By on April 30, 2020

Image: JRE/YouTube

I believe we’re all entitled to our opinions.

Except when those opinions are A) factually wrong and B) dangerous to public health.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed an opinion this week that ran afoul of both A and B.

Twitter – not just #cartwitter – was abuzz with Elon’s latest musings. For those who missed it (consider yourself #blessed), the controversial executive had this to say about the state-ordered shelter-in-place mandates many of us are now living under: “This is the time to think about the future, and also to ask, is it right to infringe upon people’s rights as what is happening right now?”

“I think the people are going to be very angry about this and are very angry. It’s like somebody should be, if somebody wants to stay in the house that’s great, they should be allowed to stay in the house and they should not be compelled to leave. But to say that they cannot leave their house, and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.”

He later added: “So the expansion of the shelter in place or as frankly I would call it forcibly imprisoning people in their homes, against all their constitutional rights, but that’s my opinion, and breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong, and not why people came to America or built this country. What the f—. Excuse me. It’s outrage, it’s an outrage. It will cause great harm not just to Tesla, but to many companies. And while Tesla will weather the storm there are many small companies that will not.”

There’s so much wrong there, I don’t know where to begin. First of all, the shelter-in-place orders in the San Francisco Bay area, where Tesla is located, do not say people cannot leave their homes. Rather, nonessential businesses are closed, certain public areas are closed, and large gatherings are banned.

As far as I know, there is no shelter-in-place order in America that says people cannot leave their homes. Where I live, we are allowed to leave for exercise and walking pets. As well as travel to essential businesses (the grocery store), or to take care of loved ones who need assistance. I believe we’re even allowed to drive for leisure.

Musk is also wrong when he implies shelter-in-place orders are unconstitutional. According to an op-ed published by a news outlet based just up the road from the Bay, The Sacramento Bee, the government has “broad power” to do what needs to be done during a public health crisis to stop a disease. The op-ed, written by a law professor, cites precedent in American history going back to shortly after the Revolutionary War. It also cites the Supreme Court, which has upheld compulsory vaccination and a state’s right to establish quarantines.

He’s also wrong on principle. I may have the right to do whatever I want within the bounds of the law, but I don’t have the right to hurt you in the process. So I don’t have the right to get you sick because I want to get my hair cut. Or because I want the Tesla I bought to get built so I can take delivery.

Finally, Musk doesn’t understand why we need the lockdowns in the first place. We need them because even though roughly 80 percent of coronavirus cases do not lead to hospitalizations, 20 percent do. And that’s enough that our healthcare system would be overwhelmed if we simply let the virus rip through the population. Which not only would lead to more deaths from COVID-19, but also lead to more deaths from other medical issues, since care wouldn’t be available.

Musk tried to back up his point by using data to show that California’s hospitals have plenty of capacity at the moment. But he’s actually accidentally making the opposing point – the hospitals have capacity because social distancing and shelter-in-place orders are slowing the spread of coronavirus. In short, shelter-in-place is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.

Also, we need to socially distance because this virus can be spread by people who don’t know they’re infected, whether they’re asymptomatic (infected but not showing any symptoms) or presymptomatic (infected, but not showing symptoms just yet). It’s hard to quash a virus when it’s not obvious who has it. More testing will help, but we’re not there yet. We stopped SARS in its tracks in part because we knew who had it (it was only contagious once symptoms appeared) and could isolate them from the rest of the population.

Remember, this is a disease that no one was immune to when it made the leap to humans. Even now that some folks have had it and recovered, we don’t know yet what level of immunity, if any, they have, and for how long. Oh, and it doesn’t just affect the elderly and those with underlying conditions. It has hospitalized and even killed perfectly healthy adults in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Perhaps not as many younger, healthy people have been as hard hit, but enough have to show that just being young and in good shape does not make you immune.

This isn’t the flu. Not only is it literally not the flu – it’s a coronavirus, meaning it belongs to the same group of viruses that in some cases cause the common cold and in other cases cause severe diseases like SARS and MERS – it’s deadlier. Anywhere from a 1 percent to 5 percent case fatality rate. It’s killed more people than the flu does during most flu seasons in a shorter amount of time, and that’s WITH shelter-in-place orders in effect in much of the country.

Lest you think that last bit of reasoning is liberal claptrap, it comes from the editor of one of the most respected conservative partisan outlets, National Review. And may I remind the right-wing protest crowd that several of the governors who have been strong on shelter-in-place are Republicans (DeWine in Ohio, Hogan in Maryland, and Baker in Massachusetts)?

What this is all about for Musk is building Teslas. The plant in Fremont, California, is shuttered since it’s not deemed essential. It’s located in a county that has extended shelter-in-place through the end of May.

I understand why Musk wants to get production restarted, so that his company can fulfill orders. But in a time of pandemic, when a highly contagious virus is moving through the population and we can’t even tell who’s infected, maybe Tesla can wait to make its deliveries?

Look, NO ONE likes the lockdowns. Do you think governors who ordered the lockdowns like losing the tax revenue? I miss my favorite restaurants, and takeout/delivery isn’t the same. I’ve seen Good Will Hunting so many times on cable that I can now solve complex mathematical formulas and I’m speaking with a Southie accent. My retirement accounts are uglier than that mutant rebel chief from Total Recall (another recent cable favorite). I miss my family and friends and it was quite sad baking an Easter ham just for my lonesome.

But I get it. I get why this has to be done. And the thing that drives me crazy about the anti-lockdown crowd, like Musk, is that they’re falling for a false choice. It’s not about making a choice between lives and the economy. If we open back up too soon and a second wave of virus-related hospitalizations hit, no one is going to want to go shopping or to the movies or the bars anyway.

Even now, people are apprehensive. It’s obviously anecdotal data, but just yesterday I spoke to two sports fans who said they’d not want to go to a ball game or concert just yet, knowing that a large crowd could lead to a super-spreading event. One of those people was my Baby Boomer father, so, sure, he’s in a high-risk group based on age. But another was a friend in his early 40s who’s in good health, as far as I know.

Actually, I suspect I do know why certain pols on the right want to re-open the country, science be damned. They’d rather not expand unemployment for folks put out of work by the pandemic. Ideology is driving the decisions, not science. If you don’t believe me, see Iowa – the governor there won’t give unemployment to anyone who quits their job because they’re afraid of contracting the virus.

If you want to complain about certain aspects of the orders, fine. Michigan’s governor may have gone a bit too far in that state. But the science is clear – if we don’t lockdown, the pandemic will be much worse. And the opinions of a raving CEO aren’t equal to scientific fact. Just because Musk can say that people are angry and they shouldn’t be ordered to stay home as much as possible doesn’t change the fact that every key scientist working on this says we need to shelter in place, at least for a while, to slow the spread of the virus until we can increase testing and tracing, and that we’ll still have to wear masks, socially distance, and perhaps avoid large crowds even after the lockdowns are lifted, unless we get an effective therapeutic drug/drug combination or a vaccine. It completely and totally sucks, but it’s reality.

Musk is so determined to get his cars built that he’s missing the bigger picture. We don’t need Teslas right now, we need testing. We need to be at home a little longer to help keep the hospitals at a manageable capacity.

Shelter-in-place orders aren’t “fascism”. They’re meant to keep us safe. And the more we lockdown now, the less we’ll have to lockdown later.

This is basic stuff. One needn’t be an epidemiologist or virologist to understand it. One needn’t have even done well in science and/or math growing up. One just needs to put aside one’s selfish desires and listen to the experts.

Elon Musk is far too smart to be this stupid.

[Image: YouTube]

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339 Comments on “Elon Musk Is Dangerously Wrong About Coronavirus and ‘Fascism’...”


  • avatar
    BrentinWA

    operation mockingbird and the Smith-Mundt Modernization act of 2012

    • 0 avatar
      DearS

      Lets remember to continue subsidizing Tesla and offering them government contracts.

      Auto Workers build the cars and get let go, Musk owns the stocks buoyed by government and he is not the fascist?

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @ DearS, Boeing hasn’t made any rockets that can come back and land on their on. Pretty sure Tesla has maxed out on the electric car subsidies. I’m unsure of how Tesla get government subsidies. Musk privately owns Spacex is still privately owned.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        SpaceX has been selected to develop a lunar-optimized Starship to transport crew between lunar orbit and the surface of the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program. Elon b killin’ it right now. He’s on a roll and he is right about the fascist lockdown.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    For once, Musk is right. Dictators do all kinds of things “for the good of the people”.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      And billionaires are all just noble “job creators” who have everyone’s best interests at heart.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Yeah, they’re all great guys. How’s Jeff Bezos holding up through all of this ? I’m so worried :(

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          If anything, I think this crisis points out how important outfits like Amazon are. Being able to order stuff online has kept LOTS of people out of stores, which are a prime place to pick up this virus.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Oh good, Jeff is getting richer

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            The man had a great idea, executed it, and got rich as hell, just like scores of other people have done. What’s the issue?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You know, eat the rich ;-)

            /s

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            LOL…but plenty of folks eat without risking going to a grocery story to do it, all thanks to Amazon. I’d say qualifies as a Godsend these days. Ditto for the folks who came up with high-speed Internet access.

            If this crappy bug had hit 30 years ago, i think you might see a very different story playing out.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Nah, Bush #1 was president

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, then, we’d have REALLY been buggered.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the fact that billionaires are screaming for us to get back to work is proof that they didn’t make their money, we did.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’d say it takes two to tango, Jim…unless, of course, the average worker in an Amazon warehouse had the brains and know how to come up with the Amazon concept and execute it. Yeah…not really.

            I don’t idolize the rich, but I don’t see the point of simply bagging on them for being rich and acting rich. Some folks are capable of getting rich ala Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, John D. Rockefeller, et al; others aren’t. We need all kinds for things to function. The key is to just make sure that the rich folks don’t run roughshod over the ones who aren’t, and THAT is what is lacking these days. Otherwise, simply being rich ain’t a sin, and shouldn’t be.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            there are no outlets like Amazon

            Amazon should be broken up – it has devastated America more than Walmart ever did

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            FreedMike – well said. Making yourself wealthy is not an evil goal. It only becomes that way when the goal of wealth overrides all other concerns and they do run roughshod over people and planet. Sadly, so many wealthy people do abuse the very people that made them that money. Amazon is a godsend in this pandemic, but I wish the workers were treated and protected better.

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            @thornmark; how exactly has Amazon devastated America? They sell a plethora of products, without dictating prices/specs, on line and deliver them to my front door. They do not dictate prices/specs of products like a Bentonville, AR based company does. Either Wal-Mart or Amazon will be the number one retailer. I suspect Amazon will be the retailer of choice for more affluent consumers.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @lietome: “Nah, Bush #1 was president”

            Well, if it had been Bush II: youtu.be/spcj6KUr4aA

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        TTAC is a barn full of sheep

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          We USED to be the B&B – Best and Brightest. But that’s also what they called the whiz kids who got us into Vietnam.

          We should probably stick to automotive issues here. Musk just owns Tesla, and what he says outside of Tesla is not automotive.

          • 0 avatar
            Tim Healey

            Disagree. He had automotive-related reasons for spitting his dangerous rhetoric. I’d not have spent time on it if he weren’t a car company CEO, complaining that he can’t produce his cars.

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          If you leave the gate open and a cow escapes, it will generally try to find its way back to the barn when it’s time to eat. (A sheep might be too dumb to even figure that out.)

          On the other hand, you have the pig:
          “Any pig that gets out can revert back in a matter of months to a state where it can exist in the wild,” said Brown. “It will get hairy, grow tusks and get aggressive. They’re so good at adapting, and with their scavenging nature, they can get by pretty much anywhere.”
          https://tinyurl.com/pigs-feral

          Pigs are inspiring.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          It’s so cool that you are above it all.

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        @JimZ – That’s the great thing about capitalism.

        You have the right to not work for any of those billionaire job creators.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      Agreed, Matt51. Strangely, I side with Musk on this one, too.

      Auto dealers have been locked out of their businesses here in PA in recent days and nothing can be done until “experts” deem things to be “safe”. Meanwhile, some auto dealers have been given exemptions to allow them to stay open. That is fascism in my book.

      I won’t even go into the shell game of stats. Thankfully, some brave coroners pushed back on the reported numbers in their counties here in PA last week.

      Power should lie in the hands of local officials at the county level for the definition of “safe”.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Power should lie in the hands of local officials at the county level for the definition of “safe”.”

        And when the local officials are “fascist,” then what?

        • 0 avatar
          EquipmentJunkie

          @FreedMike – They are much closer to their constituents and thus greater accountability.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Great, but let’s say you live in a locality that’s acting “fascist” and you’re in a distinct minority that dissents. How does that make the locality’s actions any less fascist?

            The question isn’t one of local control – it’s whether the actions are fascist or not. In this case, they simply aren’t. A quick read through a history book would suggest how a truly fascist system would deal with this. Check what’s going on in China if you doubt me.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Great, but let’s say you live in a locality that’s acting “fascist” and you’re in a distinct minority that dissents. How does that make the locality’s actions any less fascist?”

            I think people have demonstrated clearly they’re just fine with authoritarian leaders, just so long as the authoritarians look and sound like them and promise them all of their problems are because of “those other people.”

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        …I won’t even go into the shell game of stats. Thankfully, some brave coroners pushed back on the reported numbers in their counties here in PA last week…

        Yet there are people analyzing death statistics and in a number of places the year over year death rates have exploded but the “regular” death rate plus the reported COVID-19 deaths come way short of the actual reported deaths. “Regular” deaths due to robust economic activity is down, at least as far as automobile deaths go. So why the big disparity? What is different now for this time period vs a year ago…oh, yeah, a pandemic.

        • 0 avatar
          Imagefont

          And don’t you think the shelter in place orders are having a positive effect? Certainly, a significant number of deaths are from people who statistically die anyway. Not every death attributed to covid-19 is an extra death. But without the shelter in place measures it might have been 10X higher.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Imagefont – Shelter in place does have a positive effect.

            Statistically, death rates are fairly constant. We are currently seeing markedly higher death rates in many jurisdictions even once you factor in COVID-19 deaths. In other words, many COVID-19 deaths aren’t being counted correctly since those people who died weren’t tested.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            You fellas are wrong about shelter in place.

            https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11568244/uk-coronavirus-lockdown-futile-hasnt-saved-lives/

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Consider the following past flu pandemics, with the number of Americans dead accompanied by what that translates into today adjusted for population.

          The Spanish Flu pandemic (1918-19) killed 675,000 Americans. Today: equates to a bit more than two million dead.

          The “Asian Flu” pandemic of 1957 killed 116,000 Americans. Today: equates to approximately 223,000.

          The “Hong Kong Flu” pandemic of 1968 killed at least 100,000 Americans. Today: equates to 164,915.

          Thus far, the Wuhan virus has claimed approximately 63,000 Americans — if you can believe the allegedly exaggerated numbers our governments produce.

          Moreover, each year the flu claims tens of thousands more U.S. victims, including 61,000 during the 2017-18 winter season and 358 children during 2009-10. (In contrast, there are three “unconfirmed” Wuhan virus pediatric deaths.)

          But we didn’t run around back then like a jack-booted Chicken Little trampling civil rights and economic fortunes, shutting down schools and complaining about naming the disease after its place of origin.

    • 0 avatar
      phxmotor

      Yep

    • 0 avatar
      subuclayton

      “Shelter-in-place orders aren’t “fascism”. They’re meant to keep us safe”

      Ordinarily I would agree with this seemingly sensible statement.

      When you have political leaders whose objective is to kill the economy and put an end to capitalism, it is fascism, and a permanent end to representative democracy. We are already half-way there.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Exactly!

        I would also cite the models upon which this entire pretense was based. We’re killing the economy based upon a worst-case scenario which hasn’t panned-out, and probably wouldn’t have. We’re probably past the point that the cure is worse than the disease.

        Combine that with an overreaction by the media in general, and you have what history books will call this: an overreaction. Hopefully lessons will be learned from this which will prevent this in the future.

        So as things stand now, let everything open up, but make sure that social-distancing rules are followed (along with taking temperatures of employees — I should have invested in any American or Canadian manufacturers of temporal thermometers), keep a mask handy just in case you go somewhere that requires it (or choose not to patronize that place until things are relaxed), stay at home if you’re uncomfortable going out (or have risk factors or comorbidities), and if you can work from home for a bit longer, do so. Oh, and become nearly OCD in your hand-washing, and if you’re sick, STAY HOME! (I’d even say to open schools again if we weren’t this late in the year already, but I suppose the argument could be made that it would be a full-time job to enforce hand-washing and the like in the younger grades. You hate to see the graduating class of this year miss the rituals, and the sports (both at the high school and collegiate levels where they didn’t get a last chance to compete).)

        And of course, we need to bring our vital supply chains back to this continent, and out of a country which doesn’t have the interests of the free world at heart!

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          sgeffe,

          Preach. This should be common sense.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “This should be common sense.”

            “Common sense” doesn’t work when something uncommon occurs.

            “Sense” is a feeling or perception. “Common” That should be obvious.

            Statistically, the majority of people are in favour of current measures.
            A minority is saying people should use “common sense” because the majority aren’t doing what they want.

        • 0 avatar
          Ol Shel

          I hate to point this out to you, but Italy showed what could happen without quickly-implemented social distancing rules. It’s very easy for you to point out that the number of cases and deaths have fallen far below the worst-case estimates, because we HAVE social distancing. If you;re not convinced, you can look at long-term care facilities to see how the virus spreads without preventative measures.
          Sure, I know that you want your side to be proven right, and opposing government action and cooperation is probably very important to you. STick with that, but also be sure to point out that the current state of the pandemic has been greatly influenced by the adoption of social distancing rules.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Not talking about “social distancing rules.”

            We are talking about economic shutdown and the tradeoffs involved.

            There is not a chance in hell that we went from predictions of a million US deaths to what we have actually experience due to ANY measure we put in place.

            All the predictions of the “modelers” were wildly exaggerated and have been continuously revised downward, not based on the effects of “social distancing” but based on the fact that the virus is MUCH less deadly than the modelers assumed it was.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Why in the name of creation are lockdowns being extended where there is no risk of the system being overwhelmed?

            You told us we had to ravage our economy in order to bend the curve. Okay, the curve is bent; can we go now? No, because now you’re moving the goalposts. Now you’re spreading an all new pile of bullsht with this bullsht about saving lives and it still not being safe to go out.

            When there is zero risk the health care system will crash, and when there is no vaccine or cure, why is it safer to reopen in two or three weeks or a month, as opposed to right now?

        • 0 avatar
          Tim Healey

          Thing is, when shelter-in-place works, it looks like an overreaction in hindsight. Our leading medical experts said that at the beginning of all this.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “Thing is, when shelter-in-place works, it looks like an overreaction in hindsight. Our leading medical experts said that at the beginning of all this.”

            Except sheltering in place did NOTHING but severely limit our attempt at herd immunity.

            If sheltering in place worked, we wouldn’t see infection rates that are 50-85 TIMES higher than reported.

            The only thing that hindsight will prove is that the overreaction and hysteria to this Corona Cold was not just expensive but massively unnecessary.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Turns out you are completely wrong, Tim.

            General economic lockdowns have proved totally ineffective in slowing the spread to this virus. this is not based on some blsht fraudulent “model,” it is based on data analysis of what has actually occurred. You should take a moment to educate yourself, even if it does not conform to your biases.

            https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11568244/uk-coronavirus-lockdown-futile-hasnt-saved-lives/

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        …When you have political leaders whose objective is to kill the economy and put an end to capitalism, it is fascism, and a permanent end to representative democracy. We are already half-way there…

        In today’s world you probably couldn’t get the world to agree to an international date line if we had to. Yet most of the world decided to band together and purposely wreak worldwide economic havoc just for the hell of it? Where do you get this crap from?

        …And of course, we need to bring our vital supply chains back to this continent, and out of a country which doesn’t have the interests of the free world at heart!…

        This makes tons of sense. If we learn nothing from this pandemic, at least let’s learn this one.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        subuclayton

        This is true. There are many people who have been openly and quietly rooting for the destruction of the economy in order to gain political advantage. We are in a cultural civil war, and many people on the left are fine with any casualties necessary to win.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim Healey

        Which political leaders? I am not aware of any governors who have ordered shelter-in-place being anti-capitalist. Not even Dems. Remember, three of the governors who were among the first to shut things down are Republicans. And here in Illinois, our Democratic governor is a very rich man due to capitalism. These decisions were driven by science. It’s also illogical to think that pols would want to shut the economy down — would be very hard to win the next election, right? And hey, Democratic voters have 401Ks, too.

        Not to mention that a lot of workers who’d be in the Dem base are out of work at the moment.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Perhaps the idea wasn’t there at the outset, but remember what Rahm Emanuel said about never letting a crisis go to waste!

          “Wow! What power we have! These people bend to our will! The President’s best thing’s the economy—what do we have to lose?!”

          I’ve noticed that politicians on the left side of the ledger are somewhat more willing to incur collateral damage in order to achieve their objectives. In their minds, the ends justify the means. By the same token, I’m sure that history shows that same sort of thing happens on the other side too!

          Oh hell, a pox on both their houses! How ‘bout a spirited discussion of synthetic versus regular dino blend??!!

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            exactly, sgeffe, but left and right are not equivalent. The left is a locust that feeds on the productive.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      agreed

      if the obtuse have their way suicides will be in the 100s of thousands, overwhelming the Wuhan virus’s flu-like death rates

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        uh-huh.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          “You know, the Wuhan virus.” As if nothing bad started in America. Oh, wait, we engineered a financial collapse in 2008 and exported all of its goodness to the world economy. Yep, we can compete!

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Leftists reflexively support communists and blame the US. It is the Wuhan virus. It started there. Maybe a wet market. Maybe from a lab to a wet market. China covered it up, and lied about it. They restricted internal travel from Wuhan but not international travel from Wuhan. So yeah, Wuhan, Wuhan, Wuhan.

            If I tell you that the US, despite its faults, is responsible for providing more freedom and more opportunity for more people than any county in the history of the world, you will start talking about slavery, because you are a leftist, and leftists will only love America once they have taken it over.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            ..If I tell you that the US, despite its faults, is responsible for providing more freedom and more opportunity for more people than any county in the history of the world…

            I’d tell you that I agree with your statement. Americans do tend to only see the good that America does in the world and not the bad, but overall I do think America has way more in the “good” ledger than the “bad.” You mistake being “leftist” as a bad thing. I don’t know your exact age but for much of my life, I think the direction that America hammered out by compromise worked well. The problem with America today is that compromise is considered weakness, and that only “your side” is the right, uh, correct one. That I just refuse to accept.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            golden,

            From my perspective, I have seen the US not be balanced, but to have consistently shifted left, beginning with Woodrow Wilson, who was a fascist. The Great Depression was a “never let a crisis go to waste” moment for the left. Then came the big one: Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society, followed by Nixon, with more of the same.

            No, it has nothing to do with civil rights. Racial bigotry and oppression are disgusting and worth fighting a bloody civil war over.

            I’m talking economics, and federalism and central government power. It has been all to the left. The central government just grows and grows, sucking down ever greater resources and distributing the largess. This only goes one way.

            As far as I’m concerned, that is your “balance” that you would like to have back. It is not balanced to me. And when people like me fight back, we are vilified as radicals, racists etc. The Tea Party movement is a perfect example. The leftist press destroyed them.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “suicides will be in the 100s of thousands”

        I guess that will be offset by the reduction in school, nightclub, church, and concert mass shootings.

        The irony. There are those that aren’t too concerned about the old and/or physically ill dying from COVID-19 but all of a sudden are concerned about mental health.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          They’re the same people who call themselves “pro life” because they care deeply about “babies” but when a psycho slaughtered a couple dozen elementary school kids they sat on their hands and said “well, what are ya gonna do?”

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      People of goodwill can disagree about coronavirus policy, what the scale of the lockdowns should be, when they should end, and whether the lockdowns were ever a good idea to begin with. But every American ought to be able to agree that most people will voluntarily act in the best interests of their loved ones, their friends, their neighbors, and their communities. And that the answer to disagreement is not to roll out apps and hotlines for informing on our neighbors who are just trying to earn a living.

      The blue state response to the coronavirus has been ugly, dystopian and un-American. Elected officials have dismissed the Bill of Rights as an irrelevancy, forcibly closed down houses of worship, harassed and threatened worshipers, arrested political protesters, and declared that protests are non-essential.

      That is not America.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    Musk chants for freedom while producing a product that records everything it does and sends all that data back to tesla without owner approval. Tesla can even tap into the cameras in and outside tesla vehicles withoit owner discression. How about freedom from big brother? Guess not when its elon.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Mr. Healey,

    I am deeply disappointed that you have taken this opportunity to intentionally wade into the arena of politics. TTAC is better than Jalopnik because it normally eschews politics. Yes, the WuFlu issue is indeed become political, no denying that fact. Your piece here is NOT car related, and should be unposted.
    Shame!

    That said, here is my take:
    1) It is not rational to believe that every surface of every supermarket, liquor store, or Home Depot can be effectively disinfected daily.
    2) Even if such cleaning is possible and technically effective, a single customer, during the first visit of the morning can re-contaminate the card reader, the shopping cart handle, the handrails around the cash register, etc. Subsequent customers will then redistribute the contagion everywhere. As such, it becomes clear that there is NO EFFING way a person can avoid the virus.
    3) The only rational way to live anywhere right now is to live normally with the assumption that your immune system will protect you. If your immune system cannot, you might get sick, and you might even die. You might also die if a strung-out druggie mugger attacks you in the parking lot.
    4) The virus can be anywhere, and pretending you can avoid it is a cruel joke.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “I am deeply disappointed that you have taken this opportunity to intentionally wade into the arena of politics”

      “That disagree with mine.”

      Finish your sentence next time.

      and now for thelaine and EBFlex to post repetitive walls of text on the same things they’ve been spamming for a month.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Perfect illustration of my point. Getting political necessarily ruins the sense of pleasant harmony that might otherwise exist here.

        Let’s debate oil change intervals and viscosity ratings here, and leave the politics elsewhere.

        • 0 avatar
          justVUEit

          Haha, oil change intervals. There’s a topic sure not to generate pages and pages of uninformed debate.

          Note: the above is sarcasm for the sarcasm impaired.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          “sense of pleasant harmony that might otherwise exist here.”

          What website are you reading? The crowd here can make damn well near anything a partisan issue with absolutely no prompting (not that the occasional unpinned grenade of a article doesn’t also get posted).

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “and now for thelaine and EBFlex to post repetitive walls of text on the same things they’ve been spamming for a month.”

        They’re getting their need for attention met. Go easy on them.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Time to admit you have been dead wrong this whole time, freedmike. Care to apologize to the 30 million newly unemployed?

          https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11568244/uk-coronavirus-lockdown-futile-hasnt-saved-lives/

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Sometimes, actually a lot of times, politics intersects with the car industry. Elon Musk runs a car company, and he said some really dumb things about an issue affecting the entire world. So I felt it was worth pointing out why those things are dumb. Elon’s rantings fall within our purview.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        “Elon’s ranting fall within our purview.”

        At what cost? Do you wish to halve your readership due to political issues? I have already abandoned Jalopnik and Curbside Classics over this point.

        Isn’t there a place where an automotive enthusiast can escape politics? No, I do not accept the premise that cars and politics are inseperably linked.

        • 0 avatar

          Well, all of this is ironic.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “Do you wish to halve your readership due to political issues?”

          Politically there will be those who will agree with Elon Musk and those who will agree with Tim Healey.
          Which 1/2 are you afraid to lose?

        • 0 avatar
          Tim Healey

          Cars and politics are linked. How often do we do news stories on how regulations affect the industry? Trump’s F.E. rollbacks have been in the news lately. And this is the same site that had Death Watches because of the bailout debates.

          I’d not have written this rant about a politician. But Musk was complaining about the shelter-in-place orders, and doing so in a dangerously misinformed way, BECAUSE it means he can’t open up production at Fremont. That’s both worthy of news coverage (we and others have done so) and of an opinion piece.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        what’s dumb is think that governors can shut their economies down w/o the Federal government stopping their insanity – the Commerce Clause – something your law professor forgot about

        there’a the ME governor who is basically shutting down the state w/ scant Wuhan deaths, in fact they are a faction of the flu. estimates are that her actions will make ME the most economically devastated state in the nation

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @thornmark: “there’a the ME governor who is basically shutting down the state w/ scant Wuhan deaths”

          You’ve never been to New England, have you. You know how many miles it is from the northern border of Massachusetts to the southern border of Maine on I-95? 16 miles. I’ve biked it round trip (17 miles by bike). If Maine were to open up, we’d be up there infecting them in no time.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            obviously you don’t know what the ME governor did

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Thornmark: What are you talking about? Other than the lies about the flu rate you posted, what did I miss?

            New England states are small and close together. The distances between hotspots in Massachusetts and parts of Maine are similar to distances within some cities. You can’t make decisions based solely on state boundaries.

            You have no clue about epidemiology, molecular biology, geography, or the law.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Your trying to reason with someone who says “Wuhan deaths”…

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      RHenry
      You don’t believe your own nonsense.
      The author is exactly right. This is a public health crisis and the governments response, though a little slow to get started, is the right one.
      If you or your loved ones were sick, or had died, you’d be singing a different tune.
      I fail to understand how presumably well educated adults cannot grasp simple, basic ideas.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        I note you do not address any of the specifics of my initial post. What did I write that is not correct?

      • 0 avatar
        EquipmentJunkie

        Imagefront,

        I know two people who have died from COVID-19. Both in their 80s. I also know four more people who have died during this lockdown from other symptoms of that same general age. Like it or not, we are all going to die.

        Yesterday, my MD sister sent me a message to say that my 82 year old father was showing some early symptoms of COVID-19. She quickly followed up with a text to say that if he needs admitted, we need to see him face-to-face before admission since odds are it may be our last chance to do so. At that point, I began gathering some thoughts of what to say and how to say them. I made that decision that if it came to that, I would remove my mask…I felt it is worth the increased risk. Thankfully, my dad’s O2 levels and temps are better today.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          I hope your Dad continues to improve.

          What really gets me in this whole thing is the fact that relatives and friends outside of the immediate family cannot say their goodbyes to decedents because of distance and not being able to get together. In my church (which I’ve not been to since the 8th of March, and they’re floating the idea of a June 7th reopening), a woman in my choir with high-school and college-aged boys just lost her husband from complications of a heart attack on Wednesday. They’re in the Toledo area, and both of their families are in the New England area, including his mother! She will not be able to say a proper goodbye to her son, and the family will not be able to get together to mourn together and support each other. I can’t begin to imagine what that would be like.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          @equipment junkie. I am sincerely glad to hear that your dad is better.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @EquipmentJunkie – best wishes to you and your family.

        • 0 avatar
          EquipmentJunkie

          Thanks for the well wishes, guys. It appears like it was a false alarm. I’m glad my sister is vigilant about checking the details.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Be grateful EquipmentJunkie. I was not as fortunate as you. I can’t even begin to tell you how hurtful it is when people make comments about “well, they were old anyway”…I’d like to see a kid look into their elderly father’s eyes and say that.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Agreed. It is never “safe” to leave your home, and it never will be. If that is the objective, the economy will never re-open.

      Newsflash: There is another cold and flu season coming this fall, and “pandemics” are not rare. They are frequent. If we all stay in our homes, we will soon not have homes to stay in.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim Healey

        It’s not about being 100 percent safe. It’s about managing risk.

        The cold doesn’t usually kill, and the flu can be managed via vaccines and our natural immunities. We have no immunity to the novel coronavirus and COVID19, nor do we have a vaccine. And people who have no symptoms spread it. This is why we’re locked down — to slow the spread so that ICUs can manage the workload posed by the 20% of cases that are serious, and so we can buy time to fight back via therapeutics.

        The economic consequences are devastating. No one denies that. But that’s what happens when a virus that we can’t control hits us. It’s not the fault of those who are shutting down society in order to mitigate the danger, it’s the fault of the virus. And if we reopen too soon, the economic damage will be just as bad, if not worse, since people will voluntarily stay home if the virus is ripping around society.

        I normally don’t mind crowds. But now I get nervous at the grocery store. And everyone else I know does too. I don’t want to go out right now…and most people think the same. Which means that businesses won’t have customers.

        If we want the economy to be re-opened, the virus has to be controlled. Period. And this appears to be the only way to do so, now that the containment ship has sailed.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    If this were really a fascist state, Musk would have disappeared 10 minutes after making those comments. People really do need to read history.

    I’m all for disagreement – as long as it’s not hyperbolic nonsense and the person disagreeing lays out a better idea and how to implement it. Unlike most of the armchair ideologues around here, Elon Musk has the brainpower and the resources to do just that. Hell, I’d like to hear his ideas. But as long as he’s going to sit around shouting “fascist!” I’m turning him off. Period.

    • 0 avatar
      3800FAN

      +10

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Well. this is what youtube does. If you post a video with criticism of WHO, it will be removed.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        …maybe your youtube post mysteriously appears. But you don’t.

        You can’t see the difference?

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          And YouTube ultimately is a private corporate enterprise, and I would think most right wingers would think that the corporation should be able to conduct itself in ways that it wants to. Nothing stops anybody from posting their videos online. That is your first amendment guarantee.But they get all whiny and bitchy when YouTube doesn’t allow their videos

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ^^This^^ People forget that internet sites are privately owned and have no obligation to adhere to “free speech” laws. If sites like Youtube or TTAC don’t like what you have to say they are well within their rights to remove you or your videos

            Don’t like it? Start your own site

    • 0 avatar

      Fascism doesn’t wear the same face everywhere. This isn’t 1950 USSR—you can’t disappear Elon Musk.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      No, a totalitarian state would “disappear” Musk, like China disappears dissidents. A police state will only arrest you for protesting its edicts, or failure to comply.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Agreed, everybody in this country needs to take political science 101 and a civics class. I get so sick of the misuse of political terms in an inflammatory, hyperbolic, and propagandistic ways.
      Currently I would say “fascism” is probably one of the most abused political terms.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @ttacgreg – agreed. If one wants to add another misused term, lets lob out socialism. Now that I’ve said that, I’m betting that a few of the scholars on here will say that fascism and socialism are one and the same.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Lol @ Lou, one of the “protests” last week showed a woman holding a sign, on one side it said, “Stay at home orders are Fascist”, on the other side it said, “Stay at home orders are Socialist”

          The writer of the story was quick to point out the level of intelligence of the “protesters”

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            IIRC most of the websites for these “grassroots” reopen campaigns are owned by the same groups. These fat suburban slobs think they’re being “freedom fighters” but are rally just unwitting tools in an astroturfing campaign.

            I saw some pictures from yesterday’s “protest” in Lansing. Nothin but a bunch of obese wannabe rednecks. One who would scatter and run (until they ran short of breath) if the MSP drew down on them.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          No, they are totally different. One is a giant state apparatus that controls everything, destroys individual property rights and individual liberty and is the master of all. The other one is…

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    I found what Musk said to be quite true and accurate. I don’t find him wrong. It wasn’t worth destroying the best most robust economy we’ve probably ever had (thank you President Trump) over a lot of conflicting evidence and information. Sorry, but the Constitution but prevail if our society is to prevail. If you are willing to throw away your freedoms so that government can “keep you safe” then this isn’t the country for you. The government must protect us in certain way but not destroy the constitution and our freedoms in the process.

    • 0 avatar
      Slave2anMG

      Robust for who? The 2%. Real wages haven’t moved, we’re all Mexicans paying for a wall, we’re all paying for idiotic tariffs, coal hasn’t returned. The wealthy get the tax breaks, we get screwed. I want a president who isn’t a blithering narcissistic fool who behaves like an exhausted and petulant 2 year old with a full diaper. Biden’s an old fool, but he’s one that acts like an adult and wants somebody besides his kids and flunkies around him. And frankly, as a lifelong Republican, I’d vote for a bowl of oatmeal topped with dog crap before I’d vote for Trump…or any current Republican that helped enable that jackass.

      And you’ve got little concept of ‘freedom’ and the powers of government in an emergency – clearly you didn’t even READ this article.

    • 0 avatar
      Verbal

      Do you work for Fox News?

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        But he builds commie Eco cars… Fox & ‘Merica told me he was the devil. Now he is a genius? Its so hard to keep track these days.

        Musk wins the stupidest smart guy award of the week. But he has done this before, remember when he wanted to rescue those kids trapped in a cave with a sub? Dude somehow figures out how to land and reuse a rocket (!) yet (after smoking?) he came up with this stupid advice? I bet he is just bored staying at home like everyone else and loves a good twitter war.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Yep, one of Musk’s many talents is the “famous for being famous” brand-building thing, ala Trump, the Kardashians, et al.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “But he builds commie Eco cars… Fox & ‘Merica told me he was the devil. Now he is a genius? Its so hard to keep track these days.”

          this society has operated on a policy of (basically) “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” for decades now.

          Unfortunately, that almost always leads to your “friend” becoming your enemy later on.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            You could make the point that between the spotty assembly quality of some of the cars, plus the half-baked software running them (witness the cars braking for green lights, plus some of the well-documented and debated Autopilot foibles), you could say that.. the vehicles are sometimes somewhat half-baked!

            And then Elon is seen getting schmoked up! Gives new meaning to the word “#hashtag!” He was fully-baked!

            I’ll see myself out! Next discussion: premium versus regular gas—which is better?! :-D

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Sean Hannity, he always repeats what Sean said last night

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Do you work for Fox News?”

        Only accurate news channel on the planet.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Preach, teddy. You nailed it.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I linked a piece that explicitly says these orders are constitutional and why.

  • avatar
    Ryannosaurus

    I feel sorry for you Tim. The lock down must really be hurting you but this is not the place for you to go on a rant. It is obvious that you are desperate to justify all of the sacrifices you have made and confirm your beliefs. Spouting the same tired lines that we have been bombarded with by the media does not prove you are right. Not all of us have the luxury of being able to work from home (yes I am talking about journalists) and some compassion for others would be appreciated.

    Imagine if the protest was on “women’s rights” or “global warming” and you wrote the same article denouncing those people or a celebrity who agreed with them. A car blog would not be the appropriate place.

    Take care Tim. I feel your pain.

    • 0 avatar
      MDSuper80

      100%. Encountering this post was surprising and supremely disappointing, precisely because TTAC has generally been mercifully free of personal political bias in the past. Please don’t take TTAC down the political editorial road – it’s the last kind of content people want to read right now, regardless of political slant. Not to mention, the quality of the analysis here is dubious at best. Stick to writing about cars.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      It’s not about what “the media” has spouted, it’s about what the leading health experts, from Fauci and Birx on down to those at the state, county, and city levels have said.

      I have a lot of sympathy for those who can’t work from home. My mom is considered an “essential” worker and she was possibly exposed (so far, no symptoms, and we’re coming up on 2 weeks). I know plenty of people who have lost income, at least partially.

      But that’s kind of why I support the lockdown … if we do it now and do it right, we won’t need to do it again later. And the economy will be in better shape upon reopening. It’s short term pain to prevent long-term pain that’s even worse.

      And we don’t shy away from politics when one of the most visible auto-industry execs is using his platform to spout misinformation that could costs lives or extend our time in lockdown because he can’t put his factory to work.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Some people are only slightly affected, but for others it’s lethal. Right now, there’s no way to tell who it will kill other than some fairly common underlying conditions. It’s unreasonable to ask some people to go back to work and potentially find out the hard way if it’s lethal for them.

        There are going to be 60 million doses of the Oxford vaccine ready to go in September. As time goes by, we’ll learn more about the virus and maybe we can better determine individual susceptibility to the virus at some point. Until then, we shouldn’t ask someone to put their life on the line.

  • avatar
    Rnaboz

    I choose to live by faith NOT fear.
    If you are afraid, please stay home.
    If you are unafraid, you should be able to move freely about the cabin.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t disagree with some of your points but I think this is a complete rant for someone at the top of the TTAC masthead to post. You went far beyond talking about Elon. This was fully into Bertel Schmitt territory.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I dunno about “Bertel territory” – Tim hasn’t brought up BDSM…yet. :)

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I did consider, as I was composing the post, if I was going too much into the arguments about the virus and lockdown as opposed to Musk specifically. But I decided Musk’s motivations didn’t need a lot of words. Given the continued seeming lack of the American public to understand why we had to lockdown in the first place (it’s not just the right-wing anti-lockdown crowd — I’ve encountered a lack of understanding from all over the spectrum), I felt the piece needed all that background.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Given the continued seeming lack of the American public to understand why we had to lockdown in the first place… I felt the piece needed all that background.”

        Respectfully, I do not think you succeeded here. This editorial was largely a wordy stream of consciousness bouncing between various topics and non-sequiturs. You want people to make data-driven policy decisions while your tone was exasperated, unfocused, and eventually accusatory. It read like something from a personal blog.

        I think you fell into the same “false choice” as Elon, just with the opposite argument. It shouldn’t be “lockdown” vs “no lockdown”. Balance, planning, and maybe even compromise all need to be taken into account. These orders don’t do any good if a sizeable minority blows them off because they find them arbitrary. You hedge it by writing that certain aspects of the rules are up for criticism. But I’d say those details are where most of the consternation is coming from.

        So Elon is throwing a Twitter fit because he can’t build cars. It would have been nice to read about why opening the Tesla factory in California would be unsafe right now (even if precautions were being taken). Especially considering that TTAC has been reporting that all automakers are working towards a May restart. What does the data show about opening factories on May 1 vs May 15 vs June 1? What measures do health experts expect will work or what metrics are they looking at? You were complementary of Gov. DeWine and he’s having Ohio resume some manufacturing on May 4, what’s the differentiating situations there?

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    I’m just here for the comments and am not disappointed…. or to be more precise, I’m not disappointed that the comments are disappointing. People are still playing games with the left vs right and totally disrespetcing the fact that a not insignificant number of people have died, and that there is already evidence in other parts of the world that the infection rates can spike back up again if care isn’t taken. But by all means, get your talking points in and fiddle away while Rome burns.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      ” disrespetcing the fact that a not insignificant number of people have died”

      Wrong. I live in a coastal SoCal county of nearly 1 million residents–Not NYC or Detroit. 15 individuals in this county have been listed as deceased from WuFlu, yet every single one of them had other serious medical conditions or were over age 90. More have died in traffic collisions. Under what bizarre logic does it compute that I, under 60 and in perfect health, can’t go to the beach this weekend wtih my family?

      –Again, Mr Healy–see what you have uncaged?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I’d be interested in knowing what county you live in.

        • 0 avatar
          psychoboy

          Ventura is at 17 at the moment.

          Everything else in SoCal is either way above or way below:

          https://www.kcra.com/article/covid-19-map-california-coronavirus-cases-by-county-april-may/32287186

        • 0 avatar
          R Henry

          Ventura

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            That’s the ‘burbs, R Henry…and in the ‘burbs, you have tons of white-collar office workers who are largely telecommuting right now, or are retired and can sit at home and not go anywhere. Things are very different in areas where you have lots of poor people, or folks who depend on service jobs for a living, and don’t have the option of working from home. Going to work in a service job GREATLY increases your chance of catching this for obvious reasons. In your area, I’d assume the lion’s share of those types of workers are all in L.A. county, so should it be surprising that that county has a much higher rate of infection?

            Same thing is happening here in Denver. Take a look at Denver County and Jefferson County – both have populations of +/- 600,000, but the lion’s share of working poor people in the area live in the city of Denver (or parts of Aurora, which is also suffering disproportionately from infection), and Jefferson county is made up of wealthier, white collar suburbs. That explains why Denver County has over twice as many cases as Jefferson County. Boulder County, which is notoriously healthy and affluent, has even fewer per capita cases.

            Like so many other things in our society, I think this pandemic illustrates the gap between haves and have-nots – sitting things out is the key to staying healthy, and if you have money or a job that you can work remotely, then your chances are far, far better.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          His point is that the infection is not uniform, there are hot spots like NYC and Detroit, and the standards in those places shouldn’t apply everywhere. Ventura County is bigger than Delaware, and much of it is semi-rural.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            That’s part of the issue — the measures necessary in NYC aren’t needed in the upstate regions, and what’s necessary in the Detroit area of Michigan is way overkill for the Upper Peninsula; believe me, there’s more than enough hardship there to go around, and all the bars and other businesses up there which are hanging by a thread in the best of times aren’t going to survive this!

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        My favourite….

        *preexisting conditions*.

        Did you know that you are more likely to die of ………. if you have preexisting conditions?

        Insert any disease you want in that sentence. It will most likely apply.

        It isn’t so much that “you’ll die”, it is more likely that you’ll be a carrier and kill others.

        How hard is that to comprehend?

  • avatar
    marc

    I’m with Tim. Too many libertarians and trumpians here can’t look beyond the lies of daily briefings and faux news to see that not only has the US lost 60,000 people in less than 2 months and overwhelmed hospitals, factories and prisons; but that without these orders in place how devastatingly worse off we would be.
    Too many, like Drumpf and Musk, can’t look beyond heir own self interest. They’re not built that way. They simply don’t have empathy or the skills to handle crises beyond their shortsighted worldview (miniature submarines anyone?). And too many here agree. It’s a sad state of the US.
    So you will have a hard time getting your new a new Tesla. And if that results in one fewer death, I’m all in.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      “Too many libertarians and trumpians”

      See Mr. Healy? By venting as you did in this post, you have intentionally injected politically-based vitriol into a grouping of individual who all love cars. A sad day. I mourn for TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      remarkably obtuse analysis

      if the Dems like you have their way the amount of suicides will overwhelm the flu like death rates

      smart people know that having the at risk stay home and the 95% rest of America go back to work is the best most intelligent thing to do

      America is not NY – where the stupid governor caused countless deaths by telling people to use the subways but avoid crowds – MIT said those words spread the virus

      • 0 avatar
        marc

        Well I could just follow the advice of the head republican and drink lysol to cure COvid-19.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          except he didn’t

          how’s brain dead Biden doing? did they change his Depends today?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            You are right, he did not specifically say “drink lysol”.

            He did say, “And I then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way you can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning.”

            I won’t mention the spike in calls to poison control after that comment….

            And I won’t mention the UV/powerful light thing since I’m not in the mood for explaining the effects of radiation on the body.

          • 0 avatar
            psychoboy

            There was not a “spike in calls to poison control after that comment”. There has been a year-over-year increase in calls to poison control for the last two months, probably due to the fact that millions of people finally decided that cleaning surfaces around them was a good idea, and increasing contact with cleaning products increases accidents with cleaning products.

            But, based on your mass shooting comments above, it’s clear you just read the headlines, anyway.

            The radio plays what they want you to hear.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @psychoboy –
            “Govs. Larry Hogan of Maryland (R) and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan (D) said Sunday that President Donald Trump’s recent comments musing about whether disinfectant could potentially be injected as a remedy for the coronavirus caused a surge in phone calls to emergency hotlines in their states inquiring about its truth.”

            I can post links to actual interviews with a republican governor talking about it if you want?

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        …America is not NY – where the stupid governor caused countless deaths by telling people to use the subways but avoid crowds…

        Stupid Governor, indeed. Run any briefing by Cuomo and compare that to any briefing by Trump. Both unlikable people. If you really come away from that thinking that the President has been doing a better job informing the public, you are a lost cause.

  • avatar
    justVUEit

    Yeah, some lockdown. I can still go outside when I want, shop at food stores when I want, and go for long drives when I want. There’s no camera aimed at my front door (China), inside my home (also China) or drone admonishing me to go home (China). I am merely being asked to stay at home, limit travel, and limit shopping to necessities. When I go outside for exercise (hiking, walking, biking, etc.) or buy food there’s no policeman asking to see my papers (Italy, Spain). Musk went all hyperbolic with his comparisons.

    Maybe CA isn’t a COVID basket case but that is because the measures did work. If no action was taken it would have been worse. But I guess this is the thanks everyone gets for taking measures to get just to this place.

    Maybe we should have done nothing and let COVID run its course with the proles going to work in the factories and risk getting sick while the rich sip wine safely off shore on their yachts.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      “but that is because the measures did work.”

      This is a common logic error. Correllation vs. Causation. Big difference.

      “If no action was taken it would have been worse” There is exactly ZERO evidence to support this assertion.

      “while the rich sip wine safely off shore on their yachts.” Always fun to inject some socio-economic class envy!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Speaking of correlation versus causation, and being able to provide absolute proof of your thesis…

        I’d like you to a) list your guidelines on how to deal with this, and b) go into great statistical detail about how much less impactful they would be on the economy. Feel free to express that as a dollar or percentage impact to GDP.

        And I’ll be waiting a long, long time, won’t I?

        I’m not trying to bag on you…just saying that you can’t say “provide evidence” and then not provide any of your own. In the end, it’s not a question of “causation versus correlation,” because there’s not enough data to prove causation, just as there’s not enough data to prove that if every day, you smoke a pack of cigarettes, eat at McD’s daily, and sit in front of a TV eight hours, you’re going to die at age 56 of a massive coronary. But what kind of fool says “if you can’t prove the day I’m going to die from living the way I do, I’m just going to keep on doing it”?

        • 0 avatar
          R Henry

          “a) list your guidelines on how to deal with this”

          This was in my initial post.Here it is again for your convenience:

          1) It is not rational to believe that every surface of every supermarket, liquor store, or Home Depot can be effectively disinfected daily.
          2) Even if such cleaning is possible and technically effective, a single customer, during the first visit of the morning can re-contaminate the card reader, the shopping cart handle, the handrails around the cash register, etc. Subsequent customers will then redistribute the contagion everywhere. As such, it becomes clear that there is NO EFFING way a person can avoid the virus.
          3) The only rational way to live anywhere right now is to live normally with the assumption that your immune system will protect you. If your immune system cannot, you might get sick, and you might even die. You might also die if a strung-out druggie mugger attacks you in the parking lot.
          4) The virus can be anywhere, and pretending you can avoid it is a cruel joke.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            With respect, those are observations, not a plan. And even if it were a plan, nothing you’ve said verifies how much less impact there would be by following your suggestions.

            Your “case” is just as unproven as the one you’re criticizing.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @R Henry –
            Point 1-
            COVID-19 doesn’t tend to survive much more than 2 hours on a non-porous surface. Soap and water hand washing, using hand sanitizers, and paying attention to where you put your hands is adequate.
            2. Yes. A single customer can contaminate everything….. see my reply to comment 1
            3. As far as your immune system protecting you, your’s might be fine or yours might over-react and kill you with a cytokine storm or disseminated intravascular coagulation, acute respiratory distress syndrome, viral cardiomyopathy etc. Do you know how yours will respond? You don’t need to have a “preexisting condition” for any of those to happen.
            4. The virus can be anywhere. YES.
            Social distancing measures are designed to SLOW the spread NOT stop the spread.
            If you slow the spread then that gives the health system the time to treat those who get sick and to figure out how to cure it.
            That’s one of the reasons Italy’s death toll was so high.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Yes, let younger, healthy working people (to you, “proles”) choose to work. That would have been a good idea.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Musk made his comments based on Scott Atlase’s article. Atlas somehow thinks he’s an expert on epidemiology because he once read brain MRIs for a living. That article of his uses studies that have been criticized for non-random samples and high error rates. Just because this idiot has MD after his name doesn’t mean he’s an expert on viral infections.

    I’m anxious to order my new car, but I don’t think someone that might be susceptible to COVID-19 should die for it. I can wait. Testing, a vaccine, and patience will get us through this. There’s still a lot that isn’t know about this virus and there are rumors it may be far more transmittable than we think.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      What we need is more testing to see if you’ve already been exposed to the disease. Everybody seems to be focusing on seeing if you have it!

      What happens if you test negative, then an asymptomatic COVID-19 carrier has a bit of soda go “down the wrong pipe,” and coughs on you the next day in the supermarket, and two days later, you’re sick?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “it may be far more transmittable than we think”

      The proponents of herd immunity are going on the premise that it will occur at 60% of the populace being infected. That is based on assumptions surrounding its transmissibility. There are experts that believe that herd immunity requires over 90% of the populace to develop antibodies.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The current one-size-fits-all lockdown approach is leading to unnecessary deaths. Protecting older people and other high-risk groups will be logistically and politically more difficult than isolating the young by closing schools and universities. But we must change course if we want to reduce suffering and save lives.

    Martin Kulldorff is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

    https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/04/29/delaying-herd-immunity-is-costing-lives/

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Thousands or perhaps even millions of Americans have untreated and undiagnosed medical conditions right now that aren’t being addressed because of our singular focus on mitigating COVID-19. The former chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford University Medical Center wrote a recent op-ed in The Hill warning that “critical health care for millions of Americans is being ignored and people are dying to accommodate ‘potential’ COVID-19 patients and for fear of spreading the disease.” And the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic told The New York Times that they’ve seen a “dramatic decline in people seeking care for heart attacks, strokes, or new cancers.”

    Oxford Economics forecasts that 1.5 million “non-essential” health care workers will join the millions of other Americans on unemployment lines in April. Some hospitals and medical clinics may never reopen.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/04/30/rigid_lockdowns_imperil_public_health_im_in_a_position_to_know_143071.html

  • avatar
    thelaine

    In case you’ve missed it, Sweden has taken a radically different approach in dealing with the coronavirus. It has essentially opted for a strategy of “herd immunity” through exposure.

    This strategy posits that most people under age 65 who get the coronavirus — if they do not have major pre-existing medical conditions — will either experience it as a typical or tough flu, or completely asymptomatically, and the number who will get so sick that they require hospitalization or emergency care will reliably be less than the number of beds needed to care for them.

    So, if you do your best to shelter and sequester all of those over 65 and those with serious pre-existing conditions — notably heart and lung disease and diabetes — and let much of the rest of the population circulate and get exposed and become naturally immune, once about 60 percent of your population has gone through this you’ll have herd immunity and the viral transmission will be blocked. (This assumes that immunity for some period of time results from exposure, as most experts think it will.)

    After all, herd immunity is our goal — either from vaccination or from enough people building natural immunity. Those are the only ways to achieve it.
    The upside of Sweden’s strategy — if it works — is that your economy does not take such a deep hit from lockdowns. It is unlike the strategy of suppression pursued in cities across America right now — as well as around the globe — where, when the lockdown is over, your population largely has not developed immunity and so most everyone remains vulnerable to the virus, and to a second wave in the fall.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/opinion/coronavirus-sweden.html

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Why don’t you try to understand what you are posting before you post it.

      60% herd immunity depends on assumptions surrounding transmissibility. New evidence indicates that herd immunity might not kick in until 90% of the populace has antibodies… oh and there are cases of reinfection.

      Sweden is not the USA. The populace has been following social distancing and other measures on their own. They also have markedly higher death rates than surrounding Scandinavian populations. They admit that they haven’t done a good job protecting the elderly… Kinda hard to do when you don’t know who is a carrier.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The World Health Organization lauded Sweden as a “model” for battling the coronavirus as countries lift lockdowns — after the nation controversially refused restrictions.

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/29/who-lauds-sweden-as-model-for-resisting-coronavirus-lockdown/

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      You get the difference between “Sweden was right to not lock down” and “Sweden’s measures will be effective for countries looking to lift lockdowns,” right?

      On top of that, as noted, Sweden’s plans required citizens to follow what was expected of them. How well do you think that’s going to fly in ‘Murica?

      Lastly, Sweden’s death rate per capita is about six times higher than Norway next door.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Sweden’s population is twice Norway’s. It has a higher percentage of elderly too. That doesn’t completely neutralize the difference in death rate per capita, but that’s not the usual way to measure mortality of a disease.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Professor Johan Giesecke, one of the world’s most senior epidemiologists, advisor to the Swedish Government (he hired Anders Tegnell who is currently directing Swedish strategy), the first Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and an advisor to the director general of the WHO, lays out with typically Swedish bluntness why he thinks:

    UK policy on lockdown and other European countries are not evidence-based
    The correct policy is to protect the old and the frail only

    This will eventually lead to herd immunity as a “by-product”
    The initial UK response, before the “180 degree U-turn”, was better

    The Imperial College paper was “not very good” and he has never seen an unpublished paper have so much policy impact

    The paper was very much too pessimistic

    Any such models are a dubious basis for public policy anyway

    The flattening of the curve is due to the most vulnerable dying first as much as the lockdown

    The results will eventually be similar for all countries

    Covid-19 is a “mild disease” and similar to the flu, and it was the novelty of the disease that scared people

    The actual fatality rate of Covid-19 is the region of 0.1%

    At least 50% of the population of both the UK and Sweden will be shown to have already had the disease when mass antibody testing becomes available

    https://unherd.com/thepost/coming-up-epidemiologist-prof-johan-giesecke-shares-lessons-from-sweden/

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Why are you hysterical about the side effects of lockdown, which happen all the time – just like the “mild flu”?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Haha, I wonder how he feels about being called “hysterical.” Lord knows he tosses that one around at everyone else!

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        what are you smoking

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “what are you smoking”

          Was that question aimed at Mr. Musk?

          “UK policy on lockdown and other European countries are not evidence-based
          The correct policy is to protect the old and the frail only”

          “UK policy on lockdown and other European countries are not evidence-based”

          I’d like to see the science behind that assumption NOT a news article.

          “The correct policy is to protect the old and the frail only”

          Please post your evidence that proves that..

          No news articles. That isn’t proof. I’d like to see the actual science behind that comment.

          25% of hospitalizations are people under 50 years old.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            The World Health Organization lauded Sweden as a “model” for battling the coronavirus as countries lift lockdowns — after the nation controversially refused restrictions.

            https://nypost.com/2020/04/29/who-lauds-sweden-as-model-for-resisting-coronavirus-lockdown/

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Sweden’s death toll is high for its cases, and rivals California and Texas deaths combined, yet TX and CA have a combined population 6 or 7X that of Sweden.

            It’s great that Sweden took a stand, especially since we have something to compare it to. The sweetspot might be somewhere in the middle.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @thelaine – this what the W.H.O. said about Sweden, “Sweden’s approach – a combination of trust and strategic controls – could provide a key model for other countries.”

            How many people in the USA trust the Federal Government and/or its leadership?
            I’ll save you the cut and paste:
            “On average, 56 percent of Americans said they were at least somewhat confident in the government on the coronavirus, compared with 39 percent who said they were not very or not at all confident.”
            “The survey found that 52 percent of voters disapprove of Trump’s response to the global outbreak, while 44 percent approve of it. ”

            “That trust, combined with strategic controls and clear communication, could provide a template for other countries that are loosening lockdown restrictions to safely adapt to a new normal.”

            In the USA, clear communication involves calls to poison control hotlines asking if injecting disinfectants is okay or….well…you get my point….

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      theElaine +1

  • avatar
    saturnotaku

    Opens article…

    Scrolls comments…

    Backs away slowly…

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    I hate to say it because he’s a disgusting person but he’s 100% right. None of this shelter in place is fact based. In fact, the facts prove the exact opposite. No wonder why YouTube censored a couple doctors who went against the narrative

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      They’d probably censor a “doctor” who says that you should smoke a pack a day for your health too.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        or Dr. Fauci who promised a SARS vaccine

        in 2003!

        still no vaccine – and their won’t be an effective one for the Wuhan virus either – because its a corona virus – and there are already like 30 strains

        but Fauci promises a vaccine

        what a joke

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          I read reports today that our esteemed president is promising vaccines by the winter time. What a joke.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “still no vaccine – and their won’t be an effective one for the Wuhan virus either – because its a corona virus – and there are already like 30 strains”

            “I read reports today that our esteemed president is promising vaccines by the winter time. What a joke.”

            I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but you both might be underestimating what the efforts of nearly the entire world can accomplish.
            Plus it isn’t only Trump or Fauci pushing extremely aggressive timelines.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Doctors say smoking have a protective effect re: coronavirus.

        French researchers to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/22/french-study-suggests-smokers-at-lower-risk-of-getting-coronavirus

        Nicotine could protect people from contracting the coronavirus, according to new research in France, where further trials are planned to test whether the substance could be used to prevent or treat the deadly illness.

        The findings come after researchers at a top Paris hospital examined 343 coronavirus patients along with 139 people infected with the illness with milder symptoms.

        They found that a low number of them smoked, compared to smoking rates of around 35 percent in France’s general population.

        “Among these patients, only five percent were smokers,” said Zahir Amoura, the study’s co-author and a professor of internal medicine.

        The research echoed similar findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine last month

        https://www.livemint.com/news/india/cigarette-can-keep-coronavirus-away-researchers-test-if-nicotine-could-prevent-covid-19-11587704695445.html

        This preliminary analysis does not support the argument that current smoking is a risk factor for hospitalization for COVID-19. Instead, these consistent observations, which are further emphasized by the low prevalence of current smoking among COVID-19 patients in the US (1.3%), raises the hypothesis that nicotine may have beneficial effects on COVID-19. This could be attributed to its immunomodulatory effects and its interaction with the renin-angiotensin system. However, other confounding factors need to be considered and the accuracy of the recorded smoking status needs to be determined. However, the results were remarkably consistent across all studies and were recently verified in the first case series of COVID-19 cases in the US.

        https://www.qeios.com/read/Z69O8A.13

        Science is about skepticism, not conformity. Those who suppress dissident opinions are not “following the science” they are just bigots and aspiring tyrants.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Wow…..you guys are clueless.

          A nicotine patch isn’t smoking.

          “It found that of those admitted to hospital, whose median age was 65, only 4.4% were regular smokers. Among those released home, with a median age of 44, 5.3% smoked.”
          Statistically, that isn’t much of a spread AND

          “However, the researchers insisted they were not encouraging the population to take up smoking, which carries other potentially fatal health risks and kills 50% of those who take it up. While nicotine may protect those from the virus, smokers who have caught it often develop more serious symptoms because of the toxic effect of tobacco smoke on the lungs, they say.”

          Do you actually read what you post or fixate on just the part that fits your world view?

          How about a discussion on ACEI/ARBs Medications since there is evidence that SARS-CoV-2 uses the ACE II pathway as a keyhole into a lung cell.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            LOL…smoking, nicotine patches…it’s all the same thing, Lou. Stop being so picky!

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The French Institute of Health found that only 5.3% of the infected were smokers, while the French smoke like chimneys at over 25% of the population – the 18-44 group is at 40%. They suspect nicotine interferes with transmission of the virus, and are experimenting with nicotine patches.

        Of course, doctors recommending smoking for health should be countered forcefully, though not censored by youtube – that’s not their job. If such a video were monetized, they could demonetize it and still leave it up for others to counter. They’ve done that with other videos.

        Still, something medically useful may come from the statistical anomaly.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      A basic understanding of incubation and course of the COVID-19 illness combined with an understanding of contagion will need you to the conclusion that the lockdown in deed affects the spread of the epidemic.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        That’s why infection rates are 50-85 TIMES higher than reported right?

        In LA County the number is 41.5 TIMES higher than reported. So, the number of confirmed cases being at 23,233 means their actual infection numbers is just under a MILLION. But lets halve it. Let’s say the average infection rate in this country is almost 21 times higher (being conservative). That means that the USA and it’s 1,117,997 confirmed cases is actually 23,477,937. But the death rate stayed exactly the same which means the mortality rate goes from about 6% to .02%.

        We’ve shut down the economy for a .02% mortality rate

        Man to be a committed leftist. Just ignore facts and spout whatever you “feel” because if you “feel” it has to be true right? Heck you can even spout how we should trust the science and trust the doctors and then when TWO doctors come out and say “this is not as serious as its being made out to be and we need to end this shelter in place nonsense” they are immediately dismissed without any attempt at critical thought.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          “TWO doctors come out” What, that idiot radiologist that thinks he’s an epidemiologist. What was the other – have you found a veterinarian? Your sources are incompetent and relied on flawed studies. Scott Atlas is a lobbyist with an agenda.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            It was the two doctors that your guy Elon Musk said make “good points” in a tweet.

            ” he has been impressed with doctors like Johan Giesecke and Dr. Anders Tegnell of Sweden, who have been able to achieve herd immunity in their country with very relaxed social distancing measures.”

            Weird. it’s almost like the informal study the doctors did falls directly inline with what the USC and Stanford studies found along with the New York study.

            This is all a bunch of nonsense considering the mortality rate is .02%

            But continue to bury your head in the sand.

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    Tim:

    “the hospitals have capacity because social distancing and shelter-in-place orders are slowing the spread of coronavirus. In short, shelter-in-place is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.”

    This is completely unscientific conjecture. We have no way of knowing whether this is true or not.

    Maybe it is helping, maybe not.

    However, it is safe to says that if we are indeed keeping ourselves away from microbes so well by physical distancing, etc. then when we stop we will have hell to pay from a host of common ailments that we haven’t gotten casual exposure to and therefore have not developed immunity to. What I’ve seen of physical distancing, etc. in practice has been so sloppy that I doubt it is of much use. Mostly what seems to be happening is a lot of authoritarian bellowing and very little precaution that seems like it would be of use. There are reasons why hospitals train personnel and have very detailed procedures in place for dealing with contagious patients. You can’t hand the guy on the street some gear and expect him to know how to use it right.

    Your arguments about what is and isn’t “constitutional” hold no water. Misguided precedents do not establish constitutionality. This has nothing to do with liberal claptrap or conservative claptrap, it just is what it is.

    Freedom of speech includes the right to say incorrect and/or stupid stuff. Freedom of speech places the burden of judgement as to what is correct on the listener/reader. If you are against free speech, just say so straight out.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      hospitals across the nation are empty and have been financially destroyed by the policies the author wrongly advocates

      America is not NY – NY blew it and the rest of the country is suffering because of that and the application NY policies to the rest of the nation which are not densely populated

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @ thornmark, the hospitals have empty beds to prepare for an influx of COVID-19 patients. Please stop listening to an obese drug addict from MO and the mass media’s king of vomiting republican talking points; Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity respectively as your major news sources. https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/03/facebook-posts/hospital-beds-being-kept-empty-prepare-covid-influ/

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          what a joke – polifact

          the mass media is mostly Dem propaganda

          they used the NY model for the nation and it was wrong

          it was even wrong for NY

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          ” the hospitals have empty beds to prepare for an influx of COVID-19 patients.”

          and they’re laying off staff because they’re not accepting any non-COVID patients except for immediate critical/emergency care. You’re not going to get a hip replacement done anytime soon, so the hospital/health system isn’t going to keep orthopedic surgeons around to do nothing.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Thornmark,

        This is absolutely true. We have an urgent health situation, and healthcare workers are being laid off. Hospitals are hemorrhaging money, and the financially weakest facilities are often in rural areas where health resources are thin.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “hospitals across the nation are empty and have been financially destroyed by the policies the author wrongly advocates”

        OMG, it is a grand conspiracy to bankrupt capitalist “for profit” health care and turn it into some sort of commie socialist Obama care dystopia.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “hospitals across the nation are empty and have been financially destroyed by the policies the author wrongly advocates”

        100% true. In my area they are sending ER staff home because the ERs are empty. Ambulance volumes are way down as well.

        In my state we were told weeks ago to prepare for the peak…never happened. In early April the president stated (based on, yet again, flawed information from Fauci and co) that the next two weeks were going to be horrible and a lot of people were going to die. Never happened. World wide we STILL are not anywhere near the number of people that die from the flu.

        None of what we are being told is aligning with reality and that’s a problem.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          This is correct.

          There are places where the field hospitals which were set up in preparation for the unthinkable were dismantled without having treated a single patient! IIRC, there was one in the Seattle area, and one on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, outside Detroit.

          The Navy hospital ship left New York either this week or last, having treated only 120 patients. (Is the one in Los Angeles still on standby, or is that also gone?)

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Looks like social distancing is working!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Of course Mr Musk is wrong on this, and a few other things.

    Tim – I didn’t read every word, but it’s fine for you to state an opinion on such matters. The CV does intersect the car industry quite directly, even without Musk’s commentary.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The U.S. economy contracted by a massive, inflation-adjusted 4.8 percent in the first quarter according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis as job losses topped 30.3 million with another 3.8 million initial unemployment insurance claims in the federal and state governments’ bids to stop the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

    Factor in the 5.8 million who already were unemployed when unemployment was at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent, and the effective unemployment rate could already be 21.9 percent with 36 million out of work.

    All that in just six weeks.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    A survey of nine major hospitals earlier this month showed the number of severe heart attacks being treated in U.S hospitals had dropped by nearly 40% since the novel coronavirus took hold in March, leaving cardiologists worried about a second wave of deaths caused indirectly by Covid-19: patients so afraid to enter hospitals that they are dying at home or waiting so long to seek care that they’re going to suffer massive damage to their hearts or brains. Some call it “a virus of fear.”

    “The whole community is discussing this, asking where are all of our patients?” said Martha Gulati, chief of cardiology at the University of Arizona. “There’s nothing we’ve done overnight that has cured heart disease.”

    The same is true for appendicitis and stroke. Clinicians say patients with these life-threatening conditions have also stopped seeking treatment in large numbers.

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/23/coronavirus-phobia-keeping-heart-patients-away-from-er/

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “A survey of nine major hospitals earlier this month showed the number of severe heart attacks being treated in U.S hospitals had dropped by nearly 40% since the novel coronavirus took hold in March”

      You keep talking about the old and/or those with preexisting conditions… Heart disease is a preexisting condition. Add that to COVID-19 and you have a double whammy resulting in a trip to the morgue.

      “The same is true for appendicitis and stroke.”

      Appendicitis isn’t necessarily a life threatening condition.

      Stroke = COVID-19 can trigger a clotting cascade which could end up in a stroke or loss of limbs, clots in lungs or all over the place.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    the author also cites a law professor writing in the bankrupt Sacramento Bee concerning the power of governors to keep people from working

    not really

    at some point the Feds take over

    national commerce is a Federal concern and if these Dem governors continue to play politics by impeding businesses from going back to work the Federal government can easily shut their efforts down citing the commerce clause

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @ thornmark. Maryland has a Republican governor. It would be easier to just toss out your Grandpa Simpson card right now and blame “The Dimmycrats” for everything you disagree with. The Democratic governors and democratic controlled stated legislatures would immediately file lawsuits against the federal government. Kinda funny when people don’t agree with you. Governor Hogan would probably file or at support any lawsuit his Democrat led legislature filed against the federal government

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        I’d say you’re the grandpa, you atavist

        governors cannot shut interstate commerce – even a rube like you can understand that

        Barr has already intimated he will sue state governors who are acting like fascists – and they are primarily Dems

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          @ thornmark, Nope, no violation of interstate commerce if access is limited to the retailer by state or local laws. Witness various liquor laws in this country. Now if we can get this load of Coors from Texarkana to Atlanta.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @thornmark Interstate commerce is a federal concern. It should be noted that national and regional chains remain open. -cough- campaign contributions -cough- Local retailers and restaurants practice COVID-19 guidelines. Locally owned businesses rarely engage in interstate commerce and are the most (usually closed) affected businesses during all of this. Federal government has very little, if any bearing on those small businesses. My medical group is virtual visits only, my dentist is shut down, my locally owned bar is closed (like there are games to watch while having cold beers and a cheeseburger) is closed, my gym is closed, and my hair cutter has a toddler and announced she’s off until she feels it’s safe to return to work, oh and my dry cleaner has the same opinion. Yes, the national and regional businesses that stayed open have cash reserves to tide them over. What will be asked is why “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” businesses where allowed to remain open while “Small Business Saturday” businesses where forced to shut down.

  • avatar
    Zipster

    While Musk is unquestionably smarter than the Psychopath, his personality is otherwise very similar. When the novelty of his cars wears off and people start focusing on what kind of person he is, there will be an existential threat to the company that could have been avoided had he kept his mouth shut. But just like the Psychopath, he cannot.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      why bring up Adam Schiff?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Musk still has his space adventure to attract attention to him, and not what kind of person he “really” is, according to others. He has several other ventures that keep him in the public eye and support his well-tended image as a genius innovator. He talks so much that eventually something he will have said turns out to be true, and the errors in judgement will be ignored. It’s good work if you can get it.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    I’ll wade into these treacherous waters for a bit….

    I’ve been mostly on the fence on most of all this. My state of Alabama has for the most part pretty lax stay at home orders. Others, like Michigan, are on the verge of being fascist. People are getting ticket for walking a mile outside of their homes or riding their motorcycles while not going to do essential things.

    Even outside of the virus, capitalism(which in the USA is not total free market capitalism) vs socialism has really come to a heavy boil. There are those that believe that capitalism in its current form is wrong and we need more government. What we must realize is that the current government involvement is crony capitalism, not free market capitalism, and that in fact less government is better for both consumers and employees. The government has long picked winners and losers in the market.

    A perfect example of this is simply that Walmart was allowed to stay open and sell non-essentials in my state while other retail outlets selling those same goods had to shut down. This is a perfect example of the government picking winners and losers.

    And on a final note one must look at the 5th amendment, and I’ve only copied the important part:

    “….nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    I’m not lawyer, but when a state government shuts down a business for “public use”, they deserve compensation.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The question of whether a business that’s been shut down due to a health emergency is legally entitled to compensation under the Fifth Amendment is interesting, but ultimately, I think that applies to criminal proceedings, not national emergencies.

      Good point about how some big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Target can stay open selling non-essentials because they also sell groceries, but then again, there are tons of mom-‘n-pops who have been able to do the same, including a few in my area. The BIG losers out of this will be stores like JC Penney or Macys – their most important business, the brick-and-mortar segment, was basically Game Over for over a month. It’ll be interesting to see how that shakes out, but safe to say retailers like that are in for one hell of a tough ride.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        Freed Mike,

        It has nothing to do with criminal proceedings. The Scotus held unconstitutional FDRs measures that would force businesses to form trades, pricing, and minimum wages under the due process clause of the 5th amendment.

        The takings clause at the end forces government to pay businesses if any regulations or acts by government regardless of the situation make the property devalued or worthless.

        https://fee.org/articles/do-states-owe-businesses-just-compensation/

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Baron Elon can complaint about his property rights to whoever he deems his king. The Magna Carta was written to protect the property of a few very rich barons. Not that much has changed in 800 years, property rights and rules of the major religions form the basis of English common law. Historically, civil rights and free speech are fairly new idea based in law. Baron Elon hasn’t realized that newer laws have usurped his rights as a baron.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Today’s new jobless filings are just as bad as they’ve been since we shut down our economy. The Department of Labor reported that 3.8 million Americans filed new jobless claims last week. That makes 30 million new claims since the mid-March economic shutdown due to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. The most eye-popping number: Counting only the new jobless claims, 18% of the workforce is newly unemployed. That will push the overall unemployment rate close to 25% when the monthly labor numbers for April come out next week.

    Reminder, these numbers have set records unseen in our history. Prior to March, the U.S. had never seen even 700,000 new unemployment claims. For six straight weeks, we’ve seen claims over 3 million per week. On March 21, 3.3 million new claims were filed. The prior week, 282,000. During the Great Recession, the highest weekly number was 665,000.

    Compounding matters, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that our budget deficit – not the budget, just the deficit – will approach $4 trillion after we account for all the coronavirus stimulus and relief spending. Yesterday the Department of Commerce reported that Gross Domestic Product dropped 4.8%. We didn’t even see these kinds of numbers in the Great Depression.

    It’s only going to get worse as the second quarter numbers come into better focus.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @thelaine

      Please use ” ” also know as quotation marks when cutting and pasting.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Why, Lou. What difference does it make? You are impervious to the content, but the form is what disturbs you?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @thelaine – “impervious to the content”

          Just mind numbing content meant to push an agenda.

          The use of quotation marks is so readers know it is a quote or just your interpretation of a quote.

          If its a quote, I’ll look it up as well as corroborating data, critiques of that data etc.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Ya wanna see how old, white, conservative, and poorly educated the B&B really skews? Run a piece like this. Whether or not the B&B are a valuable marketing source is an entirely different story.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      I’d say you qualify as poorly educated and/or at the very least not smart

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @thornmark, upon reading that a smarmy glow enveloped me.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @el scotto – the quality of medical information posted to justify their “conservative” points of view are concrete examples of “poorly educated”
          Some aren’t afraid of the big bad virus so I’d say they aren’t necessary old. Most likely white….. mind you, injecting disinfectants will make you more white. UV rays on the other hand….

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Why are leftists so racist?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @theLaine –

            “Why are leftists so racist?”

            What was racist about @el scotto’s comment or mine?

            This is the definition of racist (since you love cut and paste)

            ” a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.”

            “old, white, conservative, and poorly educated”
            IS King COVID #45’s base and the primary audience of Fauxed News network.

            Thanks for proving @el scotto’s point.

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      >Ya wanna see how old, white, conservative, and poorly educated the B&B really skews

      IKR? Young, educated and diverse would be arguing on Reddit instead.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    It will never be “safe” to go outside and go to work. They said it was necessary to avoid overwhelming the hospitals. That concern has evaporated, while the economy has melted.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “That concern has evaporated, while the economy has melted.”

      not sure how you’ve been able to determine either of those from your parents’ basement.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Well, CBSNews reported that hospitals are laying off doctors and nurses, due to ICU’s being less than full and overstaffed, and elective surgery still banned.

        CNBC reported an estimate by a Federal Reserve economist that so far, the economy has taken a $4 Trillion hit, and in a $22 Trillion economy, that’s pretty steep.

        Apparently, his parents’ basement has cable.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        The most eye-popping number: Counting only the new jobless claims, 18% of the workforce is newly unemployed. That will push the overall unemployment rate close to 25% when the monthly labor numbers for April come out next week.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I always got the impression that HE was the parent and his kids keep him locked in the attic

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “not sure how you’ve been able to determine either of those from your parents’ basement.”

        Parent’s basement? More like: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Research_Agency

      • 0 avatar
        C5 is Alive

        “not sure how you’ve been able to determine either of those from your parents’ basement.”

        Funny you’d resort to such attacks, Jim, as a simple Google search reveals someone with the same handle as yours admitted on The Straight Dope’s online forum that he “never in my life had a girlfriend, partner, or SO.”

        It’s also worth noting your username was later banned from TSD for being such a vicious, rotten little sh|stain on the cotton boxer shorts of humanity.

        Granted, that was from 2003… so there is a chance you’re no longer a (now-50ish, lol) spiteful little incel today. However, your propensity for personal attacks and spewing limpwristed Leftist propaganda at every opportunity strongly hint at the likelihood you’re the same little man you were then, untouched, unloved and utterly unacknowledged by your societal betters out in the real world.

        Indeed, with your every post – then and now – one can sense your feverish resentment for anyone who’s ever been laid, accomplished something meaningful with their lives or who wants nothing more than to be allowed to be a productive citizen and provider in the face of rampant government overreach against their constitutionally-granted freedoms. In other words, you simply despise normal, rational human beings… who I suspect that, deep down, even you understand are more highly evolved examples of the breed by any demonstrable measure than you could ever hope to be.

        But don’t worry; those people hate you, too… when we bother to even think of you at all.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “But don’t worry; those people hate you, too… when we bother to even think of you at all.”

          Whoa, dude, seems you’ve given ol’ Jim a big chunk of your “thinking” and you don’t have a lot of grey matter to spare. Are you part of some special presidential task force?

          Bet you’re fun at parties

          • 0 avatar
            C5 is Alive

            Lie2Me, you owe a refund to me and all the other productive, taxpaying citizens who kicked in our share of that $90,000 in Obamacare money that saved your life. It was obviously a profound waste of finite resources.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          C5, you are a God to me.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Jim, as a simple Google search reveals someone with the same handle as yours admitted on The Straight Dope’s online forum that he “never in my life had a girlfriend, partner, or SO.”

          Why would anyone admit that, ever, to anyone, short of a therapist?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Someone Gay would have no problem admitting that, but the bigger question is why would someone “research” a TTAC commenter’s handle just to expose some random comment from 17 years ago? That’s flat out creepy

          • 0 avatar
            C5 is Alive

            Lie2Me, I find it genuinely hilarious you think this was some kind of hours-long investigative process.

            And it reveals SO much about you that you choose to focus on my “research” versus JimZ’s obvious hypocrisy. I guess that’s just typical of your particular shared ideology…

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Since this place is OK with commenters attempting to dox each other, all I’ll say is FAIL. I’ve been an active poster on SDMB under a different username than I use here. So you, EBFlex, and C5 is Alive can go be stalkers somewhere else.

            Have fun with that!

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          *C5s glorious take down of Jimbo*

          That……wow I need a cigarette after reading that. Bravo sir…bravo

          “Lie2Me, I find it genuinely hilarious you think this was some kind of hours-long investigative process.”

          These guys have proved a long time ago they have no idea what a search engine is or how they work. Post anything they disagree with and they demand sources and outlines and a full investigative history into the person or organization making the claims.

          They are literally the laziest people on the face of the planet.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You boys do get off on some strange games of “gotch ya”, but I would suspect most things you get off on to be strange/barely legal ;-)

            I can’t imagine what a background check on any of you would turn up, but of course I can’t imagine anyone caring enough to bother

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “That……wow I need a cigarette after reading that. Bravo sir…bravo”

            If you survive the COPD, cigarettes might give you a slightly reduced chance of catching SARS-CoV-2.

            @thelaine – what point is that?

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            +1 EBFlex. It is just a game. They have zero interest in the truth. They live in a world of emotions.

          • 0 avatar
            C5 is Alive

            Thank you for the kind words, EB. However…

            “They are literally the laziest people on the face of the planet.”

            I dunno. At times I feel the more rabid (and rabidly anti-American/capitalist/common sense) they become, the less inclined we should be to view them as “people” at all.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            C5, I doubt anyone has viewed you as “people” in a long time

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I think the lesson we need to take from this is that Elon has a lot of money, therefore he is right about everything and we are to worship him.

  • avatar

    134 comments about nothing. Same avatars, same words, same bickering, same political gibberish. Where you guys find time to write so many meaningless comments? Don’t you work, it’s not weekend yet.

  • avatar
    TS020

    There’s a response for people who ask why you aren’t following government advice:

    “Do you take advice from people or institutions you don’t trust?”

    Since no-one will willingly admit to trusting the government (left or right), following their advice would be hypocritical. Go outside and enjoy your life, just be mindful of others as you do so.

  • avatar
    Coronado Guy

    Tim I applaud you for a cogent, neutral, and factual take on the current Covid response. I understand the economic damage. I’m personally impacted and nervous. I understand and feel the impact of the shutdown. Some political or personal beliefs may believe differently and I respect that, but science, health, and the value of life take precedence.

  • avatar
    OverHypedVirusVSTheB&B

    LMFAO. Hey look another fear mongering opinion piece(and oh, its def a piece) for the Holiday Inn my occupation this week crew. You have zero clue about this apart from what you’re being spoon fed and lap up, along with the other clueless morons in this world. Man, I thought this place was a sh!thole a week ago, and this really seals it. Might as well lock up that G/O Media ownership now, because this place is rag level quality already.

  • avatar
    joetz

    “I believe we’re all entitled to our opinions.

    Except when those opinions are A) factually wrong and B) dangerous to public health.“

    So you don’t think Elon should be able to speak? Are you for some kind of censorship King Healey? You should be the only one who gets to have an opinion and no one else?

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Joetz,

      They want power. It is as simple as that. Suppression of speech is just a tool. It doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong, they just want you to STFU and comply. That is the left.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        … or right :)

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Speech suppression is a characteristic of big, powerful governments. Statism is a synonym for leftism. Fascist states are leftist states.

          Small government and individual liberty are the founding principles ridiculed by the left. Free speech is a conservative principle.

          Speech suppression and mass compliance are leftist principles. Venezuela is but the latest example in a tragic, bloody leftist history. Leftists on this site were defending that regime just a few years ago, just as older leftists still defend Cuba and even older leftists defended Stalin’s Soviet Union. You guys are always wrong but never in doubt.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Hahahahahahahaha!

            “leftists defended Stalin’s Soviet Union”

            … but the right lives and breaths it

            Give it a rest, you’ve earned your rubles this week

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            You first, remora.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Speech suppression is a characteristic of big, powerful governments”

            And capitalists just use google, Instagram,sales statistics and data mine your petty azz and make you think you wanted the sh!t you bought or voted for….

            so what was your point?

            “Fascist states are leftist states.”

            I was expecting that. An other example of someone not comprehending the words they are posting.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Remora?

            WTF?

            “Depending on species, they grow to 30–110 cm long.”

            Wow… talk about some long suckers!

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      No, but opinion stops being opinion when it’s factually wrong. I can’t say the sun rises in the west, because it doesn’t. I can’t say the Earth is flat, because it isn’t.

      And if I, a non-scientist, had a large and loyal following and said “go ahead and go to work” and the virus took more lives because of that, my opinion would be dangerous to public health, and I shouldn’t be spewing it.

      You’ll note no one censored Musk. Rather, we called him out on his bullshit. He can say what he wants. Doesn’t make him correct, and doesn’t mean others can’t call it out for being dangerous and wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Tim, if you were to say those things, but covered it by saying you were just being “entertaining” or a parody, even calling it Faux you just might get away with it in say a court of law, but maybe not

        Of course you might have to live with the damage done, but then you could also get a medal for the abuse of those freedoms. Who knows? Strange times

      • 0 avatar
        joetz

        You said he wasn’t entitled to his opinion

        He is just as entitled to his opinion as you are and there are just as many (or maybe even more) facts supporting his viewpoint as yours

  • avatar
    thelaine

    University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is one of the biggest hospitals in the United States. They are not panicking. They are re-opening.

    A UPMC doctor on Thursday made a case the death rate for people infected with the new coronavirus may be as low as 0.25% — far lower than the mortality rates of 2-4% or even higher cited in the early days of the pandemic.

    Dr. Donald Yealy based it partly on studies of levels of coronavirus antibodies detected in people in New York and California, and partly on COVID-19 deaths in the Pittsburgh region. The studies found that 5-20% of people had been exposed to the coronavirus, with many noticing only mild illness or none at all, he said.

    “We’ve learned that way more people, far, far more people have actually been exposed to the infection without any knowledge of it. That makes the overall death rate much lower,” said Yealy, who is UPMC’s chair of emergency medicine. “Many people just didn’t feel sick at all and recovered without difficulty.”

    Yealy went on to offer a hypothetical scenario of 3% of Allegheny County residents being exposed — a conservative number compared to the findings of the New York and California studies.

    That would mean about 36,000 people in Allegheny have been exposed to the coronavirus. With 94 COVID-19 deaths in the county as of Thursday, it would mean 0.25 percent of people exposed to the coronavirus had died, he said.

    “There is a big difference between 0.25% mortality and 7%,” Yealy said.

    Yealy said about 1,300 people in Allegheny have tested positive for COVID-19. That would mean, in his hypothetical scenario, another 34,700 had been exposed but had no symptoms. He noted the latter group may also have antibodies to protect them from future infection, although he pointed out it’s still unknown how much protection people get from previous exposure to the new coronavirus.

    Yealy further said the majority of the deaths among UPMC patients involved people over 80, with many being nursing home residents.

    Yealy has been one of the main public voices of UPMC during the coronavirus pandemic. He spoke Thursday during a 40-minute online discussion with reporters.

    Another speaker, Dr. Rachel Sackrowitz, the chief medical officer for UPMC’s intensive care units, said 234 COVID-19 patients have recovered and been discharged from UPMC hospitals. “This is very good news. It means people are getting better and we’re all on the right track together.”

    Yealy said only 2% percent of the UPMC system’s 5,500 beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients and the number of new COVID-19 patients is declining.

    He cited that figure in explaining UPMC’s plans to quickly increase its volume of the non-emergency surgeries that were largely banned to conserve beds and supplies for COVID-19 patients. The ban is now being eased as the volume of COVID-19 patients falls short of worst-case predictions.

    The officials said UPMC remains ready to deal with any upturn in COVID-19 cases.

    Yealy said he can’t predict if there will be a second wave, but said “What I suspect is COVID-19 will be a part of our experience treating patients for an extended [period of] months to maybe years.”

    Yealy was asked whether people should worry about COVID-19 more than the regular flu. He said people should be “worried differently,” pointing out that both take their heaviest toll on the elderly, especially nursing home residents, and people weakened by other medical conditions.

    Yealy said he “would not think of it as more or less, just two different illnesses that share some features, but have some distinct differences.”

    Sackrowitz said she expects COVID-19 will be part of the ongoing “disease burden” affecting Americans and, as with the flu, doctors will find treatments.

    https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/04/umpc-argues-covid-19-not-as-deadly-as-feared-says-its-hospitals-will-shift-back-to-normal.html

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @thelaine: “University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is one of the biggest hospitals in the United States”

      What does bed count have to do with anything?

      Donald Yealy is a trauma and acute care surgeon, not an epidemiologist. Doesn’t know what he’s talking about and not qualified to make judgements about epidemics. What that moron doesn’t get is that the deathrate rises as the number of cases go up and resources get strained. If the numbers get so high and staff and equipment gets overwhelmed, that deathrate will skyrocket. That’s why there is a lockdown. To slow that rate down so that the system doesn’t get overloaded. Open things up and the 7,109 licensed beds in Alleghenny County will get filled really fast.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    As St. Elon has said, “Classifying all deaths as corona deaths even if corona didn’t cause the death is simply a lie.”

    Imagine if you found out doctors were being told to classify corona deaths as non-corona, to hide the death toll rather than to inflate it. People would be beside themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      LOL…… there is plenty of evidence indicating that COVID-19 deaths are under-reported. In the USA it is mostly due to a lack of testing but around the world there is evidence that governments are deliberately lying about it.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    All in the name of freedom, huh?

    The poor have no freedom to stay home and protect themselves. They will be at work, with Covid-19, because they can’t afford to stay home, and they can’t afford to get medical treatment.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      It is the working poor who are getting crushed by the economic lockdown. Let people work. Getting wuhanvirus is not a death sentence for non-vulnerable populations, anymore than the flu. Let people work. Don’t pretend to be concerned about poor people when the economic lockdown just created 30 million of them in the US alone. Let people work.

  • avatar
    psychoboy

    Lou_BC

    There was not a “spike in calls to poison control after that comment”. There has been a year-over-year increase in calls to poison control for the last two months, probably due to the fact that millions of people finally decided that cleaning surfaces around them was a good idea, and increasing contact with cleaning products increases accidents with cleaning products.

    But, based on your mass shooting comments above, it’s clear you just read the headlines, anyway.

    The radio plays what they want you to hear.

  • avatar
    motorrad

    Thanks for driving another regular reader away. Usually TTAC tries to be fairly even handed when posting a controversial article in the interest starting a conversation. Lumping all americans who are against continuing the lockdown as haters who want the unemployed to either starve or die of Covid19 is the last straw. You lost someone in your ideal demographic. Best of luck to you.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    If the staff of this site is going down this road, I move that they bring back Bertel Schmidt. His rants were at least entertaining and certainly different than this sort of whining that one can get from thousands of sources.

    I would also at this point argue that the content here was orders of magnitude better than the current state of the site and frankly any of the insults he threw around were child’s play compared to what currently passes for discourse here.

    Bring Back Bertel!

  • avatar
    don1967

    I can take the clickbait, and the opinions which run contrary to my own.

    (I’m on Musk’s side this time, seeing the risk of viral infection as the lesser of two evils. Others see it differently, and that’s fine.)

    What’s hard to take is the sanctimony and the strawman arguments which pass for critical thinking these days. Most debate is little more than opposing echo chambers hurling insults at each other, the individual team members swapping high fives in perpetual reinforcement of shared blind spots.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    In 1968, roughly 16,000 U.S. servicemembers died in Vietnam. That same year, the Hong Kong influenza (H3N2) caused the deaths of roughly 100,000 Americans. While undoubtedly a tragedy, the U.S. and state governments did not issue any stay at home orders, nor did they shut down the American economy. In 2018, 67,367 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. The media don’t sensationalize and hype the annual overdose death toll, which exceeded the U.S. death toll of the entire Vietnam War. Since 2010, roughly 12,000–61,000 Americans die of the flu on a yearly basis. During that period, media coverage claiming that more Americans died of the flu than on 9/11 was nonexistent.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @thelaine: What you don’t seem to get is that this is a corona virus and much more contagious than a flu virus that we have vaccines for. The potential for much higher numbers of deaths is there. Those flu numbers you quote are for an entire year. We’ve got 62,996 deaths in just a few months. The other thing you need to understand is that the death rate will skyrocket if the medical systems ability to treat the sick gets overwhelmed. That can easily happen if opening happens too soon.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        We haven’t even come CLOSE to being overwhelmed MCS, anywhere in the entire country except NYC.

        More contagious does NOT mean deadlier. Usually, it means it is weaker. This virus acts almost exactly like the flu who it kills. If you are not old or sick, you are NOT going to die. This virus kills the weak and vulnerable, JUST LIKE THE FLU. Protect them with every resource you have. Let everyone else pay for it by going to work.

        Break the economy and you will break everything.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    If we start with the Fed created Great Depression of 1929/30, about every ten years or so there has been some kind of significant crisis thrust on the American people, or in some cases linked events which lead to such crisis which directly impacted our nation. While other events happened in between, an eight to ten year pattern emerges.

    1929/30 – Great Depression

    1941 – World War II

    1950 – Korean War

    1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis
    1963 – Assassination of President Kennedy.

    1965-74 – Vietnam War

    1971 – Nixon Shock.
    1971 – Kissinger begins negotiations for Petrodollar.
    1973 – Arab–Israeli War (aka Yom Kippur War).
    1973 – Arab Oil Embargo.
    1975 – Petrodollar officially accepted by all OPEC nations.

    1978 – Iranian Revolution
    1979/80 – Oil Crisis
    1979/81 – Iran hostage crisis

    1991 – Gulf War

    2001 – Dot Com Bust
    2001 – 9/11
    2003 – Iraqi Invasion

    2008/09 – Financial Crisis

    2020 – COVID-19 Pandemic
    2020 – Great Depression of 2020

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Another garbage opinion of a privileged journalist.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The expert models about COVID-19 have been wrong again and again. Initially estimating two million American deaths with social distancing measures in place, the IHME models have since been drastically revised twice to now estimate 60,000 American deaths. While COVID-19 is a serious virus that has already killed tens of thousands of Americans, data show that the overwhelming majority of people do not have a significant risk of dying from COVID-19. The recent Stanford antibody study estimates the fatality rate between 0.1 and 0.2 percent, 20 to 30 times lower than estimates that motivated lockdowns. The vast majority of these fatalities (99.2%) have an underlying illness. And based on a data analysis of the N.Y. area, young adults and children in normal health have almost no risk of any serious illness from COVID-19. Meanwhile, due to the COVID-19 response, many important preventative health care measures have been canceled, unemployment is soaring to Great Depression levels, and the Third World is at risk of massive famines — famines that, according to the U.N., could kill hundreds of millions of people.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Dr. Dan Erickson, who owns several urgent care facilities throughout California and is a specialist in emergency medicine, warned of the “collateral damage” resulting from the coronavirus outbreak and the stay at home orders, which, he said, only elongates the curve and decreases immune systems, and “isn’t a good plan” and his early warnings on the issue, he said, were silenced

    “As I’m weighing both the collateral damage and the virus, itself damage and saying ‘I think the collateral damage in the state of California far outweighs the actual virus. California’s at about 1,800 deaths today and we have about 40 million people,” Dr. Erickson said. “Every death is of course terrible, but, again, the influenza also in 2017-2018 had about 60,000 deaths. So some of the early models we saw were predicting 2 million and that didn’t exactly occur.”

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Dan Erikson?? Again you’re quoting another clown that is not an epidemiologist. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He also does not have a valid medical license in California. Again, that garbage about 2017-18 flu deaths at 60k actually disproves your point. That 60k happened over an entire year. COVID-19 has killed that many with social distancing and lockdowns in only a couple of months.

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/29/health/california-doctors-coronavirus-claims/index.html

      https://www.alternet.org/2020/04/a-pair-of-doctors-just-proved-that-medical-training-doesnt-keep-you-from-being-amazingly-ignorant/

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Oh! So it’s credentials you want?

        Professor Johan Giesecke, one of the world’s most senior epidemiologists, advisor to the Swedish Government (he hired Anders Tegnell who is currently directing Swedish strategy), the first Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and an advisor to the director general of the WHO, lays out with typically Swedish bluntness why he thinks:

        UK policy on lockdown and other European countries are not evidence-based

        The correct policy is to protect the old and the frail only

        This will eventually lead to herd immunity as a “by-product”

        The initial UK response, before the “180 degree U-turn”, was better

        The Imperial College paper was “not very good” and he has never seen an unpublished paper have so much policy impact

        The paper was very much too pessimistic

        Any such models are a dubious basis for public policy anyway

        The flattening of the curve is due to the most vulnerable dying first as much as the lockdown

        The results will eventually be similar for all countries

        Covid-19 is a “mild disease” and similar to the flu, and it was the novelty of the disease that scared people.

        The actual fatality rate of Covid-19 is the region of 0.1%

        At least 50% of the population of both the UK and Sweden will be shown to have already had the disease when mass antibody testing becomes available

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @thelaine: Covid-19 is not a mild disease. It’s a corona virus and much more communicable as evidenced by the fact it’s killing far more people than the flu ever did. 62k people in just a few months. What part of that you not understand? Furthermore, the lockdown is to keep the medical system from getting overwhelmed. By the way, Sweden isn’t such a good example because the deaths are much higher than the surrounding countries.

          You’re sitting around wasting your time and not on the frontlines dealing with this. You’re not putting your life on the line. You have no business callously suggesting other people should put their lives on the line when you won’t do it yourself. The lockdown is also about delaying long enough to learn more about the virus and get a vaccine out. I love how some people have no problems insisting that other people put their lives on the line but won’t take a risk themselves.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            MCS

            What you are not seeing is the destruction caused by the lockdown. You are just as “callous” as you accuse me of being. I love how “some people” have no problems insisting that 30 million people lose their jobs, their homes, their health, their business, their marriages,their communities, their safety etc…

            There is a tradeoff, mcs, and it is devastating the lives of tens of millions of people. I love how “some people” have no problems insisting the other people descend into poverty and lose everything they have worked for their whole lives but won’t destroy their own lives themselves. See how that argument works?

            You get the point?

            There is another side to this. Our response, if it was focused on the vulnerable, could address both sides, health and economy.

            This economic lockdown is a radical approach that ignores the economic side. That is why we have never done it before.

            Why do you think we have NEVER done it before? Do you think the Wuhan virus is THAT unique???

            I will tell you what will be the final proof that you are completely mistaken: we will face MANY future pandemics, just like we have faced many past pandemics, but we will NEVER lockdown our economy again.

            In the future, we will take the Swedish “targeted” approach. The lockdown destroys our economy, and when you do that, you destroy a nation’s ability to respond to all threats. It is like committing suicide to avoid getting sick.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            He pointed out that although the number of new cases has been growing, and is now above 20,000, one third of the country’s intensive care beds remain empty. “There is quite a lot of excess capacity at this stage,” he said. “Our health care service is still functioning.” If anything, he’s feeling vindicated as he watches officials in other countries, including Canada, grapple with how to ease restrictive lockdowns. “To me it looks like a lot of the exit strategies that are being discussed look very much like what Sweden is already doing,” he said.

            Dr. Tegnell got a boost this week from Michael Ryan, the WHO’s executive director, who praised the Swedish method of voluntary compliance and said the country was an example for a way out of lockdowns. “I think there may be lessons to be learned from our colleagues in Sweden,” Dr. Ryan told a news conference.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @thelaine: Doesn’t do people a lot of good to have those jobs if going back to work kills them. Then, medical staff is strained trying to save them. You have no consideration for the risk you are exposing those workers to. The economy will come back, but these peoples lives won’t. In Worcester MA, 23 employees were infected with COVID-19. But, you don’t care if these people die as long as your supply of toilet paper isn’t interrupted.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            MCS,

            So now that you cannot attack the credentials, you are simply denying the science.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “ You’re sitting around wasting your time and not on the frontlines dealing with this. You’re not putting your life on the line. You have no business callously suggesting other people should put their lives on the line when you won’t do it yourself.”

            @thelaine

            As someone who is on the frontlines, I give you all the permission in the world to continue speaking the truth.

            MCS is a bully just like the others here that cannot experience critical thought. All they can do is parrot the party line.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            At least his “party” values the lives and well being of all people and not just the ones that look and think like you do

            I’ll say it again EB, C5 and laine, do what you want, no one cares. The rest of us will use our heads and decide when is the safest time to resume activities based on where we live and what our local authorities decide

            Fortunately you three have ZERO say so in these matters and no ability to change a thing and thank God for that

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @thelaine ebflex: Not attacking the science, just stating facts. Not stating party lines, just facts. The facts happen to be that you are citing so-called experts that are unqualified to be making public statements about epidemiology. Fact that Atlas is a radiologist trained to read brain MRIs. Erikson seems to no longer have a medical license and he wasn’t an epidemiololgist or immunologist. The other idiot, while an epidemiologist, caused needless deaths in Sweden.

            The virus is highly contagious. It kills people with co-morbidities like diabetes and obesity. Relatively common diseases. You can’t ask people with those conditions to risk their lives going back to work. Fortunately, neither of you have influence and you’re wasting your time spewing misinformation on an obscure automotive blog.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    https://mobile.twitter.com/GovRonDeSantis/status/1256214452363460610

    Focus on facts, not fear. Florida and Texas are open for business. Many states never closed.

    Resist the terror

  • avatar
    thelaine

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-swedish-epidemiologist-anders-tegnell-the-target-of-praise-criticism/

    The blunt-talking physician has spent nearly 30 years in public health, working mainly on vaccine programs and pandemic preparedness before becoming state epidemiologist in 2013. He’s also worked with the World Health Organization in Asia and Africa where he spent time in Zaire during the Ebola outbreak in 1995.

    Dr. Tegnell insisted that his go-slow approach to the coronavirus pandemic is working. His objective has always been to pursue measures that were sustainable and that would keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. It didn’t hurt that the Swedes have an inherent trust in government agencies and a willingness to take direction. “There is a big part of trust in the population that this is the right thing to do,” he said.

    He pointed out that although the number of new cases has been growing, and is now above 20,000, one third of the country’s intensive care beds remain empty. “There is quite a lot of excess capacity at this stage,” he said. “Our health care service is still functioning.” If anything, he’s feeling vindicated as he watches officials in other countries, including Canada, grapple with how to ease restrictive lockdowns. “To me it looks like a lot of the exit strategies that are being discussed look very much like what Sweden is already doing,” he said.

    Dr. Tegnell got a boost this week from Michael Ryan, the WHO’s executive director, who praised the Swedish method of voluntary compliance and said the country was an example for a way out of lockdowns. “I think there may be lessons to be learned from our colleagues in Sweden,” Dr. Ryan told a news conference.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The lockdown has been a horribly destructive debacle driven in part by panic over bad stats/extrapolation from horrible policy choices of a few places like NY, NJ and Italy, (which literally paid nursing homes to take overflow wuhanvirus patients from hospitals)

    There is no case to stay closed one minute longer. Some states have already seen the light. Some states NEVER closed. God bless the clear-minded. Shame on the terrified and panicked.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Sorry Tim, the flu kills tens of thousands every year, and we have frequent “pandemics” of all sorts. I you want immunity to build, you need the population to build it, or you just delay the spread without building herd immunity.

    Do you think this virus is uniquely deadly in all of US history, because we have never done this before.

    There is ZERO evidence that the economic destruction would be anything like what we are experiencing if our government was not forcing people to not work.

    Your viewpoint is legitimate, but the scientific case is not what you make it out to be. Many eminent, experience scientists, and entire nations and states hold a different opinion, which you completely dismiss.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      COVID has already killed a couple times the number of Americans that die in an average flu season despite having infected probably 1/20th the number of them who get infected with the flu annually. Yes, COVID is much deadlier, and any reading of the numbers done without head in a$$ shows that.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “Many eminent, experience scientists”:

      Like a radiologist (Atlas), a clinic owner that no longer has a valid medical license (Erikson), that idiot from Sweden who thanks to his protege, has given Sweden a higher death-rate than surrounding countries..

      New York is still losing 300 people a day.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Three things: 1. Draw this Venn diagram, people who oppose a living wage, people who demand hourly workers go back to work now; the overlap would be called hypocrisy. 2. If you live in area with a meth problem, you probably have a low number cases of COVID-19, If you live in an area with a high number of COVID-19 cases, you probably don’t have a meth problem. 3. This blog has caused more reactions that combining dry yeast with warm water. It’s a car blog folks; other bloviate on here, no one and I mean no one has indicated they’ve actually done anything.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    It is now estimated that between one-fifth and one-third of all Covid-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in senior group homes.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I do love the delicious irony that the people who go absolutely berserk,bees in their underwear, removing their ball caps to wipe away flop sweat crazy over abortion rights, gun control, and educational curriculum are rabidly denouncing COVD-19 guidelines and demanding that the federal government step in and end the COVID-19 guidelines RIGHT NOW! Selective States Rights anyone?

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Why is our approach to the virus the same for all people, when the virus itself is so overwhelmingly biased toward a defined group of people?

      Understanding that this virus only kills the elderly and sick in statistically significant numbers does not diminish their lives or even the seriousness of the virus. This understanding magnifies the need for a strategy that lets out healthier and younger people keeping the country running while shielding the vulnerable population until the virus burns out.

      According to Minnesota’s health department, 99.24% of all statewide COVID-19 deaths have occurred either in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, or among people with significant underlying health conditions, with the overwhelming majority (78%) of decedents in the former category. That would mean just three individuals who died of COVID-19 in Minnesota were outside a nursing home and had no underlying condition. That is a 0.05% fatality rate just out of the known cases, and we’ve seen from serology tests that the true number of cases is exponentially greater than the number who tested positive. This fact should change our entire approach to the virus.

      While the numbers are not quite that stark in more densely populated states with more widespread outbreaks, we are witnessing the same pattern to varying degrees in most other states and most other countries. Over half the SARS-CoV-2 deaths in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Maine were in long-term care facilities, and the median age of death in most states was 82. That number is 75% in Rhode Island, 61% in Pennsylvania, 58% in Delaware, 57% in Oregon, and 56% in Colorado. Even in a more widespread outbreak state like Connecticut, nursing homes account for nearly half the deaths, and those over 70 account for 80 percent of the deaths.

      Understanding the importance of this data point will give us a better sense of why locking down an entire society is unnecessary (and even counterproductive) and why a balanced strategy of “stratify and shield” would be much better, on all fronts, than lockdown.

      The data is in and the facts are clear: We were lied to.

      https://www.conservativereview.com/news/horowitz-young-healthy-not-dying-covid-19-heres-thats-vitally-important/

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      It is delicious irony to me that leftist who call “state’s rights” racist (along with everything else they oppose) and demand an end to the Electoral College have suddenly embraced federalism. Welcome to the Freedom Team.

      Also, the data is in. Experts have analyzed it. You have been dead wrong about economic lockdown. If you wish to remain proud, lazy and ignorant, do not to click on this link:

      https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11568244/uk-coronavirus-lockdown-futile-hasnt-saved-lives/

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Newport Beach City Council voted this week to keep its beaches open. Data from across the country demonstrated that open beaches do not lead to a spike in cases of COVID-19. Los Angeles County closed their beaches over a month ago and data now shows that every single Los Angeles County beach community has a higher per capita infection rate than Orange County’s open beach communities. Brevard County, Florida with a population of 600,000 has largely kept their beaches open throughout the crisis. That county has seen 8 deaths and 47 hospitalizations in total. Duval County, Florida, with a population of nearly 1 million, opened its beaches nearly two weeks ago and has seen no ascertainable spike. On April 26, it had four new cases. In other words, sunlight, heat, and wide-open, outdoor spaces are not conducive to the spread of COVID-19.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    According to Worldometer, almost 25,000 of the approximately 68,000 deaths in the U.S. attributed to the Wuhan coronavirus have occurred in New York state. If one adds the death counts of the two other states with suburbs of New York City — New Jersey and Connecticut — just about half of the U.S. deaths are accounted for.

    A great many of the remaining deaths occurred in nursing homes. I haven’t seen the recent nationwide percentage. However, according to this report “deaths at long-term care facilities now account for 44 percent, up from just over a third last week, of all coronavirus fatalities in the state [of Illinois].”

    Similarly, “more than 40 percent of coronavirus-related deaths in Texas have been linked to nursing homes and assisted living centers — a spike from just 30 percent two weeks ago.” And in Minnesota, it has been reported that “80 percent of known COVID deaths take place in long-term care.”

    If one factors out deaths in New York and the two states that surround New York City, and then factors out nursing home deaths using a 40 percent figure, the U.S. death count is in the neighborhood of 20,000.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The pattern of coronavirus deaths has been evident for quite some time. It should have better informed the response to the pandemic. Had it done so, the nation would have adopted a more targeted, less blunderbuss response, and the U.S. economy would likely be in considerably better shape.

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