Victor Davis Hanson is one of the great thinkers of our time. Nine days ago he wrote an article asking why California isn’t Ground Zero for the coronavirus pandemic, at least in the United States.
At the start of the pandemic, California was still welcoming as many as 8,000 Chinese nationals daily into their state, with some travelers arriving on direct flights from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Hanson wanted to know why, with more travelers from China than any other state, California’s infection rate was just a fraction of New York’s?
“When you add it all up it would be naïve to think that California did not have some exposure” – Victor Davis Hanson
Hanson noted the time differential between the outbreak in China and the reporting on it that came much later…
“They [China] originally said it was in early January, then it got backdated to December and then early December and now they are saying as early as November 17,” Hanson noted.
(Victor Davis Hanson) By now, California should be, as predicted in so many models, ground zero of infection.
The bluest state’s public officials have been warning for weeks that California will be overwhelmed, given federal-government unpreparedness and the purported inefficacy of the local, state, and federal governments.
California governor Gavin Newsom has assured his state that over half of the population — or, in his words, 56 percent — will soon be infected. That is, more than 25 million coronavirus cases are on the horizon, which, at the virus’s current fatality rate of 1–2 percent (the ratio of deaths to known positive cases), would mean that the state should anticipate 250,000–500,000 dead Californians in the near future. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti predicted that this week Los Angeles would be short of all sorts of medical supplies as the epidemic killed many hundreds, as is the case in New York City.
It’s been well over two months since the first certified coronavirus case in the United States, so one might expect to see early symptoms of the apocalypse recently forecast by Governor Newsom. Yet a number of California’s top doctors, epidemiologists, statisticians, and biophysicists — including Stanford’s John Ioannides, Michael Levitt, Eran Bendavid, and Jay Bhattacharya — have expressed some skepticism about the bleak models predicting that we are on the verge of a statewide or even national lethal pandemic of biblical proportions.
The skeptics may be right. As of this moment, California’s cumulative fatalities attributed to coronavirus are somewhere over 140 deaths, in a state of 40 million. That toll is a relatively confirmable numerator (though coronavirus is not always the sole cause of death), as opposed to the widely unreliable denominator of caseloads (currently about 6,300 in the state) that are judged to be only a fraction of the population that has been tested. The Iceland study, for example, suggests that half of those who are infected show no symptoms. Currently, even with fluctuating statistics, California is suffering roughly about one death to the virus for every 250,000–300,000 of its residents.
Over the ensuing nine days the number of deaths has risen to 508 bring California’s death rate to thirteen per 1 million residents. By comparison, New York has suffered almost 30 times that mortality rate with 360 deaths per 1 million residents.
The relatively low morbidity rate, as compared to other states, and coupled with what had to have been an early exposure to the virus, has led VDH to ask if California has developed herd immunity…
Herd immunity (also called herd effect, community immunity, population immunity, or social immunity) is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through previous infections or vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.
This raises an important question… perhaps the most important question… Did infectious disease experts within the government deliberately create models intended to influence President Trump to destroy the U.S. economy?
Many of our so-called health experts are acting less like good doctors and more like bad politicians – Angelo Codevilla