Wednesday, April 29, 2020

No the drugs don't work anymore

Grandson - Overdose
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COVID19 Update:
Today as the collapse of first quarter GDP was announced, the government also released preliminary data on a rushed study of the Gilead drug Remdesivir.  Headlines read "Remdesivir study shows positive results for treating COVID19" and I think many people have really misinterpreted what "positive results" means.  I'll ignore the fact that scientifically, one study of 1,000 people is not significant enough to draw any meaningful opinions, but since we live in a fact free world now, let's move on.

What are the positive results?  Well, in people who didn't die (8% of people on Remdesivir still died) the recovery time on average was shortened from 15 days to 11 days.  That's nice, but the net/net is you still got COVID19 and were hospitalized for 11 days if you didn't die.  I think the media has misrepresented this "treatment" as a magic bullet which it clearly is not.

In a related story, I've been asking various sources to track total deaths in the US whether they are labeled COVID19 or not because it has been my suspicion that many people are dying of the disease or related complications but they are not being labeled as COVID19 deaths. 

Well, the NYTimes finally pulled this information together and it's pretty stark.  If you have an account (free to sign up) you can read the full study here.

Even if you don't look at the full article consider the charts below.  What I suspected is very evident - the number deaths/week is VERY consistent every year.  Obviously 2020 jumps out as an outlier as a result of COVID19, but what is interesting is the gap between INCREASED deaths and reported COVID19 deaths.  For example, in New Jersey they have recorded 5,200 "excess deaths" beyond what would be expected.  However, they've only reported 2,200 COVID19 deaths.  So, what caused an extra 3,000 NJ residents to die this year? I'm sure it could any number of factors but obviously COVID19 should be suspect #1.

source @nytimes

And a reminder as the country starts getting ready to open for business - yesterday 2,470 Americans died of COVID19, the fifth highest total of the crisis.  Today another 2,390 Americans died, making it the 6 highest total that we've seen.  48 hours and more Americans died than died on 9/11, but the narrative is that "we're moving forward", so you'll have to grin behind your mask and remember to wash your hands.
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Markets and the Economy: 
The markets can get summed up in a couple of photos.
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* 22 million+ Americans have lost their jobs, the economy fell 4.8% in the first quarter and the NASDAQ is 3% higher than it was on January 1, 2020. #SMH

* Hertz stock traded up for the first part of the day despite news that they were likely to file for bankruptcy (eventually closed down 20%).

This is the year over year change in passengers screened by the TSA - for the past week the number of passengers has held around 110k/day, down 94% from last year.

Image
via @dthedgeye
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Follow-up:

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that we as American's like to focus on scary deaths vs chronic or preventable deaths.  The shift in the narrative is to get you to just accept that COVID19 is part of our world - like cancer/heart disease and there's nothing you can do about it.  This isn't true, we could do something, but we will elect not to do anything after mid-May.

Anyway, I think I've shared this before because it highlights the discrepancy between what really kills us - Heart Disease (food, smoking, old age) - vs what the media covers Terrorism.

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via @cmdr_hadfield

Also, if you recall earlier this week, I mentioned that commercial office space may be the first big casualty of the post-COVID world. 

Today the CEO of Barclays Bank said "putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past".

Also, the CEO of Discover Card said today in "25 years, I've never so much distress for the US consumer."
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Daily Dose of Humor

via @amandajpanda
The longer this goes on, the more I look like a proud toddler who picked out her own outfit.

via @picklerudd
No, the poptart on my nightstand is my midnight snack. The poptart under my pillow is my emotional support poptart.

via @chhappiness
I bought a Roomba to save an hour on vacuuming, now I’m spending two hours staring at Roomba vacuuming

Cheers!

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