Tuesday in Whitewater will see a bit of rain or snow with a high of thirty-nine. Sunrise is 6:12 AM and sunset 7:37 PM, for 13h 24m 53s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 54.9% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1865, Pres. Lincoln is shot in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth; Lincoln passes away the next day.
Recommended for reading in full —
Jonathan V. Last writes How High Is the Real COVID-19 Death Toll?:
Most localities seem to be ascribing deaths to COVID-19 only in the presence of a positive test. And since we’ve had a persistent shortage of tests, many patients in serious condition are admitted without being tested, since they are presumed positive cases and the test can be better used on someone else.
Also we have home-deaths, in which case no testing is performed.
This problem is not unique to America, and has been observed in other poorly-governed countries which were unprepared for the disease, such as Italy.
We’re now starting to get a sense of just how big this group of uncounted COVID-19 deaths might be.
Since 2000, the annual monthly variance in deaths [in New York City] has stayed within a very small and relatively stable band: within a few hundred, plus or minus, the monthly average. There’s one big outlier, of course, for September 2001.
Now look at the 30-day period ending on April 4, 2020: 5,330 more deaths than the monthly average. And of those, only 3,350 have been officially ascribed to COVID-19.
So what about those other 1,980 dead New Yorkers?
There are a few theoretical possibilities:
(1) As we saw in Bergamo, the official numbers undercount the real COVID-19 toll by a very large percentage: In this case, it’s a 60 percent increase over the official number.
(2) A large number of non-COVID-19 deaths occurred among people who suffered other medical events—strokes, overdoses, undiagnosed aggressive cancers—because they could not get access to healthcare because the virus has overwhelmed hospitals.
(3) New York just happened to have the unluckiest month in modern history at the exact same time that a pandemic was ravaging the city.
Like I said, anything is possible. But if I was going to bet $100, I’d put it on (1).
William J. Broad reports Putin’s Long War Against American Science (‘A decade of health disinformation promoted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia has sown wide confusion, hurt major institutions and encouraged the spread of deadly illnesses’):
On Feb. 3, soon after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus to be a global health emergency, an obscure Twitter account in Moscow began retweeting an American blog. It said the pathogen was a germ weapon designed to incapacitate and kill. The headline called the evidence “irrefutable” even though top scientists had already debunked that claim and declared the novel virus to be natural.
As the pandemic has swept the globe, it has been accompanied by a dangerous surge of false information — an “infodemic,” according to the World Health Organization.Analysts say that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has played a principal role in the spread of false information as part of his wider effort to discredit the West and destroy his enemies from within.