Fully As Expected

Big Left has had to reckon with the idea that, among major states, Florida and its science-driven approach to Covid has been more successful than the states that Big Media cast its lot with last year.

And by “reckon”, I mean “try to undercut, among the ‘try-not-to-think-too-hard’ crowd” that is the “progressive” base.

The Atlantic tries to cover both sides of Florida’s approach. And the story makes a decent shot at fairness of a sort:

If you want to say something declarative that will be proved wrong in a few months, I strongly encourage you to comment on Florida. Liberals projected that the state would suffer disproportionately for its casual approach to the pandemic, but its deaths are in line with the national average. Conservatives hailed the state for its open-air and open-business approach to 2020, but the available evidence doesn’t seem to prove that Florida’s economy is doing exceptionally well compared with those of its southern neighbors.

And, in fact, the story notes that Florida’s record, on Covid fatalities and economics, is relatively middle of the road:

As far as I can tell, though, it didn’t. At 4.8 percent, its unemployment rate is 18th in the country, and not meaningfully different from that of the median states, South Carolina and Virginia, at 5.3 percent. Real-time data tracking state spending and employment show that Florida is doing, again, no better than average. Compared with January 2020, its consumer spending is down 1 percent, which is right in line with the national average. Its small-business revenue is down about 30 percent—again, almost exactly the national average. These statistics may be missing something. But the national narrative of an exceptionally white-hot Florida economy doesn’t match the statistical record of its performance.

I mean, true – as far as it goes.

But that wasn’t the standard that was set for Florida, then or now .

Nearly a year ago, the media looked up from polishing Andrew Cuomo’s toenails only to confidently predict Florida’s policies would lead to a Walking Dead-level die-off that never came.

The Atlantic piece compares Florida with the average, and finds it right there.

But the valid comparison is with New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts – states with the opposite, media-blessed approach.

31 thoughts on “Fully As Expected

  1. Instead of comparing current FL covid & economic stats to those of other states, it would be more fun to compare The Atlantic to compare what it said about Florida’s hostility of masking & social distancing six months ago.

    If you look at the NY Times’ state by state data & took the name of the state out of it, you could not tell which of the graphs belong to New York, South Dakota, Florida, and Minnesota. Texas has seen a decrease in new cases and deaths since it opened up two weeks ago.
    The states with the highest number of new cases per thousand are cold states still in lock down: New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Hampshire, Vermont.

    The states with the fewest new cases are all “warmer” states, regardless of lockdown status: Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Kansas, Alabama, Oregon, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana.

    If new covid cases decrease with lockdown status, the effect is very small, and not worth the heavy human and economic costs of the lockdowns.

  2. I write this from Key Largo where a nominal amount of mask mandate remains due to Monroe County policy. It’s loosely enforced and the vibe is way different from Walz’s police state. I’ve seen no credible explanation for the massive infection surge last fall. Certainly the mask mandate and other restrictions did little to nothing. If Walz had half a brain he’d be embarrassed. But he goes on, touting a failed model, shaming individuals, ignoring lots of real scientific evidence.

  3. I should mention that Florida, with no lockdown, and middle of the road covid rate & economy, is the number 1 state for the so-called “british variant” that we are being terrified about a few months ago.

  4. This fawning Strib profile of the UM’s Michael Osterholm, published just a week ago, makes no mention of his miserably wrong forecast of just two months ago that y now we would be in the grip of a force-5 hurricane of covid, the worst experienced so far.
    What a pinhead. Osterholm is famous for advising AGAINST quarantining AIDS patients back in the 80s, and advising FOR quarantining the healthy in response to covid.
    It is really impossible to satirize our covid elites, isn’t it?

  5. Minnesota’s unemployment rate is 4.3% (Feb. 2021). We are doing better than Florida! Masks and lockdowns created jobs! Well, except for all those waitresses and students thrown out of work a year ago who didn’t qualify for unemployment and have given up looking for work as long as Governor Walz continues to fondle his dials. They don’t count in the figures. Ignore them.

    And Florida’s economy is down a whole percent, right in line with the national average, proving lock-downs and masks hurt nothing. Except tourism, which is a giant part of Florida’s normal economy and hugely impacted by lack of travellers from other states. The fact the non-tourism portion of Florida’s economy is roaring hard enough to make up for lost tourists, is not mentioned in the article. (The Garden Administration has a plan to fix that, by the way – internal passports making it harder for tourists to travel will bring Florida’s economic numbers down).

    Conclusion: the statistics are too easily manipulated to form the basis for worthwhile comparisons of Covid policy.

  6. Conclusion: the statistics are too easily manipulated to form the basis for worthwhile comparisons of Covid policy.

    More important the Covidistas learned last July that successful continuance of the lockdowns depends almost exclusively on them cooking the books on an ongoing basis.

  7. DeSantis/COVID 2024
    Honestly a solid Republican primary strategy.

    I think the problem is that circulating virus = new mutations= recurrent infections= overwhelmed health care system.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s circulating in the vulnerable or in young people, it’s going to mutate.

    Do you need a complete lockdown? Probably not. Do you need a population that can exercise good judgement and follow rules? Probably. And that’s what gets us every time.

  8. An unintended, or intended, consequence of the lockdowns, you decide: Our friend’s daughter-in-law is graduating from med school as a psychiatrist. Everywhere she applied to work, they want her to start immediately and to name her price. Everywhere, every state, every hospital. This is in stark contrast to what the employment situation was when she elected her specialty.

  9. ” . . . the statistics are too easily manipulated to form the basis for worthwhile comparisons of Covid policy.”

    Not exactly. You can compare the extreme cases, that’s where the signal is not overwhelmed by the noise.
    We know that nations that had minimal lockdown did not vary significantly from Nations that locked down as hard as was politically possible (Sweden vs the UK, for example).
    Most places that had lockdowns had lockdowns that favored the economic and political elites. They kept their jobs, they made money, they sent their kids in person to private schools. We did not have lockdowns that were designed to be effective, we had lockdowns that were designed to be as effective as possible without discomfiting social and economic elites.
    If the lockdowns had been designed democratically, instead of imposed by one-man “emergency” rule, the results would have been less economic harm with comparable death rate & hospital loading.

  10. COVID-19 will mutate more quickly the more quickly we allow the infection to burn unmitigated. Resisting even modest mitigation measures needlessly increases infection, mutation, illness, hospitalization, death, and economic destruction. People of good will need to do their part to slow infection.

  11. If we had allowed it to run unmitigated, perhaps, Emery, but since when is that actually an approach? Are there any states where people are being prohibited from getting vaccinated, or masks are banned?

    Reality is that there are indeed models of how a virus mutates, and it depends both on the number of people who get the disease and how many people get it “in series”, the mutations adding up and getting worse. So it’s entirely possible that if you had, say, Ro = 10 and an incredibly fast epidemic, that the mutations would be less significant than an epidemic with Ro= 1.1.

  12. COVID-19 will mutate more quickly the more quickly we allow the infection to burn unmitigated.

    Link to proof of that claim, please. Because it sounds as if you’re saying humans can affect viral mutation rate by hand washing, and I need more than your word for it.

  13. 1. COVID-19 is about 10x more lethal than the flu. (and the risk of flu is already big enough that we do annual mass vaccinations against it)

    2. COVID-19 variants are more deadly than base COVID-19, they spread faster, and they are capable of reinfecting people who have already recovered.

    3. Vaccinations take 2 to 3 weeks to take effect. This is ample time for a vast wave of infections to burn through the population. New infections take several days to a week to show up in case numbers. We need c.80% of people to be vaccinated and then for 4 weeks to pass before we’re in the clear.

    I can’t believe it is March 2021 and people still don’t understand basic facts about COVID-19. I don’t expect to convince any if you, since you seem impervious to new information, but perhaps one or two people will read this thread with a slightly more thoughtful mindset.

  14. I can’t believe it is March 2021 and people still don’t understand basic facts about COVID-19.

    Says the nimrod who trotted in and gladly played guinea pig for a pharma start up with a 10 year track record of failure. LMFAO!! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    You don’t get it, Tater. You’re a fucking idiot and a liar, and we all know it. You won’t post links to where you dredge up your idiotic predictions because you know it’s bullshit. You’ve been smacked down so many times in here, the floor of these comment threads are covered with your greasy face prints.

    You don’t know jack shit. What you *think* you know is always wrong because you are informed by people who target morons as messengers for their bullshit, and you’re too stupid to realize you’re being played like a fiddle.

  15. 1. COVID-19 is about 10x more lethal than the flu. (and the risk of flu is already big enough that we do annual mass vaccinations against it)

    Flu: Get your annual vaccination please!
    Covid: OMFG! Close the schools! Close the shops! Shutdown the restaurants! End all public gatherings! Quarantine the healthy! Spend 5 trillion dollars! Censor the internet!

    This is an f’n joke, everyone knows it, those who are willing to say so are the brave.
    We would not be in this mess if the lockdown governors had simply allowed the democratic process, which we are supposed to be guaranteed by fed & state constitutions, work its course. Pardon me for not getting worked up about George Floyd, my own civil rights have been stamped on for over a year by the people who are supposed to protect them.

  16. Links to proof of the claim, please.

    I know you’re a Wall Street wizard, criminal trial superstar, and electoral security expert, but in matters of viral mutation prevention by hand-washing, I need more than your word for it.

    As for your attempt to deflect attention away from the issue, remember that Covid numbers are inflated by counting all deaths from respiratory illness (pneumonia, emphysema, influenza) as Covid so it’s not possible to determine whether Covid is actually 10 times as deadly as the flu; and the so-called ‘Covid vaccinations’ are not vaccinations (which prevent you from getting the disease, like polio), they are ‘mitigation strategies’ which do not prevent you from getting the disease, won’t prevent you from spreading it to others, and are only intended to lessen the severity of your next attack, whether by this strain or some mutated strain sharing the same protein.

    Masks don’t stop the spread. Lockdowns don’t stop the spread. The ‘vaccine’ won’t stop the spread. Now let’s see the proof that hand-washing can affect the rate at which the virus mutates. Link, please.

  17. Wow.
    Asked to provide links to proof, supplies more statements without support.
    And then blames others for his inability to support an statement, much less construct a convincing argument.
    That’s pretty dense, Emery.

  18. Covid only rarely spreads through touching surfaces: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00251-4
    But it’s easier to clean surfaces than improve ventilation — especially in the winter — and consumers have come to expect disinfection protocols.
    Meaning it is theater, literally for show.

    Experts say that it makes sense to recommend hand washing, but some researchers are pushing back against the focus on surfaces. In December, engineer Linsey Marr at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg co-wrote an opinion article for The Washington Post imploring people to ease up on cleaning efforts. “It’s become clear that transmission by inhalation of aerosols — the microscopic droplets — is an important if not dominant mode of transmission,” says Marr, who studies airborne disease transmission. Excessive attention on making surfaces pristine takes up limited time and resources that would be better spent on ventilation or the decontamination of the air that people breathe, she says.
    You mean we don’t have infinite resources? And the claim to do things “in an abundance of caution” can be a foolish use of resources. Gee, who would have thought this, except every rational person that ever lived.

    Goldman and others caution against reading too much into virus-survival studies, because most don’t test conditions that exist outside the lab. “They were experiments that started out with humongous amounts of virus, nothing that you would encounter in the real world,” he says. Other tests have used mock saliva and controlled conditions such as humidity and temperature, all of which widen the gulf between experimental and real-world conditions, says Goldman.
    Yep. What the covid lockdown skeptics have been saying all along.

    The article also summarizes an interesting attempt to do the controlled experiment on the spread of the rhinovirus in real social conditions that is too long to quote in full. Basically, rhinovirus does not appear to spread via surfaces, either.
    The early demands to wash hands frequently & use hand cleanser were based on fragments of covid RNA that were found to survive on surfaces for a long time. It was later found that the surviving fragments did not represent intact virii and could not infect a person.
    We never know when the science is settled. People who believe that the “science is settled” on any topic are admitting that they are incapable of learning .

  19. I see the curves of cases and deaths, and, despite the measures urged by authorities and the vaccinations, what I see is a systems out of control. As the numbers and densities of cases and deaths go up people are careful, but, then, as they come down, people get careless, all on a baseline segment of the population which doesn’t care, seldom takes precautions, and is averse to vaccination. 

    Accordingly any discussion of an “end in sight” or of more hopeful times is predicated entirely upon people’s behavior. (I’m speaking of the US here) It’s entirely within our capability to blow the opportunity.

    Longer term, I’m concerned about what this means for a damaged representative democracy being incapable of dealing with tougher problems.

  20. E’s 11:31 lays bare the issue: citizens versus serfs.

    Citizens have free will. They can follow recommendations to get flu shots, or not, as they choose. They can protect themselves with masks and social distancing if they feel vulnerable, but have no duty to adopt special measures to protect others.

    Serfs do as they’re told, even if what they’re told to do is wrong and stupid.

    E wants us all to be serfs.

  21. Hmmm… if the virus mutates and vaccines are TARGETED to a specific strain, what good are vaccines? But I digress from the whitewashing of the truth and logic.

  22. “Based on their interviews, I felt it was time to speak up about Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to cover for their bad instincts and faulty recommendations, which I fortunately almost always overturned,” ~ Donald Trump

    By proudly acknowledging he overruled Fauci and Birx, Trump owns his administration’s US coronavirus response.

    The record:

    —more cases and deaths than any country in the world by far

    —more than 2x as many cases/deaths per 100K population than Canada next door

    —50x the death rate of South Korea

    If the former administration had remained in the White House, the US would look like Brazil about now.

  23. JD, you are correct. Emery is subservient to the government. I’m sure that he believes people should have to carry a “vaccine passport”, because no one should have freedom of choice without being accused of not caring about others. He is too stupid to realize that once people accept that, whenever the government wants to inject them with something, they will willingly hold out their arms and thank their benevolent overlords for it.

  24. I explain why the Covid numbers are phony and cannot be used as the basis for comparing Covid policies.

    E uses the phony Covid numbers to compare Covid policies.

    It’s like I’m talking to the wall, here.

  25. Regarding the claim that COVID is 10x more deadly than the flu, well, yes, as we’ve done things, but keep in mind that a hefty chunk of those deaths are because too many governors, most of them Democrats, kept sending COVID patients back to nursing homes. Eliminate that, the increased lethality disappears.

    Regarding the claim that the new variants are deadlier, that’s false. Some are more deadly, some are less deadly.

    And the claim that “vaccinations take weeks to take effect…”….wait a second here, I thought the gestation period for COVID was 3-6 days. Now peak immunity may be reached only after a few weeks, but let’s not pretend that our immune systems have joined a union and don’t get around to doing any work for a couple of weeks.

    I too am concerned about COVID infection rates rising in some states, but I was honest enough to look up which states those are. Interestingly, those are predominantly states run by a …..Democrat…..and tend to be the states with more stringent restrictions. They’re also mostly northern states, to be fair, but let’s not pretend that the science is unambiguous on the side of restrictions. It’s not at all.

  26. It’s like I’m talking to the wall, here

    No, the wall doesn’t care what you say. The EC rejects what you say. I’ll grant you that the aftereffect seems to be the same, but the difference is that the wall doesn’t write blog comments. The EC, being unable to hold a discussion, just reiterates what it wrote before which is a rejection of your perspective.

  27. JD: Whether it’s votes or the Covid statistics — at least you’re consistent.

    Quite a confession of dereliction of duty by the former president.

  28. In terms of death rate by nation, the United States ranks 13th, behind San Marino, Czechia, Hungary, Belgium, Montenegro, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the UK, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Italy, and Slovakia. Another dozen or so nations are within 10% of the U.S. fatality rate.


    And for states without Democratic governors sending COVID patients back into nursing homes, the rate is even lower. Reality is that apart from those Democratic governors, the U.S. response wasn’t that horrific.

  29. Only a foolish would compare the covid deaths of what is essentially an island (South Korea) with a trans-continental nation like the US.
    But Emery cherry-picks his data. That’s one reason why his/her skill at analyzing problems is so poor.
    If the covid response of the US, on the federal level, was so poor that South Korea had 50 times fewer deaths, than what does Canada’s response to covid show you? It was 25x worse than South Korea’s.
    The United States is not an outlier in the number of covid deaths per capita for a mid-latitude nation.
    It is completely false that there is a “Trump effect” in the data.
    Anyone with half a brain can see that.
    This is what happens when you let late night comedians do your analysis for you.

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