Hey, Donald, Shut It Down! There Is No VMD (Virus Of Mass Destruction)

When future historians puzzle over why America lurched into economic hari-kari one crisp winter day in March 2020, they will need to look no further than the chart below. And we are not referring to Scarf Lady’s supercilious commentary that day or her whinny pretensions day after day thereafter.

The great big fat skunk in the woodpile is the “IHME Model Chris Murray” designation at the top.

It’s the smoking gun which explains how the ill-informed narcissist who occupies the Oval Office and claims to be draining the Swamp in behalf of the ordinary folk of Flyover America got taken hostage by the very worst of the Swamp Creatures.

As to the latter, it always needs be remembered that the political corruption, economic waste, fiscal incontinence and the wealth and liberty-quashing regulatory dirigisme which arises from the Swamp has one common denominator: Namely, the relentless quest of self-appointed academic and political do-gooders to aggrandize state power in the name of improving upon naturally occurring social and economic outcomes.

Moreover, nowhere is this impulse more toxic than in the field of medical care and so-called public health policy. The colossal sink of waste, failure, exploitation and injustice embedded in the nation’s egregiously bloated 18% of GDP health sector stands as stark proof of that proposition.

After all, in 1960 total US health care spending was just 5% of GDP. Thereafter, the health care sector was incrementally nationalized by Medicare, Medicaid, huge tax subsidies, regulatory mandates and ObamaCare, but outcomes did not improve by 3.5X, or hardly even at all.

In that context, it should be plainly stated that the Svengali behind the calamity of Lockdown Nation is, in fact, the below indicated Christopher J.L Murray.

Murray is a left-wing health economist and numbers super-geek who has spent his career at the WHO, the Harvard Public Health School and now the Gates-funded Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation (IHME) generating massive data sets and intricate disease models designed for one core purpose: That is, to enable politicians and officialdom to more aggressively, sweepingly and intrusively intervene in the health care sector in order to produce better outcomes than the benighted people and markets would do on their own.

Indeed, Murray is a kind of medical care Keynesian who has spent a lifetime trying to calculate, quantify and model the underutilized human capacity resulting from disease, disability and premature deaths; and then prescribing a sweeping array of state interventions, devised by the best and the brightest and supported by ludicrously massive and exact models, designed to remediate these “preventable” shortfalls.

Call it big data enabled socialism on a grand scale. It’s the reason that in the face of still another—and not all that different seasonal virus— Washington abruptly shifted from it historic posture of issuing information and public hygenine bulletins to sweeping regulatory intervention in daily economic and social life that has rapidly and corrosively morphed into Lockdown Nation.

Stated differently, without the IHME data sets and models and the whole Gates-funded network of think tanks, national and international health agencies and public health policy operatives, the previously obscure Dr. Fauci and Scarf Lady would have been lucky to get a one-time visitors pass for the East Wing tour of the White House.

Instead, they became instant Reality TV stars, dispensing a veritable statistical diarrhea about tests, cases, hospitalizations, ICU utilization, ventilator availability and deaths that were only available in real time owing to the Gates/Murray data and modeling infrastructure that had been developed over several decades.

And so, ironically, the greatest intellectual know nothing to ever inhabit the White House in modern times (and he had plenty of competition) suddenly became the proprietor of the Greatest Social Science experiment ever attempted this side of the Iron and Bamboo Curtains, respectively.

So doing, the disease, illness and death data that ordinarily becomes available mainly after the fact and mostly to health professionals and policy makers in the quiet of their own computer screens got blasted across red hot cable TV screens, digital news and social media in screaming technicolor on a 24/7 basis.

The twin implication was that the country was facing a novel and off-the-charts deadly pandemic and that government officials needed to take urgent, draconian action to stop it or at least “flatten the curve”.

Neither was true, but that didn’t matter. In short order the misbegotten battle against the Covid-19 degenerated into a mass hysteria because neither the public nor the media and politicians, and most especially the Donald, were equipped to deal with the blizzard of data on cases, hospitalizations, IFRs and deaths.

The daily Covid death count was an especially malign factor because there was no context. The fact is, 7,800 people die in America every day—and many of these deaths might well be considered “preventable” by clinicians and up-lifters alike. That includes:

  • 1,800 deaths per day from various heart diseases,
  • 1,650 cancers,
  • 450 auto and other accidents,
  • 450 each from strokes and lower respiratory illnesses,
  • 233 each from diabetes and Alzheimer’s,
  • 165 from normal influenza and pneumonia, and
  • 132 deaths each from kidney diseases and suicides, among others.

As we have frequently pointed out, the Covid-19 is not a random sample Grim Reaper. It overwhelmingly attacks the same elderly, frail and medically-afflicted sub-populations as are represented in the above day-in and day-out mortality data; and given the expansive death coding system run by the CDC, as often as not it is simply a co-collaborationist in the deaths that are already embedded in the cycle of life as it plays out in contemporary American society.

Moreover, like any infectious flu-like disease, the Covid is seasonal and concentrates its takings in a short period of days and weeks. That means the peak daily death count of 2,700 reported on April 29 is not the same thing at all as the 1,800 daily deaths from heart disease averaged across the entire year.

Thus, in the last six days since the April 29 peak, the daily average has fallen to 1,680, while all Covid deaths to date since the first reported US fatality on February 26th average out to 930 per  day.

And that figure will fall drastically by the time the full year is tabulated—since based on new hospitalizations alone it is evident that the daily death rate will plunge sharply in the weeks ahead. Even if total WITH Covid deaths hit 100,000 in 2020, the daily average reported in the vital statistics tables will compute to just 275 per day.

As we have also pointed out when its comes to this sick business of the Covid-death count, on a population adjusted basis the figures for the 1957 Asian Flu pandemic and the 1968-1969 Hong Kong Flue pandemic were were 67 and 55 per 100,000, respectively. By contrast, the Covid-19 count to date is just 20 per 100,000 and would be 30 per 100,000 if the 100,000 death tally actually materializes.

So the ugly truth recurs: America was thrown into the economic and social calamity of Lockdown Nation to prevent what will be perhaps 275 deaths per day this year or about 3.5% of the normal total mortality rate; or a population-adjusted mortality rate that is less than half of that occasioned by periodic flu pandemics in the past.

That’s not remotely rational or justifiable, of course, but it is exactly what is happening as a result of the Bill Gates fostered Social Science Experiment that was launched on March 16 from the White House press room.

The blithering foolishness of this experiment is becoming more evident by the day.

But if there is any doubt that economic hari-kari is too strong a term to describe what is happening, consider today’s ADP jobs report for April. The 20.2 million estimated job loss last month is surely economic terra incognito.

Compared to this plunge, the Great Recession dip (red arrow) of a decade ago is tantamount to a rounding error in the chart-works of history.

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/bfm7996.jpg?itok=IByP9Efb

Nevertheless, here is what Murray and his IHME colleagues projected on March 27. As we shall document in further installments, none of these projections have turned out to be even remotely accurate.

To the contrary, they speak to the utter arrogance of the entire social science experiment gone awry. Namely, the idea that even models chock-a-bloc with Big Data could predict by state and by the day the kinds of factors indicated in IHME’s own words below:

Assuming social distancing measures are maintained, what are the forecasted gaps in available health service resources and number of deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic for each state in the United States?

Findings: Using a statistical model, we predict excess demand will be 64,175 total beds and 17,380 ICU beds at the peak of COVID-19. Peak ventilator use is predicted to be 19,481 ventilators. Peak demand will be in the second week of April.

We estimate 81,114 to 162,106 deaths in the United States from COVID-19 over the next 4 months. Meaning: Even with social distancing measures enacted and sustained, the peak demand for hospital services due to the COVID-19 pandemic is likely going to exceed capacity substantially.

This study presents the first set of estimates of predicted health service utilization and deaths due to COVID-19 by day for the next 4 months for each state in the US.

Objective: To determine the extent and timing of deaths and excess demand for hospital services due to COVID-19 in the US.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This study used data on confirmed COVID-19 deaths by day from WHO websites and local and national governments; data on hospital capacity and utilization for US states; and observed COVID-19 utilization data from select locations to develop a statistical model forecasting deaths and hospital utilization against capacity by state for the US over the next 4 months.

So let’s be clear. Just like the financial system has been virtually destroyed by the unelected monetary politburo at the Fed, we now have before us a virtual coup d’ etat by an unelected network of social policy planners who have taken charge of the day to day life of the American economy.

In fact, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, which was started in 2007 under Christopher Murray after being invited by Bill Gates to build a metrics‐focused initiative at the University of Washington, has become the rogue elephant in the White House briefing room.
The IHME’s signature product is the Global Burden of Disease study (GBD). The latter is an insanely massive project of epidemiological modeling designed to demonstrate the unknowable.
That is, the level of underutilized human capacity on the planet to the day and hour that could be recouped with better health policy interventions by the state.
With a staff of more than 300, the IHME employs a veritable army of computer scientists, mathematicians, epidemiologists, and economists devoted to the work of health metrics production. Beyond that, Murray claims IHME has built a network of more than 2,000 collaborators, many of them funded by the Gates Foundation as well.
The GBD aims to provide a ‘health audit of the world’. It collects morbidity and mortality data, runs it through models, which then produce estimates on ‘the magnitude of health loss from diseases, injuries, and risk by age, sex, and population over time’. The IHME’s study presents estimates of 291 diseases and injuries across 187 countries.Indeed, it is presented as a virtual data juggernaut—as an early account of the IHME GBD noted:

we have included almost 800 million deaths from 1950 to 2010, and the data come from different sources. The goal was to incorporate ‘all the available data’… this is the biggest database for cause of death analysis in the world … Running the programs to map the data to our cause list of 291 causes and correcting the bias can take days, even using a powerful cluster of more than 100 computers. The data that we have to store after the modelling process can take 3 terabytes

The emphasis on the enormity of data is matched by a breathless narrative about the computational and modeling complexity underlying the GBD study. As Christopher Murray described in an article:

The GBD now tracks more than 1,000 health indicators for 188 countries covering 25 years, which are in turn double‐checked against 20–40 statistical models. The team also runs each model 1,000 times … The computations are run on the IHME’s supercomputer, where 12,000 high performance processing cores churn away at the math for 4 days to complete a single snapshot for the planet mortality rate for each age‐sex group as a function of SDI.(Murray, 2016, p. 40)

Through its seductive web interface, Lancet publications, tightly controlled messaging in public conferences, discourse of big data, big computing, and thousands of collaborations, the IHME effectively promulgates and controls the authoritative narrative with respect to global health.

The Gates Foundation provides funds to almost all the large international health organizations. Besides the $400 million it has pumped into IHME, it is also the second largest funder of voluntary contributions to the WHO; with a recent US$80 million grant, it became the largest non‐state donor to UN Women; it is the third or fourth largest donor to UNICEF; and the largest non‐state donor to both the Global Fund and  the international vaccine alliance (GAVI).

Where it leads, of course, is into the dystopian world described by one Lockdown Nation critic as the new VMD (Virus of Mass Destruction):

 Despite the fact that what we are dealing with is a virus that, yes, is clearly deadly to the old and those with medical conditions, but that is just as clearly not a deadly threat to the majority of the human species, people are cowering inside their homes as if the Zombie Apocalypse had finally begun. Many appear to believe that this virus is some sort of Alien-Terrorist Death Flu (or weaponized Virus of Mass Destruction) that will kill you the second you breathe it in.

This is not surprising at all, because, according to the official narrative, its destructive powers are nearly unlimited. Not only will it obliterate your lungs, and liquidate all your other major organs, and kill you with blood clots, and intestinal damage, now it causes “sudden strokes in young adults,” and possibly spontaneous prostate cancer, and God knows what other medical horrors!

Germany (where I live) is way out in front of this. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the federal government plans to introduce a coronavirus “immunity card” as part of its “Infection Protection Law,” which will grant the authorities the power to round up anyone “suspected to be contagious” and force them into … uh … “quarantine,” and “forbid them from entering certain public places.” The Malaysian authorities have dispensed with such niceties, and are arresting migrant workers and refugees in so-called “Covid-19 red zones” and marching them off to God knows where.

It’s all right there in black and white. They aren’t hiding the totalitarianism … they don’t have to. Because people are begging for it. They are demanding to be “locked down” inside their homes, forced to wear masks, and stand two meters apart, for reasons that most of them no longer remember.

Plastic barriers are going up everywhere. Arrows on the floor show you which way to walk. Boxes show you where to stand. Paranoid Blockwarts are putting up signs threatening anyone not wearing a mask.

Hysterical little fascist creeps are reporting their neighbors to the police for letting their children play with other children. Millions of people are voluntarily downloading “contact tracing applications” so that governments and global corporations can monitor their every movement.

In Spain, they bleached an entire beach, killing everything, down to the insects, in order to protect the public from “infection.” The Internet has become an Orwellian chorus of shrieking, sanctimonious voices bullying everyone into conformity with charts, graphs, and desperate guilt-trips, few of which have much connection to reality. Corporations and governments are censoring dissent. We’re approaching a level of manufactured mass hysteria and herd mentality that not even Goebbels could have imagined.

Meanwhile, they’re striking the mostly empty “field hospitals,” and the theatrical “hospital ship” is now gone, and despite their attempts to inflate the Covid-19 death count as much as humanly possible, the projected hundreds of millions of deaths have not materialized (not even close), and Sweden is fine, as is most of humanity, and … just like there were no WMDs, there is no Virus of Mass Destruction.

What there is, is a new official narrative, the brave new, paranoid, pathologized “normal.” Like the War on Terror, it’s a global narrative. A global, post-ideological narrative. It’s just getting started, so it isn’t yet clear how totalitarian this show will get, but, given the nature of the pilot episode, I am kind of dreading the rest of the series.

As we shall amplify in Part 2, the economic mayhem resulting from Lockdown Nation has already destroyed the very fiscal viability of America.

Or at least that’s how we would describe yesterday release by the US Treasury, which outlined a plan to borrow $4.5 trillion just during the current fiscal year–an accounting period that was nearly half over before the Corona Hysteria even started.

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