These ratings typically assign a letter grade to bonds that indicates their credit quality

Health and Safety.  Without a vaccine, treatment, immunity, what will be the risk from tourists to county residents?  Brown County has one of the oldest populations in the state.

Promise to County Taxpayers

At the time this project was approved by the county council, Council President Dave Critser identified the worst-case scenario as the economy crashing and “told the audience twice that income and property taxes would not be used to pay for the venue.”

  • Brown County Democrat, Council approves pledging innkeepers tax to fund Maple Leaf venue by By Suzannah Couch – Nov 28, 2017.

    • Resident Tim Clark asked if the resolution could be changed to put county taxpayers on the hook if the project runs into “difficulties or the strategy changes.” … Critser said that would require a new resolution to be passed, and county commissioner Diana Biddle said that the county “can’t do a bait-and-switch that way.” …  “They can’t choose to add the property taxpayers later,” Matthas said. “They would have had to get it approved now, and they didn’t.”
  • Brown County Democrat.  Steps taken to fund Maple Leaf venue By Suzannah Couch – Nov 17, 2017 – Quotes:
    • “With the loan, the bank requires only the innkeepers tax and the mortgage as collateral (Herring)
    • County commissioner Diana Biddle asked attorney Pitman if Maple Leaf debt could ever be put on the county taxpayer in the form property or income tax
      • Pitman said the debt would not be put on the county taxpayer; it’s on the innkeepers tax. Pitman said the loan documents will limit the financial liability only to Maple Leaf revenue and the innkeepers tax.  
    •  Commissioner Dave Anderson said there are no liabilities to county taxpayers under the deal. “This is a good thing for Brown County. I can see no exposure to liability for our taxpayers, and that’s a biggie for me,” he said.

The innkeeper’s tax is collateral for the loan.  The innkeeper’s tax, by statute, is a county asset and is controlled by the county council that would be surrendering this asset. On default, the bank then takes control of the revenue stream provided by the innkeeper’s tax.

  • If the county directly opted to borrow money via a bond for this venue (as opposed to using the revenue from the innkeeper’s tax as collateral), taxpayers would have had the option for a remonstrance. The Redevelopment Commission (RDC) was the lead with this option and was doing the analysis and planning for the public meetings. The RDC was cut out of the process when it was determined that the innkeeper’s tax could be used as collateral.

Background Info

Summary of the project  GUEST OPINION: Time will tell what music center’s impact will be by Tim Clark

Project History and Timeline  BCMC: Brown County Music Center (Maple Leaf): For the Record By Tim Clark

Summary of issues impacting the decision-making process

Leverage.  The bank does not want the building and it may be difficult to dispose of the venue with the uncertainties in the market. In addition to the recent 90 days adjustments in payments (interest only), what additional options is the Bank willing to consider?

What’s the new norm?

  • Best Case. The pandemic is temporary and things return to normal. County funding helps bridge the gap.   How much should the county fund and for how long? Will the taxpayers be reimbursed?
  • The situation does not return to normal. How long do county taxpayers subsidize the venue? What additional funding would be needed to support the venue? WIll the county also be asked to fund marketing for tourism?

Fairness and Equity.  Is a subsidy for this venue and tourism industry fair?  Most county businesses and most if not all county taxpayers are financially impacted by the pandemic.

Cost-Benefit.   The justification for the subsidy (150K) per Commissioner Biddle: “…the music center is part of the foundation for the county’s economic recovery so it’s important for the county to step in and help now.

  • Tourism – $42.7 Million in gross revenue, 543 jobs, avg salary of 19K. (2017 Study – Rockport Analytics)
  • County residents – Adjusted Gross Income in 2018 – $408 million, reported on 7,000 tax returns. (About 7.400 residents in the labor force with over half commuting outside the county for work. (StatsIndiana).
  • County funded by income and property tax. The “State” is primarily funded by “Sales Tax” and Income tax. Thus the incentive for an innkeepers tax to promote tourism.

Patrons of the Arts.  Can money be raised from supporters of this venue and other benefactors?

Financials.  What is the financial condition of the venue? What financial information has been made available? Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss statement. Accounts Payable and Receivable reports? Cash flow and break-even analysis?

Community Support. What is the community support for a bailout?  What is the risk of protests and boycotts by county taxpayers of an industry that is a relatively small contributor to the overall “county” economy?  Will the issue create animosity against tourism?

Political Change.  Will the issue results in a demand for political change?  The Republican party has a monopoly on political power and were vocal advocates for this Music Venue.  All three commissions and 6/7 council members that voted for this project are Republican.

Covid-19 Impacts.  Uncertainty is expected to remain until there are effective treatments, a vaccine, wide-scale testing, and herd immunity.

  • Impacts on Large 2,000 seat venues? – TBD
  • Brown County has one of the oldest populations in Indiana.  Three gas stations, one Pharmacy, and one grocery store. No hospitals and no 24×7 medical clinic.  What will be the risks posed from tourists to the county?

Economic Outlook:  Depression, recession, quick recovery ….?

County Finances and Tax Increases.  What will be the drop in income and property tax? How much will the county be able to borrow? How much can the county increase property and income taxes? What expenses can be cut?

Support for a better (open) political system?

Brown County is a 2.0 .   As a former defense and military analyst, assessing the capabilities of groups, organizations, countries (e.g., systems) was one of the tools of the trade.

One of the simpler models for assessing capability used a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high capability). The norm is a 2.0 which can be defined as “good enough – it works for us.”

Description — 20200604 Community and County Capability Maturity Model CMM

In the case of Brown County, we have a “closed” political system as a result of a one-party monopoly on political power which can be reinforced in every election.

The plus side for some in this closed system is that major decisions, despite any opposition, can be made relatively quickly with no repercussions at the ballot box. The downside is that this is less effective than an “open” system that can assimilate feedback and works to identify the best solutions for the county.

The risk of a closed system is not only suboptimal decisions and abuse of power which is a given, but you can build up a simmering opposition to the status quo that can eventually lead to conflict. This conflict can be expressed on social media, at public meetings, and through protests and boycotts.  In a military context as we’ve seen throughout the world, a closed system provides the motivation for insurgencies, revolutions, and war.

In anticipating the local impacts that the Covid-19 crisis is having and may have on the county, to include potentially unprecedented amounts of borrowing, potential tax increases and subsidies for favored projects, groups and industries, we do have choices.

For over the past two years, volunteers in the community have been working to discover and develop a more collaborative and transparent leadership approach. We are in the “test” or proof-of-concept phase.  More info via the link below:

Brown County Leader Network – a collaborative and transparent leadership approach.

COVID-19 – Quality Management and Models

Some Coronavirus Facts Democrats And The Media Want To Keep BuriedI & I Editorial Board September 23, 2020

Aug 7, 2020. Gregory Watson Putting the Covid Numbers in Proper Perspective

June 30, 2020. Quality Digest. Are We Getting Better Yet? How is the worldwide pandemic progressing? By Donald Wheeler

  • Although we may know what needs to be done, the United States as a whole is not dealing effectively with the opportunistic infection of Covid-19.
  • Since we become infectious to others two to three days before we even know we are infected ourselves, social distancing, hand washing, and the use of face masks are still our most effective personal interventions at present.

Total deaths per million: Here we find that the United States’ value of 364.1 is sixth from the bottom, behind the deaths per capita of France, Sweden, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. However, it is instructive to compare the United States’ death rate with other first-world countries such as Australia (4.1), South Korea (5.4), Japan (7.5), Israel (34.2), Germany (107.1), Switzerland (197.3), and Canada (225.2).

May 4, 2020. LinkedIn Post – Control Charts – Ontario

May 4, 2020.  Quality Digest. Waiting for the Covid-19 Peak.  While this worldwide, unintended experiment continues we won’t immediately know if we have passed the peak.  By Donald J. Wheeler and Al Pfadt.

  • Sweden began to flatten its curve around April 12, but the Swedes were less aggressive in their efforts5. By the end of April they had lowered their average growth rate to 2.9 percent and had a total of 20,300 cases. Thus, while starting from the same amounts, in one month Norway added only 3,200 new cases while Sweden added 15,900. Such is the marvel of compound growth rates.
  • With a growth rate of 2.9 percent per day Sweden is on track to double its number of confirmed cases in 24 days (May 24). If the Swedes can further flatten their curve they can postpone this doubling and gain time before reaching 40,000 cases. With a growth rate of 0.7 percent per day Norway’s doubling time is 99 days. If the Norwegians maintain this rate of growth, they will not reach 15,000 cases until mid-July.
  • And we need to continue to try to flatten our cumulative curves simply because a flatter curve buys more time.

May 4, 2020. Quality Digest – Comment. An interesting contrast to our approach

  • I hope it is not bad form to be the first person to comment on our article, but I wanted to call attention to a link that I just discovered today that represents an entirely different approach to the one Don and I illustrate in this article.
  • The web address http://covid-measures.stanford.edu/ presents interactive models that permit one to ” try out” different assumptions regarding various aspects of Covid 19 in terms of certain parameters such as demand for hospital beds or the anticipated number of fatalities associated with certain containment scenarios.
  • I hope readers don’t get the impression from our article that we reject the utility of such models.
  • However, they serve a very different purpose than the one we take and both should be thought of as complementing each other.

Model – Stanford Univ.  Potential Long-Term Intervention Strategies for COVID-19

Coronavirus Policy Response Simulator: Health and Economic Effects of State Reopenings

Apr 28, 2020. Deming Institute.  India Fights COVID-19 with Control Charts BY 

April 15, 2020.  Can SPC save the world?  By Thomas Pyzdek

Apr 6, 2020. Quality Progress. Tracking Covid-19. How to let the data tell you what lies ahead By Donald J. Wheeler,  Al Pfadt. Kathryn J. Whyte

  • The first three intervention models—case isolation, home quarantine, and social distancing of those at risk of severe disease—make up an optimal mitigation policy. 
    • “The fourth NPI model was social distancing of the entire population. This model assumes this will reduce contacts outside the household, school, or workplace. The fifth NPI model was the closure of all schools and 75 percent of all universities.”

Mar 26, 2020. US News and World Report.   America Is Approaching a Deadly Tipping Point in the Coronavirus Pandemic, U.S. News Analysis Shows.  An examination of daily coronavirus deaths by country shows the U.S. is on a dangerous path that’s poised to worsen. By Steve Sternberg and Gaby Galvin  

  • Includes a control (SPC) chart.  Viewing the data in its entirety and over time offers a clearer window into the trajectory of the outbreak, one that isn’t clouded by noise and can detect meaningful differences in patterns that can inform official public guidance and decision-making.

    “With all the talk of ‘flattening the curve,’ we think the approach we used and our analysis sheds light on early signals of when the increase in new deaths peaks and the curve begins to flatten,” Perla and Provost say.

Mar 25, 2020. Quality Digest. The One Huge Mistake Quality Professionals Make in Preparing for Covid-19. Businesses need to think pessimistically in order to survive

  • The current guidance assumes a highly optimistic scenario, where we get very lucky. That’s not good advice, at all. We need to prepare for a moderately pessimistic scenario if we want to protect quality in our organizations.

Mar 25, 2020. Zero-Hedge. 12 Experts Question The COVID-19 Panic by Tyler Durden

  • Storm in a Tea Cup? LinkedIn. There is no question that the media is effective in whipping up emotions. Is the COVID-19 panic a storm in a tea cup?  by Dr. Tony Burns.

 

A Way Ahead – Post Covid recovery and prosperity

 A Way Ahead – Post COVID-19 recovery and prosperity
by Tim J. Clark

The government response (national, state, county) to the pandemic has been overly influenced by fear, emotion, politics, and ignorance.

Transitioning from Response to Recovery – Getting back to work

The 24×7 media coverage that thrives on controversy does not help.  I support the assessment identified in the article in Quality Digest magazine – “Tracking Covid-19 – How to let the data tell you what lies ahead”  that “case isolation, home quarantine, and social distancing of those at risk of severe disease—make up an optimal mitigation policy that will guide getting the country back to work.”  The issue that is just starting to surface is about community (herd)  immunity.

  • Community (Herd) Immunity. A situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness) to make its spread from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated (such as newborns and those with chronic illnesses) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community. Also known as herd immunity. Reference: CDC

Economic Depression

I’m also following the discussions on the macro-economics. The current situation has been assessed as being similar to the period between 1930-45. The Depression (1930) contributed to conditions that created conflict between competing powers that led to WWII, followed by a “new democratic world order” led by the U.S where the dollar became the reserve currency for the world.  In some future scenarios, the pandemic is projected to lead to a “depression,” heightened by tensions between the U.S. and the emerging power (China).

Hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio participated in a Tedx discussion on the topic – “What coronavirus means for the global economy” where he states that  “This is not a recession; this is a breakdown. You’re seeing the same thing that happened in the 1930s.”  Comments on the discussion at Forbes:

In contrast to Dailio’s conclusions, CNBC in their review ” Ray Dalio predicts a coronavirus depression: ‘This is bigger than what happened in 2008’ by Tom Huddleston Jr.  remarks:

  • ” …. However, other experts believe this financial crisis is unique because it is a result of a health issue, a global pandemic, rather than an otherwise unstable or unproductive economy.  As such, they are more optimistic that the economy will rebound quickly once the coronavirus pandemic subsides.” 
  • “I would point to the difference between this and a normal recession: There is nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told NBC’s “Today” in an interview last month.  In a follow-up interview with CNBC on Thursday, Powell reiterated his belief that the U.S. economy can have a “robust” rebound once the pandemic ends, though he is reluctant to offer a precise timetable for how long that could take.

Brown County

Regarding Brown County,  the Community Organizations Active In Disaster (COAD) works within a four-phase cycle:  Preparation-Mitigation, Preparedness, Response (the phase we are in now), and Recovery.

An optimal “Recovery” strategy is not likely without a successful transition to a “whole-of-county” strategy and plan that is supported by the Brown County community.

The county is funded by income and property tax and a depression/recession will reduce revenue. The county cannot print money and options of increasing revenue include a combination of cuts, borrowing, and raising property taxes.  The most optimistic and unrealistic scenario is that things go back to the way they were – this may be wishful thinking.

Regarding increasing county debt, the “temptation” may be to borrow money to fund a variety of special projects with the promise of economic miracles.

The economic engine for the county is residents that reported adjusted gross income (AGI) of $401 million dollars in 2017.  Tourism has been identified as the economic engine for the town of Nashville.  In contrast, in 2017, the gross revenue generated from tourism was estimated by Rockport Analytics at $42.7 million with a total economic impact of $22.6 million.

Relying on past county methods and practices to determine the priorities and direction of the county will likely be the preferred and initial approach. However, this approach is not capable of producing optimal results where everyone benefits, or at least, are not any worse off in the long-term.

Systems determine 85-100% of results and the capability of a system can be assessed on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high).  Brown County is governed through a one-party monopoly on political power that represents a closed system which would be assessed at a Level 2.

A Way Ahead? 

Albert Einstein remarked that  “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”   For over the past two years, volunteers in the community with the support of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Purdue and Ball State, have been working to develop a new leadership approach as part of the Hometown Collaborative Initiative (HCI).  It introduces an open-system approach to economic growth and community development.

The initiative is referred to as the Brown County Leader Network. We are in the process of developing a website to help share information. In the interim, additional information is provided at the following. “Brown County Leader Network.

References

COVID-19 Recovery – Small Businesses, Unemployment, Govt

Small Business.  Below is information for small business owners (under 500 employees). Also included is information that addresses unemployment details for both workers and employers.

U.S. Small Business Administration page where businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for emergency assistance.

For Government, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) is also a source of funding for infrastructure-related (mainly water and stormwater), projects, but also public facilities and main street revitalization programs. (The county is in the process of applying for a grant for Phase II of a Stormwater project in Helmsburg.)

Sign-up for the newsletter to stay updated on likely future support to benefit Indiana communities adversely affected by COVID-19. It is expected that the balance of current funds (in the millions) will be redirected into a program whose sole purpose will be to benefit Indiana communities adversely affected by COVID-19.

 

 

PVH – Peaceful Valley Heritage

Mission Statement

  • To foster, preserve and promote the rich history of Brown County, Indiana;
  • Encouraging an interest in local history;-Identifying significant historical sites and items found within the county.
  • Providing documentation and records of said significant locations/items;
  • To promote and encourage an interest in Brown County history on the local, national, and international levels, benefiting citizens and visitors, alike;
  • Appreciate the impact made by the arts, crafts, and music inspired by the natural beauty and nurtured by the creative spirit, and how each of these continue to be a part of our rich history;
  • Educate and inspire a lifelong interest in Brown County history in persons of all ages;
  • Aid in the protection of the historical, cultural, and natural assets of Brown County;
  • Share with the members of the Peaceful Valley Heritage, Inc. and all interested parties, all matters historic found within Brown County.

Website 

Facebook

Newsletters: 

Current Events

  • Atlas may be having an ‘I told you so’ moment. The Great Barrington Declaration, spearheaded by epidemiologists from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, recognizes the ‘devastating effects’ of lockdowns, particularly on the working class, and argues that the ‘cure’ has likely been worse than the disease. A top WHO official also flipped the organization’s position on lockdowns in an interview with Spectator TV, warning that they should be used as a ‘last resort’ and that their effects on the world economy should not be underestimated.

    ‘All of the things that I have said — that were all based on the data and my ongoing conversations with epidemiologists for months, almost on a day-to-day basis — have been finally openly agreed upon by many of the top scientists and epidemiologists from all over the world,’ Atlas says. ‘This policy is the science…and it’s common sense and logic.’

After The Great Barrington Declaration, No One Can Honestly Say ‘Science’ Demands Lockdowns  Federalist.  By  O 12, 2020While left-leaning media and pundits claim that evidence and science guide their decisions, the Great Barrington Declaration proves their ignorance and dishonesty.

Backflip: W.H.O. Condemns Coronavirus Lockdowns, Just ‘Doubling’ Global Poverty

It’s now October. We are starting to get an evidence-based picture of how school reopenings and remote learning are going (those photos of hallways don’t count), and the evidence is pointing in one direction. Schools do not, in fact, appear to be a major spreader of COVID-19.

Thousands Of Health Experts Sign Declaration Calling For End To Lockdown, Warn Of ‘Irreparable Damage’ By  Tim Pearce     DailyWire.com

  • The Great Barrington Declaration
  • Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings, and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice,” it continues.

Oct 5, 2020. Against FearPresident Trump’s handling of his coronavirus diagnosis models positive masculinity—rational and unbowed.  Heather Mac Donald  , City Journal, Covid-19  Politics and law

 

Chinese Bioweapon May Be Playing a Very Devious Game  Posted at 3:30 pm on September 17, 2020 by Michael Thau

Timeline – Background

Vaccines:  Untested short cuts to treatments

A “headline” on Feb 24, 2020. Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal. U of M disease expert: Coronavirus won’t be contained, so here’s what to do With vaccines still months away, Osterholm — who before his U of M job was chief epidemiologist for the state of Minnesota — says a broader outbreak is likely. So he and Olshaker have some advice for coping:

Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance. Medium. What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time by Tomas Pueyo

This may be the most comprehensive article on the issues that provide the insights on strategies and expected results.

  • “If you agree with this article and want the US Government to take action, please sign the White House petition to implement a Hammer-and-Dance Suppression strategy.”
  • “If you are an expert in the field and want to criticize or endorse the article or some of its parts, feel free to leave a private note here or contextually and I will respond or address.”

Mar 24, 2020.  Inside Hook. How South Korea Flattened the Curve – Can the United States follow suit? BY BONNIE STIERNBERG

Mar 25, 2020.  Atlantic.  How the Pandemic Will End The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world … and  One could easily conceive of a world in which most of the nation believes that America defeated COVID-19. This is how it’s going to play out by Ed Yong

  • A global pandemic of this scale was inevitable.
  • Veterans of past epidemics have long warned that American society is trapped in a cycle of panic and neglect. After every crisis — anthrax, SARS, flu, Ebola — attention is paid and investments are made. But after short periods of peacetime, memories fade and budgets dwindle. This trend transcends red and blue administrations. When a new normal sets in, the abnormal once again becomes unimaginable. But there is reason to think that COVID-19 might be a disaster that leads to more radical and lasting change.
  • One could easily conceive of a world in which most of the nation believes that America defeated COVID-19
  • The 2020 Presidential Elections will be a signficant indicator regarding the future direction of the U.S. 

Sources of Guidance and Data:

Assessments:

Assessment – Economic

History:

  • George W. Bush in 2005: ‘If we wait for a pandemic to appear, it will be too late to prepare‘ By Mathew Mosk.
    • When he returned to Washington, he called his top homeland security adviser into the Oval Office and gave her the galley of historian John M. Barry’s “The Great Influenza,” which told the chilling tale of the mysterious plague that “would kill more people than the outbreak of any other disease in human history.” …  “You’ve got to read this,” Fran Townsend remembers the president telling her. “He said, ‘Look, this happens every 100 years. We need a national strategy.'”
    •  Thus was born the nation’s most comprehensive pandemic plan — a playbook that included diagrams for a global early warning system, funding to develop new, rapid vaccine technology, and a robust national stockpile of critical supplies, such as face masks and ventilators, Townsend said.

Worst-Case Plans: Newsweek,  Exclusive: Inside the Military’s Top Secret Plans if Coronavirus Cripples t

TIMELINE

SHOCK REPORT: This Week CDC Quietly Updated COVID-19 Numbers – Only 9,210 Americans Died From COVID-19 Alone – Rest Had Different Other Serious IllnessesBy Joe Hoft  Published August 29, 2020 at 7:45pm

MORE EVIDENCE THAT SHUTDOWNS ARE USELESS

  • Hardly anyone has been wearing masks in the Scandinavian countries, according to news reports.Mortality attributed to covid-19 hit a peak value of 11.38 deaths per day per million population on April 8, 2020. … For all practical purposes, the covid-19 epidemic is over in Sweden. Almost certainly herd immunity has been achieved in Sweden irrespective of any antibody test results. … Whether covid-19 will reappear this next fall or winter remains to be seen.

Hoover Institution senior fellow joins Trump administration as a COVID advisor   By Ujwal Srivastava and Anastasia Malenko 

  • In the past, Atlas has advocated for the reopening of schools and claimed that COVID-19 lockdowns should be ended.
  • “Public policy is supposed to be taking into consideration not just stopping COVID-19 at all costs, but understanding the impact on people of what you do and what you say,” Atlas said. “We need to live in a rational world and show our children that we use critical thinking and there’s been a lot of sloppy thinking on this issue.” 
  •  “The data is in — stop the panic and end the total isolation.” by BY DR. SCOTT W. ATLAS,
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that 40% of Covid-19 infections are asymptomatic.
  • But the size of the response in most of the world (not including Sweden) has been totally disproportionate to the size of the threat.
  • Shutting down completely in order to decrease the total number of deaths only makes sense if you are willing to stay shut down until a vaccine is available. That could take years. No country is willing to wait that long.

Horowitz: Lost common sense: How America lived through the Asian flu of 1957 Daniel Horowitz · July 31, 2020

Cancer diagnoses plummet in pandemic; Experts fear could mean worse disease later…  By Sarah Gantz The Philadelphia Inquirer (TNS), 

Democrats’ COVID-19 Lies Go Viral  Betsy McCaughey, The American Spectator

The land with no face masks: Holland’s top scientists say there’s no solid evidence coverings work and warn they could even damage the fight against Covid-19By IAN BIRRELL IN AMSTERDAM FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 

The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It | OpinionHARVEY A. RISCH, MD, PHD , PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, YALE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

  • I am referring, of course, to the medication hydroxychloroquine. When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc.

Four Months of Unprecedented Government Malfeasance  • Volume 49, Number 5/6Heather Mac DonaldManhattan Institute

  • Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She earned a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. in English from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She writes for several newspapers and periodicals, including The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesThe New Criterion, and Public Interest, and is the author of four books, including The War on Cops: How The New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe and The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.

In struggle against pandemic, populist leaders fare poorlyBy JOHN DANISZEWSKI Associated Press JULY 23, 2020 — 6:25AM

July 22, 2020.  The Big Surge In Coronavirus Deaths Is A Media-Fed Myth I & I Editorial Board

July 21, 2020. Charlotte Observer. What did people say about wearing masks in the 1918 pandemic? It sounds familiar  BY CHARLES DUNCAN

July 21, 2020. Russia Says Its Chinese Coronavirus Vaccine Is Ready by Tsarizm Staff

July 19, 2020.  It’s Time to Shame the Covid-19 Liars   Kevin McCullough, Townhall

Friday, 10 July 2020  COVID Con: Doctor Says Virus Is “Dying” — but Media Keep It Alive Written by  

July 7, 2020. Breitbart. Fauci Downplays Lower Coronavirus Death Rate as ‘False Narrative’ by  NATE CHURCH

Dr. Scott Atlas disputes COVID-19 fear mongering tactics from our health official:  KUSI Newsroom

  • SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – As coronavirus cases continue to increase across the United States, health officials and Democrat politicians seem to be using that statistic to fear monger and justify closure orders.
  • Dr. Scott Atlas of the Hoover Institute, discussed why we don’t need to be scared of the increase spread of coronavirus on Good Morning San Diego with KUSI’s Paul Rudy.

COVID-19 is close to losing its epidemic status in the U.S., according to the CDC.  by Daniel Payne, Just the News.  The percentage of coronavirus deaths in the country has been declining for ten straight weeks.

Where are the deaths?  The drumbeat to halt the reopenings gets louder by the day. It should be resisted 

June 27, 2020.  Reopening Is Not a Failure By National Review

June 26, 2020. Avik Roy, Twitter. If you want to understand what’s going on with #COVID19 right now, the best place to look is Florida, because they do the best job of anyone in terms of data transparency. Note the different age distributions of cases, hospitalizations, & deaths in their regular report.

MEDIA IGNORES 90% CORONAVIRUS DEATH COLLAPSE IN COUNTRY

EXCLUSIVE: Coronavirus Mortality Study in Sweden Is Consistent with US Study – Confirms Overall Mortality Not Much Different Than a Bad Seasonal Flu  By Joe HoftPublished June 21, 2020 at 8:45am

by June 11, 2020, 12:11 PM

June 17, 2020. Just the News.   Erosion of trust: 10 things public health establishment got wrong about coronavirus By Michael Fumento

  • From the start, the public health establishment has projected an air of certitude in its advice and policy prescriptions on COVID-19 belied by a record of error on many of the central questions.

Jun 14, 2020. WSJ. Governments May Revisit Postwar Playbook as They Tackle Huge Debts. Financial repression worked after WWII, but it isn’t without costs and risks

  • “You’re talking to a very fiscally conservative person,” said Ms. Reinhart, the World Bank’s newly appointed chief economist, in response to a question on the wisdom of borrowing so much in response to the pandemic. “But this is a war. In a war, you worry about winning the war, and then you worry about paying for it.”

Jun 13, 2020. ‘Expert Models’ + Fear = Stress Pandemic  COMMENTARY  By Thomas W. Smith

  • Here is what John Kay of the Financial Times has written about science: “The objective of science is not an agreement on a course of action but the pursuit of truth. … Science is a matter of evidence. … The route to knowledge is transparency. … The route to truth is the pluralistic expression of conflicting views. … There is no room in the process for any notion of scientific consensus.”
  • That was a question explored by respected medical researchers Scott W. Atlas, John R. Birge, Ralph L. Keeney, and Alexander Lipton. The headline on their essay reveals a stark conclusion: “The COVID-19 Shutdown Will Cost Americans Millions of Years of Life.” They calculate the shockingly high cost of the Shut-Down-the-Economy Stress Pandemic, not just to the mental and physical health throughout the country — and not just to the economy — but to living standards for years to come.

Jun 4, 2020.  Investigative Issues: Here’s an Excerpt From My Covid E-Book That Was Quarantined by Amazon  By Alex Berenson

May 30, 2020. National Review.  Sweden’s COVID Death Rate Now Ten Times Higher than Norway’s By

  • According to the Worldometers website, 435 out of every one million Swedes have died from the virus, while the virus has killed 44 out of every million Norwegians.
  • And it’s not clear Sweden’s economy will be better off than Norway’s this year. 

May 30, 2020. RealClear Politics. U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Is Inflated  COMMENTARY By Timothy Allen & John Lot

May 27, 2020.  Mandatory Masks Aren’t About Safety, They’re About Social Control  By Molly McCann. To those looking to benefit politically from emergencies, COVID presents an opportunity to advance plans targeted to transform American freedom and the American way of life.

  • The “experts” have admitted that masks’ efficacy is usually negligible. 
  • In short, cloth masks are largely symbolic. The science hasn’t changed, but the agenda has. … Implementing mandatory mask policies across a society of 300 million because it makes some people feel better is absurd on its face. But the policy makes a lot of sense if you understand its purpose and usefulness to shift the American mindset.
  • Last week, a doctor in the Wall Street Journal pointed out that cloth masks—the type worn by the overwhelming majority of the population—are not very effective, echoing Fauci’s earlier admission. The WSJ author noted that even the N95 masks fall short: “They’re considered effective at blocking coronavirus particles only when they’re form fitted and tested to make sure there isn’t any leakage.”

May 27, 2020. CJ.  Let the Sun Shine In. Florida has proven that a measured, evidence-based response to reopening works by Michael Hendrix

  • Florida’s response to Covid-19 focused on nursing homes. More than a third of the nation’s Covid deaths have occurred among the residents and staff of long-term-care facilities
  • Each state’s experience differs, with each paying its own price in lives or livelihoods. Governors should be judged by their own state’s record going into and coming out of this crisis. It’s a standard that surely elevates governors like Ron DeSantis and Bill Lee—and likely condemns Andrew Cuomo.

May 27, 2020. RealClearPolitics.  Americans Don’t Get Ruled  By Judge Michael McHaney

May 27, 2020. RealClearPolitics. The COVID Guidance Muddle: No Wonder We Stand Divided By Kalev Leetaru

May 27, 2020.  New Yorker. How Mask Mandates Were Beaten Down in Rural Oklahoma

May 23, 2020 How Germany contained the coronavirus  Jens SpahnFederal Minister of Health, Federal Ministry of Health of Germany

  • First, it is critical that governments inform the public not just about what they know, but also about what they do not know. That is the only way to build the trust needed to fight a lethal virus in a democratic society. No democracy can force its citizens to change their behavior – at least not without incurring high costs. In pursuing a coordinated, collective response, transparency and accurate information is far more effective than coercion.

May 23, 2020.  COVID-19 Data – KEEP IT SIMPLE By Dr. Tony Burns

May 22, 2020. The Federalist.  Our Coronavirus Response Is Making Us Lose Our Humanity By Abby Johnson

  • We parted ways and I just felt a pull to get a couple cans of formula for him, which I purchased, then went to find him. When I gave him the cans, he broke down in tears. He said he had been contemplating how to steal those cans because he’s on a fixed income and couldn’t afford the formula to help his daughter.Then he embraced me. We didn’t have masks. There was no Centers for Disease Control-recommended distance between us at all.All we had was our humanity. And that’s exactly what is being lost during this pandemic.

May 22, 2020. CR. Horowitz: The CDC confirms remarkably low coronavirus death rate. Where is the media? Daniel Horowitz

Linkedin – Discussion on Risk and Priorities.

May 21, 2020.  How Fear, Groupthink Drove Unnecessary Global Lockdowns  By Yinon Weiss

  • A much more rational strategy would have been to lock down nursing homes and let young healthy people out to build immunity.  

May 20, 2020. DISRN.  “Mass casualty incident”: 600 doctors sign letter to Trump calling for end to lockdowns over health concerns  by Adam Ford · 

May 20, 2020.  Pandemic Is Shining a Light on the American Character 

  • The coronavirus crisis is real, but the effects on public health are just part of the problem. The long-term health of the economy matters as well. Political actors should be looking at the opportunity costs, trade-offs and risks associated with various courses of action. But that’s not the way of the tyrannical government official, the moral narcissist, or the anonymous informer. They know they are right, and that is all that matters.

May 20, 2020.  Daily Mail, UK. More than 5 million Americans will be infected with coronavirus and 290,000 will die by the end of July if social distancing isn’t adhered to, according to COVID-19 model

  • Forecast from University Of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School model
  • Meanwhile, a separate model from the UMass Influenza Forecasting Center of Excellence is projecting that deaths will surpass 113,000 by mid-June 
  • Currently, there are more than 1.5 million cases and over 92,000 deaths across the United States 

May 20, 2020. Bloomberg.   The Results of Europe’s Lockdown Experiment Are In  By Elaine He

  • The Covid-19 experience has taught us that it’s far better to respond quickly and smartly, with the right technology and mass testing and tracing, rather than only relying on the crudest of shutdowns. If there are second waves of the virus, we shouldn’t repeat the mistakes of the first.

May 15, 2020. RealClearPolitics.  Two Americas: Lockdown Left vs. Re-open Right  By Tom Bevan – RCP Staf

  • The political divide among the public is stark. According to a CBS News/YouGov poll released Thursday, 88% of Democrats believe the top priority of America is to “stay home, slow virus spread.” Only 12% said the top priority should be “back to work, get economy going.” Sixty-two percent of Republicans, on the other hand, favored getting the economy going as the top priority, while 38% felt staying at home is the top priority. Put another way, the net difference between Democrats and Republicans on what the top priority of the country should be is 50 percentage points.

May 10, 2020. NYT.  How Pandemics End  By GinaKolata

  • According to historians, pandemics typically have two types of endings: the medical, which occurs when the incidence and death rates plummet, and the social, when the epidemic of fear about the disease wanes.“When people ask, ‘When will this end?,’ they are asking about the social ending,” said Dr. Jeremy Greene, a historian of medicine at Johns Hopkins.

How will Covid-19 end?

  •  One possibility, historians say, is that the coronavirus pandemic could end socially before it ends medically. People may grow so tired of the restrictions that they declare the pandemic over, even as the virus continues to smolder in the population and before a vaccine or effective treatment is found.
  • “I think there is this sort of social psychological issue of exhaustion and frustration,” the Yale historian Naomi Rogers said. “We may be in a moment when people are just saying: ‘That’s enough. I deserve to be able to return to my regular life.’”
  • The challenge, Dr. Brandt said, is that there will be no sudden victory. Trying to define the end of the epidemic “will be a long and difficult process.”

May 14, 2020. CR.  Horowitz: One chart exposes the lie behind universal lockdown By Daniel Horowitz 

  • What is the true infection fatality rate of COVID-19, broken down by age and health status? This is a simple question for which the CDC should have a clear answer by now, accompanied by a readable chart – a chart showing everyone’s demographic risk assessment so that we can better target our infection mitigation efforts. Yet it’s the one thing our government hasn’t done. Wonder why?

May 14, 2020. USA Today.  Why coronavirus cases flatten, while deaths rise by John Bacon.

  • The national curve finally appears to be flattening – for now.

    The Johns Hopkins dashboard, which provides data on the coronavirus outbreak, shows the rise of confirmed cases and daily deaths in the U.S. may be slowing, even as the national death total approaches 100,000. Worldometer statistics, run by the data company Dadax, hint at steady declines.

May 13, 2020. AP.  Whistleblower: US could face virus rebound ‘darkest winter

May 13, 2020. FiveThirtyEight. Without A Vaccine, Herd Immunity Won’t Save Us  By Kaleigh Rogers, Julia Wolfe and Laura Bronner

May 12, 2020, Foreign Affairs. Sweden’s Coronavirus Strategy Will Soon Be the World’s. Herd Immunity Is the Only Realistic Option—the Question Is How to Get There Safely By Nils Karlson, Charlotta Stern, and Daniel B. Klein

  • There are good reasons for countries to begin easing their restrictions. It will take several years to tally the total number of deaths, bankruptcies, layoffs, suicides, mental health problems, losses to GDP and investments, and other costs attributable not just to the virus but to the measures used to fight it. It should already be obvious, however, that the economic and social costs of lockdowns are enormous:

May 12, 2020Purdue President Mitch Daniels shares an update to West Lafayette campus faculty and staff

May 5, 2020. AP.  Virus-afflicted 2020 looks like 1918 despite science’s march By CALVIN WOODWARD

 May 5, 2020. Jerusalem Post  Israel’s IIBR completes development phase of COVID-19 antibody. “I am proud of the Biological Institute staff, who have made a major breakthrough,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said. 

May 4, 2020The Army Wants a Wearable COVID-19 Detector By Aaron Boyd,
Senior Editor, Nextgov

May 4, 2020. NYT.  She Predicted the Coronavirus. What Does She Foresee Next? By Frank Bruni

  • “Just as we come out of our holes and see what 25 percent unemployment looks like,” she said, “we may also see what collective rage looks like.”
  • The problem, Garrett added, is bigger than Trump and older than his presidency. America has never been sufficiently invested in public health. The riches and renown go mostly to physicians who find new and better ways to treat heart disease, cancer and the like. The big political conversation is about individuals’ access to health care.
  • But what about the work to keep our air and water safe for everyone, to design policies and systems for quickly detecting outbreaks, containing them and protecting entire populations? Where are the rewards for the architects of that?

May 4, 2020.  NYT. The COVID-19 Riddle: Why Does the Virus Wallop Some Places and Spare Others? by  Hannah Beech, Alissa J. Rubin, Anatoly Kurmanaev and Ruth Maclean

  • The coronavirus has touched almost every country on earth, but its impact has seemed capricious.
  • The question of why the virus has overwhelmed some places and left others relatively untouched is a puzzle that has spawned numerous theories and speculations but no definitive answers. That knowledge could have profound implications for how countries respond to the virus, for determining who is at risk and for knowing when it’s safe to go out again.
  • There are already hundreds of studies underway around the world looking into how demographics, preexisting conditions and genetics might affect the wide variation in impact.

May 3, 20202. NY Post. FDA approves coronavirus antibody test that boasts near-perfect accuracy By Jackie Salo

  • Schinecker said the tests are an important step in determining whether someone may have immunity, but acknowledged that more research is required to determine whether antibodies protect people from being reinfected.
  • But if previous outbreaks have proven anything, it’s that hunts for vaccines are unpredictable. “I don’t think any vaccine has been developed quickly,” Offit cautions. “I’d be really amazed if we had something in 18 months.”

May 2, 2020. RealClearPolitics.  As We Mull Leaving Lockdown, Is Sweden Model the Way Forward?  By Christina Ramirez, Ph.D., is a professor of biostatistics at the Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles.

Apr 28, 2020. Deming Institute.  India Fights COVID-19 with Control Charts BY 

Apr 28, 2020Bennett & Leibsohn: Coronavirus response — compare Florida with New York, and look at the results so far  By William J. Bennett, Seth Leibsohn | Fox News

May 2020. The New Criterion.  The scab & the wound beneath by Victor Davis Hanson. On painful realities in the age of the coronavirus.

Apr 24, 2020.  RealClearPolicy. Five Facts about Epidemiological Models.  By No Labels

Apr 23, 3030. Federalist.  Instead Of ‘Flattening The Curve,’ We Flattened Hospitals, Doctors, And The U.S. Health Care System  Across the country, hospitals shut down ‘non-essential’ procedures in preparation for a surge of coronavirus patients that never appeared.

Apr 21, 2020The Flaw in Sweden’s Coronavirus Strategy  by  Nathalie Rothschild, Foreign Policy

  • The government expects citizens to freely follow its advice—but not all ethnic groups have equal access to expertise.

Apr 20, 2020. The Spectator.  The Swedish experiment looks like it’s paying off By Fredrik Erixon

Apr 17, 2020. Daily Caller.   ‘I Believe In Our Freedoms And Liberties’: South Dakota Governor Responds To Critics Of State’s Coronavirus Response by Scott Morefield

  • “What I’ve seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security,” she continued. “And they don’t have to do that. If a leader will take too much power in a time of crisis, that is how we lose our country. So I felt like I’ve had to use every single opportunity to talk about why we slow things down, we make decisions based on science and facts and make sure that we’re not letting emotion grab a hold of the situation.”

Apr 16, 2020. Chicago Tribune. Why Michael Savage is blasting Sean Hannity and the right-wing media on the coronavirus  By JEREMY W. PETERS

Apr 16, 2020. Bloomberg. This Isn’t the Flattened Curve We Were Promised, by Cathy O’Neil

  • If people stick with measures to contain the virus, death rates will eventually trickle down to zero, but only after almost everyone has been infected, assuming they are then immune. If we’re lucky, we’ll slow things down enough to never truly overwhelm the hospitals, and if we’re really lucky we’ll slow things down long enough to benefit from a vaccine or a treatment.

Apr 12, 2020. American Greatness. The Thin Façade of Authority As we continue to debate about numerators and denominators in determining the real impact of this virus, one common denominator remains certain about the elites advising, crafting, and developing our response:  they aren’t touched by the impact of their decisions.

  • So far in this crisis, our elite have let us down in a manner the muscularly wise have never done. Botched Models, Bad Advice

Apr 12, 2020Herd Immunity vs. Herd Mentality Although we do not yet know every detail of the end of our infatuation with the coronavirus, it’s clear that the historian of this episode will include a chapter called “Mistakes Were Made.”

  • It is not, as Surgeon General Adams suggested, like a nationwide series of Pearl Harbors or 9/11s. It is not, as the president has frequently said, “unlike anything we’ve ever seen.” It is a severe seasonal respiratory ailment that will, when all is said and done, probably claim fewer lives than the flu usually does, many fewer than bad years, when upwards of 80,000 die and hundreds of thousands are hospitalized.

Apr 11, 2020. Quillette. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: COVID-19 Shows We Can’t Have It All written by Zaid Jilani

Apr 10, 2020. Powerline.  THE PANDEMIC: WHERE WE STAND NOW BY JOHN HINDERAKER IN CORONAVIRUS

Apr 7, 2020. Rush Limbaugh. We Have Much More to Fear from Economic Destruction Than the Virus

  • the chances of recovery from the coronavirus is about 98% if you catch it.
  • models show 50% of the population may have already had it.
  • analysis shows in New York City 70% of the deaths are of those over age 65
  • The majority of New York’s more than 5,500 deaths due to coronavirus were among men, and 86% of these deaths were among people who already had underlying illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes,
  • Of the 5,500 deaths in New York since the first on March the 14th, 61% were men, 39% were women. Sixty-three percent of the deaths were among those age 70 and older while 7% of the cases were those 49 and younger. Of the 4,089 of those who died had at least one other chronic disease, the record showed. The leading underlying illness was high blood pressure, which showed up in 55 of the deaths. Next, diabetes in 1,700 of the deaths, about 37% of the cases. Other top illnesses found in those who died from coronavirus were hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, renal disease — that’s kidneys, for those of you in Rio Linda — and dementia.
  • We don’t have a vaccine for HIV, and that was Dr. Fauci’s specialty.
  • But do you know the odds of any American getting this virus?”  Do we have a one in 10 chance of getting it? One in five chance? What are the circumstances in which our chances or odds increase?
  • 5,500 deaths, 138,000 cases. New York has a population of eight million. So eight-tenths of a percent of the population of New York have contracted the disease.

Apr 6, 2020 Montana physician Dr. Annie Bukacek discusses how COVID 19 death certificates are being manipulated

  • Dr. Birx explained (Apr 7, 2020 WH brief), that COVID-19 deaths in the United States have “very liberal” recording guidance, noting that anyone who tests positive for the virus and dies would be included in their numbers of coronavirus deaths.

Apr 6, 2020. Wired. The Asian Countries That Beat Covid-19 Have to Do It Again Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan had flattened the curve. Then travelers from the US and Europe began reimporting the virus.  By Adam Rogers

Apr 6, 2020. Quality Progress. Tracking Covid-19. How to let the data tell you what lies ahead By Donald J. Wheeler,  Al Pfadt. Kathryn J. Whyte

  • The first three intervention models—case isolation, home quarantine, and social distancing of those at risk of severe disease—make up an optimal mitigation policy. 
    • “The fourth NPI model was social distancing of the entire population. This model assumes this will reduce contacts outside the household, school, or workplace. The fifth NPI model was the closure of all schools and 75 percent of all universities.”

Apr 6, 2020.  National Review.  Has Sweden Found the Right Solution to the Coronavirus?  By JOHN FUND & JOEL HAY

  • Unlike other countries, it has so far avoided both isolation and economic ruin.

Apr 6, 2020. Daily Caller. Researchers Lower Fatality Projections In Coronavirus Model Used By White House By Chuck Ross

  • The model, from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, now projects 81,766 deaths in the United States through Aug. 1, with most of the fatalities occurring by the middle of May. The IHME team projected a range of between 49,431 and 136,401 for the same period.

Apr 6, 2020. Overkill: The Purposeful Destruction of America’s Economy By |

Apr 6, 2020.  RealClearPolitics. An Advantaged Disease, Indeed COMMENTARY By William J. Bennett & Seth Leibsohn

  • Our officials and media have warned us of 2 million deaths in the United States.  Then 200,000 deaths.  Then 100,000 to 240,000.  This needs to stop. There have been a total of 68,000 coronavirus deaths worldwide.  And we are told we will see, just in America, three to four times that number.  Does that even pass the plausibility test?

Apr 5, 2020. The Hill. Surgeon general: ‘This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives‘ 

  • U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned Sunday amid the coronavirus pandemic that the week ahead would be the “hardest and the saddest” of “most Americans’ lives.”
  • “This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives,” Adams said on “Fox News Sunday.”
  • “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized; it’s going to be happening all over the country,” Adams said.

Apr 5, 2020. Just The News. Tracking site suggests White House model is overestimating coronavirus hospitalizations.  True numbers of Americans hospitalized with coronavirus appear to be tens of thousands lower than model’s projections. By Daniel Payne

Apr 4, 2020.  USA Today. Stop the panic. Don’t let the coronavirus win.  COVID-19 is a public health emergency, but precautions must be proportionate to the risk. The cure can’t be worse than the disease. By Alex Berezow

  • Obviously, a total economic collapse would tear at the fabric of society and also pose a threat to public health. And it raises the specter that our “cure” for COVID-19 may be far more harmful than the disease itself. 
  • In addition to the annual flu death toll mentioned above, car accidents claim another 40,000 American lives each year. Though the comparison is imperfect because car crashes aren’t infectious, the point is that we accept these risks as a matter of routine. Why? Because the alternative — banning cars and shutting down everyday life — is unacceptable. As it turns out, dying is one of the risks of living
  • COVID-19 is without a doubt a public health emergency. However, precautions must be proportionate to the risk, and the pros and cons of every policy must be carefully weighed. In the midst of what appears to be outright global panic, it seems as if few of our leaders are actually doing this. 

Apr 3, 2020. CHRON. Inside the coronavirus testing failure: Alarm and dismay among the scientists who sought to help by Shawn Boburg, Robert O’Harrow Jr., Neena Satija and Amy Goldstein, The Washington Post

Apr 3, 2020. Breitbart.  Study: COVID-19 ‘170 Times Less Deadly than Accidents’ as Cause of Death in U.S DR. SUSAN BERRY

Apr 3, 2020. Breitbart. Actual Hospitalizations for Coronavirus Significantly Lower than Projections in Model By MICHAEL PATRICK LEAHY

Apr 3, 2020. WSJ. The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World OrderThe U.S. must protect its citizens from disease while starting the urgent work of planning for a new epoch. By Henry Kissinger

  • Now, in a divided country, efficient and farsighted government is necessary to overcome obstacles unprecedented in magnitude and global scope. Sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity, to the relation of societies with each other, and to international peace and stability.
  • The crisis effort, however vast and necessary, must not crowd out the urgent task of launching a parallel enterprise for the transition to the post-coronavirus order.

April 2, 2020New York Is the Epicenter of the World.  The hidden gift in this pandemic is that we learn how to prepare for the worse one still to come. By Peggy Noonan.

Apr 2, 2020. Media Matters.  Fox News and Facebook’s coronavirus town hall features Mike Rowe — who has spread misinformation about the virus on Facebook by MADELINE PELTZ

  • Rowe also decried “the unintended consequences of ranking Safety above everything else,” which he said is “precisely what our leaders are doing right now.” He asked his fans to imagine if society treated automobile deaths “with the same frenzied, up-to-the minute drama as each new virus infection. … Would any of us ever drive again?” Rowe continued: 
    • I don’t know if we’re overacting, but the manner in which the information is being disseminated suggests the situation is already catastrophic. Is it? According to Dr. Ioannidis, we’re treating a virus that MIGHT have devastating consequences, in a way that will GUARANTEE devastating consequences.
  • They publish their own models of the virus spread. It shows how many people will need hospital care: the system, they say, can cope. And when asked, they say they don’t think Imperial College has made a better call.

Apr 1, 2020. STAT. The coronavirus is washing over the U.S. These factors will determine how bad it gets in each community By ANDREW JOSEPH

Apr 1, 2020. The Nation. Exclusive: The Military Knew Years Ago That a Coronavirus Was Coming.  The Pentagon warned the White House about a shortage of ventilators, face masks and hospital beds in 2017—but the Trump administration did nothing. By Ken Klippenstein

Apr 1, 2020. Sacramento Bee.  Coronavirus is now the third leading cause of death in the US, doctor says BY MIKE STUNSON

Mar 31, 2020. Boston Globe. The White House gave a detailed explanation of how the coronavirus outbreak may play out (with slides) By Jaclyn Reiss 

Mar 31, 2020.  Zero Hedge. Chinese Biological Experiments To Infect Humans With Coronavirus Exposed In 2015 By Italian State Media

Mar 31, 2020Questioning Conventional Wisdom in the COVID-19 Crisis, with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya

  • Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is a professor of medicine at Stanford University. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a senior fellow at both the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Stanford Freeman Spogli Institute. His March 24, 2020, article in the Wall Street Journal questions the premise that “coronavirus would kill millions without shelter-in-place orders and quarantines.” In the article he suggests that “there’s little evidence to confirm that premise—and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high.” In this edition of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson we asked Dr. Bhattacharya to defend that statement and describe to us how he arrived at this conclusion. We get into the details of his research, which used data collected from hotspots around the world and his background as a doctor, a medical researcher, and an economist. It’s not popular right now to question conventional wisdom on sheltering in place, but Dr. Bhattacharya makes a strong case for challenging it, based in economics and science.

 Mar 31, 2020.  RealClearPolitics.com Time for a Second Opinion. COMMENTARY  By William J. Bennett & Seth Leibsohn

  • To help restore a sense of calm and normalcy, we ought to look at this disease at its center of harm and engage something like a more vertical strategy as Thomas Friedman recommended, “sequestering those among us most likely to be killed or suffer long-term damage by exposure to coronavirus infection … while basically treating the rest of society the way we have always dealt with familiar threats like the flu.”  The horizontal strategy of “restricting the movement and commerce of the entire population, without consideration of varying risks for severe infection,” is too blunt, too paralyzing — and too haunting.

Mar 30, 2020. IndyStar. How Indiana hospitals are preparing to handle the surge of coronavirus patients by Shari Rudavsky

  • About 40% of Indiana’s intensive care unit beds are open, said State Health Commissioner Kris Box said, but that availability is expected to change dramatically in the next few weeks.

Mar 30, 2020Ford, GE plan to produce 50,000 ventilators in 100 days

Mar 29, 2020. USA Today. Fauci predicts up to 200,000 U.S. deaths as Trump weighs adjusting coronavirus guidelines. Here is what you should know. John Fritze

 Mar 29, 2020. NYT.  The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed. by (Kulish, Kliff and Silver-Greenberg,)  Also posted at DYNUZ.

Mar 29, 2020. The Daily Wire – Ben Shapiro.  Coronavirus with VP Mike Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx | The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special Ep. 88

Mar 28, 2020. VisualCapitalist.com The Math Behind Social Distancing.

 Mar 28, 2020. American Greatness. It’s Not a Choice Between Lives or the Economy by Roger Kimball.  President Trump has shown great leadership during this manufactured crisis. Let’s hope he continues to ponder his observation that we do not want to get ourselves into a situation in which the cure is worse than the disease.
  • That said, I continue to believe that shutting down the U.S. economy was insane (also herehere, and here). I maintain, in retrospect, this episode will furnish ample material for an addendum to Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
  •  Unfortunately, there is no arguing with insanity. As one friend of mine likes to note, arguing with such madness is like arguing with a hurricane. It is completely ineffective, indeed counterproductive, because making arguments at such a time is likely to distract one from taking precautions and making preparations.

Mar 26, 2020Mises Institute.    Why Taiwan Hasn’t Shut Down Its Economy by Javier Caramés Sanchez

  • As the Austrian school of economics demonstrates in the calculation theory of socialism, no central planning body has the capacity to organize society based on coercive mandates …
  • To conclude, with transparency and diligence the Taiwanese government has avoided many problems. The key is that the Taiwanese government and the Taiwanese people understand that the individual’s own responsibility and actions are essential to suppressing the coronavirus pandemic, not a mandatory massive shutdown. This is what the world needs to learn.

Mar 26, 2020. US News and World Report.   America Is Approaching a Deadly Tipping Point in the Coronavirus Pandemic, U.S. News Analysis Shows.  An examination of daily coronavirus deaths by country shows the U.S. is on a dangerous path that’s poised to worsen. By Steve Sternberg and Gaby Galvin

  • Includes a control chart.  Viewing the data in its entirety and over time offers a clearer window into the trajectory of the outbreak, one that isn’t clouded by noise and can detect meaningful differences in patterns that can inform official public guidance and decision-making.

    “With all the talk of ‘flattening the curve,’ we think the approach we used and our analysis sheds light on early signals of when the increase in new deaths peaks and the curve begins to flatten,” Perla and Provost say.

Mar 26, 2020. Breitbart.  Fed Reserve Chair Powell Downplays Inflation Threat — ‘We Don’t Really See That’.  During a Thursday interview on NBC’s “Today,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell discussed the risks taken to help the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mar 26, 2020.  RealClear Politics. Dr. Birx: Coronavirus Data Doesn’t Match The Doomsday Media Predictions Posted By Ian Schwartz

  • Breitbart. Dr. Deborah Birx Steers Away from Doomsday Coronavirus Predictions
      • “The predictions of the models don’t match the reality on the ground on either China, South Korea, or Italy,” she said. … Birx also addressed reports that raised the alarm of New York City hospitals running out of ICU beds, ventilators, and creating “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) policies for patients. … She revealed that she spoke with health officials in New York, that there were still ICU beds and 1000-2000 ventilators available, and that there were no DNR policies enacted. … “We don’t have evidence of that right now,” she said.
  • Rebuttal by Neil Gerguson on Twitter
  • British scientist Neil Ferguson ignited the world’s drastic response to the novel Wuhan coronavirus when he published the bombshell report predicting 2.2 million Americans and more than half a million Brits would be killed. After both the U.S. and U.K. governments effectively shut down their citizens and economies, Ferguson is walking back his doomsday scenarios.
  • Ferguson’s report from Imperial College, which White House and other officials took seriously, said that if the U.S. and U.K. did not shut down for 18 months, and isolation measures were not taken, “we would expect a peak in mortality (daily deaths) to occur after approximately 3 months.” His “models” showed overflowing hospitals and ICU beds.

Mar 26, 2020. Atlantic. The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal by Joe Pinsker

  • TIMELINE ONE: ONE TO TWO MONTHS I should note that the experts I spoke with think this timeline is highly unlikely
  • TIMELINE TWO: THREE TO FOUR MONTHS – In this timeline, Hanage speculated, “we learn some things about the virus that make us much more confident about being able to resume various activities.
  • TIMELINE THREE: FOUR TO 12 MONTHS. One big unresolved question about COVID-19 is whether, like the flu, its spread will slow substantially during the summer.
  • TIMELINE FOUR: 12 TO 18 MONTHS (OR LONGER). researchers around the world will have been scrambling to develop a vaccine. Spring 2021 is about the earliest anyone expects one to be available.

Mar 26, 2020Coronavirus Threat Downgraded by UK Government

Mar 26, 2020. USAToday. ICU doctor: Coronavirus frightens me. It’s severe, unpredictable and it has no cure. This disease is terrifying. I’m scared for my patients, my colleagues, my family, and my own health. Please don’t stop trying to ‘flatten the curve.’ By  Philip A. Verhoef

Mar 26, 2020Hospital Capacity Crosses Tipping Point in U.S. Coronavirus Hot Spots Epicenters resort to patient transfers and a makeshift morgue to cope as coronavirus infections mount

Mar 26, 2020. AFP/Yahoo News.  Coronavirus could become seasonal: top US scientist Anthony Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told a briefing the virus was beginning to take root in the southern hemisphere, where winter is on its way.

Mar 25, 2020Why the World’s Doing a Double-Take on China’s No-New-Infections Claim By Richard Bernstein, RealClearInvestigations

  • We have to open up the economy by mid-April or the consequences will be a lost generation. It will be harder to do so when the news is counting deaths in the thousands, and possibly tens of thousands. There are steps we can and must take to re-open our economy in a careful and deliberate manner.
  • Looking at data from Italy, the average age of patients who have succumbed to the virus is 78.5, not the age of the American workforce. A full 99 percent of those who have perished in Italy have a major pre-existing condition. We know exactly who the most vulnerable are, and we need to protect them.  
  • First, we must quarantine and support the old and at risk. 
  • Second, we ensure we have the capability to institute mass testing. This involves not only test kits but the temperature guns that are so ubiquitous to East Asia.  
  • Third, if you are sick, stay home. If you are not sick, you can return to the labor force. Businesses should support flexibility for employees to work from home and care for sick family members.
  • We will not be perfect in our steps to restart our economy. In fact, doing so will evoke the painful memories of a wartime economy. A vaccine for COVID-19 and a policy solution to our long-term growth and debt issues will come in time. But first, we must take the right steps to restart an American engine of prosperity that will make fighting present and future viruses exponentially more manageable.  
 Mar 25, 2020.  Atlantic. This Is Just the Beginning.  by Yascha Moun.  People who now advocate that we “choose the economy” are not being honest about the consequences of that decision.
  • In Germany, the government assumes that six or seven out of every 10 citizens could get it.
  • The World Health Organization has estimated the case fatality rate to be 3.4 percent, meaning that about one in every 33 patients will die.
  • Let us further assume that the true fatality rate turns out to be much lower than the current figures suggest—say, about one in 100—and that our hospitals somehow figure out a way to manage the flood of patients that would stream through their doors in need of lifesaving treatment. 
    • In that implausibly sanguine scenario, more than 1 million Americans would succumb to COVID-19 in the next few months. That is about as many people as the country lost in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II—combined.
  • First, we need to ramp up testing dramatically.
  • Second, we need to expand hospital capacity.
  • Third, we need to research treatment options.

Mar 25, 2020. Quality Digest. The One Huge Mistake Quality Professionals Make in Preparing for Covid-19. Businesses need to think pessimistically in order to survive

  • The current guidance assumes a highly optimistic scenario, where we get very lucky. That’s not good advice, at all. We need to prepare for a moderately pessimistic scenario if we want to protect quality in our organizations.

Mar 25, 2020. 12 Experts Question The COVID-19 Panic by Tyler Durden

Mar 24, 2020An Easter rebirth for our economy? Hallelujah: Goodwin By Michael Goodwin

Mar 24, 2020. AFP/Yahoo News.  Pentagon sees coronavirus crisis lasting several months

  • Washington (AFP) – The Pentagon is assuming the coronavirus epidemic in the United States will last at least several months, and that some countries are at risk of “political chaos,” its top officials said Tuesday.

Mar 24, 2020. InsideHook, Ford Is Already Working With 3M and GE to Build Medical Equipment. Ventilators, respirators and personal protective equipment are on the way

The Regulations—and Regulators—That Delayed Coronavirus Testing There have been three major regulatory barriers so far. By Alec Stapp   Mar 24, 2020, Audio of the key points – Tony Katz.

  • The first coronavirus case in the U.S. and South Korea was detected on January 21. Since then, South Korea has effectively contained the coronavirus without shutting down its economy or quarantining tens of millions of people. Instead, the Korean government has pursued a “trace, test, and treat” strategy that identifies and isolates those infected with the coronavirus while allowing healthy people to go about their normal lives. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan have also managed to contain the virus via a combination of travel restrictions, social distancing, and heightened hygiene.

Mar 24, 2020. Financial Times – UK.  Coronavirus may have infected half of UK population — Oxford study.  New epidemiological model suggests the vast majority of people suffer little or no illness

  • If the results are confirmed, they imply that fewer than one in a thousand of those infected with Covid-19 become ill enough to need hospital treatment, said Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology, who led the study. The vast majority develop very mild symptoms or none at all. “We need immediately to begin large-scale serological surveys — antibody testing — to assess what stage of the epidemic we are in now,” she said.
  • The research presents a very different view of the epidemic to the modelling at Imperial College London, which has strongly influenced government policy. “I am surprised that there has been such unqualified acceptance of the Imperial model,” said Prof Gupta. 

Mar 24, 2020. RealClearPolitics.  Must We Kill the Economy to Kill the Virus? by Patrick Buchanan.

  • Clearly, America was unprepared for this pandemic. …  And there will be time enough to assess responsibility for the lack of surgical masks, medical gowns, rubber gloves, respirators, ventilators and hospital beds.  The immediate imperative is to produce those beds and that equipment and get it delivered to doctors, nurses and hospital staff, the front-line troops in the battle to control the virus.
Mar 24, 2020. American Conservative. The Coronavirus’s Spread Is The Federal Bureaucracy’s Failure.  As a deadly pandemic made its way to American shores, our government was mummified in its own red tape.

Mar 24, 2020.  RealClearPolitics.com Commentary.  COVID-19 and the Unintended Consequences of Economic Shutdown.  By Rob Arnott

  • The bipartisan answer to the coronavirus pandemic seems to be: shutter the economy, then bail out everyone who is suffering economic pain. 
  • The unintended consequences of current policies are vast, in both human and economic terms.

Mar 23, 2020. Bulleting of the Atomic Scientists. Experts know the new coronavirus is not a bioweapon. They disagree on whether it could have leaked from a research lab  By Matt Field

Mar 23, 2020. These Companies Are Switching Gears to Help Address Coronavirus Shortages By 

Mar 22, 2020.  RealClearPolitics.com.  Naftali Bennet/Israeli Defense Minister : Most Important Thing To Stop Coronavirus Is Separate Young People From Old People

  • NAFTALI BENNET: I want to share with you the single most important insight of the entire corona epidemic. The most important thing — more than social distancing, more than testing, testing, testing, more than anything else — is to separate old people from younger people.

March 22, 2020, American Thinker. Coronavirus Lunacy: Take a Deep Breath, Society By David Scott Strain … This is simply a classic case of the so-called “cure” being worse than the disease.

  • While many epidemiologists are warning of months, or even years, of massive social disruption and millions of deaths, Levitt says the data simply don’t support such a dire scenario — especially in areas where reasonable social distancing measures are in place. … “What we need is to control the panic,” he said. In the grand scheme, “we’re going to be fine.”
Mar 22, 2020. USA Today. ‘Who lives and who dies’: In worst-case coronavirus scenario, ethics guide choices on who gets care by Ken Alltucker

Mar 22, 2020. WSJ. Jails Release Prisoners, Fearing Coronavirus Outbreak.  Experts say virus could spread quickly in crowded correctional facilities, which are also banning visitors and restricting inmates’ movements

  • Jails in California, New York, Ohio, Texas and at least a dozen other states are sending low-level offenders and elderly or sickly inmates home early due to coronavirus fears. At other jails and prisons around the country, officials are banning visitors, restricting inmates’ movement and screening staff.

Mar 22, 2020. Jerusalem Post.  Israeli doctor in Italy: We no longer help those over 60

May 21, 2020. American Greatness.  COVID-19, the Elephant, and the House Cat The really scary thing about this latest health scare is not the disease but the unexpected depths of passivity it revealed. 

Mar 21, 2020. DailyWire. FDA Greenlights Accelerated COVID-19 Test: ‘Results Within Hours Rather Than Days’ By  Frank Camp

Mar 21, 2020. AP. NY airports, hospitals under pressure as virus cases mount 

Mar 20, 2020. Medium Did You Have Coronavirus Without Knowing It?  Health experts say the virus has likely been in some U.S. communities for weeks and some people have surely had it without realizing By Markham Heid

  • “In fact, symptoms for most people are quite mild,” says Dr. Sandro Galea, MD, a physician and dean of Boston University School of Public Health. He says that up to 80% of people who contract the virus have only weak symptoms — such as a low-grade fever or cough — and that they may have mistakenly attributed these to the common cold or some other minor ailment. “It’s definitely possible to have it and not realize it,” he says.
  • Riley says that the only way to look for a past infection is with an antibody test, which may not be able to tell the difference between Covid-19 and other common varieties of the coronavirus. And, as of right now, this test doesn’t exist for the Covid-19. 
  • Test or no test, if you think you may have had Covid-19, you may also be wondering if you can get it again. “Good question,” says Boston U’s Galea. “That remains unresolved, but there likely is some immunity once one has had Covid-19. Whether that immunity is complete or not is less clear.” That means if you get it again, you’re probably more likely to have a mild or asymptomatic case.

Mar 20, 2020. Huffington Post.  I’m A Doctor. The U.S. Response To Coronavirus Has Been Nothing Short Of Criminal.  “With every crucial delay, with every blunder and misstep, the toll is going to be measured in lives lost.” by  

Mar 20, 2020. Breitbart. Coronavirus Report that Prompted Stronger U.S. Action: 1M Deaths Even with Extreme Prevention Steps

  • The novel coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. will last at least 18 months and “could include multiple waves of illness,” prompting “significant shortages” for consumers and overwhelming the healthcare system, a federal government contingency plan leaked to the media this week warned.

  • President Donald Trump’s anti-coronavirus plan, dated March 13 and delivered to policymakers, echoed the findings of a March 16 report by the U.K.’s Imperial College, which also found that the outbreak could “potentially” last “18 month or more” in the U.S. and strain the healthcare system “many times over.”

Mar 20, 2020. Daily Signal.  An Alarming Study Shows We Need to Be Vigilant to Beat Coronavirus by Kevin Pham  … A recent study by Imperial College London paints a truly frightening picture of what could be.

Mar 20, 2020. VOX. Why we’re not overreacting to the coronavirus, in one chart. Italy tried to stem its outbreak, belatedly. We’re on the same course. 

Mar 19, 2020. Military.com  ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Guard Personnel to Be Called Up in Coronavirus Response

  • Governors in 27 states have activated parts of their National Guard units to counter the effects of the contagious virus, known as COVID-19, with medical testing, transportation, logistics support and, potentially, law enforcement responsibilities, he said.
  • If the situation requires it, governors can order the Guard to assist with police patrols and enforce laws — “anything that the law enforcement capacity normally does, they could be augmented with National Guard troops,” he explained.
  • “Do I see it happening now? I don’t see any demand signal that’s demanding that we are going to use the National Guard in that kind of scenario, but they could,” Lengyel said. “Governors could under the command and control of law enforcement in their states, they could use their National Guard.”

Mar 19, 2020. Medium.  Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance. What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time by Tomas Pueyo

Mar 19, 2020.  HAARETZ., Israel News. Trump Is Right About the Coronavirus. The WHO Is Wrong,’ Says Israeli Expert Dr. Dan Yamin has developed models for predicting the spread of infectious diseases, and helped curb the Ebola epidemic. He says the coronavirus could take some 13,000 lives in Israel – but there’s cause for optimism By  Oded Carmeli

Mar 18. 2020.  DailyWire.com Stanford Professor: Data Indicates We’re Severely Overreacting To Coronavirus By  James Barrett

Mar 16, 2020. NYT / Upshot.  Could Coronavirus Cause as Many Deaths as Cancer in the U.S.? Putting Estimates in Context  By Josh KatzMargot Sanger-Katz and 

  • Although it’s impossible to say how many Americans will die because of the new coronavirus, under a reasonable set of assumptions the number of fatalities could be high — potentially in the hundreds of thousands or more.
  • We’ve started with an estimate from a University of Nebraska public health researcher, Dr. James Lawler, that was recently presented to hospital executives: 480,000 American deaths over the course of the illness known as Covid-19.
  • Leading causes of death in U.S.
    • Heart disease 655,381;  Cancer 599,274;  Coronavirus (estimate) 480,00
    • Extensive pandemic preparation plans exist on paper, but Indianapolis has not had to put them to the test — yet.
    • “The key thing is that there is ongoing modeling of this sort of thing and simulation so these are scenarios that have been contemplated,” Doehring said. “They just haven’t been reality.”

Example – Community Model and Simulation – Bozeman Montana

Mar 13, 2020.  nymag.com CDC’s Worst-Case Coronavirus Model: 214 Million Infected, 1.7 Million Dead

    • A recent CDC projection estimated that the U.S. coronavirus epidemic could infect between 160 million and 214 million people over a period of more than a year — and kill anywhere from 200,000 to 1.7 million people in the country. A top CDC disease modeler presented the estimates to CDC officials and epidemic experts during a conference call last month, the New York Times revealed on Friday. The scenario did not factor in the efforts now underway to address the epidemic, but rather what could happen if no action was taken to slow the spread of the disease.

Mar 12, 2020. AIER. South Korea Preserved the Open Society and Now Infection Rates are Falling

Mar 12, 2020Opinion _ Is the Coronavirus Outbreak a Pandemic Yet_ – The New York Times By Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker.  Mr. Osterholm is an infectious disease expert. Mark Olshaker is a writer and documentary filmmaker. They co-wrote the book Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs.

Mar 11, 2020.  Michigan Health. Flattening the Curve for COVID-19: What Does It Mean and How Can You Help?  By Kara Gavin

History shows that taking strong steps now to slow the spread of coronavirus will help communities and individuals.

March 10, 2020.  Could Coronavirus Kill a Million Americans? By by Tom Frieden

Mar 10, 2020.  YouTube. How Serious is the Coronavirus? Infectious Disease Expert Michael Osterholm Explains | Joe Rogan

Mar 10, 2020. VOX. How canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart This is how we all help slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Mar 5, 2020. Indianapolis Star. Coronavirus in Indiana: How Hoosiers should prepare, what to expect, what’s affected

IndyStar Live Updates Coronavirus live updates

COVID-19: Things to keep in mind

  • Most Americans have a low risk of being exposed, health experts say.
  • Most who get sick will have a mild or moderate case.
  • High-risk groups include the elderly or people with underlying conditions such as hypertension or diabetes.
  • The Indiana State Department of Health hotline is 317-233-7125 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 317-233-1325 afterward.
  • Symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. Call your health provider before going to a clinic so health workers can prepare.
Feb 29, 2020. Realclear Politics.  Dr. Drew Pinsky: Threat Of Coronavirus “An Overblown Press-Created Hysteria”  Posted By Ian Schwartz
Feb 24, 2019. Minneoplis St Paul Business Journal. U of M disease expert: Coronavirus won’t be contained, so here’s what to do With vaccines still months away, Osterholm — who before his U of M job was chief epidemiologist for the state of Minnesota — says a broader outbreak is likely. So he and Olshaker have some advice for coping:
  • Protect health workers first: Supplies of masks and other protective gear are already running low in places, so health providers should get priority on the theory that if doctors and nurses get sick, it’ll put all patients — including those suffering from ailments other than Covid-19 — at risk.
  • Don’t cut off trade: Many ingredients for important medicines come from China, and it doesn’t help anybody if, in seeking to prevent coronavirus infections, you run out of drugs to treat cardiac arrest.
  • Don’t hoard medicines: It creates shortages
  • Cross-train your employees so that an illness of a key worker doesn’t sideline your business.
  • Oh, and wash your hands, but you should be doing that anyway

Update – Bean Blossom Sewer Project

State Revolving Fund (SRF) Project Approvals – Supporting Documents

April 3, 2020. Brown County Democrat, Guest Opinion:  Bean Blossom sewer project: Delay warranted.” by Tim J. Clark

April 3, 2020. Brown County Democrat. Sewer report explained; Lake Lemon asks for service By Sara Clifford.

Feb 19, 2020.  Project Score Brown County WW Scoring REVISED 021920 Total Points

July 13, 2018. Supporting Letter – Brown County Health Department Brown County Health Department Letter 051418.   Documents the allegations, anecdotes, speculations, conjecture, and assumptions used to justify this project: 

    • 2,904 properties; 2002 require a septic system (69%)
    • Average build date  is 1960. ” This means the average age of septic systems is 58 years old.
    • The first septic code in effect in 1977 to 1990. “Based on this information it would be logical to conclude that the average septic system is 58 years old … and, it would only be fair to assume many may not be functioning as originally planned and may be failing …”
    • “In addition, I have attached documented history of water tests … and found detectable levels of E.  Coli in most bodies of water tested “

Jan 28, 2020. Brown County Democrat:  STREAM SAMPLING: Where’s the contamination coming from? By Sara Clifford.

    • ” Is E. coli found in local waterways coming from humans or from animals?  Short answer: We don’t know yet.”

Brown County Regional Sewer District (BSRSD) Project Documentation

  • Identification of Need:  BCRSD SRF Project Application Signed
    • A. IV. “A new STEP Collection System is proposed to correct violations caused by raw sewage discharge and non-operable on-site septic systems”
    • G. “This project will improve water quality of the nearby ditches and streams
    • I. “Eliminate human waste from nearby ditches and streams”
  • Preliminary Engineering Report PER for submittal 2.13.2020   Total pages: 432
    • 1.2.6  Water quality in the service areas will be improved
      with the installation of the proposed wastewater system, as current failing
      on-site septic systems that degrade the water quality will be eliminated.
    • 1.2.8 Socio-Economic Issues. There will be no negative effect on the economics or location of minority and/or low-income populations.
    • 1.2.9.3 Open Space and Recreational Opportunities. The proposed project’s construction and operation will neither create nor destroy open space and recreational opportunities.
      • Note: They are asking for use of land that was donated to Parks and Recreation
    • 1.4 Community Engagement .. Letters of support from “1998”.
    • 3.1 Wastewater Facilities Needs
      • The Brown County Health Department has reported numerous problems with the existing on-site septic systems within the planning area over the last 20 years. The soils within the study area are not conducive to the proper operation of onsite soil absorption septic systems. Problems range from too small of lot size to soil impermeability or permeability and hilly terrain, which limit the space available for an on-site septic system. Pollution of surface water and ground water resources has been a major health issue and concern throughout the study area. Nearly all of the septic systems in the study area have experienced some
        problems, many have experienced complete failure. In the past there has been some modifications and repairs made in the Woodland Lake area due to inoperable on-site septic systems. Soil absorption fields are clogged, causing holding tanks to fill to their capacity, overflow, and discharge untreated wastewater directly onto the ground. The Bean Blossom business area has been in a state of decline since most all of the businesses do not have the necessary land available to either upgrade or even repair their septic systems. The Woodland Lake, Little Fox Lake, Freeman Ridge Road and Greasy Creek Road Areas has many homes with grossly undersized septic systems on lots with no more space available for needed absorption field expansion, replacement, or repairs.The Brown County Health Department has cited several homeowners within the planning area for septic tank and absorption field system failures. That office has denied issuing septic permits to several potential businesses and residences because of inadequate space, poor soil structure or seasonal high ground water tables that cannot be successfully lowered for a septic system. In some cases, expensive mound systems have been the only type of on-site disposal system that could be approved. Because many septic tank and absorption field systems are more than 50 years old, future additional failures are anticipated.The Brown County Health Department has also conducted stream analysis testing at several locations throughout the Bean Blossom area. These tests revealed E coli counts of 2,400 parts per million at a location downstream of the 27-lot mobile home park, and 690 parts per million at a roadside ditch located on the north side of Covered Bridge Road.The Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground is referred to as the “Mecca of Bluegrass Music” hosting several major Bluegrass Music events during the summer. The music park and campground owner expends considerable amounts of money for holding tank pump-out and disposal of their wastewater, and for 3 – 2 port-a-let rental. The music park and campground owner and maintenance personnel have expressed a need for a permanent solution to their wastewater management dilemma. A representative from the music park and campground had previously expressed a desire to provide sewer hook ups to approximately 35 campsites located at the front of the facilities should a permanent wastewater system be available. Refer to Appendix G for information to further document the project need.

In 2017, Evan Werling, {President of the Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) Board requests that the State Deprarmtn of Health conduct a “Boots on the Ground” survey. The intent of the survey was to help identify the extent and scope of a problem in the Bean Blossom area to help validate the need for a sewer plant.  The Health Department refused to support this survey. This lack of support for validating a need led to the resignation of 3 of 5 board members.

  • May 9, 2017. Democrat.  Resigning sewer board volunteers claim project obstruction By Sara Clifford.  Three of the five members of the Brown County Regional Sewer District Board have resigned amid allegations that the Brown County Health Department has…
    • Werling lambasted past sewer board members and the health board for a lack of detailed documentation about the need for the sewer project, and alleged “sabotage” by the health department when the sewer board tried to obtain a “boots on the ground” survey of septic system failures in the Bean Blossom area to show the need for the project.
    • He also brought up cost omissions in the sewer project engineering report, which a previous sewer board commissioned with county money.
    • At least four engineering reports have been done since 2001.
  •  May 2, 2017. Democrat. Majority of sewer board members resign by Sara Clifford
    • Three of the five members of the Brown County Regional Sewer District Board resigned Tuesday night amid allegations that the Brown County Health Board, health department and past sewer board members have been derailing the Bean Blossom sewer project and disparaging the current sewer board along the way.
    • His presentation touched on a lack of documentation about the need for the sewer project, which has been in the works for more than 14 years; problems in the sewer project engineering report which a previous sewer board commissioned with county money; lack of health department cooperation in trying to obtain a “boots on the ground” survey of septic system failures in the Bean Blossom area to show sewer need; and name-calling which Leggett said she received at a health board meeting last fall.

Additional Information:

Approving Funding Authorities:

Rochelle K. Owen, AICP
Director of Community Programs | Indiana
Rural Development
United States Department of Agriculture
rochelle.owen@usda.gov
Phone: (317)295-5767 | Fax: (855)541-9019
www.rd.usda.gov

Bill Harkins
State Revolving Fund (SRF) Director
Indiana Finance Authority
(p) 317-232-4862
(e) wharkins@ifa.in.gov
Website: https://secure.in.gov/ifa/srf/2379.htm

 

 

Covid-19 Brown County Strategies – For the Record

How do you deal with a situation that can be described as Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA)?
by Tim J. Clark

For individuals and/or groups that want support in applying and testing out some improvement strategies, let me know – we are glad to help. The following link provides additional information. Brown County Leader Network Support services and planning guides. Includes guidance on conducting an assessment, and working through the best options for needed changes.

State of Indiana – 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Apr 5, 2020. WTIU/WFIU. Local Officials Want Governor To Close Brown Co. State Parks by George Hale

  •  Biddle shared fears that the uptick in visitors could be putting residents at risk of exposure to the coronavirus.  … “Please, Gov. Holcomb, do the right thing by Brown County and close the state properties — Brown County state park, Yellowwood campground — and discourage the continued unnecessary and unessential travel into our community,” Biddle said, reading from a letter the commissioners were planning to send to Holcomb

Apr 4, 2020 Video – Commissioner Biddle – Declaring Orange Travel Status

Apr 4, 2020. Brown County Travel Watch – Orange Status Declared.

  • “WATCH.” Means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a “watch” local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.
  • “I am absolutely convinced that if tourists and people are allowed to shelter in place and hunker down in guest cabins, that they will absolutely increase the numbers we have of sick people and deplete what little resources we do have,” said Dr. Norman Oestrike, Brown County’s health officer.
  • “My opinion, we are a rural county, and we need to do everything we can to protect our residents,” Oestrike said. “… There are other areas of the country that have shifted to tremendous hot spots of this disease from visitors, visitors who want to quarantine and hang out in the rental properties, the resorts, the beaches. Our demographics are such that we have a lot of older folks who are particularly vulnerable, but we have very limited resources, and if visitors come in large numbers, they expose everyone.
  • “Anyone who comes to this county can be healthy and spread the disease,” he said. “And the World Health Organization, the CDC, the Indiana State Department of Health and yours truly, your local health officer, absolutely believe that we have to stop travel and shelter at home. And home is not a tourist or guest home.”

Mar 20, 2020. Democrat. Brown County establishes Community Organizations Active in Disaster, by Suzannah Couch

County Crisis ManagementA good outline that explains a Four-Phase  Crisis Management strategy.  Crisis management refers to the process in which the government of a country or the management of an organization develops and implements a plan on how to limit the damage from a particular crisis.

  • Prevention. Planning is a very important part of crisis management.  This began after 9/11 with funding and training provided by the federal government for the “first responders” (Emergency Management  – county and state levels).  DoD also created the Northern Command (NORTHCOM).
  • Preparedness. Once an effective crisis management plan is in place, it should be reviewed and updated on an annual basis and tested periodically.
    • Includes ongoing training, certification, and participation in training exercises
  • Response. The crisis response phase is that in which the actual crisis occurs. Having a dedicated crisis management plan and team allows an entity to tackle a crisis or disaster in a calm way, thereby minimizing loss of life, property or reputation. 
  • Recovery The process of recovery from any crisis can take a long time. When the crisis is over, the focus has to shift on rebuilding, which can be time-consuming and expensive. 

Local Support  

Timeline – Facebook – Brown County Matters (BCM) 

Timeline – County Government

March 19, 2020.  Democrat, County outlines goals, policies during pandemic By Suzannah Couch

  • March 18, 2020.  Commissioner Meeting – Livestream – Facebook.
  • The county’s website, http://www.browncounty-in.gov has a new COVID-19 response tab that will be updated with how the county departments will operate during the health crisis along with contact information for each department.
    • The COAD help hotline is 812-988-0001 and there is also a Facebook page.
  • Armstrong and Frost recently activated the county’s emergency management plan and they opened the county’s emergency operations center on March 13 “in an effort to coordinate the response and ensure we are prepared to assist our citizens and various public and private partners.”