COVID Frequently Asked Questions
October 24, 2020
I am not a Republican, I am not a Democrat, I am independently minded. There are problems with both political parties, please keep that in mind.
Question: Did locking down entire economies during COVID lead to fewer overall deaths?
Answer: No. Multiple lines of evidence (see here, here, and here) reveal that not only did locking down economies during COVID surge not decrease COVID deaths, it INCREASED OVERALL deaths from OTHER problems, such as heart attacks, cancer, homicide, and suicide (see here).
Question: Do Democrat governors perform better than Republican governors in regards to reducing deaths due to COVID?
Answer: No. Comparing states with Republican governors against states with Democrat governors, the states governed by Democrats currently have a 23% higher COVID death rate in deaths per million than states governed by Republicans (see here, and here). In fact, if you happen to catch COVID, your odds of dying in a Democrat run state are higher than a Republican led state (see here). You may wonder why this question is here, let there be no mistake that the COVID dilemma is currently being used for political purposes especially aimed at Republicans and President Trump, as in this outrageous opinion piece by the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine (see here).
Question: Has COVID killed more people than last year’s flu season?
Answer: Yes. Because COVID has been much more contagious than the flu, it has infected more people, therefore, more people are dying WITH COVID, not necessarily FROM COVID (see here).
Question: If I have COVID infection, am I more likely to die than if I have the flu?
Answer: No. People who already have an infection and test positive (called the case fatality rate) is about 8% for the flu in the U.S. while those who were not tested but had the flu and died (called the infection fatality rate) is around 0.1%. The case fatality rate for COVID varies significantly, but so far in the U.S. is around 4%, much lower than 8% reported for the flu (see here). COVID infection fatality rate is likely to be less than 0.1% reported for the flu. COVID hospitalization rates have been significantly higher, however.
Question: Does wearing masks decrease spreading of any type infection in the short-term?
Answer: Yes, but the evidence shows a small benefit, and even that is scant. Wearing face coverings have been shown to reduce both the transmission and viral burden by about 5-15% overall. (see here) in a recent study. However, this does not necessarily mean that hospitalizations and deaths will be reduced.
Question: Is there scientific evidence that wearing masks decrease COVID hospitalizations or deaths?
Answer: No. While wearing masks may reduce COVID infections, they have no verifiable influence on hospitalizations and/or deaths. The model put out by IHME at the University of Washington predicting that we could save 129,574 lives with universal mask wearing is in no way based in any reality, even though it’s prediction was published by Nature Medicine. If you want to see how good IHME has been in predicting COVID deaths, see here, here, and here.
Question: Have the COVID prediction models used by the U.S. government been used to make decisions been verified as accurate?
Answer: Resounding NO. The models used to predict the number of deaths from COVID have been, and are wildly inaccurate (see here). There is no reason currently to trust or use COVID modeling outcomes from Institute for Health Metrics (IHME) at University of Washington. It has not been validated, yet for some reason we keep using it.
Question: Should we always “listen to the scientists” in regards to tackling the COVID pandemic?
Answer: It’s complicated. Assuming that “scientists have all the answers, if we would only listen to them” is incredibly naïve and misinformed. While it “listen to the science” makes for an easily understandable talking point, the real answer most of the time is “we just don’t know everything”. To assume that scientists and doctors always know what to do, every time, for every situation, is silly and plain ridiculous. There are many excellent, intelligent, professional scientists who disagree all the time with each other, especially when it comes to COVID. Putting one scientist out to speak on behalf of the entire state of science regarding COVID (like Dr. Fauci) and pretending that science is linear and simple if we would only listen to them is wrong-headed. There are thousands of scientists and physicians (myself included) who disagree with establishment science. Lockdowns are disastrous during COVID for both those infected, as well as those not infected. Contact tracing is almost worthless during COVID. Mass testing is failing to curb transmission and failing to reduce COVID deaths.
Question: We have been told by the American Medical Association that in order to get control of the pandemic we need to test more and trace more. Has this been scientifically verified to work for controlling COVID?
Answer: No. While contact tracing may work for other diseases such as Ebola and other more deadly or less transmissible viruses, it is largely ineffective in containing COVID-19, a highly infectious, yet largely asymptomatic disease (see here). In Texas, less than 8% of cases have been completely investigated (see here). Again, contact tracing for COVID is ineffective and largely useless. There is no consistent evidence anywhere in the world that supports contact tracing as a way to curb COVID deaths/hospitalizations.
Question: What are the most important things I can do right now to lower my risk of dying from COVID?