To the Editor: Testing, testing, testing. That is what we hear constantly from public health officials and blue-state elected officials including Governor Raimondo. They say we need to be guided by "e;the data and science." Dr. Keith Roach, the author of a
To the Editor:
Testing, testing, testing. That is what we hear constantly from public health officials and blue-state elected officials including Governor Raimondo. They say we need to be guided by “the data and science.”
Dr. Keith Roach, the author of a syndicated seven-days-a-week medical advice column, responded recently to a question about the value of a test for the coronavirus. He wrote, “There is really no reason to be checking for the virus … unless you have a compelling reason for a medical procedure or travel or could otherwise potentially expose others.”
Dr. Roach adds, “It remains unclear whether antibodies are needed for immunity and how long-lasting any immunity might be. Until these are known, getting antibody testing is not very helpful.”
One other thing is clear. The quicker the test the less accurate it is. If it takes four days to get the results as recently happened at a state campground many people can be exposed to someone infected with the virus. Even if the test comes back negative, the person may have been exposed and infected in the intervening days.
So, why the emphasis on testing? The answer is that officials like our governor need the computer models to justify their socially and economically unpopular executive orders and dictums. Computer models, however, are not science! They are mathematical exercises that need bits of data with which to churn out their projections.
There are literally dozens of models out there. Connecticut, New Jersey and New York use the data supplied by the Empire State’s health department. Johns Hopkins University has another popular one. The Imperial College of London model projected in March that 2 million Americans would succumb to the virus until, that is, they drastically revised their estimate downward.
Governor Raimondo decided to pay the Boston Consulting Group $1.85 million in a no-bid contract to develop a model “to help respond to the pandemic and eventual restarting the economy.” (Her buddy in New Jersey, Phil Murphy, is paying the BCC another $23.5 million for advice from the same model. No wonder consulting is so lucrative.)
Raimondo also rehired Superior Court Judge Richard Licht’s son, Jeremy, to a $146,000 a year post as the director of the new “Pandemic Recovery Office.” He joins the new $88,792 a year pandemic project director, Robert Dulski. Anyone see these juicy state jobs posted anywhere?
Epidemiologists say there are only two ways to control a pandemic. First, develop a “herd immunity” by infecting 50-70 percent of the population with the virus. Second, by introducing an effective vaccine which usually takes at least two years.
The oft-quoted Washington State Department of Health statistical report says less than 2 percent of the people in America have tested positive for COVID-19. That means we have a long way to go for national herd immunity to take hold.
The federal Center for Disease Control says that nationally about 15 percent of people who test positive need hospitalization. Of these 5 percent end up in the ICU and maybe 3 percent of those need to be put on respirators. Washington’s Department of Health website states, “COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.” In other words, we are not all going to die gasping for air if we contract SARS-Cov-2.
Between a half million and 700,000 Rhode Islanders would have to be infected for herd immunity! As I write this less, than seven-tenths of 1 percent of test come back positive. There have been 22,243 COVID-19 cases in the state. Less than 5 percent of these have resulted in death mostly among the elderly in assisted living facilities or with underlying physical issues.
If you are a school age child or teenager you will likely exhibit mild symptoms of the disease. You may, however, pass it on to a member of the faculty or staff or carry it home to a grandparent who is vulnerable. But living in a riskless society is impossible unless we want to sacrifice our way of life for the unintentional and invisible consequences of restrictions on daily activities like going to work and school and attending religious services or participating in sports and recreation.
In the days of print news the saying was, “if it bleeds it leads.” The “corona virus crisis” is a “panic-demic” created by the 24/7 cable news cycle and promoted by the progressive socialist wing that controls the Democratic Party and is committed to the overthrow of the administration of President Trump.
Richard J. August