In 2018 we had a very bad flu season and tens of thousands of people died all over the country.
Most of you, including me, didn’t even notice it happened. In fact, the media barely covered the 2018 flu season at all. I don’t ever remember seeing a daily tally of flu infections or daily deaths from the flu or media members and politicians lecturing me to never leave my house again. And I certainly don’t remember any events being canceled in this country. Heck, I don’t remember any expert models forecasting deaths or any politicians blaming each other for the death toll either.
Put simply, I don’t remember any major national discussion about the tens of thousands of flu deaths in 2018.
You probably don’t either.
That’s because the media — and as a result the general public and the politicians — mostly ignored those deaths. Probably because while all deaths are tragic, 2.8 million people die every year in this country, that’s 7500 a day, 50,000 a week.
This, of course, contrasts immensely with the way the media has covered the deaths from the coronavirus. Even right now, as tragic as the death toll is, the number of people who have died from the coronavirus is pretty similar to the number who died from the flu in 2018. And neither the flu nor the coronavirus death toll is likely to substantially alter the year end death toll, which is likely to end up around 2.8 million like it does every year.
Yet this year we completely abandoned all logic and reason and fell victim to fear porn.
Even now, as the data becomes clearer and clearer that our national lockdown was nonsensical, many cling to the idea because they are terrified to acknowledge that we’ve overreacted, shutting down our national economy based on an overabundance of fear.
Last week the CDC released coronavirus data on their website which made it clear that if you are under the age of fifty you are in more danger of death from the yearly flu than you are from the coronavirus.
Given that nearly two-thirds of our national population is under the age of fifty, most of us really don’t have much to personally fear from the coronavirus.
The state of Pennsylvania, for instance, has seen more people over 100 years old die than people under 45 years old.
I want you to think about that for a minute. More people in Pennsylvania have died who are over 100 years old than those under 45 years old. Do you even know anyone over the age of 100? I don’t. All death is tragic, but the coronavirus has primarily killed — or aided in killing since those dying typically have multiple co-morbidities — people in nursing homes or the very old.
That’s very different than the seasonal flu which kills much more indiscriminately across a wide variety of ages. The death of a young person is generally considered to be particularly tragic because young people haven’t lived very many years and have their full lives ahead of them. The death of someone over 100 years old, while sad, isn’t generally considered tragic at all. Indeed, the average age of death for the coronavirus in this country, at 81, is older than the average age of death of all causes in this country, which is 78. Let me repeat that, people dying of the coronavirus are older, on average, than people who are dying of all diseases in this country.
The way to combat the coronavirus isn’t by keeping young people from living their lives, it’s by protecting the elderly and letting young people continue with their life. Take little league baseball or softball for example. While little league is stopped in much of the country, according to Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania your son or daughter is 20x as likely to die of the seasonal flu as they are the coronavirus. And according to most studies children don’t transmit the coronavirus very often to adults or the elderly.
Heck, if you’re under the age of 24 you are more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to die of the coronavirus.
And yet colleges are debating whether to reopen this fall.
Given that the only thing that has spread exponentially in this country is the unemployment rate — which now stands at just shy of forty million who have lost their jobs in the past two months — surely, I thought, the coronavirus must still be killing at a level most of the country has never seen before. After all, that’s what the media is constantly telling us — that we’ve never seen anything like this before in our lives.
That’s why I was stunned when I actually looked at the death numbers from the 2018 flu and compared them with the coronavirus. It turns out the 2018 flu killed more people in 34 of our 50 states.
Let me repeat that — the 2018 flu, which most of you didn’t even know happened — killed more people in 34 states than the coronavirus has.
In fact when you actually dive into the numbers what you see is pretty interesting: just seven states: New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut dominate the nation’s death count. In fact, these seven states comprise nearly two-thirds of the deaths in the entire country.
The next question becomes, why did those states have such a massive death rate compared to the rest of the country.
The biggest reason? Because their governors, led by Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, made the disastrous decision to send nursing home patients infected with the coronavirus at hospitals back to their nursing homes.
The result? The coronavirus spread like wild fire through the most vulnerable populations in these states, leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. Why’d they send these elderly hospital patients back to nursing homes? Especially since we already knew, based on what happened in the state of Washington, that nursing homes patients were particularly susceptible to this virus.
Because they believed the “expert” models which told them their hospitals weren’t going to be able to handle all the demand.
Governor Andrew Cuomo believed hospitals in New York were going to be overloaded because the “experts” had told him New York would need 140,000 beds. He thought he needed these hospital beds, so he sent the nursing home hospital patients back to the nursing homes. The sad reality? New York only ended up needing 19,000 beds. Meaning those patients never needed to be moved. This means these horribly flawed “expert” forecasts, which the media peddled as part of their fear porn and no one adequately challenged, directly led to the deaths of tens of thousands of nursing home patients who might otherwise still be alive.
We, the American public, also bought into the idea that we needed to shutdown the country to “flatten the curve” and avoid overloading American hospitals. That, of course, has now morphed into a neverending shutdown for many people across the country. That shutdown might have made sense for two weeks — although the data reflects that isn’t the case — but it certainly makes no sense today given that our hospitals never overloaded anywhere in the country. Indeed, we are closer to bankrupting hospitals than we are to overloading them. In fact, astute analysts have even argued that the entire lockdown makes little sense and that ending the lockdown, far from leading to increased spread, has actually led to similar, or lower, rates of infection.
You’d think the decision by those seven state governors to send coronavirus patients back into nursing homes would be the number one story in America, since it likely cost us tens of thousands of lives. But because six of these states have Democratic governors, the media has mostly ignored it. Focusing instead on the idea that Republican governors who are allowing their residents to leave their homes are going to cause massive death totals.
The data tells us the truth: this is really two different diseases — one for people over 65 who are unhealthy and the other for those under 65 who are healthy.
But the disease is also reflective of two different Americas: one for people who live in blue states and one for people who live in red states.
The red states, by and large, haven’t seen much of an impact from the coronavirus.
In fact, based on data through Memorial Day 34 states, most of them red states, had more deaths from the 2018 flu than they have had from the coronavirus.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the CDC death totals by state from the 2018 flu.
Here are the states by alphabetical order with comparisons between their 2018 flu and coronavirus deaths. The coronavirus death totals are through Memorial Day and are found here.
Alaska 2018 flu deaths: 68 coronavirus deaths: 10
Alabama 2018 flu deaths: 1268 coronavirus deaths: 562
Arkansas 2018 flu deaths: 670 coronavirus deaths: 117
Arizona 2018 flu deaths: 1116 coronavirus deaths: 806
California 2018 flu deaths: 6917 coronavirus deaths: 3796
Florida 2018 flu deaths: 3091 coronavirus deaths: 2252
Hawaii 2018 flu deaths: 542 coronavirus deaths: 17
Iowa 2018 flu deaths: 697 coronavirus deaths: 459
Idaho 2018 flu deaths: 235 coronavirus deaths: 79
Kansas 2018 flu deaths: 630 coronavirus deaths: 209
Kentucky 2018 flu deaths: 969 coronavirus deaths: 391
Maine 2018 flu deaths: 312 coronavirus deaths: 78
Missouri 2018 flu deaths: 1477 coronavirus deaths: 696
Mississippi 2018 flu deaths: 910 coronavirus deaths: 635
Montana 2018 flu deaths: 152 coronavirus deaths: 16
North Carolina 2018 flu deaths: 2064 coronavirus deaths: 790
North Dakota 2018 flu deaths: 152 coronavirus deaths: 54
Nebraska 2018 flu deaths: 394 coronavirus deaths: 150
New Hampshire 2018 flu deaths: 265 coronavirus deaths: 209
New Mexico 2018 flu deaths: 365 coronavirus deaths: 317
Nevada 2018 flu deaths: 527 coronavirus deaths: 394
Ohio 2018 flu deaths: 2395 coronavirus deaths: 1994
Oklahoma 2018 flu deaths: 809 coronavirus deaths: 313
Oregon 2018 flu deaths: 530 coronavirus deaths: 148
South Carolina 2018 flu deaths: 882 coronavirus deaths: 440
South Dakota 2018 flu deaths: 245 coronavirus deaths: 50
Tennessee 2018 flu deaths: 1646 coronavirus deaths: 338
Texas 2018 flu deaths: 3516 coronavirus deaths: 1540
Utah 2018 flu deaths: 353 coronavirus deaths: 98
Virginia 2018 flu deaths: 1283 coronavirus deaths: 1208
Vermont 2018 flu deaths: 87 coronavirus deaths: 54
Wisconsin 2018 flu deaths: 1075 coronavirus deaths: 514
West Virginia 2018 flu deaths: 539 coronavirus deaths: 73
Wyoming 2018 flu deaths: 128 coronavirus deaths: 12
Two more states were nearly identical in their death tolls.
Georgia 2018 flu deaths: 1530 coronaivirus deaths: 1830
Washington 2018 flu deaths: 930 coronavirus deaths: 1086
Now you can certainly argue that the reason these states had fewer deaths from the coronavirus is because of the lockdown, but that idea is challenged by the fact that many of these 34 states with low coronavirus death rates either never shut down or have already opened back up and haven’t seen any significant spike in cases, deaths or hospitalizations since opening back up.
It’s possible the lockdown didn’t really change things much at all in this country.
So if you wonder why many people are protesting and want to get on with their lives and are worried about the economy more than they’re worried about the coronavirus, it’s because residents of these 34 states are far more likely to know people who have lost their jobs than they are anyone impacted by the virus. And because they can rightly look at the data and say their states stayed open for the 2018 flu, which killed far more people in their states, so why should they bet shut down now?
Of course the big question is this: why are the death rates so much lower in these 34 states?
My theory: because these 34 states, by and large, had governors who managed to keep the coronavirus from spreading like wild fire through their nursing homes. That is, they didn’t follow the disastrous example set by New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo. They didn’t panic and believe their hospitals were going to be overloaded based on the fear porn “expert” forecasts.
Remember, the biggest fear about hospitals being overloaded was it would lead to an increased death rate because doctors would have to choose who to treat. But that’s exactly what Andrew Cuomo did in New York. In sending the nursing home patients from the hospital back to the nursing homes he was basically writing their death warrant. We shut down the nation to avoid doing exactly what New York chose to voluntarily do.
It’s absolutely staggering when you think about it this way.
That’s why the big story here isn’t the nation’s issues with the coronavirus, it’s what went wrong in New York City so disastrously and why in the world did the Democratic governors follow Andrew Cuomo’s lead? New York had a worse outbreak than any city in the world and New York seeded the outbreaks in many other states when New York City residents fled their hometowns for safer places across the country.
So why was New York City such an unmitigated disaster and why did the governors of other states follow New York’s lead when it came to sending infected patients back to nursing homes from hospitals? If we’d just managed to keep the virus out of nursing homes — as opposed to intentionally sending it into nursing homes like Democratic governors did — the coronavirus would have had the impact of a moderate to severe flu season in all fifty states as opposed to having that impact in only 34 states in the country.
The truth is the coronavirus wasn’t a massive, systemic nationwide failure, it was really a failure in just one city — New York — and with just one governor — Andrew Cuomo. The tragedy isn’t only that New York City fell apart, it’s that so many governors followed New York’s lead and that the media, which fancies itself a fair and impartial arbiter of the truth, still hasn’t shared these facts with the rest of the nation.
Instead of trying to shame people in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks for having a party or in Florida for going to the beach, the media should be in New York City trying to figure out what New York did wrong so we can avoid repeating its errors in the future.
But right now it’s impossible for most in the media to even admit that New York made disastrous decisions. They’re too busy praising Andrew Cuomo, the governor who made the worst governing decisions of any state leader in the entire country this century.
And if you don’t think the mainstream media has power in the country consider this: despite making the worst decisions of any governor in the 21st century, Andrew Cuomo has the highest popularity rating of any governor in the entire country.
And the governors with the lowest popularity ratings?
The governors in red states with minimal death rates who opened back up and have seen hardly any deaths at all.
It’s truly an upside down world, the media is rewarding the worst jobs and condemning the best jobs. Worst of all? Most of the public isn’t even questioning this at all, they’re sheep just accepting what they’re being told.
I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Hell, it’s so crazy it even got Elon Musk to take the red pill.
It turns out the people who look the craziest aren’t the ones who spent Memorial Day weekend living their lives, they’re the media and politicians trying to shame them for doing so.
It’s way past time for everyone to get back to work in this country.
The cure has become far worse than the virus.
But the worst virus of all continues to be the mainstream news media.