My title is a paraphrase of the first line from Daniel Greenfield's important article:
1 in 5 Coronavirus Deaths Could Have Been Prevented by Securing Nursing Homes
Blue states lied: thousands of nursing home patients died.
Sitting here in my bucolic blue state suburb, I was noticing that the case count and deaths for my town were continuing to climb. My wife and I kept asking each other: Who are these people? Finally it dawned on us--these had to be inmates of nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Greenfield's article confirms that nationwide, just days after the state was forced to provide the data for our area that confirmed exactly what my wife and I had suspected. While playgrounds are being shut down and the city is enacting stricter mask ordinances, the real risk is at the nursing homes. And the same holds true for suburb after suburb in our area.
And here's the kicker.
As we see case counts continuing to climb in the most affected states--largely blue states--we can be pretty sure that those cases will be disproportionately among seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The numbers that we've seen thus far aren't lying in that respect. And we know that that will translate to lots more deaths. Those deaths will be occurring disproportionately among a demographic that was known to be at high risk but was not protected, while large segments of the population who were at least arguably not at great risk were bullied and scared into measures that may not have been appropriately targeted for the population at large.
To be clear, I don't want to fall into the trap of equating "risk" with risk of death. We know that this virus--unlike the flu or other coronaviruses like the common cold--can have long term health effects for those who recover. For those who require treatment, the burden on healthcare is also significantly higher that for the flu. I can also understand that public officials fear that unless drastic measures are required, more targeted measures may not be followed. Or that if the fact that this pandemic may only play out over several years, with relatively "low" rates of infection, public resolve will flag. Nevertheless, this lack of transparency in a democracy is egregious. It's also bound to be a big mistake. People ultimately need to be treated as adults and allowed to provide input into the momentous decisions that have been made largely by fiat up to this point.
With that off my chest, take a look at what Greenfield is reporting:
Blue states lied: thousands of nursing home patients died.
Over 7,000 of the country’s coronavirus deaths emerged out of nursing homes.
Of the 4,377 coronavirus deaths in New Jersey, over 1,700 died due to infections in nursing homes. That nearly 40% of coronavirus deaths in one of the hardest hit states took place in nursing homes casts a stark light on the misplaced priorities of blue states battling the pandemic by locking down houses of worship and small businesses, while putting few to no resources into protecting nursing home residents.
In neighboring New York, nearly 1 in 4 coronavirus deaths emerged from nursing homes. Those 3,060 deaths are only part of the story and represent an extremely incomplete picture. The Health Department had battled against releasing the information, claiming that it was protecting the privacy of residents.
Why were New York authorities so reluctant to release the information? Even the partial data makes it all too clear that the severity of the death toll was not due to urban density, but poor oversight and response. If urban density were the issue, Manhattan would have some of the highest numbers. Instead it has among the lowest, while boroughs with sizable nursing homes have the highest numbers.
In Connecticut, 40% of coronavirus fatalities emerged from nursing homes.
In Virginia, the majority of the coronavirus outbreaks have taken place in nursing homes. Like New York, Virginia’s Department of Health is refusing to release the names of the facilities with outbreaks.
Governor Ralph Northam's administration is continuing to engage in the cover-up even as a quarter of the population in one facility died of the coronavirus. That outbreak was the deadliest in America.
In Illinois, Governor Pritzker's administration had fought against providing the numbers of deaths and the identity of the nursing homes with outbreaks by claiming that it was protecting the privacy of residents, but finally began putting out some numbers about coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.
1 in 4 coronavirus deaths in Cook County, an area which includes Chicago, took place in nursing homes.
In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer's administration also refused to release the names of infected facilities. What information reporters have put together indicates that over a third of coronavirus deaths in Wayne County took place in nursing homes. Every nursing home in Detroit is infected.
In California, 29% of the deaths in Los Angeles County have taken place in nursing homes. In nearby Long Beach, it’s as high as 72%. In one Central Valley home, 156 residents tested positive and 8 died.
... California, like New York, was forcing care facilities to accept coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals. Newsom, like Cuomo, has blood on his manicured hands.
The ten deadliest outbreaks in this country have taken place in nursing homes and care facilities.
While officials around the country shut down churches and synagogues, arrested people for surfing and playing catch, and sent drones flying over their backyards, little was done to secure the estimated 4,100 nursing homes out of over 15,000 in the country where coronavirus was known to have taken root.
Even though the first coronavirus outbreak in this country took place in a nursing home in Washington, and killed 43 people, the CDC failed to track the spread of the virus to nursing homes nationwide.
Instead, the CDC has been relying on "informal outreach" to track the spread and has not updated its numbers since March.
The Trump administration took an important step by ordering nursing homes to report coronavirus deaths to the CDC, and to the residents and their families. This move puts an end to the state stonewalling that covered up coronavirus cases and their own malfeasance.
It’s the beginning. Not the end.
Coronavirus disproportionately affects the elderly and the ill. Securing nursing home facilities would cost a fraction of the money we have lost by shutting down the economy and passing massive bailouts. And as death tolls remain a major barrier to reopening the economy, saving lives in nursing homes will also save the economy. It’s the right thing to do for our parents, grandparents, and for our country.
Blue state governments lied, deliberately covering up the scale of nursing home deaths, while playing up the pandemic risks and the lockdown. Their decisions killed the weak and the elderly, devastated the economy, and transformed the entire relationship between the people and their governments.
The appeal of imposing social distancing measures on everyone proved irresistible to blue governments even while they neglected to track virus cases in the places where they were most likely to emerge.
I'm confused about this because the Democrat Party is the party of science. How could this happen, since they are so enlightened?ReplyDelete
Probably part of their plan to kill off the surplus population. They'd make Ebeneezer Scrooge proud. Of course, he saw the light and changed his ways.
Party of Fake Science!Delete
Also the party of compassion.Delete
In Delaware 58% of deaths were in assisted living homes.Delete
Party of heart surgery is postponed but abortions must go on. Party of you can buy lottery tickets but you can't have communion. Party of we'll shut your business down but we have gourmet ice cream stored in our restaurant-quality freezers in our residential kitchensReplyDelete
I prefer to call them the Party of Death.Delete
You'll get no argument from me about calling them that.
I have been asking myself, in my area of So CA, how is the virus being spread, if we are all at stay at home?ReplyDelete
And the lack of information on this has been frustrating...
My contention has been that the virus arrived here relatively late, compared to the rest of the world--close to late January. I saw an article yesterday that tended to confirm that--first recorded death was a woman in Santa Clara county. Analysis of the virus in her is said to be ID to that in Wuhan, meaning she brought it back, didn't get it from spread. Other early cases were similar. This is why I've been saying that I think most areas--NY is exceptional--will have relatively localized outbreaks and, because the Wuhan virus isn't as virulent as flu, spread will be slower in a geographical sense and percent of population will be low compared to flu. I've been right on that so far. And this is why the lack of transparency is hurting us--government is hiding the ball. I'm sure they know more than they're telling us.Delete
This is why I've also said there will be no 'herd immunity'--there won't be enough spread for that. So far the attempts to test for that show even NYC is only at 20%, with prob. 50% min. required for herd immunity.Delete
I don't say this to minimize anything. Just in the interests of understanding what it's all about. Lots not known.
Just curious. Do you mean there will be no herd immunity anytime soon (like in the next couple or few years or so)? Or no herd immunity ever? I imagine you mean the former but really don't know, and since my knowledge on the issue is superficial at best, I'd love to hear your thoughts.Delete
It's complicated. However, what's the internet for if not to pontificate?Delete
I assume that 'herd immunity' requires 40-60% of the population to be immune. That's what we read. If true I would presume there's a good chance there would never be true 'herd' immunity. I say this because this virus is reportedly not as infectious as flu, and so the spread will be less. Even in hard hit NY we've only reached 20%. People die and are born every year, may not travel to or be infected by people form more hard hit areas or from hard hit demographics. The spread of this virus is very uneven and this is a very big and increasingly diverse country.
Also, immunity is not a binary thing. You can have it but then lose it, or the virus can change, or your degree of immunity can vary somewhat. A good example of all this is the 2009 swine flu pandemic. Flu vaccines vary quite widely in their effectiveness, with most optimistic estimates peaking around 45%. For a widespread virus, that's not really good enough for herd immunity, although it's helped by naturally acquired immunity. But ...
In 2009 Flu took a new turn. The vaccine turned out not to be effective against the new strain. However, previously acquired immunities--mostly acquired in the past by older adults--were relatively effective. Result? The hardest hit demographic was the young (roughly 80% is what I've read). Of course, mortality affecting the young hits a nation harder than mortality affecting the old, like we currently have with Covid19.
Covid19 like most viruses mutates constantly. Based simply on past experience with viruses, there doesn't appear to be any reason to expect immunity--whether naturally developed or acquired from a vaccine--to be more effective than against the flu. So you end up with a number of potentially deadly--even quite deadly--viruses on the loose, which could vary their targeted demographics from year to year. A public health nightmare.
Right now Covid19, like flu, is targeting the old, especially the very old. Since those people will die soon anyway, there's not much of a public outcry about flu deaths. In the case of Covid19, there was initially great uncertainty, thus the outcry. However, if mutations in Covid19 led to greater mortality among people under 65, that would change.
In NY about 25% (top estimate) is under age 65. Greater virulence (transmissibility) would probably change that significantly. Thus the very real concerns. There's nothing simple about this, and going back to the 'normal' may not be a long term option.
I would like to have someone question Fauci and Osterholm and others closely about their previous endorsements of gain-of-function research which IMO gave us this. Other very reputable scientists regard this research as crazy and irresponsible.
Wow. Very, very interesting, if a bit unsettling. Thanks much for the thoughtful explanation.Delete
Brad, there's a lot of disinformation going around, driven by ideology. If what I'm saying is unsettling, I also believe it contains within it the basis for legit arguments for more targeted safety measures. Too many conservatives heard the term 'herd immunity' and fastened on that to the exclusion of all else--without really understanding everything that goes into this. I don't discount modeling, but I also want to point out that what I'm saying--and have said from the start--differs from the usual models, which posit wide and rapid spread throughout the country. That has clearly not happened, and I don't believe social distancing is the explanation. I believe a lower degree of virulence is the explanation. That information has been out there for quite a while, but has been largely ignored. It's understandable that some focus on low death counts in certain states, but the important lesson to learn from that, IMO, is what that likely confirms about the overall virulence of the disease. That's the factor that could make the big difference going forward, if the implications are understood and studied.Delete
A statistic analysis I would like to see, at a state level, is number of deaths usually, say last year, and number of deaths this year.ReplyDelete
NY and surrounding areas are outliers. They are hit bad. I am curious about the rest of the country.
Wow - when Greenfield is right, he is right.ReplyDelete
Finally read that article and another at pjmedia on LA on senior housing.
I did not realize Ca had the rule as NY, where infected had to be readmitted. And the LA County Health admitted they were only testing those with symptoms, due to past experiences.
Amazing how various state governments tried to hide this key information.
And worldwide hospitals and senior housing seems to have been huge vectors for covid 19 infection.
And more on the NY Subways:ReplyDelete
Seems like the homeless are using them as shelters, and at "best" they are being cleaned every 3 days (72 hours). No wonder they are such a vector.